Strong second half sends Townies past Falcons

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The Cranston West football team couldn’t hold its 14-12 halftime advantage on Friday night at Pierce Stadium, as East Providence stormed back with a pair of second-half touchdowns to down the Falcons, 24-14.

Townies’ running back Dion Hazard gave his team an early 6-0 lead when he outran defenders for a 26-yard touchdown on the fifth play from scrimmage.

After that, though, it was the Will Such show.

With 3:31 to go in the opening quarter, Such took a handoff and darted down the left sideline for a 54-yard score. Gianmarco Coppola De Almarza’s extra point gave West a 7-6 edge.

Such didn’t stop there.

Just over three minutes into the second quarter, he capped another drive with a 4-yard rush to pay dirt to up the road team’s advantage to 14-6.

Such totaled 86 yards on 13 carries to go along with his two touchdowns.

East Providence would answer, however, giving it some momentum heading into the half.

More than halfway through the second quarter, East Providence quarterback Ryan Ellinwood found his favorite target, Cameron Green, down the right sideline for a 27-yard strike and score to trim the West lead to 14-12 going into the break.

East Providence would make some adjustments on defense in the second half and, as a result, West couldn’t move the ball as fluently as it did in the opening 24 minutes.

The Townies’ offense continued to click, regaining the lead with 3:46 remaining in the third quarter.

On fourth-and-goal from the 9-yard line, Ellinwood fired a missile to Steve Simpson on a slant pattern, who muscled through coverage for the catch, giving East Providence an 18-14 lead.

With 7:16 left in the game, West was looking to punt, hoping for a defensive stop down just four points, but things wouldn’t work out as planned.

A botched snap led to a sack at West’s 3-yard line.

A couple plays later, Ellinwood powered in for a 24-12 Townies’ lead.

West pressed down the stretch to get on the board, but two more fumbles plagued its chances.

With the loss, the Falcons dropped to 0-4 in Division I-A, while East Providence improved to 2-3.

West will have a favorable matchup this Saturday, though, when it travels to Woonsocket for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Novans are also 0-4 and are coming off a 42-13 loss to St. Ray’s.

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