We are two whole weeks into the 2013 high school football season and this one is already better than the last two combined. Why? Well, we’re 2-for-2 on Game of the Week selections after Naugatuck and Wolcott played one of the best games in — well, maybe Naugatuck Valley League history. Not only did the Greyhounds and Eagles engage in a true classic, but the Derby-Holy Cross and St. Paul-Watertown games both went down to the final possession.
What didn’t happen in Naugatuck? The teams combined for nearly 1,000 total yards of offense (Wolcott held a 497-460 edge) and the lead changed hands four times in a 16-minute span in the second half. Naugatuck led, 16-3, just before the half when the Eagles’ Adam Santopietro made a miraculous diving catch on a tipped ball in the end zone (see below) to cut the halftime deficit to 16-10.
Then, after halftime, this (with time stamps):
- Jay Pelletier catches a 3-yard touchdown pass from Vincent Gambino after the pair hooked up on a 33-yard completion and a fourth-and-3 conversion. Joe Keeley adds the extra point to give Wolcott a 17-16 lead with 9:57 left in the third quarter.
- Jason Bradley runs toward the end zone but, in the process of reaching the ball across the goal line, loses the ball. Bryan Coney scoops it up in the end zone to give Naugatuck a 22-17 lead with 6:07 remaining in the third. Naugy failed on the two-point conversion run.
- Jayson Matos catches an 11-yard touchdown pass from Gambino to put Wolcott back in front, 23-22, with 3:52 left in the third. The Eagles questionably attempt a two-point conversion and fail on the pass play. To that point, Keeley had not missed a kick and the Greyhounds were likely to attempt a field goal during the game.
- Gambino scores on a remarkable 50-yard run which started when he hurdled a Naugatuck defender at the line of scrimmage. Keeley’s PAT kick gives Wolcott a 30-22 lead with 11:13 left in regulation — had Wolcott gone for the kick on its previous score, it likely would have been a two-possession game.
- Santopietro recovers a fumble by Ricky Plasky at the Wolcott 11-yard line, but the Greyhounds force a three-and-out and a poor punt places the ball back at the 11. On the next play, Bradley hits Ryne Griesenauer with an 11-yard touchdown pass. Naugy fails on the two-point conversion pass, but Wolcott’s lead is cut to 30-28 with 8:09 remaining.
- On the ensuing drive, Wolcott decides to go for it on fourth-and-3 from its own 34-yard line. Gambino’s pass is incomplete, which gives Naugy great field position. Tom Douty takes two handoffs and scores from 8 yards out, which, along with his 2-point conversion run, puts the ‘Hounds back on top, 36-30, with 6:25 left.
- With a minute and a half to play, Santopietro catches a 9-yard pass from Gambino to tie the game at 36-all. But Griesenauer blocks Keeley’s PAT attempt to keep the score tied. Both teams trade turnovers in the final 90 seconds to force overtime.
In the Kansas tiebreaker, Naugatuck managed to force three straight incompletions and give itself a chance to win. On third-and-goal from the 3, Bradley called his own number and plunged into the end zone for the win. Here’s how overtime sounded on WATR, as called by Kyle and Steve.
Kyle and Remmy were both there for this game and it was one of the few games we’ve ever seen around here after which we can say it was a privilege to be there. Kudos to everybody involved for making it that much fun for us — and the other 1,500-plus people who turned out for the grand opening of the new Veterans Field turf.
Naugatuck moved to 2-0 while Wolcott fell to 1-1. The game illustrated the current weakness of the Greyhounds’ defense, although the Eagles’ offense executed well the entire night. Luckily we get to see these teams’ quarterbacks play a lot more games around here.
Update: Here are Remmy’s video highlights of the game. Enjoy.
That game wasn’t the only good one, though. In Derby, the Red Raiders improved to 2-0 with a strong defensive effort in their 19-14 win over Holy Cross. Derby picked off Joe Kalosky three times, including two in the end zone, and also recovered two fumbles as the Raiders survived without two key players in Tyrae Small and Jordan LaRue. Ben Slowik and Mike Kreiger intercepted the passes in the end zone, and Kreiger accounted for all three of Derby’s scores.
In Watertown, the Indians took a 29-24 lead on St. Paul with 9 minutes to play before Logan Marchi rallied the Falcons. He scored a 5-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal and tacked on the two-point conversion to give the Falcons a 32-29 lead with 6:40 left. Reid Morin forced a fumble on the ensuing drive to give St. Paul the ball and help the Falcons run out the clock for their first win.
None of the other results on the night were particular surprises. Woodland beat Crosby 40-6 as Tanner Kingsley threw six touchdown passes — he’s got 11 already in two games. Ansonia knocked off Sacred Heart 54-6 as Arkeel Newsome ran for four scores and Jai’Quan McKnight returned from his foot injury. Wilby held off Torrington 34-19 as quarterback Darrien Bell and wide receiver Taifa Wright hooked up for three touchdowns after an early-game shoulder injury to Jacob Thomas. Seymour also earned its first win with a 35-14 victory over Kennedy — and the Wildcats even attempted a few passes!
Who Did It
Top Passers: Tanner Kingsley (WRHS): 19-28, 372 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT; Logan Marchi (SP): 20-36, 353 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, rush TD; Vincent Gambino (WOL): 26-41, 240 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT, 93 rush yards, rush TD; Jason Bradley (NHS): 16-30, 235 yards, 2 TD, INT, rush TD; Michael Kreiger (DHS): 12-20, 222 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, rush TD; Joe Kalosky (HC): 15-24, 212 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT; Darrien Bell (WIL): 5-8, 171 yards, 3 TD; Michael Marshall (CHS): 17-32, 166 yards
Top Rushers: Anthony Yordon (WTN): 28 rush, 205 yards, TD; Arkeel Newsome (AHS): 9 rush, 165 yards, 4 TD; Joe Lynch (WOL): 23 rush, 141 yards; Gerron Pendarvis (HC): 20 rush, 116 yards; Joey Salemme (SEY): 111 yards, TD; Chris Herrera (CHS): 23 rush, 102 yards, TD; Tom Douty (NHS): 11 rush, 100 yards, TD; David Hills (WIL): 17 rush, 80 yards, 2 TD; Greg Chase-Patrick (SEY): 3 TD
Top Receivers: Taifa Wright (WIL): 5 rec, 171 yards, 3 TD; Reid Morin (SP): 8 rec, 144 yards, 2 TD; Jay Pelletier (WOL): 10 rec, 121 yards, TD; Mike Kenney (WRHS): 3 rec, 105 yards, TD; Ryne Griesenauer (NHS): 8 rec, 102 yards, TD; Josh Russell (DHS): 3 rec, 95 yards; Trai Weaver (HC): 6 rec, 93 yards, 2 TD; Daija Fitzpatrick (SP): 4 rec, 85 yards, TD; Jack Pinho (WRHS): 5 rec, 85 yards, TD; Kevin Robinson (NHS): 4 rec, 75 yards, rush TD; Adam Santopietro (WOL): 5 rec, 58 yards, 2 TD; Taylor Tucciarone (WRHS): 5 rec, 29 yards, 2 TD
(Qualifications: 150 yards and/or 3 TD passing, 100 yards and/or 2 TD rushing, 75 yards and/or 2 TD receiving.)
How to See It
Naugatuck-Wolcott: Rep-Am, WFSB (CPTV Sports replay Thursday at 9:30 p.m.)
Derby-Holy Cross: Rep-Am
Wilby-Torrington: Rep-Am, GameTime
St. Paul-Watertown: Rep-Am
Ansonia-Sacred Heart: Rep-Am
Where It Takes Us
We may need a week to catch our breaths after the wild first two we’ve had. Week 3 has some more good matchups, although nothing with the immediate ramifications of our first two Game of the Week selections. The only matchup between undefeated teams comes Thursday night at Municipal Stadium, where Derby meets Wilby. In our other anticipated game in Week 1, Wolcott hosts Seymour on Friday night in a game that will send the loser below .500.
Also on Friday, Ansonia returns to Municipal Stadium for the second week in a row to face a reeling Holy Cross squad. Other games include Naugatuck-Sacred Heart (Thursday), Watertown-Crosby (Friday), Woodland-Kennedy (Saturday) and Torrington-St. Paul (Saturday). That last game could be a little bit of a revenge mission for the Falcons, who have suffered a few embarrassing losses to the Red Raiders over the last few seasons.
NVL Fantasy Football Update
The first two weeks also take us to our first check-in of the NVL Fantasy Football standings. Kyle took a 189.9-166.3 win over Remmy in Week 1, but Remmy responded with a 204.6-147.2 victory in Week 2 (the latter matchup is pending official team stats, but the outcome won’t change). Here are the top three individual leaders by position (among those on the guys’ rosters who were in starting lineups both weeks):
QB: Tanner Kingsley (Kyle) 91.8, Logan Marchi (Kyle) 82.6, Jason Bradley (Remmy) 66.8
RB: Arkeel Newsome (Remmy) 76.8, Jacob Thomas (Kyle) 47.3, Joe Lynch (Remmy) 40.0
WR: Reid Morin (Remmy) 51.7, Bryan Coney (Remmy) 31.3, Jay Pelletier (Kyle) 24.1
The rosters stand as such based on our acquisitions thus far (there may be more prior to the start of this week’s games):
Team Kyle: QB Logan Marchi (St. Paul), QB Tanner Kingsley (Woodland), RB Tyrae Small (Derby), RB Jacob Thomas (Wilby), RB Joey Salemme (Seymour), WR Brendan Carroll (St. Paul), WR Mike Kenney (Woodland), WR Jay Pelletier (Wolcott), Naugatuck defense
Team Remmy: QB Jason Bradley (Naugatuck), QB Michael Kreiger (Derby), RB Arkeel Newsome (Ansonia), RB Joe Lynch (Wolcott), RB Tom Douty (Naugatuck), WR Reid Morin (St. Paul), WR Ryne Griesenauer (Naugatuck), WR Bryan Coney (Naugatuck), Ansonia defense