Falcons bounce Raiders from Div. I playoffs

Falcons bounce Raiders from Div. I playoffs

Cranston West scores TDs on first three possessions, captures quarterfinal-round duel, 34-14

CRANSTON – For the second straight year, the Shea High football team’s postseason ended in the quarterfinals, but unlike last season, the Raiders fell in the Division I playoffs, suffering a 34-14 defeat to Cranston West last Saturday night at Cranston Stadium.

Last season, the Raiders hosted Westerly in the Division II quarterfinals. It was cold and raw, and the Raiders fell, 32-7. From there, the Raiders were elevated to Division I and posted a 3-4 mark in the state’s top division. They had won their first three games, including their season-opening non-leaguer with Lincoln, before losing to Cumberland, 20-14.

The Raiders rebounded after that loss to defeat Barrington, 27-10, but proceeded to lose their next four games.

“Our first year in D-I, we did some good things, but I thought we could have done better,” Shea head coach Dino Campopiano said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t tonight.”

Because of last Friday night’s forecasted rain and high winds, the game was moved to Saturday night. Last Friday was balmy and did not hold much rain until later in the night, while on the other hand, Saturday night was cold and windy. The wind decided to pick up toward halftime and did not let up until Cranston West was celebrating its victory.

The Raiders’ defense was basically non-existent in the first quarter, as the Falcons scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. Shea scored a touchdown with 3:17 left in the quarter, as a 48-yard pass from quarterback Eric Palmer to Gregory Williams set up a four-yard touchdown run by Malik Jackson, but the Falcons went into the second quarter with a 20-7 lead.

Shea’s defense rebounded in the middle quarters of the game, received an interception from Travaughn Famogun in the third quarter, and didn’t allow another score until the final quarter, but the Raiders didn’t get back on the board until midway through that quarter on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Palmer to Jaylen Smith.

The Raiders were also 1-for-6 on fourth-down conversions in the game.

“Cranston West, definitely in the first quarter, controlled us up front and moved the ball real well,” Campopiano added. “Offensively, we definitely settled down and had our opportunities to score, but we didn’t. I just thought tonight Cranston West was definitely the better team and deserved to win.”

Brennan Stetson scored three touchdowns to lead the way for the Falcons, and quarterback Cameron Alves threw a touchdown pass and scored a TD on the ground.

Campopiano said that his team did not come out and produce, despite knowing they were playing a good team.

“There was dropped passes and missed tackles,” he said. “You have to go out there and play.”

Shea still has one game left to play, its Thanksgiving Eve exibition game at Max Read Field against Tolman, which begins the Division III playoffs on Saturday, playing Pilgrim at 3:30 p.m.