Chiefs edged by 49ers in season opener

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The CLCF Chiefs 13U football team dropped its season opener, 7-6, to the Providence 49ers at Cranston Stadium on Sunday evening.

Providence received the ball first and started at its own 39-yard line. First, Judah Varfley rushed eight yards to the 47. Next, Sharif Correia rushed four yards across midfield for a first down. However, the Providence offense stalled out after that, only getting to the CLCF 40 before it was stuffed on fourth down.

The Chiefs took over at their own 36. Fullback Riordan Perrino carried the ball twice for 13 yards, taking the ball to the Providence 49.

Early in the second quarter, CLCF quarterback Peter Habchi completed a pass to Thomas Francese III to the 32. Two plays later, Habchi found Perrino for a 9-yard reception to the 18. After a false start penalty pushed the offense back, Noah Sclama plowed 16 yards to the 12. On the ensuing play, Habchi threw to the end zone, but it was dropped by Francese III. CLCF was unable to convert following that and Providence took over deep in its own territory.

At halftime, the game was scoreless.

CLCF received the second half kickoff and its offense started from its own 39. On first and second down, Jordan Bou totaled nine yards on the ground, taking it to the CLCF 48.

Midway through the third quarter, Habchi had a minor injury and came out of the game for two plays. Bou ran the wildcat while the quarterback recovered, but on that play Bou suffered a dislocated elbow and was forced to leave the game himself.

When Habchi returned to the game, the quarterback connected with Francese III, who brought it to the Providence 27. Then, Perrino carried it three times for 14 yards and brought it to the 13 to end the third quarter.

Habchi started the fourth with a quarterback draw for five yards. Then, Perrino ran two times for eight yards and found pay dirt, giving CLCF a 6-0 edge. The extra point attempt fell incomplete, however.

“Habchi played amazing, especially after he got hurt and came out,” CLCF head coach Ron Robert said. “It was really tough for us losing Jordan Bou...He was probably already at like 65 yards rushing in the game. So, we have our other fullback Riory Perrino, he picked up a lot of the load.”

Providence started its drive from its own 40. On first down, quarterback Jacob Garcia fired to Varfley, who caught it for a 25-yard reception to the CLCF 36.

Moments later, Sharif Correia rushed 13 yards to the 19. Next, Jayden Mcalpine ran it to the 12. Lastly, Varfley rushed left for a touchdown, tying the game at 6. Then, Garcia ran a quarterback keeper right to score the extra point, giving Providence a 7-6 lead.

On its next possession, CLCF took advantage of a pass interference penalty to get across midfield. However, it would get just shy of the Providence 40 before it would turn the ball over on downs with 2:23 to play.

“Seven to six is a tough loss,” Robert said. “We dropped one pass in the end zone, we got stopped on fourth-and-1, and we lost Jordan. So, those three things, if one of them wouldn’t have happened, we probably would have won that game.”

The coach took some positives out of the opener and he looks forward to a solid season ahead for his squad.

“I think it was a great effort by the kids,” Robert said. “Last year, we were 1-9, and to come out and only lose our first game 6-7 is a great accomplishment for these kids. So, I think we’ve got a good season ahead of us.”

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