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A Turkey Day to savor

POSTED November 30, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                                                      A Turky Day to savor    

            Ah, what a day it was and that was long before the basted bird, mashed potatoes and that green bean casserole hit the table. Long before the last relative had to be shoveled out into the car – thanks for coming, see you next year. Long before the Lions, Cowboys, Steelers and all else. Long before they started belting one another at Danbury Mall giving new meaning to `Black’ Friday.

            If you braved the rather raw elements there was a football smorgasbord out there to entertain you more than usual I’m thinking. If you didn’t venture out, you stayed a lot warmer than most, but you missed much.

            Start with Wolcott and Holy Cross. An 11 on a scale of 1-10. While Watertown Town Times sportswriter Jim Drehr, Watertown boys basketball coach, myself and P.A. guy Ed Sakl were at the Torrington – Watertown game freezing our respective carcasses off  in the overhang that acts as a class A wind tunnel, the Eagles and Crusaders were putting on one memorable show.

            The tweets kept speaking to a one-sided Wolcott runaway. At one point the Eagles led, 26-6, it didn’t appear that any amount of Hail Marys was going to save the Crusaders. Ah, us of little faith.

            By the time the early fourth quarter rolled around Holy Cross had rallied for a 33-32 lead. Than Wolcott regained the lead, 38-33 lead with 34 seconds to play. If the show ended there even the dearly departed would have been entertained. But the last act was still coming.

            On the game’s last play from scrimmage, Holy Cross quarterback Joe Kalosky found the Doug Flutie in himself and heaved the ball down the field from his own 45-yard line.  A tipped ball later Geron Pendarvis become one with Gerard Phelan and one with legend and caught the ball turning the game into classic for the ages and a 39-38 Holy Cross victory.

            Stunning, crushing, ecstatic. All of that and more depending on your rooting interests.

            If the drama belonged in Wolcott, the brilliance was display in Naugatuck. That’s where the Greyhounds and Ansonia Chargers hooked up for the 114th time. That is where one more time Sir Arkeel Newsome ruled the day and the Valley. And yes, we have knighted him for royal football playing over his career.

            Newsome was devastating, dominating and whatever accolade you can figure out. He ran for more yards than the runners in the Manchester Road Race.  He found the end zone enough times for the referee to tear a rotator cuff raising his arms.

            Arkeel the Magnificent racked up 406 yards and scored seven times, the second greatest performance in the storied rivalry, only Bubby Natowich’s 451-yard game in 1936 accounting for more yardage (thanks Kyle Brennan for that nugget). You get the idea that Bubby and Arkeel would have had much to talk about and share.

            He scored from short and long from in and out. He sat out most of the fourth quarter. We bow to thee Mr. Newsome. What is left? Nothing in the NVL that is for certain. Maybe another state title and a few more yards and touchdowns.

            Newsome has now run for 825,000 yards in his career. Okay, I exaggerate but this one was off of the charts against a good Naugatuck team.

            Kennedy and Crosby didn’t cheat its fans on the entertainment scale either. With just over a minute left, the Bulldogs scored to cut the Kennedy lead to, 30-28. However the two-point conversion failed when the snap was bobbled.

            Up at Gilbert’s Van Why Field, Housatonic, 14 players strong, did itself proud in the Berkshire Bowl. Gilbert built up the big lead and Housatonic came back to lose by just a 27-22 margin. The Mountaineers recovered an onside kick with 26 seconds left just to put a nervous twitter in the Winsted wind at Gilbert.

            At our game, not much drama and not very many fans to be honest in a rivalry that has always drawn well. But a satisfying victory for a Torrington program that is emerging from some dark days behind the coaching Gaitan Rodriguez.

            I went home and inhaled plate of mashers, turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and that casserole stuff. There was also something with sausage in it that was really good. After a while you don’t ask, you just suck it in.

            A piece of cheese cake and blueberry pie completed the assault on the digestive period. It was delicious.

            But you know, the day was great was long before dinner. All over the area, football gave us one more mighty fine turkey day.   

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