Archive - Nov 2010 - Sports Article
Welcome to the Division II football playoffs, home of the complex algorithms.
For those who remember the unprecedented five-way tiebreaker of two years ago that tabulated Woonsocket as the odd team out, a refresher course on the wording of the tiebreaker formula was held after Central knocked off Chariho on Friday night. The 40-12 outcome created a three-way logjam atop the II-A standings with Central, Chariho and Johnston all sporting identical 5-2 records.
PROVIDENCE â€“ The hole was just too big to climb out of.
A gutsy second half effort by North Smithfield wasnâ€™t enough to knock Mount Pleasant from the unbeaten ranks in Division IV on Saturday as the Northmen left Conley Field with a 28-22 loss.
WOONSOCKET â€” Carnell Henderson had a hunch that West Warwick wouldnâ€™t be a pushover. After watching game film of Saturdayâ€™s Division II-B opponent this week, the Woonsocket High coach felt the Wizards were a much better outfit than their 1-5 league mark indicated.
He was rightâ€¦at least for the second half.
Luckily for Hendersonâ€™s crew, it took care of nearly all of its business in the gameâ€™s first two quarters en route to a 29-0 blanking of the Wizards on Senior Day at Barry Field. For the leagueâ€™s top defensive team, the shutout is the Villa Novans fifth of the season.
CUMBERLAND --- Itâ€™s been seven years since Cumberland High last captured a playoff game, but on Thursday night, the Clippers ended that drought in a big way in its Division II preliminary-round match with Warwick Vets High.
Michaela Leblanc and Michelle Malboeuf had solid games at the net and Robyn Andrade and Jessica Larivee keyed a strong showing from the service line for the Clippers in their easy 3-0 triumph at the Clippers' Wellness Center.
While the fates of politicians were decided on Election Day, the fates of five playoff-hopeful Blackstone Valley clubs could be determined as early as this weekend or as late as Thanksgiving morning.
When October ended, so did much of the drama in the Division II-B playoff race. Last weekendâ€™s play saw the top three seeds etched in stone in Tolman (6-0), Woonsocket (5-1), and St. Raphael (4-2) and the final spot still up for grabs between Mount Hope and Toll Gate.
WOONSOCKET -- Last yearâ€™s Division II Super Bowl championship season is a distant memory for players on the 2010 Woonsocket High squad.
â€śThatâ€™s gone,â€ť head coach Carnell Henderson admitted on Tuesday night. â€śWe were a senior-heavy team last year. The kids on this yearâ€™s team feel like they were recipients of a championship last year. They want to win one for themselves.â€ť
The Villa Novans are 5-1 with one game left in the regular season. That one loss came against unbeaten Tolman by a 6-0 score back in mid-September.
Based on their records and how theyâ€™ve played against their league opponents, the Division I semifinals should include top-seed Barrington and No. 2 Shea from Division I-East and third-seeded Bishop Hendricken and No. 4 seed La Salle from Div. I-South.
Familiar area rivals like Cumberland, Lincoln, Smithfield and recently Mount St. Charles have consistently sent teams to the state championships and in some cases have done well.
Back in 2004, Cumberland shocked pre-race favorite Bishop Hendricken for the boysâ€™ state crown. Last year, Mount St. Charles made big strides in its program by placing seventh among the 18th schools. In 2005, the Cumberland girls qualified for the New England Championship by finishing sixth, a point ahead of Lincoln.
WOONSOCKET â€” For Lincoln High, Mondayâ€™s task was as straightforward as youâ€™ll get. A win against Woonsocket High meant the Lions would clinch no worse than a share of the Division II-North crown.
Mission accomplished as Lincoln, buoyed by two goals from Jillian DeSimone, took care of business with a 4-0 win over Woonsocket at Barry Field. The Lions finish the regular season 12-1-5. The Villa Novans completed their first â€“ and possibly last â€“ in Division II with a 1-17 mark.
Ponaganset football coach Brian Gendreau has developed a good perspective on two of the toughest teams in Division II this season â€“ unbeaten Tolman and once-beaten Woonsocket. His Chieftains have lost to both Super Bowl contenders.
â€śTolman is the fastest team in the league,â€ť Gendreau admitted on Sunday, â€śbut I would say Woonsocket is more balanced. They can run and throw the ball. You can see why they played a 6-0 game earlier this season. Both teams have great defenses.â€ť