STAMFORD — Little things keep adding up to bigger trouble.
The issue for the Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech Co-op football team is a very small margin for error.
It was an opportunistic Danbury squad that seized every opening Friday night to conquer the Crusaders, 38-7 at Gaglio Field.
This initial win for the Hatters (1-1) could be a springboard for success in 2019 as Danbury head coach Augie Tieri begins his second season directing the program.
“We fully expect to take the next step as a program,” Tieri said following an enthusiastic postgame celebration in the Danbury locker room. “I see us as a mature team even though we have some young kids. I know our seniors are so determined to turn the program and the culture around.”
Leading 16-2 at halftime, Danbury put 22 unanswered points on the board in the second half to secure the victory.
Like Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech, Danbury is building. The Hatters were 4-6 in Tieri’s first season following a 1-9 mark in 2017 and a 2-8 ledger in 2017.
Danbury, like TC/WT, has a number of kids playing both offense and defense. Tieri made adjustments in the aftermath of last week’s season-opening 49-3 loss to two-time defending FCIAC champ and defending Class LL champ Greenwich.
“It was a hard loss to Greenwich. We had to get things back on track tonight,” Tieri said. “Among other things we tired in the second half against Greenwich. Tonight we were able to insert enough subs to give guys rest. We had good energy right to the end.”
Danbury also had balance on offense. Led by senior Malachi Hopkins (14 carries, 78 yards), the Hatters amassed 182 yards rushing on 29 carries.
Junior quarterback Patrick Rosetti completed 13 of 23 passes for 177 yards with one TD and one late interception.
“Against Greenwich, our offensive-line execution wasn’t great,” Tieri said. “Tonight our offensive line was a catalyst.”
Danbury took a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest as Hopkins motored 43 yards for the score. The Hatters’ speed to the outside hurt the TC/WT defense on many occasions.
Danbury made it 14-0 on its next possession, driving 90 yards in 14 plays. The Hatters converted four third downs on the march.
Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech cut it to 14-7 midway in the second quarter. It was a 10-play, 57-yard drive capped by a six yard TD pass from Matt Dougherty to Tahjee Morgan.
After a missed field-goal try, Danbury blocked a TC/WT punt through the end zone for a safety.
Danbury recovered a bad snap on a TC/WT and drove 25 yards for the TD and 24-7.
A pass interception by Derek Rivers set up a 39-yard march for 31-7 with 11:00 to play to settle the issue.
“You add some little mistakes and things go downhill,” said TC/WT first-year coach Thomas Broschardt. “We were in it in the first half. But Danbury was fresher in the second half. We have to keep working to improve.”
The Danbury defense held TC/WT to 17 yards rushing on 24 carries. QB Matt Dougherty was 11 of 25 for 94 yards with two interceptions.
“Our defense was so stout. Our coordinators came up with a great game plan,” Danbury’s Tieri said. “Our special teams were special tonight.”