Brian Gemma gets past Scarlet Knight defense. Photo credits: Mary MacIntosh
One could have expected the the East Greenwich Avengers football team to look past the Exeter-West Greenwich Scarlet Knights and their 0-10 record. Instead, the Avengers kept their focus and easily handled the Knights, 39-0, moving their own record to 9-3 for the season, setting up the showdown with Middletown in next week’s Division III Super Bowl. Rayann Faizan scored twice for East Greenwich. Coach George was able to use his whole bench to secure the victory.
It didn’t take long for the Avengers to take control. On first snap of the game Rayann Faizan took the handoff from Nick Andreozzi and scampered through a huge hole created by Jarad Maymon and A.J Turchetta for a 55-yard touchdown, to give East Greenwich a 6-0 lead. After the Knights went three and out on their next possession, the Avengers took over on their own 47 and went right back to work. Andreozzi found Dan DePetro for two passes of 11 and 12 yards yards and then Faizan picked up another first down with a 12-yard run. DePetro had another short gain on a screen. After the Knights jumped offsides, the Avengers had first and goal from the 7. Faizan then capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. Owen Hainse kicked the extra point and East Greeenwich had a 13-0 lead with 6 minutes left in the first quarter.
The East Greenwich defense continued its solid fourth-down execution on the next series when EWG went for it on 4th and 5 from their own 40. The Knights couldn’t convert and East Greenwich started a sustained, balanced drive. After hitting Quinn Sullivan for a 7-yard gain, Andreozzi picked up four yards on a keeper to the 30 for a first down. Successive runs by Dillon White and Faizan took the ball to the 20-yard line. Andreozzi then went up top to DePetro who hauled it in at the one. White and the offensive line then pounded it in for the touchdown. EWG had good penetration on the extra point and Andreozzi had to take the ball himself to convert and give the Avengers a 21-0 lead with 11:28 remaining in the half.
The Knights finally made their first first down on the following drive but again turned it over on downs. The Knights have had a hard time moving the ball all year and came into the game averaging 4.2 points per game. East Greenwich started to move the ball again but the drive ended with a fumble at their own 42. Exeter-West Greenwich went three an out again but punted to Brian Gemma, who returned the ball 35 yards to the Knight’s 25. Owen Hainse then ripped off a big gain to the Knight’s 5 and the Avengers finished the short drive with Andreozzi finding Brian Lippe in the endzone for the touchdown with 5:59 remaining in the first half. After the kick failed, the Avengers took a 27-0 lead into half time.
After Exeter-West Greenwich couldn’t move the ball in their first drive of the second half, East Greenwich took over on the 44-yard line. The Avenger’s second half started much the same way as the first, only with a different cast of characters as Coach George played his substitutes for the rest of the game. Just as Faizan had done to start the game, on the first offensive snap of the second half Donnie Carcieri-Cassidy took the hand off from Eric Carlson and scampered through a huge hole created by Robert Durant and Hayden Margolis for a 56-yard touchdown. That gave the Avengers a 33-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. The Avengers finished their scoring with 3:49 in the third quarter with a quick drive. Brian Gemma gave East Greenwich great field position, returning the EWG punt to the Knight 35-yard line. After two runs by Carcieri-Cassidy brought the ball to the 7-yard line, Garrett Steinberg bulled his way into the end zone for the touchdown and the final margin of 39-0.
The Avengers now have 5 shutouts for the season and seem to be firing on all cylinders heading into the Super Bowl. The team is hoping that their fans will travel to Cranston Stadium, Dec. 7, at noon for their rematch with Middletown and the culmination of a great season.
Bob Durant writes about EG Football when he is not practicing law.
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