By Russ Waterman
Four champions were crowned at the 2008 Rhode Island Interscholastic League Super Bowl games held at Cranston Stadium.
Division 1: LaSalle 31, Barrington 6
With senior quarterback Joe Charest directing the attack, LaSalle Academy broke open a close game in the second quarter to pull away from Barrington, 31-6, and win the Division 1 Super Bowl championship.
LaSalle was the only Rhode Island team to finish with a perfect record (12-0) and this marked the Rams' seventh Super Bowl finals appearance and third title in the past nine years.
Barrington (10-3) began the game by intercepting two passes. Eagles' running back Marc DeSisto bucked up the middle for a 64-yard romp into the end zone for a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.
Charest recovered by throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for a 30-yard touchdown after a fake handoff in a 28-point breakout second quarter.
Chosen for the Frank Mowry Memorial Most Valuable Player Award, Charest threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to a high-leaping Luke Francis and then saw Francis haul in a deflected 32-yard throw for a score at the end of the first half. The other Rams' score came on a Kendall Perry 43-yard touchdown run.
"The defense was awesome other than the 65-yard play the kid broke," Rams head coach Geoff Marcone said. "It's something they (defense) have been doing all year. Every game, they seemed to let a team get a touchdown on us, but then they came back and toughened up."
Division 2: South Kingstown 14, Tolman 6 (OT)
Who else but Tim Hazard would be called upon to run in for the winning score as South Kingstown (11-3) won its second consecutive Division 2 Super Bowl, 14-6, over Tolman.
Hazard, a 6-0, 190-pound senior running back who finished the season with 1,475 yards and 17 touchdowns, ran in untouched for a 10-yard score on the Rebels' first possession of the extra session. He followed up with a two-point conversion run.
South Kingstown quarterback Ben Hamill also threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Kane Noka.
Hazard also played a vital role as a linebacker for the Rebel defense, which twice held the Tigers (7-6) scoreless inside the 10-yard line, including Tolman's four tries from the 10 in overtime.
South Kingstown's consecutive Division 2 state titles marked first time that feat had been accomplished since Westerly in 2000 and 2001.
Division 3: Johnston 33, Tiverton 12
Senior quarterback Brandon Parillo threw three touchdown passes for Johnston (11-3) which completed an improbable run to the state title by handing previously-undefeated Tiverton (10-1) its first loss. It was the first state title for the Panthers since 1991, their only other championship season.
Parillo, the Frank Morey MVP award winner, led the Panthers back from a 12-0 deficit. Parillo's first scoring strikes went to Gregory Doutre for 53 yards and 1 yard, respectively.
Panthers' senior running back Nick Pistacchio also scored on a 31-yard touchdown run and Michael Conti (130 yards and 12 carries) also ran for a 25-yard touchdown.
Division 4: Exeter-West Greenwich 26, Middletown 6
Exeter-West Greenwich junior running back Adam Sweeney scored twice and rushed for 195 yards on 37 carries to spark the Scarlet Knights (11-2) to a decisive win over the Islanders (8-3) in the Division 4 Super Bowl
The running prowess of Sweeney, whose performance included an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and 31-yard scoring rush in the fourth, earned him the game’s Most Valuable Player award.
Scarlet Knight quarterback Zach Hornoff also scored on runs of four and six yards.
The Islanders were also held to just two first downs and 117 yards. Rico McCray scored on a catch-and-run play for 57 yards on a throw from quarterback Andrew Ponte for the Islanders' only touchdown.