Eagles and Huskies prepare for battle

Barrington will host this year's Thanksgiving Day game

BY MANUEL C. “MANNY” CORREIRA
Posted 11/27/19

With nothing more on the line than bragging rights and pride, the Barrington High School and Mt. Hope High football teams will meet for the 27th time on Thanksgiving morning at Barrington’s …

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Eagles and Huskies prepare for battle

Barrington will host this year's Thanksgiving Day game

Posted

With nothing more on the line than bragging rights and pride, the Barrington High School and Mt. Hope High football teams will meet for the 27th time on Thanksgiving morning at Barrington’s Victory Field. 

The Eagles, representing Division I-B will come into the game looking for their third straight Turkey Day win over the Division II-B Huskies. Kickoff time is 10 a.m.

Both teams suffered their fair share of injuries and hard luck this season, but this is Barrington versus Mt. Hope, and whatever happened during the course of the 2019 campaign will be quickly forgotten.

In talking to both head coaches recently, the overall feeling is that both squads will be jacked up for this fall holiday clash. Nothing new there. 

The Eagles compiled a 3-7 overall record this year, including a 2-4 mark in conference play. Barrington lost its last two games, falling to North Kingstown and Cumberland. Meanwhile, Mt. Hope comes to town with a 3-6 overall record (1-5 in league play), but winners of their last two games.

The Eagles’ Sandy Gorham feels his squad will be ready for the challenge at hand.

“It was tough season for us,” he said, “but the kids never gave up. Turnovers and penalties killed us. We have to cut down on both if we expect to beat Mt. Hope. You work at it and work at it. We play tough and hard, but we have to cut down on mistakes.”

Two of Barrington’s main players, junior quarterback Brigham Dunphy and fellow classmate, receiver Cole Reed, figure to cause Mt. Hope plenty of problems on offense.

Reed caught 11 of Dunphy’s 14 touchdown passes this year and showed great speed and poise in the process.

“Cole has great hands and had a great year,” said coach Gorham. “Dunphy has played well running the offense, and our run defense has been good. That’s our strength.”

Josh Nutter, Luke Gorham, Jon Adamson, Tom Rocha, and Nate Camera, among others, have been some of the key contributors.

It’ll be Senior Day at Victory Field on Thanksgiving, always a special time for those graduating players and their families. The Blue & Gold will be ready to give it their best effort of the year.

T.J. Del Santo’s Mt. Hope Huskies had high hopes when the 2019 season began, but like Barrington, key injures have negated what promised to be a winning campaign.

“It’s been a tough season for us,” said the coach. “We had a lot of key injuries and a lot of inexperienced players. Eight of 11 of our players who started on offense were either sophomores or freshmen. And on defense, 9 of 11 players were underclassmen.”

Not one to make any excuses, Coach Del Santo does have some experienced personnel he can look to, including junior Jordan Pompey, who started the year at quarterback and then switched to wide receiver. His backup, sophomore Aidan Ramaglia, then took over at QB and came in and did a nice job. Together, their biggest game came against West Warwick, when Jordan scored four touchdowns, while Aidan threw three TDS in a big victory. 

“Jordan has scored four receiving touchdowns in the last three games and has also become our most solid defensive player with two interceptions, including one for a touchdown,” Coach Del Santo reported. “Aidan has thrown six TDs in the last three games.”

Meanwhile, the Huskies’ offensive line has been much improved down the stretch with Ben LaLiberte, Patrick Pitts, Luke Borges, Colton Dias, and Atley Jenness leading the way. And, Brock Pacheco, a true freshman, has started at outside linebacker the last several games and has led the team in tackles during that time.

“Hopefully, we’ll have everyone back for Thanksgiving,” said Coach Del Santo. “The kids have responded in a positive way. They’ve stay focused and engaged.”

Coach Del Santo knows that Barrington will be a tough nut to crack on their home turf.

“Barrington is always the same,” he said. “They come well-prepared and they’re well-coached. It’s as big a game as it is for the both of us.”

For those who dwell on statistics, the Eagles have owned this series pretty much, winning 17 of the 26 games played to date, including last year, by a 31-12 count. They’ve also won 10 of the last 12 games played and 16 of the last 19 dating back to 2000.

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Jim McGaw

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.