WOODBRIDGE >> For the first two games of the season, Shelton ran all over its opponents.
But on Friday, the Gaels turned to their passing game and attacked through the air.
Junior quarterback Mark Piccirillo completed 16 of 22 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for two more scores in Shelton’s 49-30 victory over Amity in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I West game.
Shelton’s passing game eventually opened up its rushing attack, as Jason Thompson added 18 carries for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
The Gaels (3-0) have now put up 149 points over their first three games and are proving they can score in a variety of ways.
“It’s the weapons,” Shelton coach Jeff Roy said. “Piccirillo can run. Thompson is obviously a very good running back. And we have three to four receivers we can throw it to. You can’t key on one guy. And you have to give our line credit. They’ve been playing great, blocking and opening up holes and protecting the quarterback.”
Shelton and Amity traded turnovers to open the game before the shootout began. Piccirillo connected with 6-foot-3, 210-pound Kyle Drost for a 10-yard touchdown, the first of two TDs the duo accounted for on the night. That gave Shelton an early 7-0 advantage.
Amity (2-1) responded with a 38-yard field goal by Lyle Luth before the Gaels scored 20 unanswered points. Thompson found a hole and rushed for a 25-yard touchdown to put Shelton ahead 27-3 in the closing minutes of the first half.
But Amity scored with 18 seconds left when David Ryan passed to Joe Choiniere for a 10-yard score, cutting the deficit to 17. That was was as close as the Spartans would get. After forcing Amity to punt to open the second half, Piccirillo capped a Shelton drive with a 4-yard touchdown run and gave the Gaels a 35-10 lead.
“We made big plays, but we didn’t stop them,” Amity coach Bert Mozealous said. “Our defense had a rough night. Drost is a beast and a half. Their quarterback can run. They’re really a running team first, but they have great receivers and they have depth, so they’re afforded to have kids play one way.”
Ryan had a huge game for Amity, completing 24 of his 44 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns.
But it wasn’t enough. Ryan and the Spartans couldn’t keep up with the Gaels’ explosive and dynamic offense.
“We’ve been planning to throw all week,” Piccirillo said. “We wanted to get our passing game going since we only threw 16 passes the first two weeks. We’ve got a lot of weapons back this year and our line is great, too.”
Shelton 49, Amity 30
Shelton 13 14 16 6 0 — 49
Amity 3 7 14 6 0 — 30
- S—Kyle Drost 10 pass from Mark Piccirillo (Zoppi kick)
- A—Lyle Luth 38 FG
- S—Mark Piccirillo 1 run (kick failed)
- S—Kevin Robinson 25 pass from Mark Piccirillo (Piccirillo pass to Drost)
- S—Jason Thompson 25 run (pass failed)
- A—Joe Choiniere 20 pass from David Ryan (Luth kick)
- S—Mark Piccirillo 4 run (Piccirillo pass to Drost)
- A—Ben Feola 65 pass from David Ryan (Luth kick)
- S—Jason Thompson 33 run (Piccirillo run)
- A—Ben Feola 67 pass from David Ryan (Luth kick)
- S—Kyle Drost 14 pass from Mark Piccirillo (pass failed)
- A—Nicholas Bottone 19 pass from David Ryan (no kick)
Team records: Amity 2-1; Shelton 3-0