NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” From top to bottom, this was North Smithfieldâ€™s best performance of the season.
Buoyed by Mike Ciceroneâ€™s first-ever start at quarterback and a defense that kept the opposition in check, North Smithfield sailed to a convincing 57-8 margin against the PCD Co-op juggernaut Saturday afternoon. The Northmen will have plenty of time to savor the lop-sided triumph as the teamâ€™s next game isnâ€™t until Friday, Nov. 2 at Smithfield.
While the offense hummed along under the direction of Cicerone, who passed for two scores while running for another, the Northmenâ€™s defensive unit stymied a PCD offense that coming in had scored 30 or more points in three league games. Save for a first-quarter touchdown by quarterback Marquis Harper, PCD struggled to move the ball due to a scheme that saw North Smithfield utilize five linebackers.
â€śWe didnâ€™t want to put a full rush on (Harper) because heâ€™s pretty good at making people miss,â€ť noted Northmen head coach Wes Pennington. â€śWe wanted to fan everything out and not give him any lanes to run in and if he decided to run, we could crash right in.â€ť
It was a committee effort as North Smithfield received strong defensive games from usual suspect Ryan Masnyk along with A.J. Cabral and Peter and Mark Keenan. Peter Keenan scored on a 44-yard fumble recovery right before the conclusion of the first half after Masnyk came up with a strip sack of Harper.
North Smithfield jumped out to a 14-0 after one quarter before ripping off 28 points during the second 12-minute interval. The decision to place Cicerone under center allowed Dan Jordan to become even more of an offensive threat, particularly out of the backfield. Jordan ran for 101 yards, 33 of which came on a second-quarter touchdown.
Cicerone wound up completing six passes for 152 yards.
â€śWe wanted to mix it up a little bit,â€ť said Pennington. â€śDan is a better athlete amd he gives another guy we can go to.â€ť
Northmen senior Paris Correia finished with 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Cam Stone caught two touchdowns and was 6-for-6 on point-after tries. Sophomore Ross Topik closed out the scoring for the Northmen with a 22-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
North Smithfield stands at 3-2 in Division IV heading into its double bye while PCD is now winless in five league tries.
â€śThe good thing about two byes is that we have a chance to get healthy,â€ť said Pennington, whose Northmen will have Sunday through Tuesday off.