TRUMBULL >> Trotting onto McDougall Stadium for its first act in what the Shelton football team hopes is a season to remember there seemed to be something missing.
Perhaps it is the way the Gaels rolled past Trumbull a season ago or just opening-night jitters but the energy and focus wasn’t quite were the team leaders would have liked it to be.
That all changed less than two minutes in when the Eagles, buoyed by a long return on the opening kickoff, surprisingly jumped out to an early three-point lead.
The early deficit seemed to jolt the Gaels as Shelton scored the next 40 points en route to a 40-10 win Friday night.
Senior quarterback Mark Piccirillo accounted for five touchdowns against Trumbull for the second season in a row as he had first-half scoring runs of 2, 11 and 1 yards and touchdown passes of 55 yards to Chris Kanios and 47 yards to Kevin Robinson in the third quarter.
“The mindset (after the Trumbull field goal), it got me fired up to be honest,” said Piccirillo, who was 8 of 16 for 175 yards passing and rushed 17 times for 147 yards. Coming into the game some of the kids weren’t really up for it so that kind of got us going. It got us knowing that we have to play our best.
“We spread the ball around, We have a bunch of athletes so we can really give the ball to anyone on the field and good things happen. Running the ball, our line is great, so we have threats all over the place.”
Veteran Shelton coach Jeff Roy said having an experienced hand at the controls of the offense makes his job so much easier.
“I’ve had him for three years,” Roy said. “He is like having a coach on the field, he makes adjustments for us, he changes plays for us. He is a running threat, a passing threat and he’s a three-year starter, you can’t teach that experience.”
Trumbulll quarterback Steve Nagy raced 20 yards on the Eagles’ first offensive play to put Trumbull in the red zone before most of the fans even settled into their seats. When the drive stalled Lance Bragg booted a 28-yard field goal.
The Shelton defense, spearheaded by junior linebacker Ron Hubbard and senior defensive end Wes Sekelsky, kept Trumbull off the board until Adam Angelucci, who had a team-leading 79 rushing yards, scored on a 19-yard run with 5:45 remaining. On the ensuing kickoff junior Joe Ryan was injured making a tackle on the kickoff. After about a 20-minute delay Ryan was placed on a stretcher and taken from the field in an ambulance.
Trumbull coach Bob Maffei said Ryan was experiencing pain in his back and neck.
“He was moving his legs and moving his arms so it was just precautionary and we are hoping everything is good,” Maffei said.
T—Lance Bragg 28 FG
S—Mark Piccirillo 2 run (kick failed)
S—Mark Piccirillo 11 run (run failed)
S—Mark Piccirillo 1 run (Joe Zoppi kick)
S—Chris Kanios 55 pass from Mark Piccirillo (Zoppi kick)
S—Kevin Robinson 47 pass from Mark Piccirillo (Zoppi kick)
S—Paul Russell 1 run (Zoppi kick)
T—Adam Angelucci 19 run (Bragg kick)
Team records: Trumbull 0-1; Shelton 1-0