Football: Staples rolls past Danbury
Updated 8:43 am, Saturday, September 17, 2016
DANBURY — Staples football coach Marce Petroccio had to wait nearly 10 months between wins 199 and 200.
Win No. 201 was a much easier proposition though.
After overcoming a slow start for the second straight week, Petroccio and the Wreckers spoiled Danbury’s home opener with a 36-7 rout on Friday night to improve to 2-0.
Though last week’s win over McMahon was a milestone night for Petroccio, Friday belonged to junior running back Harris Levi. Stepping in for Elliott Poulley — who injured his ankle in the first series — Levi rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns
“Harris knows he’s the next guy in and he’s tremendous,” Petroccio said. “He can change the game, and he changed the game tonight. He did a tremendous job.”
Danbury jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard touchdown from senior quarterback Davi’On Vines, and held its own for most of the first half. The Wreckers finally got the jolt they needed when they forced a fumble on a screen pass that would have kept a Danbury drive alive.
However Colin Hunter picked up the loose ball and returned the ball to the Hatters 10-yard line, which set up the game-tying touchdown run by Levi.
“We need our defense to create turnovers and they did,” Petroccio said. “Once they do that we have to capitalize and score. We were in a dogfight; we needed something to get us going.”
Levi had a pair of 45-yard runs in the contest, one in each half.
“I think we finished very strong,” Levi said. “In the runs up the middle (the offensive line) was doing a great job of getting the lineman and moving onto the secondary. They did a great job doing that.”
The Wreckers went up for good late in the first half on a quick-scoring drive that featured the team’s newfound tempo. The Wreckers went four plays in less than a minute, capped by quarterback Andrew Speed’s 16-yard touchdown run.
Though in striking distance by halftime, Staples outscored Danbury 15-0 in the third quarter.
“Things got away from us and a couple of kids got their heads down,” said Danbury coach Alex Trasacco. “We’re a work in progress, we’re trying to teach them how to win because we’re young. It’s not an easy thing.”
Staples quickly pulled away in the second half as fatigue set in on the hosts. Danbury turned the ball over on the opening possession in the third quarter — on a play that injured Vines and forced the Hatters to change quarterbacks — and Staples quickly cashed in again. The Wreckers then forced a safety to increase the lead to 23-7 and Levi’s third touchdown run put the game away.
“We were really pounding the ball really well and our conditioning took over in the second half,” Petroccio said.
The game was also turnover filled on both sides — the Wreckers threw three interceptions while the Hatters returned the favor with three fumbles.
STAPLES 36, DANBURY 7
STAPLES 0 14 15 7—36
DANBURY 7 0 0 0—7
D—Davi’On Vines 13 run (Fabio De Oliveira kick)
S—Harris Levi 2 run (Ben van der Merwe kick)
S—Andrew Speed 16 run (van der Merwe kick)
S—Levi 2 run (van der Merwe kick)
S—Levi 31 run (kick missed)
S—Brandon Adrian 7 run (van der Merwe kick)
Records: Staples 2-0, Danbury 0-2.