The Pilgrim football team powered past the North Providence Cougars last Friday night in a non-league game at North Providence High School, 40-21, thanks in part to the legs of Simon Davis, who ran for 220 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns, and an offensive line that was very aggressive and hard hitting.
“It was rough in practice this week, but the offensive line really stepped it up tonight and I could not have done it without them,” Davis said of his big night. “The whole line and especially fullback Mariano Santos opened up the holes for me to see with good blocks. This game was all about the offensive line.”
It was the Pats’ defense that helped set up Pilgrim’s first score of the night after Mark Brown sacked Cougar quarterback Nevin Gordon, which would force a punt. Pilgrim senior signal caller James Baldwin would scramble 19 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 lead as the first quarter expired.
Pilgrim’s Tyler Vierra's sack forced another Cougar punt as the second quarter opened up, and Davis would take it to the house on an 80-yard dash, putting the Pats ahead, 14-0.
Place kicker and Pilgrim soccer player Matt Pacheco recovered a North Providence fumble on the ensuing kickoff at mid-field. It helped the Pats open up a 20-0 lead after Santos plunged in from one yard out.
Pilgrim took a 27-0 lead on a Baldwin to Austin Connors 15-yard touchdown pass after Pacheco recovered yet another Cougar fumble on the kickoff. Pacheco would make good on four extra point attempts in the contest, as well.
The Pats would take a comfortable 27-0 lead into the half as Davis rushed for 150 of his 220 yards in the first half.
Davis would keep his momentum rolling after the break, too, making it 34-0 late in the third quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run.
North Providence’s Tyrek DosSantos’ 50-yard punt return for a touchdown spoiled Pilgrim’s bid for a shutout.
The Cougars then attempted a comeback with two Gordon touchdown passes late in the fourth quarter, but Davis squashed whatever slim hopes the Cougars had with a 50-yard touchdown bolt.
“Simon Davis has run the ball great, and his fullback Mariano Santos has done a good job blocking for him,” Pilgrim head coach Rob Pacifico said. “We started off summer camp very spread and now we went tight, that's where our talent is. We changed the offense on the fly because that’s what we’re doing right. We are happy where we are right now. We have a group that accepts the discipline and punishment and gets better daily. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
The Pats, who went 1-6 in Division II-A play last season, will host Middletown High School at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night in their first league game of the 2017 season. Middletown blanked Barrington High School, 40-0, in a non-league game last week.
Pilgrim has high expectations for this season.
“I think we have a good chance at making the playoffs this year,” Davis said. “This wasn’t our best tonight. We are better than this. We just have to come out strong against Middletown and show everyone what we can do.”