The Cranston West Falcons football team is starting to reach their potential that head coach Tom Milewski knew they had in them.
After going down 8-0 early in the first quarter because Mt. Pleasant's Angel Rivera rushed for a touchdown, Cranston West needed to respond. Their offense struggled to get it going directly after the Kilties score, and things weren't looking good.
Enter Hudson Carvalho. The senior wide receiver/ defensive back came up with a crucial interception, giving the Falcons a much needed swing in momentum. As if that wasn't enough, Carvalho proceeded to catch a touchdown pass minutes later on the offensive side of the ball. It was a great catch by the senior but also a great throw by quarterback Kelan Cornell.
Tied at 8 a piece, Mt. Pleasant put together a really solid drive that eventually led to a touchdown pass from quarterback Jelon King. King was good for the Kilties all night, showing off his arm talent and elusiveness outside of the pocket multiple times throughout the game. Mt. Pleasant converted their 2 point conversion and made this one 16-8 after the pass by King.
It didn't take West long to fight back, as they responded on the next drive with a beautiful back shoulder dime by Kelan Cornell to Marcus Chung for a near 50 yard touchdown. The Falcons failed to convert their own 2 point after attempt, resulting in a 16-14 Mt. Pleasant lead going into half time.
The 2nd half was a tail of 2 defenses stepping up in the moment. The Falcons ended up eventually cracking the code and taking a 20-16 lead after a touchdown run by none other than Marcus Chung on 4th down. After taking the lead, it was time for West's defense to hold up.
They did just that. It started with a huge sack by Jared Parent for Cranston, putting Mt. Pleasant in a really tough spot. The Kilties found a way to get a first down though, and things began to get worrisome for West.
That's when Marcus Chung showed his talent on the defensive side of the ball. Jalen King lofted a pass to the end zone with hopes of a big play, but instead Chung read it perfectly and picked him off. He then ran for a couple first downs to kill some time on the clock. Then, Dimitri Leblanc sealed this one with a 40 yard break off run.
"We sured up some things on defense in the 2nd half, we had some nice stops. We had that pick on the 1 yard line by Marcus and we had a pick earlier by Hudson" said Coach Milewski of his team's crucial second half defensive performance.
There were many different contributions from this Falcons roster throughout this one, but Chung's interception stuck out as the play of the night.
"The (defensive) line pressured him (Jalen King) into making a bad decision. I was sitting in my coverage waiting for that the whole game and I just finally got it right into my hands" said Chung of the interception.
Cranston West is now riding two wins in a row and have improved their overall record to 4-3 while holding a 4-1 record in league play. Coach Milewski made it a point last week to mention that he's stressed to his team that they need to finish 4 full quarters.
When asked if he thinks his team has improved upon that aspect of their game the last couple weeks, Coach said "Yes, definitely. We started off a little slow tonight but we put it together. Two weeks in a row now we've played 4 quarters. We're really starting to come together as a team and going into the end of the season, it's going to be an exciting couple of weeks for Falcon football."
West will travel to East Greenwich next Saturday at 7pm trying to continue the stretch of good football they've played these past couple games. If they can, the sky is the limit for this team.
Coach Milewski has done a great job with this bunch and like he said, the next couple of weeks are going to be exciting for Falcon football.