Sentinel football team crushes PCD, 28-0

Sentinel football team crushes PCD, 28-0

Smithfield High School quarterback Michael Cotoia, left, gets a helping hand from running back Riley White during the Sentinels game Friday night against PCD. The Sentinels won and remain in the Division IV playoff hunt. (Valley Breeze & Observer photo by Kayla Panu)

SMITHFIELD - After a scoreless first half, the Smithfield High School varsity football team broke out, found their playmakers and scored 28 unanswered points for a 28-0 victory over Providence Country Day Friday night.

"We had some discipline issues in the first half," Smithfield head coach Chris Branch said. "In the second half, when allowed to play, Isaiah Roman used speed and space and became a playmaker. Freshman Corey Mabray was also a playmaker."

The first half of the game sped by as possession kept turning over with both defenses stepping up. There were also errors as the Sentinels fumbled in the second quarter but got the ball back on a Knight three and out.

The Sentinels looked to have figured out the Knights' defense at the end of the second quarter with 43 seconds left they got the ball at the PCD 26-yard line. Quarterback Michael Cotoia used running back Riley White twice to gain ground while also using running backs Nick Lynch and Kyle Nero. At the PCD 10 and on fourth down, Cotoia threw a pass into the end zone that was dropped by Jack Devlin to end the first half.

The second half gave Smithfield and Devlin new life. After a turnover on downs the Knights had the ball in their own territory at the 42. They moved up to the 45 and on third down, Luis Florentino threw a pass that was intercepted by Devlin, who got the ball to the 35.

On the first play of the Sentinels drive, Cotoia handed off to newly instated Roman. He broke left, sped up when needed to out run a potential tackler, and scored the first touchdown of the game to give Smithfield the 6-0 lead.

"Our defense did a good job with gang tackling," Branch said. "And once we scored the attitude changed. They knew they could take the game over. PCD played well, the best game I've seen them play and I've seen five of their games."

The Knights then went three and out to give Smithfield back the ball. PCD helped give the Sentinels better field position on a penalty during a pass play, Cotoia to Roman to get a first down and get into PCD territory. Cotoia used Roman to run outside while White got the ball to barrel through the middle.

"Riley White ran the ball hard," Branch said. "It was a total team effort. Nero caught an interception and we had some fumble recoveries."

Roman scored the second touchdown for the Sentinels while White ran in the two-point conversion taking a 14-0 lead.

The Sentinels tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter while their defense remained solid if not a little boisterous. Jordan Smith was not only excited about his sacks but also for his fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.

"Jordan has to learn how to control his emotions play to play," Branch said. "But he is an edge player."

The Sentinels started the fourth with the ball on second down at the PCD 30-yard line.

After a false start, Roman made a nice run almost getting his third touchdown but was knocked out at the four. White got to do the honors, getting the feed from Cotoia and breaking the plane for the score. Roman got the extra two points.

After a hard hit by Smith on the kick return, Smith forced a fumble to give Smithfield back possession that would lead to another touchdown.

On that drive Cotoia used running back Michael Mollo and Mabray. The first three plays went to Mollo while the other three went to Mabray. Mabray scored the touchdown with just over eight minutes left to play.

John Fox then recovered the ball from Smithfield on the kick return but the Sentinels were stopped at the PCD 37.

They got the ball back on Nero's interception that would give the Sentinels to run a few last plays before running down the clock for the 28-0 win.

The Sentinels have another must-win game in North Smithfield Friday as they try to steal a playoff spot. Branch said that they hope to have Albert Kishfy back by Thanksgiving since he has been out with an injury since the Exeter/West Greenwich game. Austin Kane will not return and is out for the season with a concussion.

Ponaganset lost, 35-6 against undefeated Mount Pleasant as the Zieh brothers, Guei and Albert, scored all of the Kilties points.

The Chiefains hung tough in the first half and trailed only 7-0 at intermission, but Mount Pleasant put together a 21-point third quarter and took control.

The Chieftains lone score came from Derek Santos on a five-yard run.

Ponaganset is 1-5 in Division III and was scheduled to play at Tiverton Saturday.

Sctuate High School had a bye last week and is scheduled to travel to undfeated North Providence on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Spartans are 2-2 in Division IV play.