Football: Stanfield, Wotherspoon lead Chargers to 38-7 rout of Narragansett

Football: Stanfield, Wotherspoon lead Chargers to 38-7 rout of Narragansett

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NARRAGANSETT — The Chariho High football team saved its best for last.

Joe Stanfield rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries, Brine Wotherspoon gained 155 yards on the ground and scored once, and the Charger defense shut down a sluggish Narragansett team to post a 38-7 victory on a chilly but sunny Thursday at the Mariners’ turf field.

Chariho (4-6) finished its season with a three-game winning streak just like it did last year — a team goal after an Oct. 21 loss to Mount Hope — and played its most complete game of the fall. The Chargers also took a 3-1 lead in the young Thanksgiving series.

“We all played as a family,” said Stanfield, the game’s most valuable player who had scoring runs of 34, 63 and 20 yards. “Finally we came together and played like we were supposed to play all season.”

“We were all pumped up today, ready to finish it out, get three in a row,” Wotherspoon, a senior, said. “It was just an accumulation of the seniors all wanting it for the last game and all the younger kids wanting it for us and wanting it for themselves, and to get that three in a row.”

The Chargers showed they had a weapon — Stanfield on a power sweep that coach Rick Martin said was straight out of the Green Bay Packer playbook from the 1960s — on the game’s opening series. On Chariho’s fourth play, Stanfield took a pitch and went off right tackle for 34 yards, his first touchdown.

The Mariners responded after recovering a fumbled punt return on the Charger 17. On their first play, Alex Duquette went up the middle, cut to the outside and ran it in. Ed Blessing’s extra point gave Narragansett a 7-6 lead.

It never led again.

The two teams traded possessions before Chariho fumbled another punt return. This time, the ball bounced around and the Mariners recovered in the end zone. But the play was ruled a touchback because neither team had possession before the ball went into the end zone, and the Chargers took over at their 20.

Four plays later, on the final play of the first quarter, Stanfield again swept to the right side, found a hole, cut to the right sideline and outraced the Narragansett secondary for a 63-yard score and a 12-7 Charger lead.

“The blocking was the key,” Stanfield, a junior, said. “We’ve never blocked like that all season. We had big men running down the field. Our plays were executing. Everything was just finally clicking for us.”

Said Martin: “We saw on film during the week we would have an advantge on that play. … Joe Stanfield came out of his shell offensively seeing the holes. Today he saw the seams and it worked.”

Narragansett coach Matt Blessing, whose team was coming off a 14-7 loss to Central Falls in the Division III quarterfinals and was without injured tailback London Sudduth, said the touchback call changed the complexion of the game.

“I don’t think we ever got the rhythm,” he said. “Unfortunately, there was a key play early — the officials, you hate to point to the officials, but the muff play. We could’ve gone up [more] with a score, and maybe it changes the momentum.”

But the momentum had turned toward the Chargers, and with Stanfield having success running outside, that opened up things for Wotherspoon inside.

After the Mariners turned the ball over on downs, Chariho took over with about eight minutes left in the second quarter and proceeded to march 61 yards in 15 plays. Wotherspoon, named the Chargers’ offensive player of the game, ran it nine times on the drive and capped it with a 13-yard TD run to make it 18-7 with 31 seconds to go before intermission.

“Once we started running it outside and they would spread out, we’d pound it through the middle, ground and pound,” Wotherspoon said. “Then they would start clenching down and after that we would spread it out again.”

The story of the second half was Chariho’s defense.

The half opened with Alexi Fauzey ending a Mariners possession with an interception. With around three minutes to go in the game, Aaron Bliven (Chariho’s outsanding defensive player) ended Narragansett’s best chance to score with an interception near the goal line that he returned to the 23. In between, the Chargers’ front of tackles Mason Thompson (Chariho’s outstanding lineman) and Justin Whittier, ends Ryan Pater and Paul Marshall, and linebackers Tommy Wrzesien and Wotherspoon stymied the Mariners.

“They settled down, buckled down and ended up playing lights out,” Martin said. “And stop Duquette — we needed to stop that guy. And then get them out of their rhythm of what they like to do. So kudos to the defense, because they let our offense get some reps.”

Duquette was held to 48 yards on 12 carries. The Mariners finished with just 137 total yards, 65 coming on one pass play. Stanfield and Marshall each had sacks.

Stanfield (20 yards), Wrzesien (1 yard) and Rogan Wotherspoon (11 yards) added second-half touchdowns. Brine Wotherspoon had a 54-yard run in the fourth quarter. Kicker Andrew Havens was named the team’s top special teams player.

Narragansett’s award winners were Duquette (offense), Nick Oliveira (defense), Thomaz Whitford (special teams) and Jeremy Whalen (lineman). Randall Realtors sponsored the awards for both teams.


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