Area football teams play underdog roles on Thanksgiving

Area football teams play underdog roles on Thanksgiving

Ponaganset hosts Burrillville under Wednesday night lights; Scituate, Smithfield host holiday rivals

GLOCESTER – The area’s three high school football teams – Ponaganset, Scituate, and Smithfield – will enter their respective Thanksgiving Day games as underdogs, as the Rhode Island Interscholastic League turns its attention from last weekend’s Super Bowls to a 20-game holiday schedule that gets underway on Wednesday night.

Six games are on tap for Wednesday, including the first night game in the 34-year history of the Ponaganset-Burrillville rivalry, which will take place at 6 p.m. on the Chieftains’ campus.

Both teams fell one victory short of reaching their respective Super Bowls two weekends ago by suffering close losses in their semifinal-round games.

The Chieftains lost to the eventual Division IV champion North Smithfield/Mount Saint Charles co-op squad, 24-21, on a late field goal, and the high-powered Broncos suffered its first Division II loss of the year by falling to Mount Pleasant in triple overtime, 46-40.

Ponaganset, which will take a 6-4 mark into this week’s matchup, trails in the holiday series, 19-14. Burrillville has won the last five meetings.

The N.S./Mount co-op team, meanwhile, will carry over the momentum from its program’s first title into its Thanksgiving Day matchup against Scituate on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Spartans’ new turf complex.

While the co-op team takes a perfect record into the game, the Spartans will sport a 2-7 mark, with both victories coming against first-year Davies. N.S./Mount leads the series, 7-4, and has won the last two Turkey Day games by a combined 83-0 score.

Smithfield will also host North Providence in the 49th meeting of their Thanksgiving Day rivalry on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Boyle Athletic Complex.

The Cougars will enter this game with a 3-7 overall record that includes a 1-6 mark in Division III play. Their league victory came on Oct. 4 on their Homecoming Day game against the Sentinels, 39-0, but NP went on to drop its next four contests and get shut out in three of them.

As for the Sentinels, they have had a nightmarish year that saw them lose their first nine games, all of them by 24 or more points, and fail to score in seven of them.

But Smithfield broke into the win column in its non-league game against Scituate on Nov. 16 by soaring to a 42-21 victory. NP also picked up its third win that day by rolling past Hope, 40-12.

Smithfield leads the holiday series, 26-21-1, but NP has won five of the last six meetings.