WOOD RIVER JCT. — Chariho High had an opportunity to gain the early advantage in Friday’s football game against an East Greenwich team that came out extremely flat.
But the Chargers didn’t capitalize on that chance, and the Avengers finally got going to post a 28-7 win. The game had originally been scheduled for Thursday, but was moved to Friday due to the frigid weather.
East Greenwich (10-2), which lost in the Division II Super Bowl on Sunday to Woonsocket, managed minus-9 yards of offense in the first quarter.
Chariho (3-6-1) had two drives in the first quarter that carried into East Greenwich territory. But the first stalled at the EG 21-yard line, and a 30-yard field goal attempt was short.
The second possession went to the EG 24, but a high snap resulted in a turnover with the Avengers gaining possession after a 26-yard loss on the play.
“We did not have any intensity at the beginning of the game, which was shameful, I thought,” East Greenwich coach John George said. “The way we played, we just didn’t come ready to play, not physical. It’s not what we teach, not what we hope for.
“We just didn’t come out the way we like to come out.”
After that the Avengers got it together behind the play of left-handed quarterback Conrad Swanson, who completed 14 of 28 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored the other East Greenwich touchdown on a 23-yard scramble.
Swanson was an easy choice for the game MVP award sponsored by Randall Realtors.
“They were pushing us around a lot,” Swanson said. “But in the second half we started to turn it around, put together some drives and put some points on the board.
“It was good to come out and get a win for the seniors and send them out the right way.”
John McMullen caught five passes for 102 yards and a score. Jack Fox added four receptions for 92 yards and a pair of TDs.
Chariho coach Rick Martin said the Chargers needed to finish off those first two possessions with scores.
“We absolutely needed to do that,” Martin said. “I think the game was closer than what the end score was. I felt bad for these kids because that would have been a good win to go out on.”
East Greenwich got on the scoreboard first when Swanson found McMullen open on a crossing pattern for a 20-yard TD with 9:52 left in the first half.
Chariho answered with a 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive than ended with a 2-yard scoring run by lineman Mike Phelps. Quarterback Rogan Wotherspoon completed three passes during the drive, and Tom O’Horo (22 carries, 74 yards) had a 20-yard run.
Chariho also benefited from a roughing the passer penalty on the Avengers on a failed fourth-down pass to keep the drive alive.
EG scored on its next drive when Swanson found Fox open in the right corner of the end zone with a perfectly thrown pass over a Chariho defender. Swanson was 5 of 7 in the drive to give EG a 12-7 halftime lead.
East Greenwich scored on its second possession of the second half on a 23-yard scramble by Swanson down the right sideline. The Avengers started the drive at Chariho’s 34 after a personal founl penalty against the Chargers on a punt return.
East Greenwich’s final TD came on a 50-yard pass from Swanson to Fox streaking down the left sideline with 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Once again, the ball could not have been thrown any better.
“He makes good decision, he’s got a good arm, but he’s also athletic enough that he can tuck it and run,” George said. “I would say most of all he makes good decisions.”
Chariho’s John Haxton intercepted a Swanson pass, only the third time that has happened this season. Chariho played without starting quarterback Evan Judkins, who was on the sideline on crutches due to an ankle injury.
Several other awards were presented after the game. The linemen of the game went to Chariho’s Ryan Robalewski and East Greenwich’s Levon Dakessian. The offensive player awards went to Chariho’s Rick Evola and East Greenwich’s Fox. Chariho’s Paul Marshall and EG’s Joseph Allen won the defensive player awards.
The top special teams player awards went to Chariho’s Haxton and East Greenwich’s Ryan Macaulay. All of the awards were sponsored by Randall Realtors.