Eagles are undefeated state champions!

Barrington powers to 34-6 win over St. Raphaels in Division II Super Bowl

Posted 5/10/21

Whoever said the more things change the more they remain the same must have had Barrington High football coach Sandy Gorham in mind.

When Coach Gorham was the head coach at East Providence, the …

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Eagles are undefeated state champions!

Barrington powers to 34-6 win over St. Raphaels in Division II Super Bowl


Whoever said the more things change the more they remain the same must have had Barrington High football coach Sandy Gorham in mind.

When Coach Gorham was the head coach at East Providence, the Townies captured five Division I Super Bowls.

Richard W. Dionne, Jr.
BHS quarterback Brigham Dunphy speaks after the game amidst celebrating teammates.

The primary reason for that success was the Townies ability to run the triple-option offense. Coach Gorham implemented the same offense at Barrington which was a major reason why the Eagles not only finished undefeated (7-0) but also won the Division II Super Bowl by defeating St. Raphael Academy, 34-6, at Cranston Stadium on Sunday night.

How efficient was that offense on Sunday?

This efficient: The Eagles gained 376 yards on the ground as compared with 159 yards for the Saints (6-1).

“We went back to my roots which are the options and it worked,” Coach Gorham said.

In order to make this offense work, a team must have a quarterback who has the skills and acumen to read the defense and decide which option will work. In this case, senior Brigham Dunphy (who was voted the game’s Most Valuable Player), ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. He also completed 2-of-2 passes for 24 yards and one score.

“You have to be fortunate enough to know you have a kid at quarterback that can make those decisions and not be afraid to make those decisions,” Coach Gorham said. “It’s a big responsibility.

“One of our coaches said ‘You keep calling the same play.’ But it’s three plays in one so I don’t know who’s carrying the ball. That’s his decision and he did a wonderful job.”

When Coach Gorham said “it’s three plays,” by that he meant the quarterback has the option to run, pitch the ball to a back or pass which places an inordinate amount of pressure on the linebackers and cornerbacks.

That was apparent on Barrington’s first series when Dunphy pitched the ball left to Mark Bernardo who ran 10 yards for a score and a 7-0 lead.

“We went back to the old-school offense,” Coach Gorham added.

Dunphy, for his part, was able to absorb the nuances of the triple-option which enabled the Eagles to win their first Super Bowl since 2003.

“He’s been working with us ever since we were little and playing Pop Warner,” Dunphy said. “He used to come and help out with us. At a young age for us he was throwing a little bit of his option in there as much as he could.

“Our freshman year with coach (Drew) Genetti we ran the option, too, so I’ve been doing it for at least four years. It’s been great. (Coach Gorham) is a great coach. He’s the best coach in the state and the best coach at teaching the option. I had all the tools in the world to learn it.”

Barrington upped its lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Dunphy guided the Eagles 74 yards in seven plays and then scored on a seven-yard run.

What followed moments later was another reason why the Eagles defense came within three minutes of “pitching” a shutout.

After SRA quarterback Andre Gary completed a pass to Yago Fraga, Fraga fumbled and Jack Kelty recovered the ball on the Saints’ 31.

Two plays later Dunphy busted 21 yards through a huge hole on the left side for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

The Eagles picked up in the third quarter where they left off by marching 80 yards in 11 plays and took 6:27 off the clock with Bryan Ivatts plunging three yards for a score and a 27-0 lead.

Ivatts, a junior, also played a solid game since he gained 104 yards on 18 carries. And the same could be said of Tom Rocha who ran only four times for 84 yards.

Rocha also intercepted a Gray pass late in the third quarter which set up the Eagles final score – a 16-yard pass from Dunphy to Ethan Tomulonis that capped a 10-play, 650-yard drive.

The Saints averted a shutout when Gray scored on a 12-yard run with 3:09 left on the clock. But considering the Eagles came in having allowed only 45 points, nobody on the Barrington side was inclined to complain.

“Our seniors came together this year,” Dunphy said. “There are 25 of us. We’ve been working our butts off in the weight room.

“I think we’re really a tight-knit group. We hang out together off the field. We all want to win for each other. At the end of the day when we’re on the field we’re not playing for ourselves but we’re playing for the team. That made the big difference for us this year.”

Another reason this was a special victory for Coach Gorham was that one Eagle is a son, Luke, a senior running back. In the Super Bowl, he carried the ball five times for 45 yards.

“I’ve been able to coach Ryan and John in Super Bowls when I coached at East Providence and now I’m coaching my last boy and winning a Super Bowl,” Coach Gorham said. “For me, personally, this was tremendously emotional. We had some tears prior to coming together. But it was very satisfying.

“I’m also so happy for the seniors. They’re great kids and have worked so hard for this. I’m glad they were able to go out in a winning way.”


Barrington          7-14-6-7 - 34

St. Raphael         0-0-0-6 -      6

BAR – Mark Bernardo 10 run (William Sanchez kick)

BAR –Brigham Dunphy 7 run (Sanchez kick)

BAR – Dunphy 21 run (Sanchez kick)

BAR - Bryan Ivatts 3 run (kick failed)

BAR – Tomulonis 16 pass from Dunphy (Sanchez kick)

SRA – Andre Gray 12 run (kick failed)

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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.