MADISON — Another Friday night. Another offensive explosion for Hand.
The Tigers, who came into Friday night averaging 45 points a game, upped that average even further by scoring 68 points in a 68-0 blowout of Jonathan Law in a Southern Connecticut Conference inter-tier contest at the Surf Club.
The 68 points scored by Hand is believed to be a school record.
Hand (7-0 and ranked third in the Register state poll) held Law to just 11 yards rushing and 68 yards passing.
“We came out and we just executed,” Hand coach Dave Mastroianni said. “I just hope we get better each week since we hope to be playing into mid-December.”
Hand controlled the game from the opening kickoff, scoring on each of its first seven possessions of the game, plus the Tigers added an interception return for a touchdown for good measure.
It took just 2:22 for Hand to get on the board via a Phoenix Billings (11-for-15 passing for 273 yards) 43-yard touchdown pass to William Cosgriff. The Tigers have now scored on their first drive in every game this season.
Just 11 seconds later, Isaiah McNeilly picked off a Zach Smith (6-for-11 for 68 yards passing) pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown to make it 16-0.
It was the beginning of quite a night for McNeilly, who scored five times on two-point conversion runs and added four extra-point kicks.
“The interception set everything in motion to spiral out of control,” Law coach Erik Larka said. “I knew it would be an uphill battle, but I didn’t think it would be that devastating.”
Billings added a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Haberman and a 1-yard TD run before the first quarter was over and it was 32-0.
“We had a good game plan coming in tonight, hitting those bubbles a lot, which we did,” Billings said. “We wanted to go downfield and attack their one high safety.”
Colin McCabe (12 carries for 99 yards) scored from 9 and 13 yards out and Jesse Lutz from two yards out as Hand made it 54-0 at intermission.
“I challenged our guys after last week when we had 11 penalties in the first half,” Mastroianni said. “I didn’t want a repeat of that and we didn’t do that.”
With the clock running throughout the second half due to the over 35-point lead rule, the second half took just 31 minutes to play. However, McCabe added his third touchdown of the night, this time from 25 yards, in the third quarter. Brett Leckey scored from 5 yards out to close out the scoring in the fourth quarter.
“We came out and we really wanted to make a statement again,” McCabe said. “When everything is working, no one can stop us on the field.”
Jonathan Law fell to 4-3 and saw its four-game winning streak come to an end. After losing its first two outings, the Lawmen had beaten Bassick, Cheshire, Stratford and Branford.
“I told them to look at the score, bottle that up and for the next seven days work off of that,” Larka said. “Hopefully, next Friday we can unleash it on a Tier 3 team that is more comparable.”