The East Greenwich Avengers overcame Mother Nature and the Hope High School Blue Wave to run their record to 5-1 in Division 3 and 6-3 overall, with a 34-0 shutout Saturday. The game was homecoming for Hope.
East Greenwich controlled both sides of the line and scrimmage and used a productive ground game to minimize the effect of the driving rain and wind. As they have all year, the Avengers took advantage of their opponents mistakes, turning three Hope turnovers into touchdowns. Junior Owen Hainse had a fumble recovery, an interception, two touchdowns, and kicked four extra points for a day that would make fantasy football owners envious. The Avenger defense did not allow a Hope first down until 19 seconds were left in the first half. East Greenwich held Hope to three first downs all day.
The Avengers first hit the scoreboard on a 10-yard run by sophomore Mitchell Gemma at 4:32 of the first quarter. They had begun the drive at the Hope 42 when Owen Hainse recovered a fumble on fourth down. Junior quarterback Nick Andreozzi then threw a 20-yard strike up the middle to his classmate Egan Reale on 3rd and 9. Mitchell Gemma gained 10 yards on a run to the left side to the Hope 21, picking up 6 additional yards after initial contact. He took the ball into the end zone two plays later.
The Blue Wave brought the ball to their own 36 on the ensuing kickoff. Hainse then intercepted Juan Nunez’s pass on third down and ran it back for the touchdown with 2:59 left in the first quarter. After Hainse converted on the extra point the Avengers lead 13-0.
In the second quarter East Greenwich was headed directly into the wind and the rain really picked up. It appeared that their first drive in the quarter was about to stall when the Avengers faced 4th and 9 from the Hope 33. Nick Andreozzi powered a ball through the wind to senior Quinn Sullivan for a gain of 21 yards to the 12. Andreozzi then carried for nine yards on a keeper to the two yard line. Mitchell Gemma capped off the drive with a two yard run off tackle to make the score 20-0 after the Hainse kick.
The Avengers received a break near the end of the second quarter when the Hope punter mishandled a snap and was tackled on the Hope 5-yard line. Hope’s punter was injured on the play and did not return. Hainse ran it in from the 5 with 1:16 left and then converted on the extra point to give the Avengers a 27-0 lead at the half.
Mother Nature controlled the third quarter with neither offense making much headway. Hope, in particular, had difficulties in the punt game with three mishandled snaps. On one occasion they made lemonade out of lemons and gained 23 yards on the fumble recovery. On the others, however, they just gave the Avengers good field position.
For the Avengers’ final score they tackled the Hope punter after he recovered the fumbled snap at the Hope 32. After a few short gains, Hainse carried the ball 23 yards to make it first and goal at the Blue Wave 2. Andreozzi then followed his line into the end zone for the touchdown with 2:11 left in the third to give the Avengers a 34-0 lead after another Hainse extra point.
The second string then protected the lead for the fourth quarter, which featured a number of long gains by sophomore Donny Carcieri-Cassidy to prolong Avengers’ drives and keep the Blue Wave offense off of the field. The Avengers’ playoff hopes now appear secure. East Greenwich will play next Friday at Carcieri Field at 7 p.m., which will be Senior Night for the Avengers.