Hawks have their way with East Providence in D-I football opener

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Visiting Bishop Hendricken High School dominated a young East Providence squad Friday night, Sept. 21, at Pierce Stadium in the host Townies' Division I regular season football opener, the Hawks walking away with an easy 42-13 win.

Hendricken (2-0 in D-I, 4-0 overall) was never troubled all evening, its defense smothering a struggling E.P. offense especially so in the opening 12 minutes. The Townies punted four times in the period and had little positive yardage. The Hawks manhandled the locals at the point of attack, their physicality and superior size too much for the hosts.

E.P. did manage to cross midfield once in the first quarter, though that only occurred after the Hawks muffed one of the aforementioned punts, a booming offering from Trystan Casey from his own goal line past the 50. Colin Costa recovered the muff for the locals, but just two plays later they gave it back to the visitors when starting QB Jashaun Bennett was stripped of the ball as he attempted to sprint out on an option play.

Hendricken junior quarterback Patrick Gill had a fine night throwing the football, tossing three first-half touchdowns as the Hawks cruised to a 35-6 lead at the break. Senior captain Darien Johnson accounted for both of East Providence's scores, catching TD passes from Bennett in the second quarter (15 yards) and back-up thrower John Costa in the fourth (30).

Both Johnson catches came in traffic. In the second period, Bennett placed the ball between two defenders as Johnson ran left across the middle in the end zone. In the fourth, Costa floated a pass towards the goal line where Johnson rose up between two more Hendricken defensive backs and picked the ball out from between them.

The Townies (0-1 in D-I, 0-3 overall) return to action Friday night, Sept. 28, on the road against neighboring Barrington at 7 o'clock.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.