Staples football wins big over Wilbur Cross at home after two straight losses

Staples played Wilbur Cross in a Connecticut High School Football Alliance game on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

Staples played Wilbur Cross in a Connecticut High School Football Alliance game on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

Dan Gardella / For Hearst CT Media

WESTPORT — After two straight losses to St. Joseph and Cheshire, Staples returned home and bounced back in a big way.

Staples found the end zone eight times including five total touchdowns from senior Ryan Thompson on its way to a 57-12 victory Friday night.

After scoring 14 points apiece against St. Joseph and Cheshire, the Staples offense scored on each of its first four drives. Three of the drives ended with Thompson finding senior wide receiver Nick Armentano to help the Wreckers run away with the game early.

Armentano’s three touchdown catches in the first half totaled 101 yards, including a pair of 40-plus-yard connections.

“We’ve been playing with each other since seventh grade, so that’s where the chemistry comes from,” Thompson said. “Him having three touchdowns is him being fast and athletic.”

Armentano accounted for three of Thompson’s four touchdowns through the air. Thompson’s final scoring pass went to Tanner Connors with 17 seconds in the half to cap off a flawless half and take a 43-6 lead into halftime.

Even while Staples had the large lead, head coach Adam Behrends wanted to make sure he didn’t see his team get complacent in its execution.

“We talked as a coaching staff and said that if we get in a hole like we have the past two weeks we have to keep swinging,” Behrends said. “Even if we have some early success, we have to make sure everyone is staying engaged and finishing the job.”

Staples would follow that message of relentlessness almost instantly. Four plays into the second half, Thompson would use his legs to find the end zone.

On an option play, Thompson would keep it himself, bounce off of a pair of tackles and scamper 55 yards on his way to his fifth score of the game.

Offensively, Thompson believes the reason his team executed well offensively was the level of focus during practice throughout the week.

“We knew we had a tough three-game stretch where we could have played better than we did,” Thompson said. “We assessed it and said we have to go harder in practice. Our game plan was great and we did what the coaches asked of us.”

Heading into the bye week with an even 2-2 record, Behrends says he wants to make sure his team is staying consistent and accountable moving forward.

“As coaches, we have to make sure nothing is sliding,” Behrends said. “As players, if they see something that their teammate is doing wrong, it’s not being a butthead to ask him to do what we ask of him.”

While Wilbur Cross head coach John Acquavita was looking for more effort and physicality from his team, he was not satisfied with the performance his team produced.

“The entire game there was a lack of mental focus,” Acquavita said. “We were not ready mentally to play when they got off the bus.”


STAPLES 21 22 14 0 — 57

WILBUR CROSS 0 6 0 6 — 12

S —Tanner Connors 2-yard run (Kick good)

S — Ryan Thompson 16-yard pass to Nick Armentano (Kick good)

S — Ryan Thompson 41-yard pass to Nick Armentano (Kick good)

S — Ryan Thompson 44-yard pass to Nick Armentano (Kick good)

S — Jake Yarish 11-yard run (Pass good)

WC — Jamel Lee 65-yard run (Run failed)

S — Ryan Thompson 21-yard pass to Tanner Connors (Kick good)

S — Ryan Thompson 55-yard run (Kick good)

S —Will Holleman 1-yard run (Kick good)

W — Jamel Lee 1-yard run (Run failed)