The Cranston West Falcons were overwhelmed by the Marshfield Rams, 44-8, on Friday night in their season opener, a non-conference contest at Cranston Stadium. The Falcons got on the board first, but after that it, was all Marshfield.
“It was a good game, a good measuring stick for us,” Cranston West head coach Steve Stoehr said. “I thought our kids held their own in the first half, minus the turnovers. I think there are a lot of positives in this game. Last week, we came to the fight and we didn’t fight until maybe halfway through the second quarter. This week, I thought the kids fought. In the beginning, they took it to them.”
The Falcons won the coin toss and chose to receive, starting from their own 20-yard line. Senior Nick Dionizio got the start at quarterback. On second down, Dionizio completed a pass to Cam Harris, a senior receiver, who took it eight yards for a first down. Sophomore Cam Alves rushed left for a huge gain on the next play, and earned the Falcons another first down at the Marshfield 22. On third down, Dionizio threw a dump pass to Matt Carvalho for a 6-yard gain to the 11. On the next play, Alves ran right to the 10 while continuing to move the chains. With 8:31 remaining in the first quarter, Dionizio threw a bullet to Harris, who took it in for a touchdown. Senior running back Will Such ran in the 2-point conversion afterward to give West an early 8-0 advantage.
After a touchback, Marshfield started from its own 20. After getting stuffed on first down, sophomore running back Casey Phinney, sprinted 80 yards down the sideline and took it all the way to pay dirt. Phinney rushed in the 2-point conversion afterward to knot the game at 8 with 7:35 remaining in the first quarter.
Alves received the ensuing kickoff and brought it to the West 29. On first down, Dionizio threw to wide receiver Nick Poulos for a 7-yard gain. Next, Such brought it to the 39 for a first down. But, the Falcons’ offense stalled out after that, and West was forced to punt from its own 37 on fourth down.
Early into the second quarter, Marshfield put together a 75-yard scoring drive that ended with running back Ed Kielty rushing in for a touchdown from two yards out to give Marshfield a 15-8 lead with 9:56 remaining in the first half.
West had a first down at midfield on its next possession when Dionizio saw his pass get deflected and picked off by Phinney with 7:40 remaining in the half.
However, Phinney fumbled on the first play of the ensuing drive, and the Falcons’ Carvalho recovered it at midfield. But, on third down, Dionizio threw another interception to Phinney, who took it 52 yards to pay dirt this time and gave Marshfield a 22-8 advantage with 5:32 left in the half.
After forcing a three-and-out by the Falcons, Marshfield got the ball back. On fourth-and-1 from the Falcons 39, Violissi rushed down the right sideline before fumbling near the 10, but Violissi’s teammate, Daniel Hickey, was there to scoop up the ball and finish the run into the end zone, extending the Marshfield lead to 29-8 with 2:22 remaining in the second quarter.
Marshfield received the ball in the second half and started from its own 34. On second-and-6, Jackson Phinney threw a dump pass to Violissi, who took it 26 yards to the West 36 for a first down. After that, Kielty took it 22 yards to the 14. On third down, Jackson Phinney tossed to Hickey for a touchdown from nine yards out, making it 36-8 with 7:54 remaining in the third quarter.
West’s Evan Degaitas fumbled the ensuing kickoff return, and Marshfield’s Magnus Leonard picked up the ball and ran until he was brought down at the West 5. On the first play of the drive, Casey Phinney ran it in for a touchdown, giving Marshfield a 42-8 advantage with 7:27 left in the third quarter.
With 11:32 remaining in the fourth quarter, West was pushed back deep in its own territory when Ryan Cabral saw his punt attempt blocked by Marshfield’s Vincent Lalli. The play, which resulted in a safety, gave Marshfield a 44-8 edge.