NSMSC over­comes slow start

Woonsocket Call - - SPORTS - By BRAN­DEN MELLO bmello@woonsock­et­call.com

NORTH SMITH­FIELD — With un­de­feated Pon­a­ganset com­ing to town next Fri­day night, strug­gling Ex­eter-West Green­wich/Prout co-op’s visit last night ap­peared like a per­fect let­down spot for un­de­feated North Smith­field/ Mount St. Charles.

Through the first 4 min­utes, 17 se­conds of the Divi­sion IV con­test, North­men-Moun­ties were fo­cused on the Scar­let Knights. The hosts pro­duced a three-and­out and then Mount sopho­more Jared Beau­doin scored a four-yard touch­down to build a seven-point ad­van­tage.

The rest of the half, how­ever, NS/MSC coach Wes Pennington would rather for­get. The North­men-Moun­ties didn’t find the end zone again thanks to penal­ties and a pair of turnovers. The hosts woke up in the sec­ond half be­hind a pair of touch­downs from run­ning back Jor­dan Al­lard to earn a 35-6 vic­tory, but Pennington was hop­ing for a bet­ter per­for­mance headed into the big­gest reg­u­lar-sea­son game for the pro­gram in the last five sea­sons.

“We came out re­ally flat and not re­ally ex­cited like we nor­mally are, and when that hap­pens, the foot­ball gods tend to go against you,” Pennington said.

“The ball doesn’t bounce your way and the calls go against you. Then you al­low the other team to stay in the game. The longer they stayed in it, the more hope they got.

“Good teams, when things like this hap­pen, find a way to turn it around and that’s what we did. In the past, we prob­a­bly would’ve given this game away, but not this year.”

North Smith­field/Mount St. Charles (50, 4-0 Divi­sion IV) is 5-0 for the first since the pro­gram started play­ing foot­ball back in 1968. As a mat­ter of fact, the North­men have never fin­ished with fewer than two league losses, but this sea­son’s squad will al­most as­suredly ac­com­plish that feat.

The North­men can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Divi­sion IV play­offs with a vic­tory over the Chief­tains next Fri­day at 6 p.m. The No. 1 seed is cru­cial be­cause NS/MSC, Pon­a­ganset and Tiver­ton have pulled away from the other five teams in the divi­sion.

“I’m ex­tremely proud of what we’re do­ing and how hard we’re work­ing,” Pennington said. “We’re look­ing for­ward to ev­ery time they step out on the field be­cause they re­ally are a good bunch of kids to coach.”

Ex­eter-West Green­wich/Prout (0-5, 0-5 Divi­sion III) scored its only points in the fi­nal se­conds of the third quar­ter when ju­nior Malakie Si­mao took a re­verse on a kick­off 83 yards for a touch­down to cut the Northd men-Moun­ties’ lead down to 21-6. t NSMSC’s pro­duced four turnovers and sacked a pair of EWG/Prout quar­ter­backs twice. The fi­nal points of the game came on d a sack and the en­su­ing fum­ble was picked up by North Smith­field ju­nior Matt Beau­soleil, who rum­bled 10 yards for a touch­down.

“The de­fense played great, we shut them out es­sen­tially,” Pennington said. “I’m happy with what we’re do­ing. We just need to come back work hard and con­tinue to fo­cus on what we’ve been work­ing on.”

With star run­ning back Cade Cur­ren out for pre­cau­tion­ary rea­sons af­ter suf­fer­ing a tweaked ham­string dur­ing the bye week, Pennington turned to a com­mit­tee of run­ning backs to sub­due the Scar­let Knights. Beau­doin car­ried the ball 11 times for 76 yards and a pair of touch­downs, while Chris Marsella, Al­lard and Xavier Croteau also ran the ball.

Al­lard, who didn’t carry the ball two weeks ago against Tiver­ton, scored twice in third quar­ter to break the game open. The sopho­more made it a 14-0 game with a three-yard touch­down run 5:26 into the third and then he added a five-yard touch­down run prior to Si­mao’s kick­off re­turn. Beau­doin added a five­yard touch­down run 3:28 into the fi­nal quar­ter.

“We rested Cade tonight and Al­lard looked good and Jared looked good and so did Rocco Marsella,” Pennington said. “We have some depth at run­ning back, but we still want to get Cade back next week.”

Se­nior quar­ter­back Jack Puc­cetti strug­gled to con­nect with his re­ceivers for long stretches of the con­test, as the se­nior fin­ished 10-of-22 for 150 yards. Re­ceiver Ja­son Meri­weather caught four passes for 45 yards. The se­nior also had a 50-yard touch­down re­cep­tion called back in the first half be­cause of an il­le­gal-man-down-field penalty.

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

Mount St. Charles sopho­more run­ning back Jared Beau­doin (right) scored a pair of touch­downs to help North Smith­field/MSC over­whelm vis­it­ing Ex­eter-West Green­wich/Prout, 35-6, Fri­day night.

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