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Rhode Island

Cumberland beats Woonsocket in annual Thanksgiving Day game

WOONSOCKET – The game seemed acquainted to those that had by no means seen one.

Two groups from neighboring communities not making an attempt to fake to love one another. A Thanksgiving Day game that issues greater than any game performed through the season. A halftime present as memorable because the game. Two communities that present up for soccer, with alumni carrying Letterman jackets from their very own taking part in days.

For years, East Providence and La Salle have been the highest rivalries in the states. Now it is Cumberland and Woonsocket.

Both groups noticed their Super Bowl goals dashed in the quarterfinals, however Thursday felt extra like a playoff game than an entertaining conclusion to the season. At a time when most of the annual rivalries are extra about enjoyable and household, the Clippers and Villa Novans have been all concerning the scoreboard. Because of this, Cumberland fortunately celebrated their 35-20 win, whereas Woonsocket shortly led Barry Field into his dressing room the second the trophy was offered.

“Growing up I played other sports and always hated Woonsocket. I stand by that,” stated Cumberland second quarterback Evan Spencer after working for 2 factors and throwing for one more win. “Just go and hit them [Thursday] was a great feeling.”

“I didn’t really get it my freshman year either,” stated Patrick Conserve, Cumberland All-Stater. “In this Thanksgiving rivalry game, there’s no describing how good it feels, especially in senior year, to walk out with these guys with a win.”

Woonsocket’s Vin Casieri felt the ache of loss. After coaches advised their gamers to go straight to the basement dressing room, Casieri stood alongside the maroon W in midfield as he watched the Cumberland celebration.

Casieri will not be from Woonsocket. He traded from Mount Pleasant, however coach Charlie Bibeault sat him down and gave him a historical past lesson on why the state’s third-oldest Thanksgiving Day game is so necessary.

Thursday’s loss did nothing to ease the ache of final season’s 55-0 loss, however Casieri left the sector understanding that Woonsocket had accomplished every part it may to symbolize the college and the group in a way , which did not exist final fall.

“We worked hard and this team wanted to win,” stated Casieri. “It didn’t happen but I know every senior did their best and wanted to win and that’s all that matters.

“A winning record is nice, but I know every kid has their heart broken and that’s all that matters to me.”

Casieri wasn’t wrong with his team’s performance, and Cumberland certainly wasn’t lacking either. The game didn’t matter in the standings, but it took about three snaps to figure out it mattered.

The Clippers have not hid their identity as a team all season and that shouldn’t change on Thursday morning. Spencer and Ray were the 1-2 hit on the floor, with Spencer excelling with his decision making on RPOs. Ray struggled for yardage, but Spencer hit the first big play of the game, a 71-yard touchdown run that gave the Clippers a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.

“I felt a lot better [Thursday]Spencer said when asked about his offensive familiarity on the final day of the season against the first. “It was just about playing the pieces and coming back.

“…We all know what we’re capable of. We all know that when we play well we’re a scary team and nobody wants to play against us and that’s the truth.”

The threat of running – and it was less of a threat than something Cumberland would do if Woonsocket didn’t defend them – allowed Spencer to use his equally effective arm. He connected with Tayee Meerbot on the fourth and a trillion for a 31-yard touchdown that made it 14-7 before throwing a tight endscreen that turned the all-stater into an 11-yard touchdown and Conserve line extended toward the target to get those last three feet.

“Thanksgiving game, wanted to have fun and throw me the ball a little bit and the magic just happened,” Conserve said after his second career as a TD. “… I’ve thrown a few things together. I played running back in my youth and hoped I would still have it.”

“That was probably my favorite play of the game,” Spencer said. “Watching Pat go into overdrive with a touchdown and the win [Thursday], it means the world to all seniors. They mean so much to me and that’s what it’s about.”

While it seemed like Cumberland would roll, Woonsocket would not fold. Not on Thanksgiving.

After the Clippers’ first landing, the Novans placed on a formidable drive that ended with Daunte Melton following his offensive line for the final yard, which defeated them 7-6. Trailing 21-6 at halftime, Jonathan Peguero took the opening kickoff — or the second model of it, after equal penalties on the primary — again 77 yards for a landing.

It was the final factors Woonsocket placed on the board. Turnovers price them possibilities and gave Clippers an advantageous subject place which they greater than exploited, a lot to Villa Novans’ dismay.

“Since the end of the game last year, we’ve all got it in our heads that we’re ready for this game,” stated Casieri. “We wanted to come out to play and even if the scoreboard didn’t say it, I know every single senior here has without a doubt played their hearts out.”

The depth of the rivalry grew to become obvious in the ultimate minutes. Cumberland wasn’t making an attempt to attain, nevertheless it wasn’t making an attempt to kneel the clock both. Woonsocket performed arduous and a few of his underclassmen yelled in the direction of the touchline, “We’ve got you next year, just wait.”

Some Cumberland gamers laughed on the efficiency as assistant coaches reminded their workforce to not have interaction in the chatter. The Clippers received what they wished from the game and ended their season the best way they wished in a game they stand for.

“We have a couple of white long-sleeve shirts that say ‘Family,’ and I’ll always remember that,” Conserve stated. “It’s a different kind of bond. We just don’t throw that word around here. It’s a real family.”

Cumberland 35, Woonsocket 20

second quarter

C – Evan Spencer 79 run (Brian Gonzalez kick), 10:32

W – Daunte Melton 1 run (kick misses), 6:53

C – Tayee Meerbott 31 pass from Spencer (Gonzalez kick), 2:20

C – Patrick Conserve 11 pass from Spencer (Gonzalez Kick), :11

Third quarter

W – Jonathan Peguero 77 kick return (Ben Wilcox by Xavier Luke), 11:41

C – Andrew Ray 3 run (Gonzalez kick), 10:27

fourth quarter

C – Spencer 9 run (Gonzalez kick), 6:51

W – Peguero 25 run (run fails), 2:40


RUSHING – Cumberland 40-257, Woonsocket 24-111. OVERHAUL – Cumberland 07/16/93, Woonsocket 06/15/68. TOTAL OFFENSE – Cumberland 350, Woonsocket 179. FIRST DOWNS – Cumberland 15, Woonsocket 10. FUMBLES-LOST – Cumberland 0-0, Woonsocket 1-0. TOTAL SALES – Cumberland 1, Woonsocket 2. PENALTIES YARDS – Cumberland 10-90, Woonsocket 5-49. PUNTS YARDS – Cumberland 2-77, Woonsocket 2-74. TIME OF OWNERSHIP: Cumberland 26:30, Woonsocket 21:30.


RUSHING: Cumberland – Evan Spencer 20-186, 2 TDs; Andrew Ray 19-68, TD; Miguel Garcia 1-3. Woonsocket – Daunte Melton 10-72, TD; Peguero 7-32, TD; Xavier Luke 1-7; Vin Casieri 5-1; Team 1-(-1).

PASSING: Cumberland – Spencer 7-16-93, 2 TDs, INT. Woonsocket – Melton 6-12-68, 2 INTs; Casieri 0-2-0; Ben Wilcox 0-1-0.

RECEIVED: Cumberland – Patrick Conserve 2-33, TD; Tayee Meerbott 1-31, TD; Ray 4-29. Woonsocket-Casieri 2-37; Wilcox 2-16; Peguero 2-15.

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