MILFORD >> Despite winning their first four games, Foran quarterback Lance DiNatale and his teammates felt Friday night’s matchup against New London was a statement game.
What a statement the Lions made.
Scoring five touchdowns in the second quarter, including three on touchdown passes from DiNatale, Foran cruised to a 53-28 victory over the Whalers in an SCC-ECC contest at Vito DeVito Sports Complex.
“This was a big statement game for us,” DiNatale said after throwing for 242 yards and five touchdowns in three quarters of work. “Our offensive line played a great game and we came up big on offense and defense. Defensively, we only allowed six points before we pulled our ones out.”
Foran took control of the game by scoring 34 points in the second quarter, including a pair of touchdowns within 10 seconds. The Lions, who had 306 yards of offense in the first half and 516 in the game, led 6-0 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Brett Huber with 5 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter.
Then the floodgates opened. A 13-play, 75-yard drive was capped when DiNatale hit Colin Firmender with a 19-yard scoring pass on the first play of the second quarter. The Lions recovered an onside kick and needed just one play to capitalize. Huber hit Firmender for a 34-yard touchdown pass and a 19-0 lead just 10 seconds later.
“I thought we played very well tonight,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said after his team improved to 5-0. “They are big and physical. I am very happy with the way the kids executed tonight. We clicked on all cylinders. We hit the Firmender kid. We hit the Huber kid. Our offensive line played phenomenal. Lance had all day to throw the ball. We are getting better every week.”
After forcing a Whalers three and out, Foran got a 41-yard pass from DiNatale to Huber and a 32-yard touchdown run by Roberto Balado to cap a 73-yard scoring drive with 9:26 left before halftime for a 26-0 lead. DiNatale hit Huber for a 41-yard score and Balado with a 24-yard touchdown to cap the Foran first half.
“We have playmakers all over the field,” Huber said. “We have great running backs. We have a great offensive line. We have multiple receivers who can do the job. We played awesome tonight.”
Huber finished the contest with five touchdowns — one running, one passing and three receiving, the last a 15-yard reception with 58 seconds remaining in the third quarter for a 53-6 lead.
“Our quarterback played great tonight,” Huber said. “We are just going to get better from it. We are not done yet.”
The Whalers, who had 151 yards in the opening half, scored their only points of the half when quarterback Melquann Gomez ran in from 9 yards out to get within 33-6.
The Lions wasted no time finding the end zone in the second half as they marched 65 yards in five plays to take a 47-6 lead when DiNatale hit Huber with a 42-yard scoring strike.
The Whalers kept fighting and scored three touchdowns in the final 12 minutes. Jacob Commander scored on a 13-yard run, Gomez hit Major Roman with an 11-yard scoring strike and Efrain Santiago ran in from 3 yards out.
“In the second half, we showed tremendous heart,” New London coach Duane Maranda said after his team fell to 1-5. “In the second half, I was very happy with the way we fought and how we played.”
Foran 53, New London 28
New London 0 6 0 22 — 28
Foran 6 34 13 0 — 53
F—Brett Huber 1 run (Run failed)
F—Colin Firmender 19 pass from Lance DiNatale (Run failed)
F—Colin Firmender 34 pass from Brett Huber (Zach Cleary kick)
F—R.J. Balado 32 run (Cleary kick)
F—Brett Huber 44 pass from Lance DiNatale (Cleary kick)
n—Melquann Gomez 9 run (Kick failed)
F—R.J. Balado 24 pass from Lance DiNatale (Cleary kick)
F—Brett Huber 42 pass from Lance DiNatale (Cleary kick)
F—Brett Huber 15 pass from Lance DiNatale (Cleary kick)
n—Jacob Commander 13 run (Commander kick)
n—Major Roman 11 pass from Melquann Gomez (Commander kick)
n—Efrain Santiago 3 run (Gomez pass to Roman)
Team records: Foran 5-0; New London 1-5