Woodbridge >> It’s been some 20 years since Amity and Seymour last played, back when they were rivals in the old Housatonic League. After an intriguing battle Wednesday night, it was worth the wait.
The Spartans scored three straight touchdowns to take the lead for good, then held on at the end to preserve a come-from-behind, 24-21 victory.
“It was a hard-work effort,” said Amity coach Bert Mozealous. “At the end, our defense pulled it off and stopped them in key situations. Good comeback win for us.”
Seymour owned a 14-3 lead late in the first half thanks to a pair of interceptions and a botched snap by Amity on a punt, and was driving for more points before halftime. Curiously, on fourth-and-8 at the Amity 44-yard line with 1:42 left in the half, Seymour tried to run for the first down and was stopped short.
“We thought they were going to punt the ball,” Mozealous said. “We left our regular defense on, anticipating that they might go for it, and we did a great job.”Amity quickly took advantage on a 56-yard run by David Buono that brought the ball to the Wildcats’ 1. Two plays later, quarterback David Ryan scored on a keeper to pull the Spartans within four with just 49 seconds before halftime.
On the second play of the latter half, Seymour fumbled the ball away deep in its own territory. On the very next play, Buono scored from 15 yards out, and the Spartans would never again trail.
Amity scored again on Joseph Choiniere’s 2-yard run with 2:40 left in the third quarter. Seymour’s Joe Salemme, who had a monster game, scored on an 8-yard run early in the fourth.
Seymour would have two more chances. Salemme picked off a long Ryan pass attempt at his own 27 with 6:46 to play, but the Wildcats’ drive was stopped at the Amity 16 with 3:19 left. The Wildcats got possession again with 2:42 left, but came up short on fourth-and-3, and the Spartans had the victory.
“The execution was better (in the second half),” Mozealous said. “We’re really young up front. I think all the attacking they did in the first half kind of threw us off a little bit. We knew it was coming, but until you face the level that they have — they’re a pretty good football team, they can attack pretty well on defense. We just didn’t come to play in the first half.”
Salemme scored both of Seymour’s first-half touchdowns, on runs of 65 and 1 yard. Lyle Luth booted a 32-yard field goal for Amity in the second quarter.
Buono finished with 121 yards rushing on 20 carries. Ryan completed 10 of 16 passes for 81 yards and rushed for 25 more, while throwing three interceptions.
Amity 24, Seymour 21
Seymour 7 7 0 7 — 21
Amity 0 10 14 0 — 24
S—Joe Salemme 1 run (kick)
S—Joe Salemme 65 run (kick)
A—Lyle Luth 31 FG
A—David Ryan 1 run (Luth kick)
A—David Buono 15 run (Luth kick)
A—Joe Choiniere 2 run (Luth kick)
S—Joe Salemme 8 run (kick)
Team records: Amity 1-0; Seymour 0-1