TORRINGTON >> Torrington High School’s football team, beset by injuries last year, made a good-health statement Friday night in a 50-31 win over Crosby at the Robert Frost Sports Complex.
The game had a little bit of everything for Torrington fans – long scoring passes, long scoring runs, a 75-yard kickoff return and a 35-yard interception return.
“It wasn’t pretty, but when we needed to execute, we did well,” said Torrington coach Gaitan Rodriguez. “We’re not there yet.”
So much the better for Torrington fans.
Last year, in a shootout at Crosby, the Red Raiders came away with 75-57 win in which both defenses abstained.
This year, a big part of the Torrington statement was a 36-7 halftime Raider lead, 50-19 after three. Both benches took over in the fourth.
Nevertheless, the Raiders took a quarter to prepare their statement.
Crosby quarterback Mike Marshall ran the last three yards of a 12-play opening Bulldog drive for a 7-0 lead with Ricardo Morales kick.
When Torrington answered in five plays capped by a 43-yard pass from Connor Finn to Jordan Henneberry, it looked like it might be another shootout.
Instead, Torrington’s defense sat on Crosby’s seven points for the next quarter and a half while the offense lit up.
“Defensively, we took a step forward,” said Coach Rodriguez.
Down 7-6 after a failed Torrington point-after kick, Tyler Marens exploded for 72 yards in the second quarter, shooting up the middle while managing to keep his balance for the final eight yards after a near-tackle by Crosby.
Newton Frias ran the conversion 14-7.
Torrington’s defense stuffed the Bulldogs in four plays. Then Frias took off for 65 yards with a Marens conversion, 22-7.
With 2:42 left in the half, Marens took a star turn on defense with a 35-yard interception return.
The senior running back was the stand-out among heroes, but everyone had their turn.
Quarterback Connor Finn, 8-for-13 for 149 yards in the air, reveled in a healthy receiving corps.
With 50 seconds left in the half, he hit tight end Nate Bresson with a 52-yard scoring pass. Bresson, a senior captain, missed last season with an injury.
“The line helped out,” said Marens.
“Everybody helped out,” said Finn.
It was true.
After Crosby’s Marshall hit Jermaine Coggins with a 32-yard scoring pass midway through the third period, Ignacio Reynoso took off on a 56-yard answer.
Marshall hit Eli Mbaya for a 44-yard score.
Dylan Myrie answered with a 75-yard kickoff return.
With Marens’ conversion run, the starters on both sides were done at 50-19.
Torrington 50, Crosby 31
At Torrington High School
Crosby 7 0 12 12 – 31
Torrington 6 30 14 0 – 50
C – Mike Marshall 3-yard run (Ricardo Morales kick)
T – Jordan Henneberry 43-yard pass from Connor Finn (kick failed)
T – Tyler Marens 72-yard run (Newton Frias run)
T – Frias 65-yard run (Marens run)
T – Marens 35-yard interception return (run failed)
T – Nate Bresson 52-yard pass from Finn (Frias run)
C – Jermaine Coggins 32-yard pass from Marshall (run failed)
T – Ignacio Reynoso 56-yard run (run failed)
C – Eli MBaya 44-yard pass from Marshall (run failed)
T – Dylan Myrie 75-yard kickoff return (Marens run)
C – Coggins 10-yard run (kick failed)
C – Kenny Petteway 17-yard pass from Al Klenja (kick failed)
Rushing: C – Troy Nixon 7 carries/32 yards; Mike Marshall 4/9. T – Tyler Marens 7/97; Newton Frias 5/74; Ignacio Reynoso 2/65.
Passing: C – Mike Marshall 16 attempts/27 completions/1 interception/160 yards. T – Connor Finn 8/13/149.
Receiving: C – Eli Mbaya 5 receptions/81 yards; Jermaine Coggins 2/27; Devante Detanti 3/40. T – Tyler Marens 4/23; Nate Bresson 3/83; Jordan Henneberry 1/43.