WATCH CATHOLIC MEMORIAL AT BISHOP HENDRICKEN – LIVE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1 AT 7PM ON YURVIEW NE (COX CHANNEL 4) OR STREAMING HERE.
It’s being hailed as a matchup pitting the best high school football team in Rhode Island against the cream of the crop from Massachusetts.
Bishop Hendricken, winners of 10 of the past 11 state titles, will welcome Catholic Memorial – off to a 2-0 start this season following a 4-0 showing during the 2021 “Fall II” season – for a 7 p.m. game Friday night. The two teams have agreed to a home-and-home series with the Hawks set to return the favor next season by visiting West Roxbury, Mass.
“There’s a certain level we have to raise our program to and I’ve been consistent with that message for years now. We definitely need to start playing teams from around the region who are traditional powers,” said Hendricken head coach Keith Croft. “I think our kids and coaches deserve the challenge.”
A quick history lesson: From 1980-81, Hendricken and Catholic Memorial scrimmaged twice with the Hawks prevailing in a league game.
Who should fans (and Yurview viewers) keep an eye on? Ask and ye shall receive. Below is a checklist to help you get game ready. Let’s begin with the away team.
WHEN CATHOLIC MEMORIAL PASSES:
Junior quarterback J.C. Petrongolo has a few options when he drops back to survey the landscape. Two weeks ago in CM’s 42-26 win over La Salle Academy, Jaedn Skeete converted two passes from his classmate Petrongolo into touchdowns. Mervens Amazan is a junior receiver who’s listed at 6-foot-3. Junior Boubacar Traore is an option at tight end.
WHEN CATHOLIC MEMORIAL RUNS:
Datrell Jones and Carson Harwood are a talented junior tandem who have earned Catholic Conference All-Star status. They’re known to be a load. Last season, the pair combined to rush for 287 yards in a 49-24 win over St. John’s Prep. Jones has already committed to Boston College.
WHEN CATHOLIC MEMORIAL IS ON DEFENSE:
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Traore can line up on the edge and also inside. He’s another Boston College commit.
The D-line also includes senior leader Tom Crean and T.J. Roberson. Junior Brady McGowan and senior Kyle King anchor the linebacking unit. The secondary features Max Tucker, Devin Marshall, and David Afogho.
WHEN CATHOLIC MEMORIAL IS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Wearing No. 86, senior Jack Sokol handles field goals and PATs. Skeete and Jones are two of the go-to guys to return punts and kickoffs.
WHEN BISHOP HENDRICKEN PASSES:
The Hawks are turning to a first-year starter at quarterback for the third time in as many seasons. Stepping in is senior David Lynch, someone who per Kroft, “is a senior and someone who’s paid his dues. He’s been very effective for us.”
“We got Noland back recently. He’s just a big target. He runs well and is athletic,” said Croft.
WHEN BISHOP HENDRICKEN RUNS:
Senior Kamalie Pemberton teams up with fellow 12th grader Synsere Fernandes to give Hendricken some speed and power. Brandyn Durand is more known as a defensive force, yet he can also bring it whether he’s charging out of the backfield or lining up at receiver.
“Kamalie is the shift guy while Synsere does a little bit of everything. He hits the hole hard while Durand is a bull,” said Croft.
WHEN BISHOP HENDRICKEN IS ON DEFENSE:
A two-time All-State selection at defensive end, Durand figures to go down as one of the most decorated football players in Hendricken history.
“He’s just a beast and one of those freak athletes,” said Croft about Durand. “He’s such a high-level baseball player that people don’t equate him as much to football, but he’s got all the tools. He’s a Power Five recruit if he chooses to be.”
Joining Durand in the trenches are seniors Garrett Burke and Luke Mead. Sophomore Rushaune Vilane has the chance to be Hendricken’s next big-ticket item on the recruiting front. Vilane already holds a scholarship offer from URI.
“He started with us as a freshman and is still getting meaningful time as a sophomore,” said Croft about Vilane.
At linebacker, the Hawks count on senior Gabe Franco, junior Jason Pilderian, and senior Andre Fisher. In a pinch, Croft will move Durand and Pemberton to linebacker. Most of the time, Pemberton lines up at safety. Junior Jawin Bodden is a hybrid-type with the ability to play close to the line of scrimmage and linebacker.
Besides Pemberton, the secondary features Bibby and Fernandes as well as sophomore Jayden Falcone.
WHEN BISHOP HENDRICKEN IS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Handling all aspects of the kicking game is junior Matthew Brock. Bibby showed his game-breaking ability in the return game in the league opener against Cranston East when he ran back the game’s first punt for a score. Sophomore Joel Felix can also run back punts and kickoffs.