The Mt. Hope High School football team fell to North Kingstown 33-14 during their Homecoming game at Vendituolli Field on Friday night. The Huskies have faced three undefeated teams, Division I Portsmouth, Middletown and North Kingstown and have now lost three games in a row after starting off the season 3-0. The team is in fourth place in Division II-B with a 2-3 record and 3-3 overall.
“It has been a tough three week stretch and we have struggled with injuries. In spite of this, the team has continued to play tough and show a lot of character,” said Huskies head coach Thomas Del Santo Jr.
The bigger and stronger, 4-0, North Kingstown dominated the Huskies in the first quarter sprinting out to a 19-0 lead.
With the score 7-0 and the Huskies on the 15 yard line, Huskies quarterback Matt DeFelice dropped back to throw a pass and was met by Skipper twin towers defensive linemen Dylan Poirier and Ephraim Graham. Poirier stepped in and batted down DeFelice’s throw directly into the hands of Graham who rambled into the end zone untouched for an easy 15-yard touchdown.
It wasn’t until the end of the quarter that the Huskies offensive rebounded with a lengthy scoring drive. DeFelice hit receiver Max Moskala three times for 68 yards during the drive. The last, a 15-yard scoring strike which Moskala ran across the middle, caught the pass on the run, split the defenders and dove into the end zone for a Huskies touchdown. A Zach DaCosta extra point kick made the score 19-7. For the game, Moskala caught 5 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.
“Max Moskala has been our most complete and productive player on both sides of the ball. He scores touchdowns, makes interceptions and returns kicks. He’s been a great leader for our team,” said coach Del Santo.
In the second quarter the Huskies defense stiffened and made the Skippers punt and created a turnover. Mt. Hope defensive end Jalen Morton picked off a Joe Gilmartin pass and ran to midfield giving the Huskies offense great field position to get back into the game.
But North Kingstown defensive back Ryan Maloney picked off a Matt DeFelice pass attempt to Anthony Bernardo. The taller Maloney leaped over Bernardo and snagged the ball for the Skippers.
With time running out in the first half the skippers scored on fourth down with a 33-yard pass from Joe Gilmartin to Zach Pezza to give the Skippers a 26-7 halftime lead.
Both teams scored in the fourth quarter. Running back Gabe Sloat scored for the Skippers on a 12-yard scamper and running back Jeff Silvia scored for the Huskies on a 1-yard run.
“We still control our own destiny and we still have the playoffs as a goal. We have to make less mistakes, eliminate turnovers, and make some big plays while limiting the big plays by our opponent’s,” said coach De Santo.
Offensively, Huskies quarterback Matt DeFelice completed 8 passes on 25 attempts for 131 yards, but was intercepted 5 times.
“Matt continues to develop, although he had an injury to his throwing hand which limited him against the Skippers,” said the coach.
Dylan Martins led the Huskies in rushing. The running back ran for 70 yards on 17 attempts.
Defensively the Huskies have been led by Moskala and middle linebacker Caden Cabral.
“Caden has anchored our defense. In the four week stretch he has had 72 tackles, 2 interceptions, and a fumble recovery. He is also the backbone of our offensive line at center. He has been a standout player for our team,” said coach Del Santo.
“We are looking to get back on track against Chariho this week and take the next step on the road to the playoffs,” said the coach.
Next up the Huskies play at Chariho on Saturday Oct. 20, at noon.
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