WATERBURY — On a night when lots of things went wrong on both sides, Drevon Yeldell and Chase Tyson came up right for Holy Cross with scoring passes to Rashawn Mitchell and Patrick Giancarli in a 14-7 win over Torrington Friday night at Municiapal Stadium.
Both teams started the night in the hunt for playoff spots with 5-2 records. Torrington, following a stunning win over previously-undefeated Naugatuck last week, was 10th in the Class M rankings. Holy Cross perched at number seven in Class S.
The Red Raiders had the best and worst of the early going, starting with a fumble recovery by Isaiah Hammonds on the Crusaders’ first play from scrimmage in the first quarter and an interception by Logan Kovall on Holy Cross’ first play of the second quarter.
But the Raiders couldn’t cash in their breaks and the Crusaders were first to find traction. After a Torrington face mask penalty set Holy Cross up at their own 36, Ja’lon Jones broke through for a 41-yard run and Tom Ayash added 10 more.
Five plays later, with two Crusader penalties and a Torrington pass interference ruling, Yeldell hit Mitchell with a 26-yard pass to the end zone.
Torrington came out of the half-time locker room eating four, five and six-yard chunks of Municipal’s turf like a conveyer belt. Starting on their own 28 yard-line with the opening kickoff, Jake Coleman and Conrad Avallone ran off 17 plays in a little over nine minutes. Avallone took the final yard for a 7-6 lead after Joe White’s extra point.
Torrington couldn’t reproduce its scoring feat, but the Crusaders found another long pass in the final period. In a nine-play drive of their own, Tyson had the key carry for 26 yards to the Torrington 24, then threw a 20-yard pass to Jones in the back of the end zone for the winning touchdown. Marcus Payne gathered in a pass for the two-point conversion.
“Torrington’s been (running the ball well) all year. We knew it was going to happen,” said Crusader coach Mike Giampetruzzi. “We just had to keep grinding.”
“You can walk out of here with a lot to be proud of,” Torrington coach Gaitan Rodriguez told his team. “This hurts, but let’s run the rest of the table.”