NORWALK—It had aspects of a typical season-opening football game.
Lots of energy. Some strange bounces of the ball. Mistakes of inexperience. Mistakes despite experience.
But in the end at Sam Testa Field Friday night, the Norwalk football team imposed its will while using its physicality and depth to wear down the Trinity Catholic/ Wright Tech Co-op squad, 48-30.
Norwalk (1-0) was particularly Bearish in the second quarter as they exploded for 35 points to build a 42-14 halftime advantage.
“All week long we knew it was important to have a good start to the season,” said Norwalk senior quarterback Kyle Gordon. “We knew we had to set a tone to get the victory.”
It was Gordon who was the catalyst for Norwalk. The Bears’ starting quarterback for the third straight year found Lomorris House with a 49-yard touchdown on a slant pass. He also gained 83 yards rushing on eight carries or scrambles in the first half to demoralize an aggressive TC/WT pass rush.
Gordon also punted well to keep TC/WT’s offense in long fields. He even plays defensive back and often took on TC/WT’s best wide receivers.
“I’m just trying to get the job done. I’m doing my part for the entire team,” Gordon said. “I know I can play both sides of the ball. I’ve always played defense in my football career. I do know I have to play smart to stay away from injury.”
While playing just the first half at quarterback, Gordon also had touchdown passes to Donovan Miller and Andre Robinson Jr. Thomas Brown directed the NHS attack in the second half.
“We can’t say enough about Kyle Gordon,” said Norwalk assistant coach Larry Anastasia. “Nobody works harder than Kyle. Displaying all those talents shows how much he loves the game.”
Norwalk will have to spend next week working on cutting down on penalties. The Bears had close to 20 penalties overall including five unsportsmanlike conduct calls that helped TC/WT (0-1) score touchdsowns in each of the last three quarters.
There were silver linings during the inaugural showcase for the Trinity Catholic/ Wright Tech Co-op squad.
The combined Crusaders/Lightning team has 40 players with a new more roster slots taken by TC gridders.
Senior quarterback Matt Dougherty showed promise as a passer when given protection by the offensive line.
Dougherty was 17 of 30 for 222 yards including two interceptions on throws where it would have been better to take a sack.
Will Garofalo (56 yards) and Tahjee Morgan (80 yards) had catch and run touchdowns. Evan Field was a good possession receiver (six catches, 46 yards).
However, the TC/WT running attack never got untracked (18 carries, 43 yards).
“The kids showed a lot of fight in the second half,” said TC/WT first-year head coach Thomas Broschardt. “We wore down a bit but that can’t be an excuse for us. We have to play ironman football. Our QB Dougherty had good moments, especially when he found Morgan and Field. We have to cut down on the mistakes.”