he Bishop Hendricken Hawks and La Salle Rams added another fun matchup to their rivalry last week when the Green & Gold overcame an early deficit to get the 22-12 win.
The Bishop Hendricken Hawks and La Salle Rams added another fun matchup to their rivalry last week when the Green & Gold overcame an early deficit to get the 22-12 win.
It was a back and forth game, competitive throughout, and each team had their moments. The general consensus by those in attendance was that it was neck and neck and a potential, well, likely championship rematch will be a toss up.
I disagree. As competitive as the game was, the Hawks proved that they will be hoisting the state championship plaque after coming up short last season. What the Hawks did in the second half was enough to prove to me that they are on their way to a title. Each game will be a formality leading up to it, and I don’t see a scenario in which the Rams get it done.
La Salle hit first, scoring on an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. The Rams went on a long drive to regain the lead in the final minute of the half to take the lead into the break.
In the second half, though, the Hawks were in firm control and the Rams had nothing to offer. They got run over.
Sure, Hendricken only outscored them 15-0 in the second half, the scoreboard did not indicate a 24-minute thrashing … but in reality, it was just that. Earlier when I said “competitive throughout” I was speaking purely on the scoreboard.
Running backs Oscar Weah and Ronjai Francis each rushed for over 100 yards, the defense won up front. The Rams lost some significant pieces from last year’s team whereas the Hawks return much of the same crew. We have our answer … the Hawks are the best team in the state this season.
Do I expect a total blowout in the state championship? No, but I have a feeling Hendricken will win rather decisively. That second half showed them all they needed for the next meeting. The Hawks are better up front and have a bruising backfield. Run, run, run. Pound the ball and let the big guys up front throw their weight around. La Salle will be out of gas by halftime.
Sure, the Rams can also take the film from the second half and make adjustments schematically. The problem is that in a month, you can’t expect kids to get bigger, stronger, more explosive. As much as we can point at the game plan, what won Hendricken that game is that when it decided to be the bully, La Salle fell behind. There is only so much you can do to prepare in one month when the disadvantage is a physical one.
I’ll be front and center at the state championship. It should be another fun meeting between these two clubs, but again, I think by the time we enter the fourth quarter the Hawks will have the game in the bag. Especially with the likely colder weather in November. I see the Hawks running the ball and charging forward up front. It’s clear that the Rams just won’t have the answer.
North Kingstown should not be counted out as the Skippers went toe to toe with Hendricken, granted, the Hawks were without starting quarterback Jayden Falcone. Also, Central is struggling but is talented enough to turn things around. You can’t guarantee that these teams won’t have a say in the matter, but it is not likely.
This is what frustrates me about the current alignment with a four-team Division I. Barrington, Cumberland and Westerly have been outstanding in Division II this season and would all have a chance to shake things up against the four teams in DI. We won’t get to see that come playoff time which is a shame. We know that the Hawks and Rams are heavy favorites every year, but why not make things a little more interesting come playoff time? None of those DII teams would be considered favorites against the Hawks or Rams, but any of those clubs would be able to compete and have a puncher’s chance.
Anyway, the Hawks will be back on top in November, book it.
Sticking with football, it is time for the Patriots to move on from Bill Belichick. Not at the end of the season, now, today, yesterday.
It sure seems like the Krafts will be paying Belichick the courtesy of letting him finish up the season, and I do not fault them for showing some respect and loyalty to their coach that brought them six Super Bowls, but the team needs to make the most of the remaining games it has this season to hopefully build some momentum for next year. Belichick will not be able to generate that momentum.
Now at 1-5, the playoffs are off the table, it’s just not happening. There really are only, say, three or four winnable games remaining. My preseason prediction of 9-8 would be a pipe dream at this point. I’m thinking 4-13, 5-12 is more likely.
The team has made it clear that current assistant coach Jerod Mayo is Belichick’s successor. So why not throw him into the driver’s seat from here? The pressure of reaching the playoffs will not be there, there won’t be a huge push to turn things around immediately. Might as well let Mayo get his feet wet when the stakes are low and really start kicking off the rebuild next season with a clean slate.
This is a lost season regardless of who is running the show, so why not shake things up?
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