C.F. escapes with 6-0 win over NP

C.F. escapes with 6-0 win over NP

North Providence seniors Antonio Pereira, #52, and Malaciah Turnipseed, #63, and junior Frank Tseytlin, #56, team up to sack Central Falls senior quarterback Luis Gonzalez for one of the Cougars’ three sacks in last Saturday afternoon’s game at Serio Field. The Cougars turned in an excellent job defensively, but suffered a 6-0 loss that was their fourth straight defeat. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
Football team plays well on ‘D’, but gets shut out for third time in four games

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Defensively, North Providence did its part to defeat Central Falls in last Saturday afternoon’s regular-season finale at Serio Field and halt a three-game losing streak that ruined the Cougars’ bid to return to the Division III playoffs.

Offensively, the Cougars produced 232 yards of real estate, but were unable to capitalize on five trips inside the Warriors’ 35-yard line. Throw in three turnovers, a handful of dropped passes, and a few penalties that came at inopportune times, and you have the makings of a 6-0 victory by the Warriors.

The loss dropped the Cougars’ D-III record to 1-6 and overall mark to 2-7, and the shutout defeat was their third in their last four games. The Warriors, who won the D-III championship last season and last lost to NP in 2015, entered last weekend’s game with losses in three of their last four contests that also knocked them out of the playoff hunt, but they improved to 3-4 in the division and 4-5 overall.

And the Warriors picked up this win despite totaling just 215 yards of offense and also turning the ball over three times, but they put together an effective eight-play, 75-yard drive midway through the second quarter that resulted in a nine-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Luis Gonzalez to his classmate, wideout Darryl Fleurantin, with 4:51 on the clock.

Fleurantin also added a key catch two plays earlier with a nine-yard reception on fourth-and-seven that brought the ball to the Cougars’ 13, and senior tight end Jaquell Christal delivered the biggest grab when he reeled in a screen pass and took it 54 yards down NP’s sideline to give the Warriors the ball at the NP 25.

Midway through the third quarter, it appeared that the Cougars were going to tie the score and possibly take the lead with the ensuing extra-point attempt when junior fullback Stanley Duchatelier broke free for a 41-yard touchdown run, but that was called back by a holding penalty.

Two plays later, NP senior quarterback Tim Walker was intercepted by defensive back Andreni Maldonado, who grabbed the ball out of the air near the Cougars’ sideline after it bounced out of the hands of a wide receiver.

Those were just two of the mistakes that haunted the Cougars and kept them chasing the Warriors on the scoreboard.

“Obviously, you can’t make the mistakes that we made today,” added NP head coach Glenn Williams. “If we got that touchdown, maybe we would have won this game, but you can’t make mistakes and win ballgames.”

The Cougars’ best drive of the five that they brought inside the C.F. 35 came in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, as a 36-yard pass from Walker to senior Colin Anzeveno, followed by an 18-yard run by Walker, brought the ball from the NP 27 to the Warriors’ 19.

But after two plays resulted in a loss of a yard, Walker tried to hit junior Josthin Gonzalez with a pass in the far right corner of the end zone, but it was picked off by defensive back Exsavior Vasquez.

Despite the two interceptions, Walker turned in a solid effort, not only passing for 114 yards, but also running for 55 more on a dozen carries. Defensively, Walker also picked off a pass by Gonzalez with 1:10 to play in the first quarter.

Even though the regular season is over, the Cougars will appear in two more games, a consolation game against Hope that is expected to take place on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Cougars’ field, and NP’s Thanksgiving Day exhibition against neighboring Smithfield on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 10 a.m. at the Sentinels’ Boyle Athletic Complex.

North Providence sophomore tailback Jevon Melendez has his sights set on picking up a first down as Central Falls freshman defensive back Alex Maia closes in on him. The Cougars will next host Hope in a consolation game that is expected to take place on Friday night.