Staples routs Central
WESTPORT -- Despite being absent from postseason contention, the Staples football team had all the motivation it needed on Friday night at home against Bridgeport Central.
It was the final home game for the Wreckers seniors, who went out on a high note despite a host of mistakes early in the contest.
Ethan Burger and Owen Burke each ran for two touchdowns, leading Staples to a 45-12 win over the Hilltoppers to move above .500 at 5-4.
Senior quarterback Teddy Coogan, who passed for one score and and ran for another, admitted the night carried a special meaning.
"It's definitely mixed," Coogan said. "We got a huge win on our last game. It's sad that it's over, it really is. I couldn't' be happier with the outcome. It was a complete performance everyone was focused and everyone played well. One of the greatest nights of my life."
The Wreckers started slowly with three turnovers in the first quarter. Burger scored on an 18-yard run on the team's second possession to give the Wreckers a 7-0 lead. Burger had 125 yards in the first half as the seniors got the bulk of the playing time in the second.
"(Burger's) having a great year, he should be over 1,000 yards now," Staples coach Marce Petroccio said. "He's only played in eight games."
Bridgeport Central sophomore quarterback Cael St. Fleur -- filling in for injured starter Mykel Morris -- threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Taivon Reed to bring the Hilltoppers to within a point at 7-6.
"I'm proud of (St. Fleur)," Central coach Brian Gordon said. "He's a sophomore; he did some really nice things and gives us a lot to look forward to."
However on the very next play from scrimmage, Coogan took the quarterback keeper 71 yards for a score and Staples never looked back.
"I couldn't hand it off so I pulled the ball, and it was weird on the side I was supposed to run," Coogan said. "It was open on the other side so I just had to take it."
After the Staples defense forced a three-and-out, Coogan found Jake Melnick for a 48-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 21-6. Another Burger touchdown and a 40-yard field goal by Paul Tricarico made it 31-6 at halftime.
Down 31-6 at halftime, the Hilltoppers didn't quit and got their reward with a 54-yard fumble return to make the score 35-12. Burke scored two touchdowns in the second half to put the game away for Staples.
"We haven't played a clean four quarters," Gordon said. "There are spurts here and there but inconsistencies, and that's the challenging part."
Staples 45, Bridgeport Central 12
BRIDGEPORT CENTRAL 6 0 6 0--12
STAPLES 14 17 7 7--45
S--Ethan Burger 18 run (Paul Tricarico kick)
BC--Taivon Reed 32 pass Cael St. Fleur (run failed)
S--Teddy Coogan 71 run (Tricarico kick)
S--Jake Melnick 48 pass Coogan (Tricarico kick)
S--Burger 19 run (Tricarico kick)
S--Tricarico 40 field goal
BC--Manny Lavant 52 fumble return (pass failed)
S--Owen Burke 1 run (Tricarico kick)
S--Burke 26 run (Tricarico kick)
Records: Bridgeport Central 2-7, 2-6 FCIAC; Staples 5-4, 5-3.