Mt. Hope long time head football coach Thomas DelSanto Jr. told the team he was encouraged by what he saw as they gathered around him after dominating Tiverton 17-7 during an abbreviated injury fund …
Mt. Hope long time head football coach Thomas DelSanto Jr. told the team he was encouraged by what he saw as they gathered around him after dominating Tiverton 17-7 during an abbreviated injury fund game at Tiverton High School on Thursday night. Mt. Hope lost a slew of starters including quarterback Aidan Ramaglia from last season and may have found their new starter in junior Riley Howland.
“To see us play as well as we did was very encouraging,” said Coach DelSanto, “We graduated 14 seniors last year, everyone of them was like a two way starter and a three year player for us. This year it’s like the epitome of rebuilding for us.”
Howland directed three scoring drives during the injury fund match up. Though the Huskies kept the ball on the ground much of the game, Howland impressively ran the Huskies running attack with seniors Brock Pacheco, Ben Colouro, junior James Thibaudeau and sophomore Evan Rodrigues in the backfield.
“Riley is competing,” said Coach DelSanto. “He’s new to the position. But he’s doing a good job for us.” Howland played slot receiver last season and started for the Huskies as a freshman. Pacheco ran the ball well before tweaking his knee.
“He’s an awesome player for us,” Coach DelSanto said of Pacheco. “He was team MVP last season. He led the team in rushing and in tackles. He’s a stud.”
The Huskies defense also impressed, while not allowing a touchdown and picking off Tiverton senior quarterback Ben Sowa three times.
Champ kick off return gives Tigers a 7-3 lead
On Mt. Hope’s first drive, Howland directed the Huskies to the cusp of the Tigers red zone before stalling. Place kicker Jerry Pimental booted a 36-yard field goal to give Mt. Hope a 3-0 lead. The lead was short-lived as Tiverton’s Aiden Champ ran back the ensuing kick-off 85 yards for a touch down to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead. Champ broke a couple of tackles while getting to the sideline and then raced by the Huskies bench and into the end zone for the score. The hometown fans chanted and cheered as the team celebrated in the end zone.
Tiverton new head coach Dillon Sheridan who took over for legendary coach Bob Murray, said that he felt that there is a team and that the Tigers have players that are ready to play. He said that the team has practiced with intensity through the preseason and that he had a lot of fun experiencing his first game as head coach.
Colouro scores on a 7-yard run
Howland directed the Huskies on a second scoring drive later in the quarter ending in a 30-yard run on a counter play by Rodrigues. Pimental kicked the extra point to give Mt. Hope a 10-7 lead. In the second quarter Howland led the offense through a series of dives and counters resulting in a 7-yard touchdown run by Colouro. Pimental again booted the extra point through the uprights giving the Huskies a 17-7 lead. Many of the Mt. Hope starters came out the game after the drive. Sophomore Ethan Martel, also in the mix at quarterback, entered the game as did Thibaudeau at running back. Martel backed up Ramaglia last season at the position and has a bit more experience at quarterback than Howland. Many of the Huskies skill position players will be playing offense and defense. The team started six freshmen and a host of players with no game experience according to Coach DelSanto.
“It was pleasing and rewarding as a coach to get the team playing well at this point in the season,” he said. “I’m excited. But we got to keep things in perspective.”