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WOOD RIVER JCT.â€”Quarterback Jesse Sedoma ran in three touchdowns and threw for another, helping Warwick Veterans overcome deficits and penalties to topple Chariho 26-14 in a hard-fought, back-and-forth Division II-A contest Friday night.
The Chargers came into the matchup 1-3 overall but had lost three straight division games.
After beating D-III Narragansett to start the season, they lost 32-0 to Coventry on Sept. 20, 32-6 to Westerly the next week and 24-8 to Mount Hope on Oct. 4.
The score has been getting closer each week and the young team has showed marked improvement in the opinion of their head coach, Mike Kelly.
â€śYou can almost see us growing up on the field, thereâ€™s definitely progress,â€ť Kelly said. â€śFrom me down to the smallest freshman â€“ we all want to see progress a little bit quicker but the reality is we are getting better.â€ť
After trading blows, turnovers, possessions and defensive stops, Adam Harvey scored first from 15 yards out. Chariho missed the point after, giving them a 6-0 advantage with a little over four minutes left in the first quarter.
Charihoâ€™s defense was ferocious early on, swarming Sedoma, the Vets running backs and backing the Hurricanes nearly into a safety.
A tough roughing the passer call in the end zone on a third-and-17 extended the Hurricaneâ€™s series and they capitalized, turning a few big plays into a 91-yard touchdown drive, ending with a 35-yard reception by Kyle Morrissette up the sideline. The Hurricanes made their PAT and took a 7-6 lead with 8:52 left before the half.
The Chargers defense made a late goal-line stand near the end of the half but a fumble while running down the clock led to another Sedoma quarterback sneak touchdown with 32 seconds left. The PAT was missed and time ran out on the half with the score 13-6.
Chariho started the second half similarly to the previous half, seemingly in control and scoring first. The offense matriculated 70 yards in 13 plays using a number of draws, options and a few pass plays. Tyler Bobbin and Sal DeSantis both picked up first downs with DeSantis accounting for 56 yards on the drive.
Blake James capped the drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown on a fourth-and-goal with 6:26 left to go in the third. Quarterback Jacob Rousseau added the two-point conversion giving them the temporary one-up at 14-13.
â€śWe had a lot of guys contribute offensively which was huge for us,â€ť Kelly said. â€śTonight was probably the most complete game weâ€™ve played â€“ offensively â€“ so far.â€ť
The fourth quarter started quirky for the Chargers when Nick Chartierâ€™s punt hit a teammate in the head, bounced and gave the Hurricanes manageable field position. Sedoma, who slipped out of ridiculous third-and-longs all night, managed a few more eye-popping scrambles, two more TDâ€™s from the one-yard line and another two-point conversion in the fourth to seal the game.
â€śHeâ€™s their best player and it showed, when they needed stuff he stepped up and made plays for them,â€ť Kelly said.
â€śThe big issue right now is weâ€™re just missing that complete game. We got three quarters tonight, maybe three quarters plus. When you play good football teams they take advantage of those couple of mistakes you might make.
â€śThe film shows us progress but out here we want to win, and thatâ€™s where weâ€™re at and thatâ€™s what happens with young guys.â€ť