BROOKFIELD — If you want an FCIAC football program on the move, look no further than Danbury.
The Hatters were strong, resourceful and resilient when necessary Saturday night as they fashioned a 34-13 home victory over Trumbull in a game played at Brookfield High.
It was the fourth consecutive win for Danbury (4-1 overall, 2-1 FCIAC). The Hatters have defeated Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech Co-op, Central, Westhill and now Trumbull.
“The previous three wins our opponents were a combined 0-12, but beating Trumbull is special,” Danbury sophomore quarterback Jackson Ciccone said. “We sent a message to the FCIAC tonight.”
Danbury’s Artez Taft catches a 19-yard TD reception with 11:55 left in 2nd quarter.
— Pete Paguaga (@PetePaguaga) October 19, 2019
The Hatters provided high drama for the thrilled but chilled crowd at Brookfield. The contest was moved to Brookfield since the Danbury football/outdoor track complex is still undergoing work.
Danbury scored three touchdowns in the final 7:21 to take command.
After Trumbull closed to 14-13 with 10:39 to play on Dan Alabre’s second field goal (26, 28 yards) of the night, Danbury marched 88 yards in seven plays. Sophomore wide receiver Artez Taft capped the drive with a 32-yard TD reception from Ciccone. Taft also caught a 29-yard TD strike from Patrick Rosetti to open the second quarter.
Danbury, always aggressive under coach Augie Tieri, recovered an onside kick. The Hatters moved 50 yards in five plays capped by DJ Donovan 5-yard rumble into the end zone for 27-13 with 4:45 to play.
Ciccone found Nicholas Smith with a 5-yard scoring pass with 2:05 to go to put a pink ribbon (Cure Cancer) on the proceedings.
Ciccone and Rosetti combined to complete 11 of 15 passes for 185 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.
Danbury tri-captain Malachi Hopkins, one of nine seniors on the roster, rushed for 133 yards on 24 carries. Ciccone added 69 yards on 11 carries.
“It’s so much fun quarterbacking this offense with so many weapons,” Ciccone said. “I’m having the time of my life.”
The Danbury defense was a huge contributor as it forced two field goals, caused a fumble and stopped the offense of Trumbull (2-3 overall) five times on downs. Danbury’s 6-foot-5 senior Jah Joyner was in the middle of four QB sacks.
“At 14-13 we were all fired up, but we just shot ourselves in the foot all night,” Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio said. “Our kids played so hard. The final score doesn’t indicate that. We couldn’t finish in the red zone. They got an onside kick. A myriad of problems. Danbury is a very good team, but we’ll be back.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Danbury senior running back Malachi Hopkins had 133 yards on 24 carries including 88 on 15 carries in the second half. And was a factor on defense at linebacker as well.
“It means a lot to beat a team with the history of Trumbull. We performed at our highest level to get this victory,” Hopkins said. “We have a different mindset this season and everybody has bought in. We want to be the best team in the FCIAC.”