FITCHBURG — Nothing puts smiles on old faces like a win on homecoming night.
The St. Bernard football team jumped in early against visiting Nipmuc Regional and never looked back as the Bernardians cruised to a 40-7 win in the floodlights at the Bernardian Bowl on Friday night.
The Bernardians have won three straight games and are currently 4-1 this season. The Warriors fall to 1-4 and have now lost four straight since opening the 2022 campaign with a win over St. Paul.
“The children have worked very hard this week. The youngsters saw a different front that we had prepared for, so adapting to the gate and taking the different blockages, I was definitely happy with that,” St. Bernard head coach Tom Bingham said. . “I think defensively the kids worked their way through the first set and settled in from there.”
The hosts built a 24-0 lead after the first 12 minutes thanks to three scores in the first quarter: a 5-yard touchdown by Antonio Mancini, a 75-yard touchdown from Salvatore Bilotta to Jameson Williams and a 4-yard touchdown. directed by Damien Jones.
All three touchdowns were capped by successful two-point conversions, two courtesy of Mancini and one from Keegan Rose.
The Bernardians added two more touchdowns in the second quarter. A 13-yard run from Mancini and a 56-yard run from Jones saw the hosts live comfortably after 24 minutes of action.
The Warriors fell victim to two turnovers in the first half as St. Bernard’s Quinn Carlson had a first-quarter interception before Leo Ferrante jumped on a fumble from Nipmuc in the final minute of the second quarter.
In the second half, the Bernardians used a steady regime of the ground game as Keegan Rose and Cole Blair directed the football hard for the hosts as the pair chewed up time.
Nipmuc ended the shutout offer with a 19-yard touchdown from Christopher Casey to Brady Karmelek with 44 seconds left in the third quarter. Ryan Fournier added the point after the kick to make it 40-7.
With the Bernardians still up 40-7 after three quarters, that meant a running clock had to be used in the fourth quarter. During the last 12 minutes. The hosts recorded another takeaway in the fourth quarter thanks to an Austin Gibbons interception on the Warriors’ final possession of the night.
“I think our offensive line of Dom Beaudoin, Stefano Allen, Jordan Clifton, Darnell Woodson, Jeiel Berdicia and Rocco LaMonica did a terrific job tonight,” Bingham said. “We also have a swing player and I really want to mention his name John Guartafierro. He does a solid job and he helps us wherever we need him. He deserves a lot of credit.