BURRILLVILLE – In his estimation, the mistakes that Burrillville head coach Gennaro Ferraro saw his football squad make during Saturday’s 32-0 non-league thrashing of Scituate are easily fixable.
Honestly, when a team romps in the fashion that the Broncos did at sun-splashed Alumni Field, there’s very little to quibble about.
“We haven’t won a football game where we’ve played four solid quarters in almost a year. There were a lot of good things and a lot of things we need to correct as usual, said Ferraro. “I think the work that the kids have put in, it was very evident.”
It didn’t take long for the line of demarcation to be drawn in this one. Senior tailback Jonathan Thornhill kicked off his banner one half of work with a 65-yard touchdown gallop that put Burrillville up 7-0.
Thornhill’s lengthy run – coming on the game’s first snap from scrimmage – was not only an ode to his ability to turn on the after burners, but also the Broncos’ ability to create running room along the far sideline.
“It was just a stretch play, an outside run,” said Ferraro. “What breaks those plays is the blocking from the perimeter players. The wideouts did a great job in springing him.”
Thornhill ended up with four rushing scores, two coming from one yard out.
“He sets the tone,” praised Ferraro when asked about his co-captain’s premier outing. “That’s two games in a row that he’s scored on the first play of scrimmage.”
While Burrillville’s success in Division III will largely depend on Thornhill’s ability to serve as a game changer, don’t sleep on quarterback Adilson DaSilva. Though the second-year starter was rarely asked to take to the air against an overmatched Spartans’ unit, he did make the most of his seldom chances.
Setting the scene, Burrillville took over at the Scituate 25-yard-line following a turnover by the visitors. At that point, the Broncos were running away with things, up 19-0 early in the second quarter. Dropping back to pass, DaSilva took inventory of what the Scituate defense was offering before looking left.
Displaying nice touch, DaSilva gently feathered the ball in the direction of his intended target. Starting out to the left of his signal caller, Riley Tupper easily beat the one-on-one coverage before extending his arms just as the throw entered his vicinity. The result was a one-play, 25-yard drive that pinned Scituate in a 25-0 hole with still plenty of time remaining.
“Isaiah is definitely in charge of the offense,” said Ferraro. “He wants to win and he’s a great competitor.”
Burillville’s defense also deserves kudos for flustering Scituate quarterback Michael Winfield and the rest of his offensive counterparts. The Spartans managed just two first downs in the opening half, one the result of Burrillville getting called for pass interference.
The Broncos enjoyed their own personal highlight reel on their way to keeping the Spartans out of the end zone. DaSilva’s touchdown was set up by sophomore defensive lineman Nicholas Samek, who recovered a fumble after causing it while sacking Winfield. Samek’s second sack helped turn a manageable third-and-four for Scituate at its own 39 into a punting situation.
The disruption caused by Smaek resulted in a seven-yard loss that helped lower the curtain on the Spartans’ first offensive series in the second half. The drive began when Winfield completed what the Spartans thought was a 57-yard scoring pass, but the officials deemed that he was guilty of unleashing a pass after crossing the line of scrimmage.
For good measure, the Broncos picked off two passes in the final quarter.
“When you disrupt the line of scrimmage, it’s very hard to get something going offensively,” Ferraro noted about the havoc that his linemen – Samek, Justin Deschamps and Jake Wilson – caused. “They were all outstanding.”
Perhaps the biggest cause for concern wasn’t the pass interference call that gave Scituate a fresh set of downs or the two illegal formations that momentarily halted Burrillville in the first quarter. A three-yard loss by backup running back Antwan Deardon became a source of concern after the sophomore stayed down on the ground and began grabbing his right ankle.
At game’s end, Deardon was spotted on crutches and without a cleat on his right foot.
“He’s also our starting outside linebacker,” said Ferraro, adding that Deardon was on his way to undergo an X-ray. “Hopefully it’s just a sprain.”
Burrillville couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season. Now it’s time for the Broncos to turn their attention to the real season. Division III play commences next Saturday when defending Super Bowl champion Middletown comes to town. It doesn’t get any better for Ferraro & Co. as newcomer Mount Pleasant invades Alumni Field the following week.
“Leading into the (Middletown) game, I think we’re in a different place than where we were 365 days ago,” said Ferraro.