WOOD RIVER JCT. — This was not a perfect or complete performance by any stretch of the imagination.
Too many penalties at times and there is plenty of work to do in the kicking game. But Westerly High certainly did a lot of good things in Friday’s 45-0 nonleague season-opening football win against Chariho High.
Tristan Turano, Westerly High’s All-State running back, certainly looked the part against the Chargers.
Turano rushed for 213 yards on just 16 carries and did not play in the fourth quarter.
Turano scored three touchdowns on runs of 32, 56 and 34 yards. Several times Turano barreled over opposing tacklers.
Other times he was 5 yards down the field before Chariho could get a hand on him. Westerly returns just one starter on the offensive line, but the unit looked pretty sharp against the Division III Chargers.
“I have a lot of faith in our offensive line. I think our whole team does,” said Turano, who now tips the scales at 205 pounds. “They might be young, but they work hard in practice and you can tell. It pays off in the game.”
Turano was asked to assess the team’s overall performance. He paused for a moment, turned and glanced at the scoreboard that was still lit with the final score in place.
“I think we did pretty good,” Turano said.
Westerly coach Duane Maranda said Turano is a better runner this year.
“Last year, he hit the hole a million miles an hour, not matter what,” Maranda said. “This year he slows down, about 80 percent, waits for it to open up and explodes.”
Westerly scored the first three times it had the ball with Turano going in on the first two possessions.
Senior Peter Fusaro, who missed most of last season, scored Westerly’s third TD from 12 yards out to make it 20-0 with 11:33 left in the second quarter.
Fusaro took on a defender at about the 3-yard line and flattened him as they put ended up in the end zone. Fusaro was in a number of plays at linebacker and recovered a fumble for the Westerly defense.
Fusaro also scored on a 45-yard run in the fourth quarter high-steeping the final few yards as he broke away from the final tackler.
“He runs hard and he gets from point A to point B,” Maranda said. “I thought he played great on the defensive side. Our entire D-line did a tremendous job tonight.”
Westerly led 20-0 at the half and added 12 more points in the third quarter including a 34-yard run by Turano.
Earlier in the drive, the Bulldogs had a Turano touchdown run called back on a penalty. Westerly had three penalties for 30 yards in the drive.
“Some are penalties, some are not,” Maranda said. “We just play a physical brand of football that a lot of people don’t see a lot. We will take a look at it.”
Westerly also had a roughing the punter penalty that prolonged a Chariho possession.
Westerly also struggled a bit in the kicking game failing to convert four extra point tries.
“We had a bad hold and our timing was off,” Maranda said. “We have to correct that because it could hurt us in a big game.”
Jalen Valentin, who played at Chariho last season after a sophomore year at Westerly, scored from 2 yards out to make it 32-0 with just 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Rocco Cillino scored Westerly’s other touchdown on a 47-yard run with about two minutes left in the game.
Jon Brutcher appeared to returning the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty.
“I think this could be a wake-up call for out kids,” Chariho coach Rick Martin said. “I don’t think they realized how physical this would be.”
Chariho quarterback Evan Judkins had a number of completions and also scrambled effectively.
Westerly opens the Division II season at Coventry at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Chariho opens the Division III season Friday hosting Pilgrim at 7 p.m.