WOODBURY >> Granby’s football team had its fourth straight Field day in an historic 24-0 win over Nonnewaug Saturday afternoon.
Connor Field, a 5’11” junior, broke a Connecticut high school record with his fourth straight 300-yard rushing game in the Bears’ first shutout of the season.
Field scored all the points against the Chiefs with touchdown runs of 67, 32 and 53 yards, plus a two-point running conversion after each of them.
“I’ve been a running back since youth football when I was seven,” said Field, who finished the day with 312 yards on 27 carries.
The Bears (4-2) started the season with losses to the Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby co-op and Avon, then ran through SMSA, Enfield and Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton behind the strides of Field, who now has 1,494 rushing yards in six games.
Field is tall and slender. His results say ‘power runner,’ but he crashes into the line with a straight-up carriage.
“Connor is very balanced,” Granby coach Rich Gadoury said. “We’ve tried to get him to lower his shoulder, but straight up works for him.”
“I’m pretty fast,” he said, giving his line and fullback Logan Strain credit for his success crashing through Nonnewaug’s defense.
“I run behind (Strain) every play,” Field said.
Except, that is, when he’s sprinting downfield on his own.
That happened on the second play from scrimmage after the Bears won the coin toss.
Nonnewaug’s defense stopped Field for a gain of one on the first play from Granby’s own 32. Then quarterback Dominic Pagano ran out from under his center, pitching to Field heading for the right wing.
Nobody came close to Field for 67 yards.
Bears coach Gadoury took over Granby’s program two years after it began five years ago.
“The first year, we were lucky if we gained 600 yards for the season,” he said. “The next two seasons, we were a passing team.
“In the off-season, we realized we had a lot of skill players, so we decided to run the option.”
“They run an offense that fits their kids,” Nonnewaug coach John Oko said. “They’re tough, tough kids.”
Saturday, that offense stayed on the ground, used Field to the max and controlled the ball for three-quarters of the game.
The formula sprang Field for his 32-yard touchdown with five minutes left in the first half, then another 53-yard sprint three minutes into the fourth.
In just three more carries, Field was over 300 yards and done for the day, the state record clutched under his arm.
“It feels good; it’s special,” he said.
The Chiefs, 1-5, gave up big plays, but never knuckled under.
“It was a respectable loss,” Coach Oko agreed, from a defensive standpoint. Offense was the problem.
“For whatever reason, we can’t get it going this year,” he said.
Or at least keep it going.
After Field stunned them with his opening charge, the Chiefs got within striking distance on Granby’s 28 yard line, then lost five yards on the next three plays, throwing an interception to Granby’s Tyler Disabella on fourth and long.
Nonnewaug’s Elijah Gonillo jumped on a Bear fumble at the Granby 48.
This time, the Chiefs got to Granby’s 17, turning it over on downs. The Bears ground out eight plays, then turned Field loose for a 32-yard scoring sprint.
Another interception stopped Nonnewaug early in the second half, this one by Field, the defensive back.
The Bears started on their three-yard line, methodically marching through five first downs and the rest of the period.
They turned it over to Nonnewaug for three first downs early in the final period. Once again, nothing.
On their second play of the period, the Bears called on Field.
Fifty-three yards, 24-0 with the conversion and a state record.
Granby travels to 0-6 Stafford/East Windsor next Friday.
Nonnewaug hosts 2-4 Haddam-Killingworth Saturday.
Granby 24, Nonnewaug 0
At Nonnewaug High School
Granby 8 8 0 8 – 24
Nonnewaug 0 0 0 0 – 0
G – Connor Field 67-yard run (Field run)
G – Field 32-yard run (Field run)
G – Field 53-yard run (Field run)
Rushing: G – Connor field 27 carries/312 yards; Dominic Pagano 7/14; Logan Strain 5/27; Gage Fiorentino 6/19. N – Mike Criscione 11/27; Dominic Nastri 4/8; Trevor Scappatura 8/6; Tyler Grant 4/18; Zachary Duda 2/8.
Passing: G – Dominic Pagano 0-for-1/0 yards. N – Dominic Nastri 6/14/55.
Receiving: N – Ryan Gunnuod 3 catches/6 yards; Trevor Scappatura 1/15; Troy Hardisty 1/24; Ethan Ray 1/10.
Records: Granby 4-2; Nonnewaug 1-5.