EAST GREENWICH - The outcome following Friday night’s showdown between a rebuilding West Warwick group and a veteran squad from East Greenwich came as a surprise to no one.
From start to finish, the Avengers were the better team, a reality backed up by their decisive 41-14 victory which kept their perfect season afloat at 6-0 and one game left to go.
Dominant showings have been nothing new for EG this season with all six of their victories coming by no fewer than 20 points. The Wizards were just the latest team to figure that out.
Avenger head coach John George used the game as an opportunity to get his non-starters in on the action following a dominant showing out of the gate.
“I thought the older guys, they were just in there for a little bit, but they did what they were supposed to do,” he said.
The Avengers built a 27-7 lead for themselves by the break with quarterback Grant Driscoll connecting on a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver Conrad Swanson for two of the home team’s scores. His first TD pass went for 75 yards, while the second went for 58. He would also connect with Jack Matus on a short pass into the end zone, one of two TD catches for the receiver by night’s end.
From there, it was the lesser known players leading the way, much to their coach’s delight.
“I was really happy with my young guys,” George said. “They got in there and got a lot of snaps, made some mistakes, but then I think, made some adjustments and got a little bit better.”
Swanson’s backup, Parke Hardesky had a big night, throwing for a pair of touchdowns, one to Matus, the other to Jack Farrelly, while a 21-yard pick six interception by Matthew Licciardi rounded out EG’s scoring for the game.
“I was really happy with Parke Hardesky. I thought he made some good choices,” George said of the second string quarterback.
“My backup running backs, Jonah Hill and Steven Maloof I thought played really well and (Ryan) Macauley and (Jack) Matus made some nice catches as well,” he said of the other contributions, glad that the victory was a widely shared experience.
“It was good night for us to get some different guys on the field, get them some experience, so I was pleased,” said George.
EG will look to go 7-0 tomorrow night as they close out the regular season on the road at Johnston with a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Despite the Panthers’ sub .500 record, George knows that his team cannot afford to take them lightly.
“They’ve got some studs on their team,” he said. “They look like they have a couple of receivers who are six-four, they’ve got a quarterback who’s athletic and can throw it, so they’re going to give us some problems with some of the things they do offensively.”
The Wizards (0-6) will also close out the regular season tomorrow on the road as they head to Providence to take on Classical at 6 p.m.
The Purple (1-5) represent the Wizards’ last chance to get a league win on the board this season, one that has been a trying one to say the least.
“We’re getting there, we’re improving,” head coach Dave Caito said, staying optimistic about his freshman and sophomore-based team.
The hope on West Warwick’s part is that they will one day be where EG currently is from a talent standpoint.
“That’s who we’re hoping to be,” said Caito. “They’re not big, but they’re very well-coached, they’re athletic and they do all of the little things right.”
Offensively, freshman running back DionDre Chase led the way for West Warwick in the loss, scoring both of their touchdowns on a 14-yard run and a six-yard run.
Defensively, the Wizards had trouble slowing EG’s passing game, while displaying more success slowing their running game.
“It’s tough, they’ve got some great athletes out there,” said Caito.
“We tried to play a little bit of man and they burned us on it. We played decent against the run.”
While the end result was all too familiar, the Wizards’ head coach credited his team for holding their heads high.
“I’m pleased with the kids’ attitudes. They know the situation,” he said.
Tomorrow’s game against Classical serves as the first of three final contests this year, as the Wizards look to close out the season on a high note.
“That’s our goal: to win the last three,” said Caito. After Classical, West Warwick will play a non-league game against a team to be named later before taking on Coventry in their annual Thanksgiving Day showdown.
Follow Nick Cantor on Twitter @cantornick