BURRILLVILLE --- Burrillville had the energy of playing its first-ever night game at home under the glow of portable lights, an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd at Alumni Field on hand to witness the historic night, and the drive to produce the team’s first 3-0 start in a decade.
But Mount Pleasant had speed to burn, lots of athleticism, and a penchant for breaking off big plays, and the Kilties put all that together on Friday to produce a lopsided victory.
Playing in its first game as a Division III team after capturing the last three Division IV Super Bowls, the Kilties amassed 310 yards of offense on just 20 plays and scored on all five of their possessions in the first half en route to a 49-13 triumph.
The Kilties, who were coming off a three-touchdown victory in their season opener last weekend over Division I East Providence, finished the night with over 500 yards of real estate and received a superb showing from its returning All-State running back, senior Randolph Zieh.
All Zieh did on just 12 handoffs was run for 213 yards and score four touchdowns, and he added to his TD total on the last play of the first half when he took a soft screen pass from quarterback Klimo Kotoe and ran almost untouched to the end zone for a 54-yard reception.
While the score ended up one-sided, the Broncos were in this contest for a quarter-and-a-half until the Kilties produced a pair of touchdowns in the final 4:48 of the second quarter to take a 34-12 lead.
Zieh scored his first touchdown just 2:12 into the game on a 10-yard run, but the Broncos responded with an impressive 11-play, 61-yard drive that ended in a 33-yard TD run by senior Jonathan Thornhill with 4:11 left in the first quarter, Thornhill’s seventh touchdown of the season.
Sparking that drive were a pair of fourth-down passes from junior quarterback Isaiah DeSilva, who saw Riley Tupper make an acrobatic catch on a fourth-and-4 at the Broncos’ 45 and nailed Zack Tayes with a 19-yard pass on a fourth-and-12 from the M.P. 47.
But 24 seconds after Thornhill’s score, the Kilties and Zieh quickly struck again. Zieh broke off an 82-yard touchdown run that saw him reverse his tracks in the backfield before finding an opening near his sidelines and pouring on the jets as he sped to the end zone.
In the opening minutes of the second minutes, the Broncos found the end zone again, this time on a 16-yard touchdown pass from DaSilva to Tupper, but from that point on, the game belonged to the Kilties.
With 7:39 left in the first half, Zieh scored on a six-yard run that came immediately after Kotoe lofted a 42-yard pass to Joseph Putu. With 4:48 to play, Kotoe broke loose to paydirt on a 29-yard keeper, and Zieh’s TD on the half’s first play made it a 22-point game and took a lot of drama out of the contest.
The Kilties’ next touchdown came in the third quarter on a 41-yard run by fullback Stephen Young, and 1:27 into the fourth quarter, Zieh capped his wonderful night with a 63-yard TD run.
Thornhill, who had ran for over 100 yards in the Broncos’ first two contests, only managed 81 yards on 15 carries, as he was bothered by leg cramps for most of the second half. DaSilva passed for 90 yards on 10-for-23 passing.
During the halftime festivities, the Broncos and their fans paid tribute to the 2003 football team that went undefeated and claimed the Division III Super Bowl, the 20th of the program’s 21 titles. The Burrillville Patriots’ Youth Football & Cheerleading Organization and its players, cheerleaders, coaching staffs, and administrators were also recognized.