Cougar footballers hammered by Classical

Cougar footballers hammered by Classical

PROVIDENCE - They hung tough for a half, but the North Providence High School football team could not respond as Classical High School scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to score a 35-14 win over the Cougars Saturday in Providence.

It was a non-leaguer with the Cougars, a Division IV team, stepping up to take on the Division III Purple.

If there was a bright spot for North Providence, it was Bevin Ingram III. The speedy back/receiver scored both North Providence touchdowns, one on a 50-yard scoring strike from quarterback Ian Brown and the other on an electrifying 70-yard jaunt.

North Providence received the ball to open the game, but only a couple of plays in, Marcos Martinez stepped in front of a Brown pass for an interception, giving Classical the ball on their own 47 yard line.

After a short pass and a running play netted a first down, lefty quarterback Griffin Clark found Allen Tat wide open over the middle and the receiver bounced the ball off his own hands twice before gaining control as he raced into the end zone. The PAT was booted by Tim Shea, and it was 7-0.

Classical attempted a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff and North Providence's Patrick Pita recovered.

Matt Charles delivered a nice run to advance the ball, and a Classical defender was hit with a penalty after he brought down Charles with a horse collar tackle.

On the next play, Brown rolled to his right and tossed a bomb down the sidelines that Ingram ran under and took in stride for the Cougars' first score. The PAT kick was blocked, and Classical held a 7-6 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Cougars squib kicked and it was recovered by Brandon Nunez, giving North Providence possession, but they were stopped after only one first down, with Classical taking over.

The North Providence defense was staunch in the next series, forcing a three and out. Neither team was able to move the ball and exchanged punts as the first half was drawing to a close.

With two minutes remaining, Ingram took a handoff from Brown and started to run to the left, saw his lane was blocked, so he turned and reversed his field.

With blazing speed, he beat the Classical defense around the corner and after that, it was a foot chase and not many players in the state can run with Ingram, who took it all the way to the house.

Nunez pounded the ball in for the two-point PAT and the Cougars had a 14-7 lead.

"When I got the ball, I just saw that everyone from the other team was lined up in my way, so I just turned around and cut back," said Ingram. "Then it was a foot race the rest of the way. It felt really good."

But that was the last good feeling that the Cougars would have. Classical came out on fire in the second half, running through the North Providence defenders and scoring on their first two possessions on the way to a 28-point half.

The Classical defense made several adjustments at half and it showed because the Cougar offense all but disappeared.

North Providence was not alone. Five other Division IV teams played non-league games during the weekend, and all of them lost.

The Cougars will have some extra time to get their act together.

They do not play until Sept. 28 when they visit Hope of Providence for their first Division IV contest of the season.