By Russ Waterman
Division 1 unbeaten La Salle Academy received a scare from Bishop Hendricken before rallying to defeat the Hawks, 42-21, last week.
Trailing by 21-14 early in the first half, the Rams recovered with four touchdowns while shutting down the Hawks. Gus DelFarno had two TD runs, quarterback Joe Charest added another and Kendell Perry returned an interception for another score.
The Hawks' Matt Brown scored on three TD passes (55, 14 and 1 yards) from quarterback Tom Verdi.
La Salle has an intriguing non-league encounter this week when it hosts Medicine Hat of Alberta, Canada, on Friday night at Cimini Stadium in Providence.
Rams head coach Geoff Marcone said he tried to get a New England school to fill the schedule but then was contacted by Dan Hodges of Sports Classic Tours in California.
"He lined us up with Medicine Hat, which is about the same size as our school and a lot of Division 1 schools (La Salle has 1,400 students and Medicine Hat 1,275). They are already in the states and are touring Washington, D.C, and Newport."
The Green and White Mohawks will play American rules.
"They normally have 12 men and can have two men in motion going any way they want,"
Marcone says of the adjustments his Canadian counterparts will have to make, including playing on a shorter, narrower field. “They play in Tier 2 in Canada and they just defeated their cross-town rival, 51-0, so they must be pretty good. I think it will be a very good game."
Barrington, the only other undefeated Division 1 team left, tuned up for its Saturday showdown with Portsmouth with a surprisingly easy 35-7 triumph at East Providence.
Eagles quarterback Stephen Crawford threw for three touchdown strikes and kicked five point-after conversions. Mike Read had two TD runs of 42 and 12 and scored on a 42-yard pass reception for another score
Westerly remains the only undefeated Division 2A team after a 35-6 victory over Tolman. Mike McLeod scored twice on runs of 17 yards and another on a 64-yard pass play and quarterback Brandon Moore threw two scoring strikes.
Riding the arm of quarterback Robert Bentsen and a strong defense, Warwick Vets prevailed, 26-0, over Chariho. Bentsen threw two touchdowns, including a 12-yard strike to Dave Wentworth and a 72-yard reception to Jared Coffey.
In Division 2B, Cumberland earned its first victory of the season, 24-9, with an upset over host Toll Gate, behind an outstanding 220-yard, two-touchdown performance by running back David Elkas.
Clipper quarterback Dan Canavan also threw for three touchdown passes, including one to Elkas for 29 yards, another to Joe Vecchio for 42 yards and a short one-yarder to Evan Patrick.
"We played great, it was our best effort of the year," Cumberland coach Rick Reetz said. "We controlled the lines of scrimmage both ways and had just one breakdown on offense. Hopefully we can build on this performance.
"We definitely put pressure on their quarterback," Reetz said of keeping All-Stater Doug Johnson off balance all game. "He (Johnson) is one of the best ever in the state I have seen but David Elkas also proved today he ranks right up there as one of the best in our division this year, too."
Johnson did score on a five-yard run in the second quarter and threw passes of 62 and 33 yards to Joe Ritchotte, but the Titans were plagued by offensive mistakes while being pressured by the Clippers defense most of the game.
Pete Smurro scored five touchdowns, including the game-winner as time ran out, to keep Narragansett undefeated in a nail-biting victory, 44-38, over Johnston.
Narragansett escaped with a last-second win over Johnston when Smurro snared a 27-yard pass from quarterback Brendan Kenney as time ended.
Hope and Exeter-West Greenwich are deadlocked in first place following easy victories during the weekend.
Hope had four big plays of 50 yards or more in overwhelming North Smithfield, 44-14. Fidel Wright had TD runs of 65 and 50 yards, Jamaal Stevens added a 60-yard kickoff return and Corey Mangum returned an interception for 55 yards for the unbeaten Blue Wave.
Zach Hornoff threw three touchdown passes of 40 yards, including two to Joseph Ferle and another to Keith Greenhalgh, for a 33-7 win over Scituate. Alfred Georgio added a 70-yard kickoff return for a score and Adam Sweeney added a 50-yard TD run for the Scarlet Knights.
Russ Waterman covers Massachusetts and Rhode Island for MaxPreps. He may be reached at email@example.com