Local Football Week in Review - Week 1
To be frank, it was an ugly season opener for the Torrington football team Friday night against Ansonia.
The Red Raiders lost 66-26 (it could’ve been worse), struggled to gain any offensive momentum and had serious issues tackling on the defensive side. Thanks to two return touchdowns from Desmond Langs (interception) and Edgar Gonzalez (kickoff), the very strong crowd of over 1,000 at the Robert H. Frost Sports Complex had at least something to cheer about.
The Torrington coaching staff won’t be cheering, though, when it reviews the game film. One question that will be answered when the Red Raiders travel to Wolcott next week is if Ansonia’s that good or Torrington’s that bad?
Based on recent history, the answer will be that Ansonia was just too good, and Torrington head coach Dan Dunaj is banking on that.
“It may not have looked like it, but we had a lot of bright spots,” Dunaj said. “It’s hard to simulate the speed of Ansonia in practice and we definitely could’ve tackled better. But we had kids who played well and will look for them to carry that to next week.”
Langs, one of those bright spots, finished with 80 yards receiving on five receptions, including a 30-yard reception for a score from Phil Bressen.
Gilbert/Northwestern fell 34-21 to Coventry Friday, but this isn’t what you would consider to be a “bad” loss. Coventry has given the Yellowjackets fits over recent years and G-N held its own in this one. Tony Ortiz had a monster game in defeat, compiling 262 total yards and two touchdowns. John Lippincott connected on an 80-yard touchdown to John Ambrozaitis. All three G-N touchdowns were at least 80 yards.
If the Yellowjackets play like this going forward, another 6-7 win season will certainly be in play.
Rounding out the schedule, Nonnewaug, Housatonic/Wamogo, Lewis Mills and Wolcott Tech all lost as well, giving the local teams a total of zero wins in the opening week. Those four teams listed above combined to score 12 points. To be positive, at least it can’t get worse.
SIGHTING OF THE WEEK: The crowd at Torrington Friday night
In 10 years of covering Torrington, this was by far the best non-Thanksgiving crowd I’ve seen for a Red Raider home game. At 6:30 p.m., the line at the box office was at least 30 people deep and the crowd was as vocal as one can be when the home team loses by 40.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tony Ortiz, Gilbert/Northwestern
Taking over the starting running back role from the graduated Devon Molway, Ortiz rushed for 158 yards, caught 3 passes for 104 yards and had two touchdowns.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Desmond Langs, Torrington
Langs intercepted two Ansonia passes, including one for a 22-yard touchdown return.
4-2 in Week 1. I can’t complain, not terrible. We’ll see, though, how long this winning percentage lasts.
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