TORRINGTON: Up 6-0 in the third quarter of their Saturday morning home opener against Crosby, the Torrington Raiders football team was facing a daunting task.
It was third down and forever after a penalty had driven the home team back in the wrong direction.
After scoring the first touchdown of the game the Raiders had turned the ball over on down their next two first half possessions and ran out of time on a third right before the half.
The Bulldogs defense was helping their offense, which wasn’t able to do anything against a stubborn Torrington defense by keeping the Raiders at bay.
You had a feeling it was one of those games where one team let the other hang around a little too long.
Enter Mason Stannard and Michael Ahoua.
On that third and forever play (it was closer to third and 30), Stannard, a senior receiver got a little separation from two Crosby defenders and caught a nicely thrown ball from his junior quarterback for a much needed 35-yard completion.
Three plays later, Ahoua would roll to his right and find junior Alex Bush down the sidelines for a 31-yard touchdown and a 12-0 lead.
“They had stopped our offense in the middle of the field for a while,” Stannard said. “I knew I had to get myself open to make a play for my team.”
That score was critical for the Raiders because the Bulldogs, having not found success running outside most of the game, changed to as power formation and ran a majority of their plays on a 17-play, 58-yard drive either up the middle or on counters.
The result was a touchdown run from Jeremiah Febus that after the two-point conversion, made it a precarious 12-8 lead for the home team.
Torrington was forced to punt after a three and out and it was left in the hands of the Raider defense to come up with a stop which they did by sacking Febus on fourth and 7 at their own 37.
With just over four minutes to play, the home team drove those 37-yards in seven plays, ending with a diving Aiden Hansen four-yard run.
Hansen (9-82) would also layout on the two-point conversion to put this one away.
NOTES: The Raiders recorded three sacks in their opener.
Hansen had a 65-yard run to set up the first score in the opening quarter.
The game started at 9 a.m. with a terrific crowd on hand.
Torrington travels to take on St Paul next Friday night before returning home to face Gilbert/Northwestern on Friday, September 22 at 6 p.m.
Torrington 20, Crosby 8
Crosby 0 0 0 6 -6
Torrington 6 0 6 8-20
T-Edwin Rivera 3 run (Kick failed)
Alex Bush 31 pass from Michael Ahoua (Conversion failed)
C- Jeremiah Febus 2 run (Febus run)
T-Aiden Hanson 4 run (Hansen conversion)
Torrington-Ahoua 4-15, Hansen 9-82, Rivera 1-3, Bush 4-47, Mickael Camara 1-1, Trey Bayette 1-4
Bush 2-46, Stannard 1-35, Hansen 1-4
Records: Torrington 1-0, Crosby 0-1