MIDDLETOWN >> So how good is the Vinal Tech/East Hampton/Goodwin Tech cooperative football team?
Coach Joe Ceferatti thought a minute, then said, “We’re good. We’re getting there and we’re getting good results.”
That assessment came after his Bellhawks won their third game a row, a 47-14 demolition of O’Brien Tech of Ansonia at Palmer Field Friday night.
The winners piled up 475 yards of offense, 419 of that on the ground. The unquestioned star of the game was back Evan Salisbury, who had 187 yards on 16 carries.
“Evan is a good, hard runner,” said Ceferatti. “He has worked so hard in the off-season. He broke his ankle in game two last year and we lost him for the season. But he has worked to get himself ready, lifting and doing everything he could every day. And it shows.”
It showed from the beginning of this night.
On the Bellhawks’ first possession, it was Salisbury who was responsible for the 69-yard touchdown drive. He carried the ball four times for 61 of those yards, the final 38 coming on his touchdown run. Right then and there the tone was set.
Led by an offensive line that blew the Condors off the ball, T.J. Newman joined Salisbury in the 100 yard club with 128 yards on 17 carries and Tyler Costa almost made it a trifecta with 81 yards on eight carries.
“We came off the ball very well,” said Ceferatti. “We challenged our offensive line and they responded. Our backs were great; we used the whole platoon, but we have to credit the guys up front.”
The Bellhawks scored the second time they touched the ball, driving 58 yards in six plays with quarterback Austin Mann covering the final three yards for the touchdown. With Dan Pickup’s extra points, Vinal/EH/GT led 14-0 after one.
The second quarter was a replay of the first as the Bellhawks scored two more touchdowns, one on an 8-yard run by Salisbury and the second on a 15-yard run by Costa.
Those scores effectively ended the game at the half, 27-0.
O’Brien Tech (0-3) made a bid to get back in the game, which was played in a snappy one hour and 56 minutes, when Ervin Gee returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. But the home team ended that nonsense with a 3-yard touchdown by Mann that capped a 9-play, 59-yard drive with 4:50 to go in the third.
The Bellhawks (3-1) scored again on the first play of the fourth quarter when Newman ran it in from 23 yards out.
O’Brien got a TD on an 11-yard run by Gee with 6:19 left in the game, but Vinal added some icing with a 5-yard run by Newman with 2:54 left to play. The symmetry was clear as Newman, Salisbury and Mann each had two touchdowns. Mann also was 3-for-3 throwing the ball for 56 yards.
Vinal held O’Brien to 93 yards offense, with 86 of those yards coming on the ground. Devon Bacchiocchi led the Condors with 60 yards on 17 carries.
“I am very proud of these kids,” said Ceferatti. “These three schools have come together as one.”