EAST PROVIDENCE — The Cranston East and East Providence High School football teams entered their Division I outing Friday night, Oct. 5, at Pierce Stadium unbeaten and winless, respectively, and each remained that way following the Thunderbolts’ resounding 42-20 victory over the host Townies.
Cranston East kept pace with the leaders in the D-I standings, improving to 3-0 in the league and 6-0 overall. The numbers are flipped for East Providence, the Townies falling to 0-3 in Division I and 0-6 overall.
What was likely to be the second-largest crowd of the season at the venerable city landmark, second only to that of East Providence’s annual Thanksgiving Day outing against LaSalle, unfortunately saw the locals at probably their lowest point in a generation. The packed house was there in part due to the eighth annual “Townie Pride” parade of East Providence school children taking place prior to the game.
The hosts continued their season-long run of futility, turning the ball over on the their first two possessions of the night, which led directly to Cranston East’s initial two scores. The Thunderbolts scored first on a
fourth-and-goal pass play from the E.P. 12. The Townies helped the visitors by twice being flagged for pass interference calls on the drive. Cranston East also nearly shot itself in the foot, but overcame two motion penalties before scoring.
The ‘Bolts next took advantage of an E.P. fumble as the Townies’ 37. A Cranston East defender returned the ball to the E.P. 19. Five plays later, the Thunderbolts again reached the endzone via the pass.
Seconds into the second quarter, Cranston East was back it again, connecting on a 46-yard touchdown strike as the Thunderbolts built a commanding 21-0 lead.
Josh Rambert next gave the large E.P. throng its biggest reason to cheer, breaking loose off the left side for an 80-yard touchdown run on the Townies’ first play of their ensuing series.
Less than four minutes later, however, Cranston East had regained its three-TD edge, doing so again through the air, this time on a 23-yard completion. The ‘Bolts would take their 28-7 lead to half-time.
The visitors quickly added to their edge to begin the third quarter. After receiving the opening kickoff, Cranston East went to the ground to grind out its next score, a 35-yard TD run.
Not quite done, the Thunderbolts soon made the score 42-7 when they returned a punt 35 yards to touch.
The Townies made the final tally a bit more respectable after quarterback Jashaun Bennett scored two late touchdowns, including a two-yard run at the end of the third period.
East Providence is back in action Friday night, Oct. 12, when the Townies play host to Westerly at Pierce Stadium in a non-league contest at 7 o’clock.