Raiders ride offensive minded defense to a 50-14 win over Wilby.
TORRINGTON: Coming into the 2017 season, the Torrington football team appeared to be a team that was going to be able to score points.
They returned one of the fastest players in the Naugatuck Valley League in senior Dylan Myrie who didn't need much space to make something good happen and did so very often a year ago.
In their season opener on the road a week ago against Seymour, the Raiders got blitzed by a better team in a 49-8 final leading to one question going into their game against visiting Wilby.
Could their defense do enough to allow the offense a chance to do their thing?
Three series into their home opener before a robust crowd, sophomore defensive lineman John Pasko made a statement by causing a fumble that opened the floodgates to a 32-point first quarter that led to a 50-14 win over Wilby.
"We knew that we had to get inside the guards," Pasko said. "We knew they were big but not fast enough to keep up with us. We just started sending a lot of pressure up the middle and on the play, I shredded my block and hit the running back and was able to come up with the ball."
Torrington had been up 8-0 after taking their first drive of the game 73 yards in seven plays, culminated by a Myrie 21-yard burst around the left side for the games first points.
It took just one play for the home team to crack the scoreboard again after the Pasko play, this time on a 14-yard run by junior Josh Maldonado who is a nice compliment to Myrie with speed to spare of his own.
Three plays into their next drive, the Wildcats attempted a screen play that went wrong and thanks to the heads up play of sophomore Jacob Coleman, turned into more Raider defensive points.
"We practiced all week on the fact that they were going to throw a lot of screens," Coleman said. "I saw that the ball went backwards and that I had to pick it up and take it to the house."
Coleman raced 59 yards to pay dirt and the Raiders had 24 points on the board with just eight minutes gone in the game.
Their next score was also a defensive touchdown but this one was worthy of a highlight film and it involved Myrie.
With Wilby facing a third and five from their own 43, Myrie dropped back in coverage and as a long pass appeared to be headed over his head, the talented senior leaped high into the air and grabbed the pass with his right hand, something out of the Odell Beckham Jr's playbook.
As if that wasn't impressive enough, Myrie came down with the ball and took off across the field, down the right sideline and in for a 70-yard interception return that made the score after the two-point conversion, 32-0.
The home team had run eight offensive plays and led 32-0.
Two defensive touchdowns and another set up by a forced fumble fueled the scoring rush.
That's some kind of full game for any defense to have, let alone doing all of it in the first quarter.
Maldonado would score three touchdowns on the night, Myrie two, one defensive and one offensive.
Junior signal caller, Ora Curry, threw just one pass, a 21-yard completion to Pasko in the second quarter.
Reserve quarterback Conrad Avallone added a long touchdown run in the second half to cap the Raiders scoring.
Raiders fans enjoyed a running clock most of the second half, not something they see very often but because of an advantageous defense and a strong offense, the Raiders improve to 1-1 on the year with rival Naugatuck on deck next week at home.