Pelham Pythons Football '07

Fri, Aug 31, 2007 07:00 PM @ Pelham
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Winnisquam 0 0 0 0 0
Pelham 18 0 14 7 39

Pelham Pummels Winnisquam

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Saturday, September, 01 By Bob Albright
Staff writer

PELHAM | The Pelham football team can take solace in that Tom Babaian's game grades do not factor into their cumulative GPA's. If they did, the Pelham High School honor roll might become a very exclusive club.

Witness last night's 39-0 opening-night thrashing that the Pythons handed visiting Winnisquam at the Harris Family Track and Field. The Pythons head coach graded the performance somewhere in the C to C-plus range.

"Anytime you win you have to give it at least a C," said Babaian. "I was pleased with a lot of things, but there were too many errors. A lot of times when we should have been putting it in the end zone we were getting it called back on penalties, so we still have a lot to work to do."

To the surprise of no one, the one Pelham player who aced his first gridiron exam of the year, however, was Bruce Vieira.

The junior standout kicked off the 2007 season just where he left off in 2006 rushing for 182 yards on 17 carries and two scores while also notching seven tackles, including two for losses, from his post at defensive back.

With 49 yards and a score at the half, Vieira simply went into overdrive in the final 24 minutes, riding the surge from the Pythons' talented front five of Corey Peterson (left tackle), Jeremy Hogan (left guard), Max Roth (center), Dave Wesson (right guard) and Bill Helliwell (right tackle), with 121 yards and another score.

"We really stepped it up in the second half running off tackle and I was able to break it off tackle and get as much positive yards as possible," said Vieira. "Having those big guys in front of me helped a lot."

With just two seniors and seven starters returning from last year's Division 5 state semifinal club, Vieira echoed Babaian's sentiments that the rout served as a good first step, but nothing more.

"We had some first game jitters," said Vieira. "It's a good one to get one under our belts, but there's nothing to get too happy about. If I was another team I wouldn't been too happy about it. We should have probably blown them out even more than we did."

The Pythons struck early, scoring on their first possession when quarterback Joe DeAngelo (4-for-10, 78 yards, 1 TD) rolled out to his left at the Winnisquam 10 and found tight end Wayne Parisi wide open for the score. After racking up the first of their nine penalties of the game, the ensuing PAT failed but the Pythons would promptly find the promised land just 11 seconds later courtesy of Winnisquam fumble. A DeAngelo keeper from five yards out on the very next play ushered on the blowout.

Leading 18-0 at the break, the Pythons broke it open in the third thanks to TD jaunts by Vieira and sophomore Cameron Robidoux on their first two possessions. Freshman Tim Schaffer would close out the scoring in the final quarter barrelling in from two yards out.

Defensively, it was a mismatch for the full 48 minutes as Winnisquam managed just three first downs, two coming in garbage time in the fourth quarter.

"I thought in the first half we had some real nice drives and then we got flat and became complacent with what we were doing instead of turning on the jets when we could," said Babaian. "I was proud of the guys in the second half where we started out with two nice drives, but we have a long way to go. We're by no means where we would like to be at this point."

Pelham faces a much stiffer test next Saturday when it travels to Bow for a 1:30 p.m. contest.

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