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Villa Novans Facing Cumberland Thanksgiving Morning

Cumberland won last year 35 - 6, breaking Woonsocket's four-year streak.

 

Woonsocket (7-2, 5-2 Division II-A) takes on Cumberland (8-1, 7-0 Division II-B) 10 a.m. Thanksgiving at Tucker Field, although both teams might be eschewing the traditional rivalry a bit for tactical reasons.

Both teams remain alive in the Division II playoffs, and they’re both favored against their respective opponents, Central (4-5, 4-3 Division II-B) and West Warwick (7-3, 4-3 Division II-B). Cumberland is the top-seed in the playoffs after Central upset Johnston 21-20 in overtime in the opening round. Woonsocket beat St. Ray’s 29-28 in overtime.

If both teams win their playoff games on Nov. 27, then a Thanksgiving rematch will occur quickly, at the Division II Super Bowl. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see how hard the two teams play on Thanksgiving, with the future matchup and important playoff games looming.

According to statistics kept at Rhode Island High School Sports, Cumberland leads the all-time Thanksgiving series 27-17, with four ties between the teams. The series dates back to 1964.

Cumberland won in 2011, beating Woonsocket 35-6 in what was a down year for the Villa Novans. Previously, Woonsocket won four straight games in the series, from 2007 to 2010.

After being upset by Central in the opening round of the Division II playoffs, the Johnston Panthers have dropped from No. 5 to No. 11 in the Rhode Island Sports Media High School Football Poll.

No. 10 West Warwick and No. 13 Central took advantage of the loss, moving up four and five sports, respectively. The highest ranked Division II team is now Cumberland, at No. 5.

La Salle remains in the top spot of the poll, collecting all 14 first place votes, followed by fellow Division I playoff teams Hendricken, Portsmouth and Cranston East. Portsmouth and East flip-flopped in the polls after the Thunderbolts barely beat South Kingstown 23-17.

Thanksgiving games for most teams take place either Wednesday or Thursday of this week. The Division II playoff bracket is available here.

The full media poll:

Rank Team Points Last Poll Patch # 1 La Salle (14) 280 1 1 2 Hendricken 254 2 2 3 Portsmouth 253 4 3 4 Cranston East 247 3 4 5 Cumberland 226 6 5 6 Middletown 189 7 7 7 Woonsocket 165 9 9 8 Tolman 163 10 6 9 Barrington 143 8 11 10 West Warwick 142 14 12 11 Johnston 139 5 8 12 East Greenwich 127 12 13 13 Central 126 18 15 14 Cranston West 123 13 10 15 Mount Pleasant 96 16 14 16 St. Raphael 68 11 16 17 Moses Brown 42 NR NR 18 Mount Hope 40 15 18 19 East Providence 31 19 19 20 Rogers 23 20 NR

Dropped from the poll: No. 17 Westerly.

Also receiving votes: Westerly (22), Hope (13), North Providence (11), South Kingstown (11), Narragansett (6) and North Smithfield (6).

The Rhode Island Sports Media football poll is voted on by 14 local media members who regularly cover Rhode Island high school football. The poll is administrated and compiled by Eric Rueb of Southern Rhode Island Newspapers. Patch’s ballot is cast by Stephen Greenwell, the local editor of the South Kingstown and Narragansett site.

PATCH BALLOT

Rank Team Media Last Poll 1 La Salle 1 1 2 Hendricken 2 2 3 Portsmouth 3 4 4 Cranston East 4 3 5 Cumberland 5 6 6 Tolman 8 7 7 Middletown 6 10 8 Johnston 11 5 9 Woonsocket 7 11 10 Cranston West 14 8 11 Barrington 9 9 12 West Warwick 10 12 13 East Greenwich 12 13 14 Mt. Pleasant 15 16 15 Central 13 17 16 St. Ray's 16 14 17 Westerly NR 15 18 Mt. Hope 18 NR 19 East Providence 19 19 20 South Kingstown NR 20

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