WATCH CENTRAL AT BISHOP HENDRICKEN – LIVE MONDAY, OCTOBER 18 AT 7PM ON YURVIEW NE (COX CHANNEL 4) OR STREAMING HERE.
It’s a high school football matchup featuring defending champ versus defending champ.
Bishop Hendricken and Central are coming off the Spring 2021 season where both finished atop their respective mountains. For the Hawks, it was business as usual as Keith Croft’s program claimed their 10th state title in 11 years.
For the Knights, capturing the Division I (non-state) championship represented new territory for a program that has waited a long stretch to return to the winner’s circle. You have to go back to 1994 to find the last time Central won a Super Bowl. Now under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Washington, the Knights are looking to keep the good times rolling against an opponent that knows a thing or two about maintaining success.
In terms of playoff seeding, Monday’s winner figures to possess the inside track to clinching the top seed in the Division I-A subdivision. Hendricken sits at 2-0 in league play while the Knights stand at 2-1.
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 CENTRAL PASSES:
Felix Rodrigues was the quarterback under center when the Knights held on for a 13-12 win over East Greenwich in last year’s Division I Super Bowl. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Rodriguez attempted three passes when Central prevailed on the road in a 13-7 win against Portsmouth on Sept. 24.
When Central attacks downfield, Rodrigues will be looking for junior Jaiden Newmann – a 6-foot-1 target who caught two touchdown passes in a season-opening 35-0 nonleague win over Mount Pleasant.
WHEN CENTRAL RUNS:
Junior Armase Edouard announced his presence with a 150-yard outburst on just eight carries against those aforementioned Kilties. He also has a penchant for finding the end zone, witnessed by his two-score game against the Patriots. He also has the ability to score at any point on the field. When Central hung a 33-0 whitewashing on Cranston West two Fridays ago, Edouard broke free for a 54-yard touchdown.
Keep an eye on Edouard’s classmate. Against the Falcons, Theron Zarwea totaled two touchdowns that covered 69 and 33 yards, respectively. Senior Judah Varfley represents another option on the ground.
WHEN CENTRAL IS ON DEFENSE:
Much of this unit’s prowess can be traced to the tenacious play of three players: Prince Kweh (senior linebacker), Jordy Fernandez (senior lineman, last year’s Super Bowl MVP), and Kareem Jeffries-Hazard (senior lineman). All three were selected First Team All-Division from the 2021 spring season.
One thing is certain. The Knights’ defense has been a tough nut to crack. On the season, Central is allowing an average of 6.7 points per game against Division I opponents.
WHEN CENTRAL IS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Knights turn to senior Murahamine Kuyateh when the time comes to line up for point-after tries.
WHEN HENDRICKEN PASSES:
Senior David Lynch is in his first season as the Hawks’ starting quarterback. In two games against RIIL competition, Lynch has completed 12-of-17 passes for 266 yards. Through four games, Lynch has thrown five touchdowns compared to four interceptions.
If Hendricken’s plan to combat Central’s defensive line is going to come to fruition, Lynch will need to get the ball into the hands of Peter Bibby, Andrew Noland, and Teighan Jeremy. We’re talking about three senior wideouts who have combined for 461 receiving yards.
WHEN HENDRICKEN RUNS:
Senior Kamalie Pemberton is tops in rushing yards (181 on 19 carries) while sophomore Jayden Falcone owns the team’s lone 100-yard rushing game. Against Massachusetts power Catholic Memorial on Oct. 1, Falcone rushed for 118 yards on five carries with 81 of those yards coming on a touchdown run.
With 118 yards on 26 carries for the season, senior Synsere Fernandes represents another key runner for the Hawks. Hendricken will also utilize senior Brandyn Durand (83 rushing yards on the season with two TDs).
WHEN HENDRICKEN IS ON DEFENSE:
The Hawks have allowed just one touchdown against in-state competition. At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Durand draws plenty of attention which benefits senior Luke Mead (team-high three sacks) and senior Gabriel Franco (team-best 15 tackles).
Hendricken has produced three interceptions. Among the regulars, Bibby and junior Eze Wali have one INT apiece.
WHEN HENDRICKEN IS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Junior Matthew Brock is 13-of-16 on PAT tries and also is back there on kickoffs and punts. Brock and Bibby represent the top two options to return kicks.