WEST GREENWICH — Westerly High and Chariho High both lost to Division I opponents in the annual Injury Fund preseason football contests Saturday at Exeter-West Greenwich High.
That was hardly unexpected.
Division II Westerly fell to North Kingstown, 23-0, and Division III Chariho lost to South Kingstown, 16-0. Each matchup lasted two quarters.
And it sounded as if the coaches were reading from the same script when they assessed their team's performances.
"We have a lot of work to do," Westerly coach Duane Maranda said.
Said first-year Chariho coach Nick Russo: "I think overall we have a lot of work to do."
The two teams will find out quickly how much that work pays off as they open the season Friday against each other. Westerly hosts the game at 7 p.m.
North Kingstown 23, Westerly 0
North Kingstown, which won the Division I Super Bowl last season, intercepted a pair of Westerly passes to set up two of its touchdowns.
The two TD drives totaled 14 yards.
North's first touchdown was set up when David Kirby returned an interception to Westerly's 11-yard line. The Skippers scored two plays later.
North went up 14-0 with 9:08 left in the first quarter on a 54-yard pass play. The NK receiver was wide open beyond the Westerly secondary. NK had run three offensive plays and was leading 14-0.
North's third touchdown was set up by a 54-yard interception return by Tyler Pezza to Westerly's 3. Quarterback Justin McCarthy scored on a 3-yard run up the middle to take it 20-0 with 9:38 left in the second quarter.
Westerly's first-team offense had two first downs in the five times it had the ball and compiled 46 yards.
"Up front that's a huge wake-up call for us," Maranda said. "Up-front-wise, I think we were feeling pretty good about ourselves in the first couple of scrimmages. North Kingstown came out with a point to prove that they are not going to get knocked around. Our guys didn't do a good job of staying on our blocks."
Maranda was also disappointed that several Bulldogs became upset at times.
"We can't let the game get the best of us," Maranda said. "We gotta know that in football you are going to get tackled, you are going to get blocked. We can't get emotional when that happens. Then we have to remove you from the game and get that corrected."
Westerly will likely throw the ball more this season. Quarterback Xavier Ledbetter completed a pair of passes, one to Joe Fusaro and the other to Nick Lauzon.
Fusaro also had an interception on the defensive side.
South Kingstown 16, Chariho 0
South Kingstown scored on its first possession and recovered a Chariho fumble in the end zone for its other score.
In between, the Chariho defense was pretty solid behind the play of Coval Wild and Nick Corrente.
Chariho had 11 plays where it limited the Rebels to three yards or less. Caleb Maggs also intercepted a pass.
Chariho struggled on the offensive side finishing with one first down and 13 yards in three possessions.
"It's hard because it's only a half," Russo said of his impressions. "We've already moved on to Westerly. You are not going to get too high from it and not be too low from it. It is what it is."