NEW HAVEN >> In just his second career start at quarterback, Zion Setal did not look or act the part of the first-year field general for the Wilbur Cross offense.
Lyman Hall had scored late in the first quarter to take a one-point lead. As the Governors’ offensive unit trotted back onto the field after meeting with their coaches, there was a certain serenity that set the stage for quite the second-quarter offensive eruption.
Wilbur Cross rolled up 282 yards of total offense on five scoring drives in the second quarter alone, en route to a 56-21 win over visiting Lyman Hall on Friday.
“I told my guys, ‘Listen we have to relax, play out game and do what we do best,’” said Setal, a junior who was 11 of 18 passing for 176 yards and three touchdowns, despite not attempting a pass in the second half.
In the second quarter alone he had touchdown passes of 74 yards and 20 yards to Will Simmons and had an 8-yard scoring run.
“It is a wonderful feeling but we have to keep working to (reach) the best of our ability,” Setal said.
Setal came into the season knowing he was going converted from game-breaking receiver to quarterback. Often times when as explosive of an athlete as Setal moves the quarterback, passing can be optional. That is clearly not the case here.
“It is really hard to move from wide receiver to quarterback,” Setal said. “I had to push myself all off-season, I had a lot of training and came out here to do what I had to do.”
Setal estimated that he threw 50-100 passes a day, every day during the off-season.
“I throw all the time,” Setal said. “Anywhere I go, I keep my football with me. The saying (is true), hard work does pay off.”
Setal capped off the first drive of the game with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jason Atteberry for Wilbur Cross (1-1).
Lyman Hall answered with the aid of the second roughing-the-punter penalty in the first quarter. Two plays after the penalty, Nick Santello took a pitch and raced around left end for a 20-yard touchdown with 26 seconds left in the first quarter. John Witik’s extra point gave the Trojans (0-2) the 7-6 lead.
Atteberry had a 35-yard scoring run and Josiah Barnes added a 52-yard TD run as the Governors took a 43-14 lead into halftime.
Barnes’ run came right before Anthony Esposito’s 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as the Lyman Hall captain shed off three or four tacklers en route to the end zone.
Rodney Jordan, who also had a sack, returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown and Leshaun Hicks added a 1-yard run to complete the scoring for Wilbur Cross.
Quarterback Connor O’Malley capped the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run.
“It really came down to mistakes, we didn’t execute and made mistakes,” Lyman Hall coach Aidan Lynch said. “When you make mistakes against a team that has that kind of talent and athleticism, they are going to make you pay.”
Barnes led the Governors with 89 yards on nine carries while Atteberry had eight tackles.
For Lyman Hall, Santello ran eight times for 32 yards and had four catches for 52 yards. Christian Perez had a team-high six tackles.
Wilbur Cross 56, Lyman Hall 21
Lyman Hall 7 7 0 7 — 21
Wilbur Cross 6 37 13 0 — 56
W—Jason Atteberry 11 pass from Zion Setal (pass failed)
L—Nick Santello 20 run (John Witik kick)
W—Will Simmons 74 pass from Zion Setal (Josiah Barnes run)
W—Will Simmons 20 pass from Zion Setal (Frankie Nelson run)
W—Jason Atteberry 35 run (Nelson pass from Setal)
W—Josiah Barnes 52 run (kick failed)
L—Anthony Esposito 75 kickoff ret (Witik kick)
W—Zion Setal 8 run (Alex Soupou kick)
W—Rodney Jordan 42 int ret (Soupou kick)
W—Leshaun Hicks 1 run (kick blocked)
L—Connor O’Malley 5 run (Witik kick)
Team records: Wilbur Cross 1-1; Lyman Hall 0-2