Gilbert/Northwestern improves to 7-1 with 34-13 win over Enfield...Story by John Torsiello.
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
WINSTED-Coming off an emotional one-point win over arch-rival Avon last Saturday you could forgive the Gilbert-Northwestern football team for letting down a bit the following week.
But the Yellowjackets couldn’t afford to take Saturday’s opponent, Enfield, lightly. It was what they call a trap game, one that follows a big win, at home against a team Gilbert should beat, with a huge meeting with Valley Regional looming two weeks down the road. But no trap was sprung on Saturday
“This was a must win for us,” said senior quarterback John Lippincott, “one that we had to have in order to keep us in the race for a state playoff berth and to make the game against Valley Regional important.”
G-N recovered from a slow start to put 27 points on the scoreboard in the second half as the ‘Jackets pasted Enfield (4-4), 34-13, to win for the seventh time against only one loss.
After Enfield scored the first touchdown of the game when Jason Davis threw a 57-yard bomb to Nicholas Joren halfway through the first period, the home club scored 34 unanswered points.
“We seem to have a bad first half and get it going in the second half or a good first half and slowdown in the second,” said Lippincott, who threw for 62 yards and rushed for 44 more. “Today, we had a bad first half but our defense kept us in the game until our offense got going.”
The ‘Jacket defense did indeed play well, limiting the visitors to the first quarter touchdown and a meaningless one with 53 seconds remaining, while holding Enfield to only 67 yards on the ground. The Raiders did gain 149 yards in the air, but half of those came in the final few minutes of the game when backup signal caller Jake Watts came in to complete 4-of-5 tosses for 70 yards a touchdown to Joren.
G-N’s defense made a crucial goal line stop when it appeared Enfield was going in for the lead score late in the first half. That stop allowed the ‘Jackets to maintain a slim, 7-6, lead at intermission and the home club came out fired up and dominated the second half.
Gilbert-Northwestern, which had to overcome three lost fumbles and an interception, scored with 4:22 remaining in the second period when junior Aiden Tellier went over from one yard out.
The ‘Jackets then ran off 21 points in the third period. Senior workhorse Antony Ortiz, who rushed for 185 yards on 21 carries, scored on a 10-yard run, senior Seth Dayton scored his second touchdown on a 62 yard paydirt scamper, and Ortiz tallied for the second time when he broke free on a run-to-daylight 62-yard TD with three minutes remaining in the game.
“Our offensive line did a great job blocking today,” said G-N head coach Scott Salius. “I think Tony wasn’t touched on his long run in the fourth period. I tell you, you may hold Tony Ortiz down for a while but if you give him the ball 20 or more times he’s going to break a few and put up some big yards.”
Salius said Gilbert’s game plan on defense as to bottle up Enfield’s passing game.
“We put Seth Dayton on Tyrik Henry, who is a very dangerous receiver, and Seth did a great job on him. Our defense played well and kept the game tight until the offense got going,” He added, “John Lippincott made some nice plays when things broke down on offense.”
The head coach said his team must keep its focus when it travels to Nonnewaug next Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest.
“They have some good players and they would like nothing better than to knock us off at home. We had four games, against Ellington, Canton, Avon and Enfield, that we circled on the schedule and said if we could come out of them at least 3-1 it would be good. Well, we came out 4-0 but that doesn’t mean anything if we don’t take care of business before the Valley Regional (8-0) game in two weeks. We have had a way of tripping up in games we should have won the last few years and we can’t allow that to happen if we want to get to the state playoffs and have a shot at beating Valley Regional for what I would consider the Pequot Conference title.”
G-N leads the West Division and Valley Regional the South Division of the three-division Pequot Conference, which does not have a championship game.
Gilbert 34, Enfield 13
Enfield 6 0 0 7 13
Gilbert-Northwestern 7 0 6 21 34
E-Nicholas Joren 57 pass from Jason Davis (kick missed)
G-Seth Dayton 1 run (Joe Colombie kick)
G-Aiden Tellier 1 run (kick missed)
G-Anthony Ortiz 10 run (kick missed)
G-Dayton 62 run (John Lippincott run)
G-Ortiz 62 run (Colombie kick)
E-Nicholas Joran 50 pass from Jake Watts (Joren kick)
Passing: E- Jason Davis 5-17-79-1, Jake Watts 4-5-70-1, Christopher Lapointe 0-1-0-0. G-John Lippincott 2-8-62-1.
Rushing: E-Bryan Murphy 2-22. G-Tony Ortiz 21-185, Seth Dayton 4-72, Lippincott 10-44.
Receiving: E-Joren 3-114. G-Dayton 2-62.
Records: E-4-4, G-7-1.