The Pilgrim football team ran past host Narragansett 43-13 to improve to 8-0 on the season and clinch the program’s first-ever regular season title as it claimed the top seed in the upcoming Division III playoffs.
Narragansett was also unbeaten heading into last week’s match, and the Pats were surprised to have as much success as they did in the 30-point victory.
“We didn’t expect it, I don’t think the kids expected it either. We recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff so I think it is because we set the tone early. We then went down and scored in five plays,” said head coach Blake Simpson, who credited his offensive line for helping the Pilgrim offense put up five rushing touchdowns. “Our offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the entire game, they didn’t let up one bit. (Narragansett) runs a 3-3 stack (on defense) so we have been preparing for the 3-3 stack for the majority of the year. Our line was comfortable blocking against that scheme and they competed tremendously, we had a lot of success on the ground.”
Running back Demitri Ayres rushed for a trio of touchdowns, while quarterback Mike Borges and Danny Halliwell each ran for scores as well.
Borges would also connect with Connor Fallon and Ethan Laramee on touchdown passes in the win.
“It’s amazing, the kids are pumped. When you walk around the gym and look at the banners, the one with the least amount of years on it is probably football. They’re excited to win the division and to secure the No. 1 seed in the playoffs,” said Simpson. “It was a huge statement win for us. I think that no matter what happens this week, someone will be saying, ‘Oh man, we have to face Pilgrim.’ Getting a big win against another undefeated team, everyone else is now a little more worried of us.”
The Pats will now host Juanita Sanchez/PCD/Wheeler in a non-league matchup to close its season. Pilgrim will be honoring its seniors prior to kickoff.
As the season winds down, Simpson has been proud of the progress the club has made over the past two years since he took over as head coach, and hopes to see its success spread throughout the city.
“It’s great. To be a Pilgrim football alum and now the head coach, it’s awesome to have that success and to see everything come full circle,” said Simpson. “I’m really hoping to see more kids from Warwick want to give football a shot and to see our numbers grow in future years.”