Staples overwhelms McMahon
WESTPORT -- Brien McMahon running back Trevon Forney said after Friday night's game against Staples that the Senators knew they had to have positive plays from the beginning to keep up with the high-scoring Wreckers.
Down 7-0, the Senators got exactly what they hoped for as Forney -- a speed threat who scored three touchdowns of more than 79 yards two games ago -- ran the team's first play for 64 yards to the Staples' 20.
But the run was called back for holding. A subsequent delay of game penalty made it 1st-and-26 for the Senators, a foreshadowing of the steep uphill climb that soon awaited them as Staples burst out to a 49-0 lead at halftime before winning 55-14 in a soggy setting at Staples Stadium.
"We needed positives from the beginning of the game," Forney said. "The fact we had a long run and then it was taken back, I just think that messed up the whole momentum of the team."
On Staples' second drive, running back Nick Kelly ran it in for 17 yards, his first of three touchdowns of the half. McMahon fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up Staples at the McMahon 15-yard line. After a 14-yard pass from Staples quarterback Jack Massie to wide receiver James Frusciante, Kelly punched it in again and the Wreckers were off, ahead 21-0 with 6:21 left in the first quarter.
Staples scored on all seven of its first-half possessions. The Wreckers had five plays of more than 20 yards, and also plays of 18 and 19 yards, respectively.
"The O-line played fantastic and the defense really came together, so it was awesome," Kelly said.
Staples had 479 offensive yards at the half, McMahon only 20.
"I don't know that we can play any better than we did tonight," Staples head coach Marce Petroccio said. "Our kids came out and we were hitting on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. The fact that their first long run got called back I think took the wind out of their sails. But I don't think anyone was going to stop us tonight."
The Wreckers had no trouble spreading the success around. In addition to Kelly's three first-half touchdowns, Staples got rushing touchdowns from Massie, Joey Zelkowitz, Patrick Lesch and Zack Speranza.
"It unraveled very, very quickly," McMahon head coach AJ Albano said. "We had a couple turnovers, a couple penalties. We talked about playing perfect football and we played far from perfect. Sometimes a game takes a life of its own, and this one just ran away and we couldn't catch up."
Down 49-0 at the half Albano challenged the Senators to play with character.
"I told them, `It's easy to be a good leader and it's easy to be a good teammate when you're up 41-14. Your character is measured by how you respond in times of adversity.' Obviously being down 49-0 at halftime is as close as you can get to adversity. So we talked about having 24 minutes left and how your character would be measured. So we did an OK job and kept up the fight. But that is a really good football team. They're not ranked in the Top 3 in the state for no reason. Obviously we have a long way to go to compete at that level."
If Staples had won by more than 50 points, Petroccio would have been subject to a one-game suspension under CIAC rules. He admits it crossed his mind. He took out his starters, but he urged the backups to play hard.
"I don't want to make a mockery of the game," Petroccio said. "I like coach Albano, we have a good relationship. I put the JV in and said, `If you have a chance to score, don't fall down, score.' But I think we were doing all the right things. It's always a concern, but at the end of the day I don't want to embarrass anyone. And I think that taking a knee and falling down is a heck of a lot more embarrassing than just playing. So we played and everything worked out fine."
Staples 55, BRIEN McMahon 14
MCMAHON 0 0 7 7--14
STAPLES 35 14 6 0--55
S--Joey Zelkowitz, 4 run (Liam Gilmore kick)
S--Nick Kelly, 17 run (Gilmore kick)
S--Kelly, 1 run (Gilmore kick)
S--Massie, 18 run (Gilmore kick)
S--Patrick Lesch, 48 run (Gilmore kick)
S--Kelly, 9 run (Gilmore kick)
S--Zack Speranza, 25 run (Gilmore kick)
S--Tyler Tsang, 7 run (Knee taken on conversion)
M--Kyle Jordan, 1 run (Henry Limon kick)
M--Trevon Forney, 45 yard run (Limon kick)
Records: McMahon 2-1; Staples 3-0.