Eagles, Huskies ready for Thanksgiving Day showdown

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It has been a rough couple of days for the Mt. Hope and Barrington football coaches.

Huskies coach Brian Cote saw his team lose a close playoff game to West Warwick on Nov. 10 and then watched in disbelief as more than a dozen of his players missed practice a few days later.

In Barrington, Bill McCagney scratched his head as his Eagles fell hard to Portsmouth, 44-14, in their final division game. His team, which lost its last three games of the season, trailed 36-0 at half-time and appeared completely overwhelmed by the Patriots.

Now both coaches are working hard to get their teams back on track for the annual Thanksgiving Day showdown, which will be played in Bristol at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The 3-5 Eagles spent last week’s practices refocusing on fundamentals.

“We watched tape of the Portsmouth game and we worked on tackling. We didn’t even have a football out there,” McCagney said. “We need to get on the same page with blocking and tackling. We’re going to keep working on that.

“That (game against Portsmouth) was the first time in my 24 years here that we didn’t show up, that my players didn’t show up. I’m upset with that.”

Mt. Hope’s Cote, whose team finished 5-3 in the regular season, said he planned to dig deeper into his players’ unexcused absences and was hoping to hear legitimate reasons.

“I have some things I have to deal with,” Cote said. “Hopefully I’ll have the team I had last week (against West Warwick) and not the team that didn’t show up to practice. There was quite a few kids missing.”

Despite the recent bumps in the road for both teams, Cote and McCagney are anticipating a hard-fought Thanksgiving Day football game.

“I’m expecting to see Barrington play hard. I think it’s going to be a battle,” Cote said.

McCagney agreed.

“They are a real good football team,” he said about Mt. Hope. “They block well. They run the ball well. They’re scrappy on defense. They’re a tough team. ... I’m just hoping to get our guys back on track.”

How they match up

McCagney believes his team will be challenged by Mt. Hope’s running attack, which features a punishing fullback in Nick Murgo and a prolific tailback in Jesse Raiola. Raiola rolled up 222 yards in the Huskies’ 35-26 playoff loss.

“Their fullback is tough. He’s old school. He comes right at you,” McCagney said. “Their quarterback (Kyle Valenzuela) is shifty. He runs the option well. We’ve got to stop 44 (Murgo), 25 (Raiola), and numbers 2 (Valenzuela) and 3 (Tevin Jones).”

Cote said spreading out his attack will be key to the Huskies’ success on offense.

“When we execute properly we’re a team that can beat anybody,” he said. “Our kids play hard. We’ll bring our best game.”

When Barrington has the ball, Cote said the Huskies will work to shut down Eagles’ star quarterback Jacob Simons.

“We’re worried about their quarterback. He’s a good passer and a good runner. Their offense can really move the ball,” Cote said.

Players to watch

Both coaches praised some of their players for solid seasons.

McCagney said junior tailback/linebacker James Murphy has played well this season for the Eagles. “He’s had a great year. He’s smart and committed. He’s fast and hard-hitting.”

The Barrington coach also mentioned strong play from junior lineman Josh Adams and sophomore lineman Kevin Cadigan. He said Gerard Lacerte has been a good team leader and that JR Martin has performed well at fullback and linebacker.

Cote said it was difficult to single out a few players, but thought Nick Murgo has been a leader for the Huskies.

“Getting Nick Murgo back in the Woonsocket game ... our defense was noticeably better.”

Cote said the line has played well all season, led by players like Jared Sousa, Byron Thibaudeau, Jared Ramos and Josh Hunt. He also credited Huskies Tevin Jones and Bailey Ziobro.

“I thought Kyle Valenzuela did a great job at quarterback, executing the schemes, running the no huddle, the spread,” Cote said.

Mt. Hope last defeated Barrington in 2006, by a score of 22-6.

Mt. Hope High School

Mt. Hope 6 — Tolman 49 (NL)

Westerly 30 — Mt. Hope 7

Mt. Hope 6 — Johnston 37

Chariho 7 — Mt. Hope 27

Mt. Hope 26 — Woonsocket 7

Cumberland 33 — Mt. Hope 12 (NL)

Coventry 20 — Mt. Hope 21

Toll Gate 6 — Mt. Hope 35

Mt. Hope 39 — Warwick Vets 14

Barrington High School

Barrington 23 — Westerly 27

Cranston West 0 — Barrington 14

Barrington 18 — Cranston East 41

East Providence 15 — Barrington 35

Bishop Feehan 24  — Barrington 0

Barrington 21 — Tolman 33

Barrington 14 — South Kingstown 7

Barrington 17 — LaSalle 41

Bishop Hendricken 18 — Barrington 6

Portsmouth 44 — Barrington 14

Barrington High School Eagles

Number  Name    Position        Year

3       Douglas R. Flaherty     WR/DB   SR

4       Nicholas M. Jensen      RB/DB   SO

5       Hunter R. Constable     WR/LB   SO

6       Jake T. Slye    QB/S    SO

10      Jacob K. Bonney WR/DB   SO

11      John F. Meehan  WR/K    SR

12      Jake M. DeMarco QB/DB   SO

14      Matthew Q. Rota QB/DB   JR

15      Jacob A. Simons (Cptn.) QB/P    SR

20      Jeffrey A. Redman       RB/DB   SO

22      Ryan A. Brown   RB/LB   SO

23      Jack E. Kelly   WR/CB   SR

25      James A. Murphy (Cptn.) RB/DB   JR

27      Tyler M. Thomas WR/DE   SR

28      Rosindo C. Chiulli      WR/DB   JR

31      Christos Meltsakos      RB/LB   SO

32      Jake H. Gelsomino       FB/LB   SO

33      Bernd VanderLande       RB/DB   SR

34      Samuel W. Vetromile     TE/S    JR

35      Patrick J. Mahoney      WR/LB   JR

36      Colin A. Vatter RB      FR

39      Edwin B. Jones  RB/OL   SR

40      Robert Colantonio       LB      FR

41      Keagan P. O'Donnell     TE/DB   SO

42      Andrew W. Blau  WR/DB   SO

43      Joseph C. Regan C/LB    SO

45      John R. Martin  FB/LB   JR

50      Quinn C. Morvillo       G/LB    SO

51      Joshua R. Adams G/DE    JR

52      Gerard Lacerte (Cptn.)  C/LB    SR

53      John K. Saul    OT/DT   JR

54      Patrick M. Mitchell     G/DT    JR

55      Nicholas B. Raymond     OT/DT   JR

56      Harrison P. Miller      G/LB    JR

57      Noah D. Robey   G/DT    JR

58      Benjamin F. Feit        G/DT    SO

58      Nicholas Lord   WR/DB   SO

59      Austin M. Rojas G/LB    JR

60      Daniel M. Perry OT/DT   SO

62      Michael J. Borek        OT/DT   SO

63      Kyle H. Wallick OT/DT   SO

64      Geoffrey M. Reilly      OT/DE   SR

65      Michael J. Alvernaz     OT/DT   SO

66      Saad El Qadi    G/LB    SO

67      Maxx A. Robey   OL/DL   FR

68      Andrew J. Richardson    WR/DB   SO

71      Robert T. Smith G/LB    SR

73      Matthew R. Farina       C/DT    SR

75      Mitchell Jacques        G/DT    SR

77      Kevin C. Cadigan        C/DE    SO

78      Caleb Snow      OT/DT   SO

80      Justin A. Brindamour    WR/DB   SO

81      Ethan J. Snow   OT/DT   SR

82      Nash T. Klinger TE/DE   JR

83      Alexander S. Richardson WR/DB   SR

84      Francis S. Carroll      TE/DE   SO

87      Cameron D. Reilly       WR      FR

88      Kyle A. Gibalerio       WR/DE   SO

Head coach:William McCagney.

Assistant coaches: Brent Dalessio, Drew Genetti, Mike Gesmondi and Glen Salgueiro.

Volunteers: Jim Anderson, Stephen Lenz, Dr. Christopher Luttman and Sam Schacter.

Mt. Hope High School Huskies Roster

No.     Name                    Position        Year

1       Alexander J. Francis        QB/S        SO

2       Kyle J. Valenzuela (Cptn.)      QB/S    JR

3       Tevin Jones     RB/LB   SR

4       Corey Gendreau  QB/S    SR

5       Kyle Vieiera    RB/CB   SO

8       Christopher Machado     CB/WR   SR

10/7    Christian Torres        QB/LB   SO

12      Jacob Silva     K/WR    SR

16      Stephen Riendeau        WR/CB   SO

17      Ryan Bartell    WR/S    JR

20      Frank Smith     TE/DE   JR

23      Isaiah Weeden   WR/CB   SO

24      Porter White-O'Brien    FB/LB   SO

25      Jesse Raiola    RB/CB   JR

29      Jon Perroni     RB/LB   JR

31      Joshua Conti    FB/LB   SO

33      Bailey Ziobro   RB/LB   SR

42      David J. Ramos  FB/LB   JR

44      Nicholas Murgo (Cptn.)  FB/LB   JR

45      Robert Fraiser  OT/DT   JR

50      Justin Sampson  C/DT    SR

51      William J. Francis, III G/LB    JR

52      Benjamin Godfrey        C/DT    SO

53      Evan Fortin     G/DE    SR

54      Nicholas Anania OT/DT   JR

55      Jonathan Daponte        OT/DT   SR

57      Byron Thibaudeau        G/DT    SR

59      Ian Whitaker    OT/DT   JR

64      Jared Sousa     OT/DT   JR

65      Sean Thibaudeau G/DT    SO

69      Aaron Merritt   OT/DT   SR

75      Dominic Lombardo        G/LB    SO

77      Adam Almeida    OT/DT   SR

78      Patrick Asciola C/DT    JR

81      Joshua F. Hunt (Cptn.)  TE/DE   SR

83      Joshua Coreiro  TE/DE   SR

84      Jason Ferro     WR/DE   JR

85      Jared Ramos     TE/DE   JR

86      Josh Zasaoski   TE/DE   SO

87      Matthew T. Mendonca     WR/CB   JR

Head coach: Brian Cote

Assistant coaches: Wayne Gardner, Ryan McCormack

Volunteers: George Andrade, Dr. Kenneth McPhillips, Bruce Murgo

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