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Raiders drop 30-20 decision to Hawks

POSTED October 24, 2010
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON - All Woodland quarterback Jack DeBiase wants to do is get back to a place he knew as a freshman, but not since.

“We just want to get Woodland football back into the playoffs,” DeBiase said after leading his Hawks to a 30-20 win over the Torrington Red Raiders, “The team has been focused on that since the year started.”

The Hawks moved a step closer to that objective by improving their record to 4-2 overall, but 3-0 in the Copper Division, while the Raiders have the same 4-2 total record but own a 2-2 in division mark.

Raiders running back Brenden Lytton continued his impressive season by rushing for 215 yards on 32 carries and two scores. The junior standout now has 1,257 for the season and 12 touchdowns but it was a big fourth down stop by the visitors on Lytton, late in the third quarter that proved huge in the game.

The first time the Raiders had the ball, after Walter Lewis and Dominic Alfano had sacked DiBiase on third down, the Brenden Lytton show was on.

Torrington drove 63 yards in six plays, each of them by Lytton, the last a 38-yard burst down the left sideline in which the talented back managed to keep his balance on his way to the score.

Jared Williams started for the Raiders at quarterback after sophomore Jason Abbott turned his ankle on Tuesday and was in a boot on the sidelines Saturday night.

Williams rushed for 35 yards and a late touchdown and gave the Raiders a triple threat in the backfield with the return of Zack Schebell to the offense after missing the first four game with an injury.

The home team was up by a 7-0 score after one and Lytton was already at 95-yards.

The Hawks however, started to get their offense going on the next drive via the pass.

DiBiase hooked up with wide receiver Jacob Pinho twice, once for 25 yards, the next for 18, setting up a nine yard touchdown run by Matt Zaccagnini that put Woodland on the board.

The kick failed and Torrington was up 7-6, with with 7:10 left to play in the second quarter.

A key three and out by the Woodland defense gave the offense the ball back again and it took just three plays to put the visitors in the lead.

It was DiBiase who broke off a 45-yard run, up the middle then down the left sideline, leading to a two-yard scoring run by the senior quarterback.

At this point, everything was going in the Hawks favor, they clearly had the momentum.

Torrington’s defense, though, forced a three-and-out the next time it was on the field and it took just one play to give the home team the lead back.

From his own 49-yard line, Lytton provided the momentum change by bursting off left tackle and down the sidelines for a 51-yard score that brought the Raiders faithful back to life.

It became a battle of the big play and DiBiase, not to be outdone, put his team back up in the third quarter after a Torrington drive stalled at their own 45.

On first down from their own 30, DiBiase busted up the middle for 49 yards, taking the ball all the way to the Torrington 21 where Craig Kenz scored four plays later on a five yard run.

The next drive, and the next five minutes, proved to be the difference in this one.

Torrington got the ball with 4:52 to play in the third from their own 36 and after a first down, faced a critical fourth and one from the Hawks 38.

Lytton got the call but the Woodland line was up the task and the ball went over on downs.

On the second play of the drive, Genz broke free for a 36 yard gain, giving his team a first and goal from the Torrington seven as the fourth quarter started.

Matt Zaccagnini would score from seven yards out to give the Hawks a 24-14 lead.

Woodland would score five touchdowns but misfired on four extra point tries and a two-point conversion, keeping the Raiders within striking distance.

The next offensive series for Torrington would prove to be the ball game as the Hawks defense came up with a huge play.

On second-and-eight from his own 43, Williams rolled out to his right but was crushed on the blitz and fumbled the ball.

Defensive lineman, Eric Collodel picked up the loose ball on the thirty and made his way to the end zone.

Two scores in a little over two minutes proved too much for the home team to overcome.

Williams would score on a six-yard run with just over five minutes to play to get his team within 10 but the two-point try failed, leaving it a two-score game.

A late interception by Pinho sealed the win for the Hawks and kept them in the hunt for the Copper title.

NOTES: The crowd was announced at 615. The Raiders added two sets of bleachers to the visitors sideline, a new feature.

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