SOUTH KINGSTOWN — The door is still open for the South Kingstown High School football team, even after a rough day.
Bishop Hendricken stopped the Rebels’ three-game winning streak with a 27-0 victory on Saturday afternoon at Curtis Corner Middle School. On the chase for a berth in the top-tier state championship bracket, it wasn’t an unexpected result. The Rebels can still clinch a spot with a win over East Greenwich in the season finale and a Portsmouth loss to Hendricken.
“Huge game,” South Kingstown coach Gerry Zannella said. “We can’t take that for granted. Who’s to think, at the beginning of the year that we’d be in this situation? We don’t want to waste it. I think where we are is the utmost of where I expected to be. I hope we have a great week in preparation for EG.”
The Rebels had hoped to spring an upset of Hendricken. Less than a week prior, the Hawks had come off a COVID-19 pause and been pushed to the limit by Central, eventually winning in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
There was less drama Saturday, as the Rebel defense hung tough but allowed a few big plays and the offense found little running room.
Hendricken took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter when quarterback David Lynch hit Andrew Noalnd for a 31-yard touchdown. The Hawks scored twice more in the second quarter, both tallies coming in the final 5:55. Oscar Weah delivered the first with a 34-yard touchdown run. Lynch tossed a touchdown pass to Andrew Picard with 33 seconds left in the half.
Hendricken added one more touchdown early in the fourth quarter, as Lynch hit Teigan Jeremy from seven yards out.
The four touchdowns were plenty for the Hawks, who never let South Kingstown’s rushing attack get going. The Rebels finished with 110 total yards of offense.
“Like I said to the team, it’s not that they came in an adjust marched us off the ball,” Zannella said. “Our defensive front held up. I thought we could swing and punch with them. But they’re outstanding. Their personnel is good. They’re deep.”
The season finale against East Greenwich is set for Monday, Nov. 1 at Curtis Corner Middle School, with kickoff at 6 p.m. East Greenwich’s game against Central this week was pushed up to Monday, which led to the change for next week.
If Portsmouth loses to Hendricken, South Kingstown needs only to beat East Greenwich for a spot in the top two of the standings. If things go the other way, tiebreakers will be involved.
“I give my guys credit,” Zannella said. “They swung with them. It’s good that they got this experience. We play against the best the state has to offer. We’ve just got to continue to grow and get better.”