Since the beginning of the season, many Rhode Island high school football pundits around the state pointed to this game as one of those with serious playoff, if not Super Bowl, implications come the month of December. The three-time defending state champions Hawks - with many returning players from last year's team and on a mission to capture a record fourth title in a row - against the Cranston East Thunderbolts, an extremely talented team that made some real noise last year before bowing out in the state semi-final to the Hawks.
The game had all the makings of a real battle, each team trying to send a message to the other. The supremely-confident Hawks with their top-rated defense in the State, against an all-out scoring machine, with the 'Bolts coming into the game averaging an incomprehensible 46 points per game.
One team got to sent a message. The scoreboard tells the story.
In many sports, we often hear analysts referring to "crooked numbers", a reference to a development in a game that permanently changes the course and direction of a contest. In baseball, it might be a seven-run inning; in football, it might be numbers or statistics such as these:
1)in the first half, the Hawks yielded a total of 46 yards of offense to a team that had been making a mockery of their opponents, averaging the aforementioned 46 points per game;
2)Remington Blue, a running back who is seemingly so difficult to bring down, so strong, and so fast that one was forced to wonder if it were actually his abilities or East's defense experiencing serious tackling issues, rushed for 187 yards in the first half, after rushing for a total of 118 yards in last week's win over Cranston West;
3)the Hawks racked up at least four rushing plays of 30 yards or more, rushes that either ended in touchdowns themselves or altered the course of a specific drive that resulted in a touchdown. The most electric of those plays was Remy Blue's 77-yard gallop to the house, which can be see right here:
Remy also crossed the goal line on a six-yard score:
Other touchdowns were scored by Terrance Gibbs, on runs of one and three yards, and Gary Gibbs, who, for all intents and purposes, put an end to any hopes to which the 'Bolts might still have been grasping on the first play of the second half:
As mentioned, Terrance scored twice, in addition to providing the Hawks with some good tough running throughout the second half. One of his touchdowns and some of his other ground work can be seen right here:
While the offensive output was impressive, it was, however, largely the stifling effort of a defense that is growing more and more confident with each passing week. At one point during the second quarter, senior Mike Scarcella came up with a crucial sack that essentially put an end to a promising East drive:
As alluded to at the top of the article, this was one of the more anticipated schoolboy football matchups of the season. As such, some of the state's mainstream media were in attendance, including WPRI-12 and the Providence Journal. The Journal's photo gallery of the game can be seen here.
And, as is always the case here at The Network, our most recent broadcast event can always be seen in the Ustream viewer at the very top of the site. In this case, it's the entirety of the second half of last night's game against East. The first half, along with all the rest of our broadcast work, can be seen by clicking our Ustream link at the bottom of the page.
Next up for our guys is the homecoming game, and we're hoping for a huge turnout Friday night against Portsmouth, traditionally a very strong program and always a tough out. Let's pack Hayden Stadium and support the Hawks on The Road to Four.