Seniors secure SRA rivalry win
In battle of division champions, Saints too much for Moses Brown
PROVIDENCE — The Thanksgiving Eve game was well in hand when the recently crowned Division II Super Bowl champions prioritized getting one of their linchpins on the offensive line into the end zone.
Everyone loves a feel-good story, particularly involving a player who doesn’t own a single stat and only receives attention when there’s a bad snap exchange. For one brief moment Wednesday night, it appeared that St. Raphael senior Lawrence Thornton III would experience the thrill of scoring a touchdown rather than his usual role of clearing a path for someone else to find paydirt. A captain and starting center, Thornton was ruled down short of the goal line after picking up 20 yards on what was a powerful thunderclap of a run.
Would the Saints go into victory formation against holiday rival Moses Brown? Not so fast. The mission of Thornton scoring a touchdown remained a loose end in need of tying. One play after breaking off 20 of the 21 yards the Saints needed for their fifth touchdown of the game, Thornton got his score courtesy of a one-yard plunge that capped off SRA’s 34-7 triumph at the Berylson Family Practice Fields, located on the Brown University campus.
“Being a center and on the O-line, an opportunity like that doesn’t come around very often,” said Thornton while standing next to fellow senior and captain Christopher Molina. “It was a blessing. Thanks to [head coach Mike Sassi] for letting me get that.”
The Saints and Quakers returned to game competition three days after capturing their respective Super Bowls. Moses Brown entered Wednesday looking to put a bow on a perfect season but was reminded multiple times about the difference between the Division III competition that proved to be its oyster and the D-II world that St. Raphael succeeded in navigating its way through.
Asked about the two practices held between achieving Super Bowl glory and facing the Quakers, Molina and Thornton said an emphasis was placed on making sure the seniors rode off into the sunset with one final winning feeling.
“We were happy coming off the Super Bowl win, but we knew we had to end it on a good note,” said Molina.
“It was an honor to play with this team for one last time,” said Thornton.
The starters on both sides were still out there in the fourth quarter – a testament to the desire to empty the tank and leave it all out there before embarking on the offseason. The Saints close with a 10-2 record while the Quakers wrap up at 11-1.
“They’re undefeated. Do you want to be on the bottom of that t-shirt? That’s all the motivation you need,” said Sassi. “These kids are competitors. When it’s time to ball, they’re going to ball.”
Two touchdown passes from junior quarterback Daniel Wulf helped the Saints jump out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter. The first score went to Damien Ocampo who covered 20 yards as the sophomore followed the blocking of Molina.
A one-play scoring drive featured senior Ethan McCann-Carter on an inside route with
Wulf hitting him on the run for a 34-yard score that made it a two-score game at 3:44 of the opening quarter.
The second quarter saw Moses Brown turn it over twice on downs before St. Raphael extended its lead to 20-0 with 27 seconds remaining before halftime. Aaron Julius ran untouched up the middle from 10 yards out as the Quakers faced a significant uphill climb in their quest to complete a perfect season.
Moses Brown’s best drive came on the opening series of the third quarter. Riding the playmaking ability of junior Myles Craddock, the Quakers got on the board on the drive’s seventh play – a 36-yard by Craddock that came on fourth-and-one.
St. Raphael responded to the Moses Brown score by possessing the ball for the final 8:35 of the third quarter with the drive continuing for the first 41 seconds of the final quarter. Once again, Wulf hit McCann-Carter, the Super Bowl
hero who covered the remaining nine yards for his second touchdown of the night to make it 27-7. Unlike Saturday’s Super Bowl when he was still working his way back from an injury, McCann-Carter played both sides of the ball. He finished with four catches for 86 yards.
“No matter what, we just wanted to keep winning,” said Molina.
Defensively, St. Raphael sophomore Ian Bing was a major disruptor with four sacks and several QB pressures.
“He’s a threat,” said Thornton.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he has 100 sacks by the time he’s a senior,” said Molina. “He’s going to be a dog these next few years.”
DAVIES POSTS HOLIDAY SHUTOUT
PROVIDENCE – The second installment of the Davies Tech-Juanita Sanchez holiday series saw the Patriots grab their first win – a 25-0 shutout that took place Wednesday night at Classical High school.
The Patriots closed the books on a 7-3 season behind senior quarterback Antonio Cabral, who threw for one score and passed for another. Cabral hooked up for a 49-yard score with Daniel Rose in the first quarter before covering four yards on the ground as part of Davies Tech’s 19-point explosion in the final quarter.
Jaydason Gonzalez found the end zone from four yards out while the Patriots also received a defensive score as part of the shutout.
For the game, Cabral rushed for 142 yards on 24 carries and passed for 85 yards on 6-of11 passing. On the season, Cabral ended up with 1,003 rushing yards and also threw for 1,031 yards.
BRONCOS KEEP HEBERT TROPHY
FOSTER – The coveted Dave Hebert Memorial Trophy is staying put with the program that’s now won seven straight in this holiday series.
Burrillville extended its Thanksgiving winning streak over Ponaganset courtesy of Thursday’s 21-7 victory at The Reservation. The Broncos scored all its points in the second quarter as sophomore quarterback Logan Gelinas factored in all three of his team’s scores.
Gelinas opened the scoring for the Broncos with a 13-yard pass to classmate Leland Kelleher. Burrillville scored on all three of its offensive series in the second quarter as Gelinas made it 14-0 behind a 20-yard run.
The Chieftains made It a one-score game before Gelinas took to the air for his second passing touchdown – a 14-yard pass that went to Kelleher.
Kelleher was the Burrillville choice for game MVP honors after scoring twice as part of a three-reception day. He also added 75 rushing yards and an interception. On the day, Gelinas went 14-of-22 for 103 yards.
A milestone was achieved as senior Eli Diallo topped 1,000 receiving yards on the season. Against Ponaganset, he finished with six receptions for 33 yards.