WOOD RIVER JCT. — Chariho High will be seeking is fourth straight Thanksgiving football victory on Thursday, but this could be the most formidable foe it has faced in a while.
Chariho (3-5-1) will host Division-II East Greenwich at 10 a.m. Chariho was 3-1 against Division-III Narragansett the past four seasons.
The Avengers are 9-2 after losing to Woonsocket, 37-13, in the D-II Super Bowl on Sunday. EG’s other loss was to Woonsocket, 44-12, during the regular season.
Chariho coach Rick Martin does not expect any letdown from the Avengers even on just three days’ rest.
“They will be wanting to end the season with a win,” Martin said. “They will want redemption for that loss.”
East Greenwich coach John George said his team still has plenty to play for.
“We’ve talked with our kids and while there is nothing riding on this game there is also no pressure so they can just have fun and compete for the love of the game,” George said. “More importantly, it’s the last time we will be together as a team, and it’s the last time they will put on the uniform [this season].”
East Greenwich’s success has been built on fundamentals on both sides of the ball.
“We try to play sound, fundamental defense, make sure we are lined up in the right place and not give up any big plays,” George said. “On offense, we don’t turn the ball over. Our quarterback (Conrad Swanson) is a starter for the first time this year. He’s thrown two interceptions all year, and we throw the ball a lot.”
Swanson is a lefty who could cause problems for the Chargers.
“They roll him out and he can scramble,” Martin said. “He throws a lot of quick passes. They run the offset I, and they do it very well.”
Chariho may be without starting quarterback Evan Judkins, who has passed for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, completing 53 percent of his passes.
Judkins suffered a high ankle sprain in the Narragansett game on Nov. 9.
Sophomore Rogan Wotherspoon, who also plays linebacker on defense, will step in if Judkins cannot play.
Despite the possible change at QB, Chariho will still look to throw the ball.
“In games we didn’t throw 20-plus times we’ve struggled,” Martin said. “Rogan is capable of throwing. He’s like Evan, he can throw the ball down the field with accuracy.”
Ricky Evola leads the Chargers in receiving with 31 catches for 688 yards, an average of 21.5 per reception. Evola has three touchdown catches.
Paul Marshall has 12 catches for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“They’ve got two good receivers, and I like the way their quarterback throws the ball,” George said. “We scrimmaged them earlier in the year. They play hard and tough up front.”
Kevin Liccardi, one of East Greenwich’s top offensive skill players, was injured in the first round of the playoffs and did not play in the semifinals against Burrillville. He saw limited time in the Super Bowl.
His status is uncertain for Thursday.
Martin said the Chargers will have to play well for a chance at a victory.
“I think we have to limit our mistakes. Our goal is to get three or four yards a play,” Martin said. “But if we get second and six and go offsides or have a bad snap then we are in trouble.
“We have to play fundamentally sound. This would be a big win for us. Most people probably don’t expect us to win. Beating a team that played in the D-II Super Bowl would be big for us.”