Wolcott Tech Wildcats drop 27-0 decision to Hyde Leadership.
TORRINGTON-When the defensive line you are facing sports a 6’2, 244 pound tackle, a 6’4”, 298 pound tackle and a 5’11” 247 pound lineman and more, the task of getting anything done on offense just got a whole bunch harder.
That was the task that presented itself to the Wolcott Tech Wildcats as they faced off against a huge Hyde Leadership that came in with a 3-0 record.
The Howling Wolves had been ranked in the top 20 in some State polls and had beaten some pretty impressive programs coming in, including Avon (20-18), Cromwell (12-7) and Morgan (14-7).
The low scoring nature of those games tells you all you need to know about which side of the ball has been the most impressive to date, the defense.
That and perhaps the kick return team which got the visitors on the board just 15 seconds into the game when Quinton Thompson took the opening kickoff on a bounce and raced 70 yards for a touchdown.
A two point conversion put the Wolves up early but the Wildcats stuck to their game plan coming in and moved the ball well in the first half.
A nine-play drive that ended with a fumble (recovered by Hyde) was followed by a seven and 13 play drives that didn’t end with any points but showed the home team could move the ball, despite being outweighed by a few tons on the line.
Tech head coach Jamie Coty started junior Steve Oakes at quarterback, and Oakes was moving his team with confidence before he took a blow to the head and sat the remainder of the first half.
Despite being down by eight early, the Wildcats found themselves just down 15-0 late in the second quarter, not a bad showing against a team with the skill level of the Wolves.
The 13-play drive late in the second quarter stalled at the Hyde 47, forcing a punt by Seth Beechinor, who was busy most of the afternoon.
Beechinor handled the punting, the kickoffs and all returns for the home team and had several nice returns while avoiding major pressure on the punts.
The Wolves drove 73-yards in nine plays, highlighted by a 35 yard scamper from Seth Beaton that put the ball at the Wildcats 25 with under a minute left in the half.
Patrick Davidson punched it in from a yard out to send the Wolves to the half with a 21-0 lead.
Again, not a horrible half against a team that plays some of the best teams in the state on a regular basis.
With the lead though, Hyde made sure the Wildcats didn’t get anything going in the second half as the defense started to flex their muscles.
On their first offensive series of the second half, Tech went three and out, setting up a 50 yard drive that included a remarkable circus catch by a Hyde player and some hard nose defense from a Tech linebacker.
On second and 11 from the Wildcats 24, quarterback James Howard-Baker threw a bullet that Beaton went full out on a dive to reign the ball in on the Tech two yard line.
From there, Hyde tried to pound it in but linebacker Trevor Carlson stopped Davidson cold on consecutive runs, the second one going for a three yard loss.
Hyde would score when Howard-Baker found Roberson on a pattern for a five yard touchdown reception.
To their credit, the Wildcats played hard all game, not folding up the tents when the going got rough.
Junior Paul Daniels forced a fumble late in the fourth with a ferocious hit on Beaton that jarred the ball loose.
Overall, Coty was not disappointed with his teams effort and their ability to play hard all game.
“They could not stop us on the ground in the first half,” Coty said, “That is a huge accomplishment for us against a team that has that much talent.”