N.S. football team downs co-op team, 34-6
EAST PROVIDENCE â€“ On a breezy Saturday afternoon, North Smithfield continued to prove why itâ€™s a legitimate contender in Division IV by breezing its way to an easy victory.
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Tim Kennett tossed for two touchdowns and teammates Peter Mancini and Alex Blanchette each scored twice as the Northmen turned a close affair after one quarter into a convincing rout, rolling to a 34-6 win over Providence Country Day Co-op at the Knightsâ€™ campus.
â€śIt was nice, balanced attack,â€ť said N.S. coach Wes Pennington. â€śWe threw the ball well. We ran the ball well. Our fullback game was working. Dump passes and screens were working. It was a good game for us.â€ť
North Smithfield, which improved to an impressive 3-1 in the league, was coming off a four-point loss (26-22) to unbeaten Exeter/West Greenwich last weekend. Pennington felt maybe that setback had something to do with his squadâ€™s blowout win just seven days later.
â€śEvery week we are playing a little bit better. Last week I think our youngness kind of showed a little bit, which affected us and caused us to lose that one by four. We had a chance to win that one,â€ť said Pennington, whose squad rallied from an 18-0 deficit against Exeter/West Greenwich and nearly pulled out the improbable victory in the fourth quarter. â€śThis week, I think we were just angry that we lost and we came out with a little fire under us.â€ť
The Knights, who fell to 1-3 in the league, actually scored first in the contest, finding the end zone early in the first quarter. But the Northmen made that lead short-lived, responding with an 80-yard drive that was capped by a 33-yard TD pass from quarterback Tim Kennett to Mancini to knot the score.
North Smithfield was at it again in the first quarter with Blanchette scoring on a five-yard run. Another pass by Kennett, this one a 25-yarder to Nate Lussier, in the second quarter, would boost the advantage to 22-6 by halftime. N.S. sewed up the victory with two more touchdowns in the third quarter â€“ a four-yard run by Blanchette and an 11-yard run from Mancini.
â€śWe woke up (after PCD scored) and started playing some defense and made some stops,â€ť Pennington said. â€śOnce we got stops, the offense starting clicking and we were able to get in the end zone. We didnâ€™t punt all day.â€ť
PCD assistant coach Marquis Harper admitted the Northmenâ€™s answer to his teamâ€™s score gave his opponent a mental edge.
â€śYou get punched in the mouth and you punch back and get results when you punch back, itâ€™s a confidence-booster,â€ť he said. â€śThey played very well today. They deserved to win. They responded very well to what we tried to do with them.â€ť
Pennington, whose team has a bye next week and then welcomes North Providence on Homecoming weekend on Oct. 29, likes the fact that his Northmen had a solid effort from start to finish. Leading the defense was Chris Mancini (eight tackles) and Ryan Masnyk (seven tackles).
â€śI think in the Exeter/West Greenwich game we didnâ€™t play four quarters and that hurt us,â€ť he said. â€śToday, the rally cry was to play for four quarters, and thatâ€™s what we did.â€ť
â€śThey were definitely a formidable opponent and like any good team you should capitalize on your opponentâ€™s mistakes,â€ť Harper added. â€śTo run off 34 points like they did, they certainly did that. They executed well offensively. There was some good play-calling and we just didnâ€™t make the plays that we should have made.â€ť