The Exeter-West Greenwich/Prout football co-op team will play for a championship after its upset run continued with a semifinal win on Saturday.
Fresh off a win over No. 3 Smithfield, the sixth-seeded Knights toppled No. 2 Juanita Sanchez/PCD/Wheeler 7-6 in triple overtime to clinch a spot in the Division IV Super Bowl. The Knights will try for one more upset when they face No. 1 Ponaganset on Dec. 4.
“You couldn’t have written this up any better,” EWG/Prout head coach Cliff Fortin said. “This is great for EWG and Prout, great for our community, great for our fans, and great for football in R.I. I was informed that we are the only sixth seed ever to make it to a Super Bowl in RIIL history.”
It’s the first Super Bowl trip for the program since it became a co-op in 2018. EWG last made it 2013, when it was the Division IV runner-up.
The Knights had high expectations this season but hit a few bumps in the road and finished 4-3. They were the last team into the playoffs.
In the semis, the Knights had to get past a Juanita Sanchez team that beat them 16-7 in the regular season.
“Going into our semifinal game vs. PCD we knew we would have our hands full,” Fortin said. “They beat us earlier this season 16-7. It was a hard fought game then and it was a hard fought game this time around. We knew we had to shut down Ziondre Ogiba, or at least contain him a little and keep him from getting into open field.”
It was mission accomplished, as the Knights kept the Cavaliers off the board through regulation and the first two overtime periods. Juanita Sanchez’s defense also shined, keeping it a scoreless game.
After the two scoreless overtime sessions, the Cavaliers broke through in the third for a touchdown. The Knights stopped the conversion attempt, keeping it a 6-0 game.
Needing an answer, the Knights went nowhere on their first three plays. On fourth down, senior quarterback Chris Cardolino tossed a touchdown pass to sophomore Jacob Roberts, who was filling in for the injured Logan Hawes. Freshman Harris Krupp, who had previously missed a potential game-winning field goal, stepped back on the field and drilled the extra point to give EWG/Prout the victory.
“Winning in triple overtime was an amazing experience for everyone,” Fortin said. “The way it played out was truly magical. I am so proud of my players and coaching staff. We all worked very hard.”
Before their Super Bowl opportunity, EWG/Prout will host a Thanksgiving Day game against Narragansett, the Division III champion.
They’ll face a stiff challenge in the Super Bowl, with Ponaganset coming in at a perfect 7-0. The Chieftains beat Davies 29-6 in the semifinals.