WHS wal­lops West War­wick

Woonsocket closes in on No. 1 seed in Di­vi­sion II play­offs

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE - By NICK CAN­TOR kc­sports@ri­cen­tral.com

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.

Pho­tos by Ernest A. Brown

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.

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

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.

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