Torrington’s football team is 6-0 for the first time since 1948, the last time it finished a season unbeaten.
“It starts with the line, then the quarterback, then everybody else,” said star tight end/linebacker Nate Bresson last week.
“Everybody else” on an offense that’s outscored six opponents 276-118 is the running backs and receivers.
They’re the final link in the team-wide understanding that everybody counts, everybody works together.
“We wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have our teammates — a good line and a good quarterback,” says wide receiver Zak Mancini.
In a balanced offense between passing and running, every running back and receiver praises the Red Raider line after another good game.
Special respect comes for quarterback Connor Finn.
“Connor has to know all the plays for all the positions,” says Mancini. “We just have to know our part.”
“Connor reads everything on the other team’s defense,” says tight end Cam Cerutto.
“It’s a great thing,” says tight end Jordan Henneberry. “We’re catching the ball, but Connor’s making the plays.”
“It’s not that hard to catch a ball that’s thrown right to you,” says Bresson.
The Raiders have used six running backs extensively this year. They’re the ones who sometimes appreciate their line the most, but they’re also the ones who demonstrate how tight knit the team is when others might be vying for more carries.
“We start to read each other all the time,” said Mancini.
“I’m getting a chance to prove myself,” says junior Domonick Phengkaen. “It’s a blessing to be running behind the line we have right here.”
“I always thank the coach for the opportunity,” says senior Newton Frias. “When it falls apart, everyone’s there to pick us up and keep on fighting. Sometimes it’s hard to see the holes, but coach says he’s fine with four yards every time. Just hit the line hard.”
“Fall forward, not backward,” adds Cerutto.
“It’s a very versatile group,” says Coach Gaitan Rodriguez. “The running backs and receivers are interchangeable.”
Some of the depth and versatility comes from adversity. Last year, Bresson and Mancini, key receivers this year, sat out with injuries, along with many others on the team.
“I like to think everything happens for a reason,” says Bresson. “The injuries made a lot of other people step up.”
A tough win against Wolcott last week left a few of this year’s key people banged up.
For the Raiders, a monumental game against Ansonia Friday is the ultimate chance to step up — together.