Can anybody remember the last year that Hendricken’s football team went undefeated?
Let’s put it this way: Players on the current team were just starting to learn how to walk, and in some cases crawl.
The year was 1995 – and the 2010 Hawks have a chance to duplicate that feat if, at the risk of using a billiards metaphor, they “run the table.”
The Hawks have put themselves in position to earn the No. 1 seed in the Division I Tournament – and capture their first state football championship since 1996 - by dispatching two of their toughest rivals in recent weeks. They beat East Providence, 13-7, on Oct. 22 and Portsmouth, 14-13, on Oct. 29.
As a result, the Hawks are 6-0 and can finish a perfect regular season by beating Cranston West (2-3) on Nov. 6 and Barrington (5-1) on Nov. 15.
In the latest Rhode Island High School Football Poll, Hendricken remained No. 1 by capturing all 11 first place votes.
Portsmouth (4-2) is ranked second, Barrington third and East Providence fourth.
The Hendricken-Portsmouth game featured two teams that are the “stingiest” in Division I when it comes to allowing points.
After the dust settled, Hendricken still had allowed the fewest points (65).
The Patriots led, 13-7, early in the third quarter when Hendricken’s Mke Maloof threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Rob Manning and followed with a two-point conversion pass to Ethan Ferreira.
Portsmouth sliced its deficit to 14-13 early in the fourth quarter when Ben Willett tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Mike Dublin. But when Portsmouth was hit with an excessive celebration penalty, it forced Dan Thorpe back to his 35 for a PAT attempt.
Hendricken blocked the kick and then its defense slammed the door over the final eight minutes.
East Providence entered its game with Hendricken having scored 139 points. But the Hawks held the Townies scoreless until the final minute – which, of course, rendered East Providence’s touchdown irrelevant.
Following is a list of other football highlights:
Exeter/West Greenwich remained undefeated and tied for first place in Division IV with Mount Pleasant by beating Smithfield, 42-13. Al Georgio, who is slicing opponents’ defenses into tiny pieces, carried the ball only eight times but gained 289 yards and scored five touchdowns. His scores all came in the first half as coach Jim Alves, in a display of sportsmanship, opted to sit his star running back for the entire second half.
Mount Pleasant remained perfect (6-0) by routing Hope, 40-18, as Tevin Dale scored three touchdowns, ran for a two-point conversion and, for good measure, intercepted two passes.
Defending Division II champion Woonsocket (5-1) remained one game behind Tolman (6-0) for the II-B lead by blanking Toll Gate, 48-0. Villa Novans quarterback Kevin Reyes threw touchdown passes of 25 and 15 yards.
Chariho (5-1) maintained its hold on first place in Division II-A by outlasting Coventry, 12-6. The Chargers broke a 6-6 tie when Jordan Cassidy returned an interception 45 yards, which set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jansen Williamson to Marco Jones – with three ticks of the remaining in the game.
KNIGHTS OUT OF SIGHT
Because they play in Division IV, Exeter/West Greenwich’s Scarlet Knights invariably are overshadowed by perennial Division I powers like Hendricken, Portsmouth, Barrington, La Salle, etc. But it’s impossible to avoid noticing the Scarlet Knights this season – if for no other reason than the play of running back Al Georgio.
In the process of helping his team put together records of 6-0 in league play and 6-1 overall, Georgio has rushed for a mind-boggling 1,813 yards; scored 31 touchdowns; and eight two-point conversions.
Do the math and that computes to 202 points.
One more detail. The Scarlet Knights, who are currently ranked 13th in the state, are shooting for their third consecutive Division IV state championship.
BENGALS RULE THE COURT
Dominant would be the applicable adjective to use when describing the Bay View Academy girls’ tennis program.
Not only did the Bengals won a second straight Division I team championship, but they also produced the Division I singles champ in Rebecca Curran.
Bay View beat Mount St. Charles, 4-1, in the team finals – which was noteworthy considering the Bengals only were seeded fourth, one reason being they lost, 6-1, to the third-seeded Mounties during the regular season.
Curran, Victoria Babcock and Katie Rockwell earned points in singles while Bay View secured another point in doubles from the team of Andrea Clark and Brianna Pelletier.
Curran, who will be playing her tennis next year at Williams College, easily dispatched North Kingstown’s Hannah Zangari, 6-2, 6-3 as she became the eighth player since girls’ tennis became an interscholastic sport to win two state championships.
And for good measure, Clark and Pelletier joined forces to beat Mount’s Almee Barone and Tara Martin, 6-4, 6-4, for the Division I doubles championship.
Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball and hockey and minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y., he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame, which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.