Who’s No. 1 in Division III?
Undefeated Warriors ‘host’ unbeaten Tigers at Max Read Field
It would be wise for someone from the Pawtucket Parks & Recreation Department to head over to Max Read Field and make sure the bulbs on the scoreboard are working properly.
Saturday afternoon’s Division III clash of league unbeatens promises to be a high-scoring affair, thus the last thing anyone wants to see is a scoreboard that resembles an incomplete pass.
Both head coaches, Central Falls boss Jeff Lapierre and Tolman mentor Jason DeLawrence, feel that points will be available by the bushel. Thus, the pressure is on each team’s defense to minimize the damage and provide the offense with even greater odds to finding the end zone.
The Warriors are averaging 46.6 ppg en route to a 5-0 start with four of those wins coming against league opponents. In three D-III contests, the Tigers (3-0 Division III, 3-1 overall) are averaging 45.3 points. See what we mean about making sure the Max Read Field scoreboard is primed and ready? Another offensive assault should be on display – fans of both sides can bank on an entertaining two-plus hours.
“They’re a great team and they’ve got some ridiculously fast athletes. We’ve got to make sure we slow them down. If you give up the big play against them, you’re done. You’ve got to make them earn every piece of land they get.”
— Tolman coach Jason DeLawrence on Central Falls
At this stage, the marked men in each camp have been defined. For Central Falls, it’s about trying to contain Tolman senior quarterback Justin Klemanchuck. That starts by mixing up the coverages so that Klemanchuck can’t lock in on one or two looks.
“We know he’s very talented, but if he kills us with his arm, my hats off to him. I don’t want him to kill us with his feet,” said Lapierre, referencing Klemanchuck’s 99-yard touchdown run against Pilgrim last week. “We can’t chase ghosts. Pilgrim had him in the backfield and it was almost a safety, then it took it to the house. That’s a concern.”
At the top of DeLawrence’s todo list is making sure that Central Falls’ dynamic duo of Dutchie Arroyo and Jordan Alvarado don’t get into the open field. Each player scored two touchdowns in the Warriors’ recent contest, a 41-6 blowout of Narragansett.
“They’re a great team and they’ve got some ridiculously fast athletes. We’ve got to make sure we slow them down,” DeLawrence said. “If you give up the big play against them, you’re done. You’ve got to make them earn every piece of land they get.”
Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. kickoff is also homecoming for Central Falls, meaning Lapierre’s crew gets to don their blue uniforms. For the Tigers, Saturday marks one of the program’s biggest games in recent years. Tolman endured tough times over the last few years in Division I before realignment intervened and placed DeLawrence & Co. in a division that’s enabling them to return to their winning ways.
Given the landscape of Division III at the moment – after Saturday, they’ll only be one unbeaten team in the league remaining – it wouldn’t register as a shock to see Tolman and Central Falls meet up down the line with even bigger stakes up for grabs.
“There’s a good chance we could see them again, but it’s a long way away,” DeLawrence said.
The Tigers and the Warriors aren’t the only local teams entering this weekend’s action with a flawless league record. Burrillville (4-0, Division II-B) and the North Smithfield/Mount St. Charles Coop team (3-0, Division IV) will be putting perfection on the line come Friday night. At 6 p.m., the Northmen will host winless EWG/ Prout Co-op while the Broncos travel to Gaudet Middle School for a 7 p.m. matchup against 2-2 Middletown.
Also Friday night, Lincoln (13, Division II-A) has a chance to jump back in the playoff picture as winless Johnston comes to Ferguson Field for a 7 p.m. contest. A key Division I-A clash is set at Max Read Field as Shea (3-1) hosts East Providence (2-2). That game is at 7 o’clock as is another I-A contest that features St. Raphael (0-4) traveling to North Kingstown (3-1).
Saturday’s slate includes a matchup of 3-1 teams in Division II-A as West Warwick visits Woonsocket in a 1 p.m. contest at Barry Field. At 2:30, Cumberland (2-2, Division I-A) will take the field at 1-3 South Kingstown.
SQUIB KICKS: The order of the four Super Bowls scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-18 has been determined. Divisions I and II will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17 while Divisions III and IV are set for Sunday, Nov. 18. All games will be held at Cranston Stadium.
Leonardo DaVeiga (6), Jordan Alvarado (1) and the undefeated Central Falls football team travels to Max Read Field tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 to face undefeated Tolman for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Division III playoffs. Both squads enter the contest undefeated in the division.
The undefeated Tolman football team faces its toughest league test to date when unbeaten Central Falls comes to Max Read Field tomorrow to play for the top spot in Division III.