In what was probably the largest crowd to ever watch a football game at Hendricken High School, the inexperienced Bishop Hendricken Hawks took down their cross state rival, La Salle tonight, 21-7, in a much anticipated and highly spirited matchup in Warwick, RI.
The Hawks jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, led mostly by a potent ground attack and a stout defensive effort.
It didn’t matter that the Hawks had 24 players from last season’s team graduate.
Sophomore quarterback Thomas Comella threw a touchdown pass and rushed for a TD on a fourth-down run to lead his team.
In the second half , LaSalle got back in the game on what would end up being their only touchdown as Jake Ribeiro scampered in for a 5-yard TD run.
But Comella came up with a big pass play hitting Santana for a 52 year strike down to the LaSalle 3 yard line setting up the insurance score and the two-point conversion to seal the victory.
Surrounded by La Salle defenders as he dropped back to pass at midfield, Comella scrambled out of trouble and tossed a short pass to Angel Sanchez in the middle of the field. Sanchez broke past a couple of La Salle defenders and sprinted 45 yards down the left side into the end zone with 32 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
“Our defense, our offensive, our blocking, it was a great team effort,” said Croft. “I’m so proud of the kids and the coaches.”
The La Salle defense settled down in the second quarter and held the Hawks scoreless for 12 minutes, but the Hawks carried the 13-0 lead into halftime.
La Salle received a break only three minutes into the second half when the Rams got the ball on the Hendricken 45 after a Hawks’ miscue on a punt attempt.
A few minutes later a 19-yard touchdown run by Rams quarterback Andrew Wright was called back because of a penalty. But only a few plays after that, the Rams finally got on the scoreboard on Jake Ribeiro’s 5-yard TD run.
But Cormella delivered another big play later in the third quarter when he found Santana racing down the left sideline and hit him with a long pass that covered 52 yards before he was stopped on the La Salle 3-yard line.
The La Salle defense stopped three rushes up the middle, but on a fourth down from the 1-yard line, Comella faked a handoff into the middle and rolled to the left into the end zone. He then hit Angel Santana with a conversion toss, giving the Hawks a 21-7 lead with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter.
To view full game replay, go HERE.