OLD SAYBROOK – Old Saybrook/Westbrook football coach Mike Marone insists that his team has a pretty good passing game.
There was no need to use it Saturday afternoon as the Rams piled up close to 400 yards rushing en route to a 41-13 bashing of Haddam-Killingworth in the season opener for both teams.
“We have a pretty good offensive line and it’s the strength of our team this year,” Marone said. “I’ll take that any day. We do have a passing game, but we just didn’t pull it out of our pocket today.”
Senior captain Chase Cook led the rushing brigade for OSW with 23 carries for 189 yards, while quarterback Victor Pascoe added 76 and Vincent Dyer tacked on 53 yards. Each of those three rushed for a pair of touchdowns as well. Cory Bartlett, a transfer from Valley Regional, added another 55 yards on the ground for good measure.
“They outmanned us and outsized us,” H-K coach Mike Baklik said. “We didn’t play our best today. Our goal is to play better than we did today.”
It didn’t take long for OSW to show that its ground game would dominate the day. H-K coughed up the football on the very first play from scrimmage on a fumble by quarterback Jon Grasso. Three plays later, Pascoe scooted in from three yards out to give OSW a quick 7-0 lead.
The Cougars marched right back down the field to tie things as Grasso connected with a wide open Alex Segaline down the sideline in front of the H-K bench for a 54-yard touchdown pass.
That would be the closest the visiting Cougars would get for the remainder of the afternoon. Dyer scampered eight yards for a TD halfway through the second quarter to give OSW a 14-7 edge at intermission.
“It was only seven points, but we sort of caved in the second half,” Baklik said. “We have some things to work on offensively and defensively.”
The Rams blew the game wide open in the second half with 27 straight points. Cook rushed for 51 yards on a 10-play drive to open the third quarter and closed it out with a 7-yard jaunt to make it 21-7.
After H-K was forced to punt, it took Cook just four plays and two minutes to score from 23 yards to push the Rams lead to 28-7.
OSW kept running the ball to the left side of its offensive line in fourth quarter as Dyer scored from 4 yards out and Pascoe bulldozed his way in from a yard out to make it 41-7 with 9:16 left. That ushered in the backups for OSW.
“If we have to, we’ll go with the A-train (Dyer) to the right side, but we were picking up yardage the other way,” Marone. “We talk on the sidelines and kept doing what was working.”
Segaline scored his second touchdown of the affair with a 20-yard run with 1:20 to play, but it was way too late for the Cougars.
Old Saybrook/Westbrook 41, Haddam-Killingworth 13
(at Old Saybrook)
Haddam-Killingworth 7 0 0 6 0 — 13
Old Saybrook 7 7 14 13 0 — 41
O—Victor Pascoe 3 run (Chase Cook kick)
H—Alex Segaline 54 pass from Jon Grasso (Cody Ellex kick)
O—Vincent Dyer 8 run (Chase Cook kick)
O—Chase Cook 7 run (Chase Cook kick)
O—Chase Cook 23 run (Chase Cook kick)
O—Vincent Dyer 4 run (kick failed)
O—Victor Pascoe 1 run (Chase Cook kick)
H—Alex Segaline 20 run (kick blocked)
Team records: Old Saybrook 1-0; Haddam-Killingworth 0-1