The Bishop Hendricken Hawks dominated the St. Raphael Academy Saints 36-16 at Pariseau Field on Saturday afternoon during a Division I-A football meeting.
Hawks senior quarterback Tom Comella led the Hawks with two rushing scores.
Hendricken drew a 3-0 lead, 8 minutes into the contest when Jachai Armand, a junior, made a field goal from 25 yards out.
Both Armand and Cole Peterson, Hendricken’s senior kicker and punter, saw work on Saturday kicking field goals.
“We’ve been working on them a lot in practice and I wanted to give them a shot to kick and they kicked well considering the wind,” Hawks head coach Keith Croft said. “The wind was a factor today, but they kicked well into the wind and obviously with the wind.”
Ten seconds into the second quarter, Hendricken upped its buffer to 10-0 when Comella ran a quarterback sneak 13 yards into pay dirt.
Then, Hendricken expanded its edge to 16-0 lead when Comella rushed in his second touchdown from 17 yards deep, with 2:15 remaining in the half. After that, Peterson added the extra point and made it 17-0.
Adam Gomes, St. Ray’s senior kicker, pulled the Saints within two scores at 17-3 when he made a 17-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the half.
But, during the ensuing kickoff, the Saints were whistled for a late-hit, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty and gave the Hawks the ball at the Saints 40.
On first down, Comella connected up the middle to Angel Sanchez, a senior wide out, who brought the ball to the 8 before he was knocked out of bounds, with 3 seconds remaining.
Next, Armand made a field goal from 25 yards out and extended the Hendricken margin to 20-3 as the two squads headed into the break.
St. Ray’s got within 20-10 with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter when Hendricken junior backup quarterback Zach Lavergne had his pass attempt swatted by a leaping Moses Meus, the Saints outside linebacker, and it went into the hands of an alert Andrew Andella, a senior at free safety, and Andella took it in the other direction and into the house.
Fortunately for the Hawks, that play did not prove costly and coach Croft wasn’t nervous when it occurred.
“Nah,” Croft said. “You’ve got to have confidence. Obviously you never like to give up points on offense, but those are things he has to work through. He’s a young quarterback, he’s still learning and he battled back. He played a good game.”
It’s still unclear if the junior will take over the signal caller duties next season.
“We have no idea what’s going to happen next year,” Croft said. “But we wanted to get him some work today. He’s been working hard in practice and he did a good job.”
Hendricken extended its margin to 26-10 with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, when Isaiah Emmanuel, a junior running back, rushed four yards up the gut and into the end zone.
After that, Peterson drilled a 35-yard field goal, 5 minutes into the fourth frame, and upped the Hawks advantage to 29-10.
Then with 1:35 to play, Hendricken’s Shyne Fernandes, a running back, rushed in a touchdown from 15 yards out and extended the Hawks margin to 36-10.
“Shyne ran the ball well today,” Croft said. “He’s a junior. He’s been working hard in practice and he’s more than capable when we put him in there. So, it was good to see. He ran hard and was going north to south.”
St. Ray’s got within 36-16 with 14 seconds left, after Andre Gray, a sophomore quarterback, ran a keeper left 3 yards and in for the score.
The Hawks improve to 4-0 in the league and host Cranston East (0-4) next on Friday night at 7 p.m.