This week in local football - 9/18/11
(Lewis Mills head coach Greg Todd was a winner in his coaching debut Saturday against Morgan.)
The first weekend of local high school football is in the books and the storylines are fascinating to say the least.
We’ll start off with Wolcott Tech, which recorded its first on-field victory in varsity history Saturday, a 20-12 win at Stamford Academy.
The Wildcats switched from the Pequot Conference to the Constitution State Conference this season and the move paid immediate dividends from a competitive standpoint.
Towards the end of last season, head coach Jamie Coty appeared with us on the Litchfield County Sports Show and you could see the fatigue on his face from the beatings his team was taking. Physically, the Wildcats don’t have the depth and size to compete on a consistent high level in the Pequot, and this move, as we have already seen, was one that had to be made.
In victory, Steve Oakes rushed for two touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner in the fourth quarter. Mike Sullivan added a four-yard scoring run in the second.
Technically, this is the second win in program history, but as we spoke about in the game preview, that came by forfeit. Needless to say, this one is a tad sweeter for those that were involved in both.
And don’t forget, the program was on the brink of extinction just two months ago when the state was threatening to banish sports from tech schools. You have to give credit to Coty for not running from the program and holding it together during that trying time.
His perseverance and leadership played the biggest role in making Saturday's historic win possible.
Deron Bayer’s Housatonic squad got off to a great start with a 36-20 win at home Friday over the Windsor Locks three-team co-op.
One interesting note from Friday’s game was the ball distribution by the Mountaineers in their first game since all-time leading rusher Tanner Brissett graduated.
Jake Sutterlin had the bulk of the carriers, rushing 27 times for 212 yards and four touchdowns (three rushing and one passing) out of the single-wing formation. Donyell Williams and Jake Foley had six carries apiece and Will Perotti finished with three rushing attempts.
Friday’s game was an example of riding the hot hand, which clearly belonged to Sutterlin. Don’t be surprised to see Williams, in particular, see the ball more in the coming weeks.
Torrington had high hopes for its game at Ansonia Thursday, but they were squashed by Arkeel Newsome’s 324 yards and six touchdowns, which resulted in a decisive 49-20 Charger win.
Other than Newsome, obviously, the schedule may have been the biggest thorn in the Red Raiders’ side. Having Ansonia on tap for Week 1 led to endless hype and the distraction of the “biggest game in 25 or whatever years” for Torrington didn’t help.
Seeing Ansonia later in the season, especially after having time to work in replacements for critical graduation losses in Dean Tsopanides, Zach Schebell and Walter Lewis, would have been more beneficial for Torrington.
Congrats to Lewis Mills head coach Greg Todd, who was a winner in his head coaching debut Saturday as his Spartans defeated Morgan, 42-28, at Muzzy Field.
Todd has many years of assistant coaching experience locally, working on both the Naugatuck and Woodland coaching staffs.
“The reason I came here is because this program reminds me of the Woodland program,” Todd said after the win. “I really see an opportunity to build something here like we did there. We’re a young program, but the bottom line here is the same as anywhere – you work hard and you will see the results."
LOCAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jake Sutterlin, Housatonic: Rushed for 212 yards, three touchdowns and also passed for a 27-yard touchdown in the Mountaineers’ 36-20 win over Windsor Locks and friends Friday night in Falls Village.
LOCAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Bobby Martinotti, Lewis Mills: Interecepted two passes, including one for an 80-yard touchdown return in leading the Spartans over Morgan Saturday.
SIGHTING OF THE WEEK
Football fields with the baseball dirt are a dying breed thanks to modern venures, but at least one locally still exists at Muzzy Field (pictured below), home of Lewis Mills football.
Since I have no problem making fun of myself, we’ll post the results of my predictions in this space every week. While I should be happy with a 4-2 record (wins – Torrington, Lewis Mills, Housatonic, Nonnewaug; losses – Wolcott Tech, Gilbert), my memory from this week will be my Wolcott Tech selection. I picked the Wildcats to lose to Stamford Academy, which may not seem like a big deal, but is to me considering I not only stared at the screen forever trying the make a pick, but because I wrote this in the preview capsule: “This year, I predict they will get at least a win or two on the field and not by email notification.” Moral of the story: go with your gut.
NON-HIGH SCHOOL THOUGHTS FOR THE ROAD
For those not easily offended, please find a way to watch the final two episodes of this season’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. You’ll thank me immediately. And probably buy me a gift.
Dear Paul Pasqualoni,
I’m not a UConn football fan, but even I’m disgusted by your three-quarterback rotation. What exactly was accomplished in training camp that you still can’t decide on a starter three games into the season? Please, for the good of your and everyone’s health, make a decision.
From the only happens to Tiscia files: I started Aaron Rodgers on my fantasy team last week and he went crazy, throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Believe it or not, I would’ve been better off starting Ryan Fitzpatrick, who sat on my bench and notched more points than Rodgers. And I lost. Only me.
OBLIGATORY SOCIAL MEDIA AND RADIO PROMOTION
Twitter: @l_county_sports; @PatrickTiscia
Radio: Monday, 5:30-6 p.m. on WAPJ (89.9 and 105.1 FM)