Still on top

Hawks beat Portsmouth to claim 9th title in 10 years

Posted 11/19/19

By RYAN D. MURRAY The undefeated, No. 1 seeded Bishop Hendricken Hawks drubbed the No. 5 seeded Portsmouth Patriots 35-8 on Saturday afternoon at Cranston Stadium to win their second straight Division I Football State Championship. Hawks senior wide out

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Still on top

Hawks beat Portsmouth to claim 9th title in 10 years


The undefeated, No. 1 seeded Bishop Hendricken Hawks drubbed the No. 5 seeded Portsmouth Patriots 35-8 on Saturday afternoon at Cranston Stadium to win their second straight Division I Football State Championship.

Hawks senior wide out and safety Angel Sanchez rushed in two touchdowns, and caught another, and was given the Frank Morey Memorial Award as the game’s MVP.

“He’s been huge for us for three years and I’m happy with the type of game he had,” Hendricken head coach Keith Croft said. “He was doing everything – offense, defense, specials, but he’s been our big guy for a while.”

It marks the third state title for the Hawks senior class, which, along with Sanchez, includes twin brothers Tom Comella, a quarterback, and Nic Comella, a running back.

And the coach couldn’t be prouder of the soon-to-be graduates.

“It feels great,” Croft said. “I mean, that’s something that we talk about, something that we talk to the seniors about, that we know what it feels like to lose one. So, we wanted to win one today and that was important.”

And the Comella brothers wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“That’s what we wanted to accomplish all season long,” Tom said. “It started in the summer and we worked hard all season. There were some ups and downs, but we had a great season. Everyone worked hard and we got it done.”

The twin duo took turns running the ball all season and it led the Hawks to yet another title.

“It’s been great playing with him all these years,” Nic said. “And now this is the end of our high school career, and it’s a great feeling, and I’m so excited for the both of us. To go out here the last time with the guys and just take the win, I can’t explain it. There’s no better feeling than this.”

Sanchez put the Hawks up 6-0, when on first down of their second series, the speedster ran middle-left, 52 yards to pay dirt. Next, Cole Peterson, Hendricken’s senior kicker, booted the extra point and expanded the Hawks margin to 7-0.

The Hawks increased their buffer to 14-0 with 1:55 remaining in the second quarter when Sanchez rushed in his second score from six yards out.

And that is where the teams stood at halftime.

“Portsmouth, they played hard,” Croft said. “We knew that going in. They’re a tough team. Well-coached, disciplined. We knew this game meant a lot to them. So, we didn’t expect them to just come into the game and lay down. We knew they were banged up, but they battled. They gave us everything we could handle.” 

Early in the second half, Hendricken faced a second-and-2 when Nic Comella rushed left for a 21-yard gain. Then, Tom Comella rushed into the house from five yards out and upped the Hawks advantage to 21-0.

With two minutes left in the third frame, Portsmouth turned the ball over on downs to Hendricken at the Patriots 48.

And on first down, Tom Comella ran a keeper right, broke a tackle, and took it 17 yards for a first down at the Portsmouth 31. Next, the senior QB tossed a 31-yard dart to Sanchez in pay dirt and that gave the Hawks a 28-0 cushion.

With 9:27 remaining in the contest, Portsmouth inched within 28-6, when on a second-and-goal, Luke Cafarella, a senior running back, rushed up the gut and in for the score from one yard out. After that, Andrew Perry, a sophomore kicker, shanked the extra point.

Next, Portsmouth attempted an onside kick which backfired when it was recovered by Hendricken near midfield.

And on first down, James Gobewole, a senior running back, rushed down the left sideline 56 yards and into the house for a touchdown and ballooned the Hawks buffer to 35-6.

With 3:08 left, Portsmouth got within 35-8, when on a fourth down from its own 27, Hendricken had a bad punt sail into the end zone for a safety.

With the triumph, Hendricken has now won nine of the past 10 state championships, but each one is special to Croft.

“It’s important,” Croft said. “We talk about it. We’ve got a lot of alumni and former players that reached out to us this week and talked about the importance of the game and it’s something we really impart on the kids and we’re glad that they’re a part of it.”


7 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

da semi-pros beat a public hi skul. ra ra. have them go up against some real high school teams in texas and watch dem cry all the way home to st. peters en paul.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Nobody cares that private schools that recruit for athletics beat public schools.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

As a parent who chose to send her boys to Hendricken- I can tell you our number one reason was and still is the education. Anything else Hendricken offers was secondary to our family. I can tell you my children were not recruited for anything Hendricken offers nor do we get financial aid. I can tell you what we have scarified for 4 years to be able to do this. Hendricken gets a bad reputation from people in the state of RI and I don’t know why. Someone please share because it is very unfair to every kid who attends Hendricken and can not get recognition because they go to Hendricken. These are still kids who work hard every day doing 2-4 hours of homework a night and being held accountable for their actions. In today’s world, as a parent , if I have the opportunity to offer this brotherhood to my kids, yes I am going to chose it. My kids are the ones who asked not to go to our public high school, where I pay taxes, and go to a school that was going to hold them accountable for their academics and help they grow. They knew from stories their local high school could not provide this for them. Thank you Hendricken for the brotherhood your have provided my boys and for helping this family turn their boys in to men. Go Hawks

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

bh just earned their one star

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
John Stark

For the record, the practice of "recruiting" for athletics is forbidden by the RI Interscholastic League. If someone has evidence that this rule has been violated, I urge them to report the violation to the league. The problem is, no report can be made because no rule has been violated. Can you imagine how successful Hendricken would be if it were allowed to recruit? It's always fascinating to me that those who perpetrate the biggest myths about Hendricken are also those who know the least about the school. They know nothing, absolutely nothing about the admissions and financial aid policies. I will disagree with Parent on one point, and that is that "Hendricken gets a bad reputation..." The fact is, Hendricken has an outstanding reputation. They attract exceptional young men whose parents make tremendous sacrifices to send them. I guess the (brand new) crew team's recent success is attributable to the Hawks 'recruiting' all the good 8th grade rowers. Good grief! This envy-driven vitriol remains a great source of amusement, however, so keep it coming. Though I believe it was Lincoln who said: "Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." Perhaps "idiot" and Resident will be guests next week when the school hosts its annual free Thanksgiving dinner for local residents who have no place else to go. Such an evil place!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

two words mr. stark, bullshit

Thursday, November 21, 2019
John Jackson

Thank you Mr. Stark. I have noticed the same thing over my 46 year involvement with Bishop Hendricken. Those who know absolutely nothing about the school are always the first to make negative comments. I was involved intimately with the financial aid process as President and can state unequivocally that Bishop Hendricken does not offer athletic scholarships. When we were not winning, no one complained. It is a school that does an excellent job educating every student in every area- heart, mind, body, and soul.

Sunday, November 24, 2019