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Lytton, Snow Panic and those AD's.

POSTED October 29, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Torrington All-World running back, Brenden Lytton, is tended to after injuring his left ankle in the second quarter of his teams 58-28 win over Derby. Lytton rushed for 256 yards and scored four times before his injury forced him to miss the second half.

Brenden Lytton, snow panic shopping and the nightmare of being an Athletic Director on a day like this.

TORRINGTON: Friday night in Torrington, the Raiders from the north beat the Raiders (Derby) from the south by a 55-28 score.

But, like a few of the Torrington wins this season, it wasn’t that easy or without some moments of shear panic.

There was no worse site for the team, that now has won three in a row and owns a 5-2 record, than when their All-World running back, Brenden Lytton, was helped from the field just before the half with what appeared at first glance to be big trouble.

Lytton, who torched Derby for 256 yards and four scores in less than 23 minutes of action, came up hurting on a two-point conversion attempt that failed because of a penalty.

As the play stretched outside, Lytton was gang tacked by a slew of Derby defenders and his ankle got turned in the process.

While you never want to see anyone get hurt, the last player the Torrington faithful want to see get up slow is the back who has now surpassed the 4000 yards rushed mark in just 17 games.

A collective rumble worked it’s way through the home teams crowd and as they watched the trainers work on a player who means as much to his squad as any in the state.

Take a look at what Lytton does for his team.

He does the punting, he handles the short kick-offs, he is the last line of defense from his safety position, is back on the kickoff return team and I think I heard him on the public address system at some point.

As he was taken off the field on the cart, the mood of the game and both benches took a decided turn towards the visitors.

Derby has perhaps the best quarterback in the Naugatuck Valley League in Ray Kreiger who came in with over 1200 yards passing and added 363 to his total on this night.

When Lytton went off, his team was up 38-22 as the half ended but turned the ball over on downs after getting the second half kickoff without gaining a yard from scrimmage.

In fact, the Torrington offense gained just six yards over their next three drives while Derby put together a four-minute, 11 play drive to get within ten at 38-28.

Derby continued to pressure a now struggling Torrington team when they recovered an onside kick with 3:11 left in the third.

A confident home team was showing signs that they might not be able to secure what looked like a sure win without their star.

A Derby punt put Torrington deep in their own end at the 10-yard line and three plays later, junior Edgar Gonzales (filling in for Lytton) got off a 15-yard punt and the visitors were in business at the THS, 23-yard line.

As the third quarter came to a close, nothing was going the home teams way.

That was until the defense, which held it’s own after a slow start against the explosive Kreiger, came up with a big stop on fourth down.

Still, Torrington was 87-yards from anything good and didn’t have a first down in the half.

What was needed was some good old fashioned leadership and it came from their junior center, Dan Schebell.

Schebell let his team know in no uncertain terms that they were not going to lose this game and that they were going to run the ball.

“It was just a crazy moment when I felt I needed to remind my teammates to keep playing,” Schebell said, “I knew good things would happen if we just kept our heads in the game.”

Like a message from above, it took but one snap to make Schebell’s wish of good things to fruition.

Joan Toribeo, who has had a fine year returning punts and kickoffs along with some action in backfield, ran right behind Schebell and into the open, where he turned on the afterburners on an 87-yard touchdown run that swung the momentum right back to the home team.

Toribeo would run for an even 200-yards, giving Torrington 465 yards rushing from two backs.

To the delight of the crowd, Lytton made his way back from the hospital on crutches for the final few minutes of the game.

A good gut check for a team that has learned to be just that; a team.

SNOW PANIC SHOPPING: During the day, my full time job is with Frito-Lay, you know the chip folks. On a day like Saturday when a Winter Storm Warning is announced (can’t we call it a Fall Storm Warning, come on, it‘s October!) the stores are just insane with folks who I sometimes don’t think they are ever going to get out again.

I look at carts filled with two or three gallons of milk, meats, chips (a good thing) and beer, all the essentials for being in for a day you don’t normally go out on anyway (Sunday).

The milk and the extra meat always gets me though. Power outages are the norm in these storms, especially when a heavy snow is forecast.

Power lines down = no power = bad milk and meat unless you leave it outside for the animals to pick through.

It is a funny phenomenon that works great for a guy like me on commission. Monday will be a good day.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS WORST NIGHTMARE: So you want to be an AD? Try figuring out how to take care of anything today during this bomb of a snowstorm.

I saw football being played at Municipal Stadium this morning, heard my good friend Rick Wilson talk of the adventures at the State Cross Country Championships and found out last night that no NVL Tournament soccer would be played this weekend.

All these events needed to be moved by an AD somewhere who must simply hate the weatherman.

Some of the races got run in the CC Class Tournaments, the Thomaston boys ran in white out conditions according to Mr Wilson, who needed a Saint Bernard to navigate his way back from Manchester.

It’s not right though. These guys and gals have enough of a headache during the winter when they have to works around Mother Nature.

But before Halloween? Good luck to all those trick or treater’s on Monday night. The outfit of chose this year is a parka. Yikes!

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