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Huge win for "GN" football over Cromwell on opening night.

POSTED September 14, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

CROMWELL: This one ranks right up there with a few of the best wins in school history.

The Gilbert/Northwestern Yellowjackets took to the road for their first game of 2013 season and came away with a stunning 34-27 win over perennial state powerhouse Cromwell.

How big?

“It’s top five for sure,” “GN” head coach Scott Salius said. “In the past we might have lost a game like this on the road but our defense came up big in the fourth quarter.”

Salius got a super human effort from a player who may be on his way to having one of those seasons ‘Jacket fans will remember for a long time.

Tony Ortiz opened the scoring for the visitors with a 75-yard touchdown run on his team’s first possession.

“GN” would end the night with a remarkable 419 yards rushing, 235 from Ortiz and 164 from John Lippincott who scored on two runs and passed for another.

Cromwell, who posted an 8-2 record a year ago and just missed qualifying for the Class S states, has always been thought to be part of the stronger side of the Pequot League and a tough opponent for the Northwest teams.

Salius and company have consistently demonstrated since they took over and created the “GN” brand that no obstacle was too big, no goal unattainable.

Ortiz followed up his first quarter romp with a 64-yard burst that put the Yellowjackets up 13-3.

After going into the half with a 20-12 lead, Lippincott got his offense spiced up fast with a 51-yard scoring run.

Up 27-12 and in the driver seat, the visitors braced for the comeback from the home team that came in the form of back to back score that with a two-point conversion tied things at 27.

“In the past, that is where we would have lost it,” Salius said.

Not this year, not with this talent laden offense.

Lippincott and Ortiz hooked up on an 8-yard scoring pass that accounted for the game’s final points.

A scoreless fourth quarter was deceiving because it failed to show the road teams dominance on both sides of the ball.

Twice the “GN” offense got inside the Cromwell 10-yard line but came away both times without any points.

“But our defense shut them right down,” Salius said, “This was a huge win for our program in a season where we have a ton of big games.”

After a home game on September 21 against Granby, the Yellowjackets go on the road to face North Branford, another fierce challenge.

Week 10 sends “GN” to one of the strongest teams in the league, Valley Regional.

A 7-3 record will usually not result in a playoff berth in the tough Class M division.

Week one was a big one for the ‘jackets. Top five big.   

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