WHS wallops West Warwick
Woonsocket closes in on No. 1 seed in Division II playoffs
Emmanuel Gomes scored 4 TDs as Woonsocket rolled over West Warwick Saturday, 42-14.
WOONSOCKET — Dave Caito, head coach of the West Warwick High football team, called out his players last week after they were ambushed by Mt. Hope. It was the team’s first loss of the season and a stark reminder that despite a strong start to the year, each game required its own degree of preparation.
Eight days later, he delivered the same speech.
In a key midseason showdown between a pair of 3-1 teams at Barry Field, Woon- socket High School wound up pounding West Warwick by a 49-12 final score, handing the Wizards their second one-sided defeat in as many weeks.
“It was like a carbon copy of last week,” Caito said of his team’s loss on Saturday which nearly matched the score the Huskies had beaten them by on October 5.
Senior Emmanuel Gomes erupted for four Woonsocket’s seven touchdowns, including an interception return for a touchdown off of West Warwick quarterback
Mason Pacheco in the second quarter, while Logan Coles, Terrell Durden and Dwayne Robinson-O’Hagan rounded out the scoring for the Villa Novans (4-1) who led 21-6 at the break.
Jaden Clark and Mason Brunette combined to score West Warwick’s two touchdowns on the day, one in each half, as the two-point conversion was unsuccessfully completed after both scores.
Despite the final score and the fact that the clock was running continuously for the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, the Wizards did have their chances on the day.
“We had opportunities again,” said Caito. “We were down deep, we just didn’t punch it in when we should have. It’s tough. We just got outplayed today, that’s the bottom line. They were playing at a ten, we were playing at a six.”
The Wizards began the game with the ball and advanced inside the red zone on their opening drive, but were stopped short on fourth down. The Novans responded by going on an 89-yard drive in just over five minutes, capped by a 13-yard run into the end zone by Coles to make it 7-0.
After Durden doubled Woonsocket’s lead with a one-yard run past the goal line, the Wizards eventually began to establish some offensive rhythm. A 56-yard drive, highlighted by a pair of Brunette catches totaling 40 yards, was capped by a five-run run from Clark into the end zone, making it 14-6. A key stop on defense by the Wizards gave them the opportunity to inch even closer, but Pacheco’s first pass of the drive was picked off by Gomes and returned 25 yards for the score.
The Novans were poised to strike again before the end of the half, but a goal line interception by Mario DiDino kept the score 21-6.
The second half started with promise for the Wizards as Joseph Dionne connected with Pacheco on a 60-yard play, but the drive ended on fourth and goal when Woonsocket’s Hayden Depault broke up a pass intended for Clark.
From there, the home team dominated, outscoring the Wizards 28-6 in the half. Gomes, who appeared to be down after a short gain on a drive deep in Novans’ territory, continued to run after no whistle was blown and wound up producing a 68-yard score to make it 28-6. O’Hagan broke free for a 45-yard run into the end zone as time expired in the third quarter, with the home team out in front 35-6.
A 68-yard touchdown catch by Brunette was quickly overshadowed by a 70-yard one from Gomes, who capped the day off with one final score inside of six minutes remaining.
“It’s effort level, that’s the bottom line. I told the kids, Monday, we show up and go back to work. There’s no quit in us. Just get ready for EG, Classical and win our last two home games, we’ll get the second seed,” Caito said, looking ahead to the upcoming games for his team.
On the other side of the field, Charlie Bibeault was glad to see his team prevail in a battle of two 3-1 clubs. For Bibeault, sticking to the basics was the key to success for the Villa Novans.
“We came out here, we knew we were going to try to run the ball, get back to our identity. Our identity is running the ball and playing defense and that’s what we were trying to get back to. That’s Woonsocket football, smash mouth and that’s what we’re going to try to get to,” he said.
While not surprised by his performance, Bibeault had high praise for his star offensive player.
“Emmanuel Gomes, especially with everything going on this year, he’s playing like a man possessed and we’re just giving him the rock,” he said.
The Novans will take their 4-1 record with them into next Saturday’s game in Providence against Classical at 2:30 p.m. The Wizards will look to avoid dropping to 3-3 with a win on Friday night at home against East Greenwich.
Woonsocket senior running back Emmanuel Gomes (above) scored four touchdowns and Dwayne Robinson-O’Hagan (right) added another in the Villa Novans’ 42-14 win over West Warwick.
Visiting West Warwick had no answer for Woonsocket senior running back Emmanuel Gomes (center) in Saturday’s Division II showdown at Barry Field. Gomes scored three touchdowns in his team’s 42-14 victory over the Wizards to improve to 4-1.