Hope spoils Davies’ D-IV debut

Hope spoils Davies’ D-IV debut

Davies Tech sophomore tailback Joe Brooks, #23, slips past a Hope defensive back to score the first touchdown in the program’s history with 1:43 to play in last Saturday’s game. Unfortunately for the Patriots, the Blue Wave won the game, 28-6. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
Young Patriots suffer 28-6 defeat, pay visit to J.S./PCD’s co-op football squad on Saturday

PROVIDENCE – Rome wasn’t built in a day. And high school football programs aren’t built after a month of workouts, an Injury Fund scrimmage, and two varsity games.

And for the first-year Davies Tech football team, there’s still plenty of work that clearly needs to be done this season, and that was evident in the Patriots’ Division IV opener last Saturday afternoon on the road against Hope.

Five turnovers, only 87 yards of offense, and some sloppy tackling were among the things that doomed the Patriots and helped the Blue Wave overcome a rash of penalties and come away with a 28-6 victory.

It was a tough loss for the Patriots, who to their defense, saw most of their players suiting up for just the third games of their young lives. The first was a 6-0 defeat to Shea’s second and third-string players in a two-quarter Injury Fund test 16 days earlier, and the second was a 9-0 loss to Scituate in the teams’ non-league opener the previous weekend at Pariseau Field.

Like their losses to the Raiders and Spartans, the Patriots’ youth and inexperience in last Saturday’s loss were as bright as day, but like those two losses, there were quite a few positives for Davies, as well as a valuable lesson or two that were learned on the gridiron.

“It’s a learning process,” Davies head coach Henry Cabral added. “We knew what we signed up for, and I know over time, we’ll get better.”

“This season is a foundation,” Cabral continued. “We always talk about that. These seniors are going to lead the way, these younger kids are going to get better every day, and everyone’s going to work hard. And that’s one thing they will do. They’re going to work hard.”

Among the positives in last Saturday’s game? The Patriots scored the program’s first touchdown, when with 1:43 to play in the contest and the Blue Wave’s starters on the field, trying to preserve the shutout, sophomore tailback Joe Brooks scored on a two-yard run by outracing a defensive back around the left pylon.

In the discipline department, Hope gave a two-thumbs-down showing by amassing 14 penalties for 142 yards, including seven of the 15-yard variety. The Patriots, meanwhile, picked up just three yellow flags for 15 yards, an improvement from the seven they received for 35 yards in their loss to Scituate.

And after allowing 202 yards to the Blue Wave and totaling just 28 of their own in the opening half, the Patriots tightened up their defense and outgained Hope in the second half, 59-49.

“I thought we played a better second half than we did in the first (half),” Cabral added. “We were much more competitive. Eventually it’s going to click in their heads, but we know what we’re here for.”

Hope brought a 20-0 lead into halftime, but Davies nearly got on the board midway through the second quarter on a drive from their 20 to the Blue Wave’s 15 that was aided by 60 yards of penalties from the hosts. Unfortunately for the Patriots, they turned the ball over on downs, and Hope came back to score its third touchdown with just 29.6 seconds left in the half.

Prior to the drive that led to Brooks’ touchdown, Davies worked the ball inside the red zone again at the start of the fourth quarter, but on first-and-10 at the Hope 18, sophomore quarterback Matt Patenaude was intercepted in the end zone.

But Patenaude highlighted that drive by carrying the ball three times for 32 yards, and he concluded the contest with 58 yards on the ground on seven carries, as well as 17 more yards through the air.

“Matt did a nice job,” said Cabral, who also saw junior linebacker Trae Warren recover a Hope fumble in the second quarter. “In the first half, Joe Brooks was hurt a little bit, so that threw our gameplan off, But Hope came out strong, and they were tough. This is their home field, and they didn’t want to lose on it.”

In the Patriots’ defeat to Scituate, their defense didn’t allow a touchdown, but the Spartans were able to score their points on a safety in the second quarter and a 43-yard punt return for a TD by Scituate senior Ryan Farias with 6:48 to play in the game.

Offensively, Patenaude completed six of his 19 passes (all of them to senior slot receiver) T.J. Lach for 92 yards, and defensively, the Patriots, who had three sacks in the contest, saw senior tackle Angel Cepeda record the program’s first turnover by recovering a Spartan fumble.

“For us to be where we’re at – we’re getting better, I have to say that,” Cabral added. “A lot of the kids who are younger – like Ceristel Rodriguez, a freshman who’s starting at cornerback and playing tough; sophomore Anthony Silva, a fullback and linebacker, and Trae Warren – are really doing a great job.”

“And I’m proud of a senior like T.J. Lach who probably hasn’t played football since he was six, but comes out here and plays tough,” Cabral continued. “A lot of kids are doing a lot of good things.”

The Patriots will be back in action on Saturday at 11 a.m. with a non-league contest against the Juanita Sanchez/Providence Country Day co-op team on PCD’s campus in East Providence.

Davies sophomore quarterback Matt Patenaude, shown throwing a pass to an open receiver near the Patriots’ sideline in the first quarter, did the bulk of his damage on the ground, as he picked up 58 yards on seven carries.
Davies head coach Henry Cabral, right, talks to his offense during a time-out in last Saturday afternoon’s Division IV game in Providence against Hope. The first-year Patriots suffered a 28-6 loss.