A couple thousand showed up to Veterans Field in Naugatuck to get a glimpse of the future: The high school’s gleaming new turf field and their new coach, Craig Bruno, whose unorthodox strategy — dubbed ‘Brunoball’ — has been all the talk around town and across the NVL.
Bruno’s Greyhounds didn’t disappoint. They opened the game in a polecat offense, putting quarterback Jason Bradley alone behind a receiver at center.
“It took a little time for everybody to get used to my style. We opened with think everybody was screaming, ‘What is he doing? What’s going on?'” Bruno said. “We ended up scoring on that drive, so after that I think everybody calmed down a bit.”
Bruno also rolled the dice and attempted a fourth-down conversion deep in his own territory. He eschewed extra point kicks in favor of 2-point tries, but also uncharacteristically attempted a field goal.
And, of course, his team engaged in a wild, wild 42-36 overtime victory over Wolcott. The Eagles tied the game on new quarterback Vincent Gambino‘s fifth touchdown of the game (he threw for 333 yards), but Naugatuck preserved it on a blocked extra point. The Greyhounds then stopped Wolcott on downs in the first overtime and won the game with Bradley’s 3-yard dive.
“Bedlam erupted,” Bruno said. “It was a great atmosphere. The place was packed and everybody was going wild.
“Everybody was calling it an all-time classic. But I’m used to games like that. I got one of those every week (at Bunnell).”
Bruno said he wasn’t predicting a run of heart-stopping finishes at Naugatuck. “We have a long way to go,” he said. “But I think we’re pretty good.”
Naugatuck hosts Sacred Heart on Thursday night.
Woodland senior quarterback Tanner Kingsley entered 2013 having thrown 68 touchdown passes in his career, good for No. 12 all-time. He’s thrown 11 in two games already (5 vs. Branford, 6 vs. Crosby), moving him into sole possession of No. 4 all-time, just one behind former Southington QB Dan Bruetsch and six behind former St. Joseph QB Joe Della Vecchia.
Kingsley, who threw 51 touchdown passes a year ago is on pace to break the all-time record of 112 held by former Masuk all-stater Casey Cochran.
Kingsley has thrown for 598 yards this year. His 5,378 career passing yards is good for No. 24 all-time behind New Canaan’s Kurt Horton.
Woodland (2-0) plays at Kennedy this week.
Derby played league power Holy Cross without backs Tyrae Small (ejection) and Jordan LaRue (ankle) and still came away with a victory. The Raiders (2-0) won 19-14 behind 283 passing yards from junior quarterback Mike Kreiger.
Seven catches and 95 yards went to emerging receiver Tyler Dobek, who was equally heroic in Derby’s 49-45 comeback vs. St. Paul.
St. Paul tilted the scoreboard again with another crazy game that saw UConn recruit Logan Marchi ring up 353 yards passing.
The difference this time: St. Paul needed to rally against Anthony Yordon (200 yards) and Watertown. And, this time, the result was a victory.
Sown 29-24 in the fourth quarter, Marchi’s 5-yard run with 6:35 remaining gave the Falcons their first victory, 32-29.
After sitting out Ansonia’s opening victory over Torrington, quarterback Jai’Quan McKnight returned to the lineup in the Chargers’ 54-6 win over Sacred Heart. McKnight completed four passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Ansonia, which has won 30 consecutive games, heads to Holy Cross Friday night.
Derby (2-0) at Wilby (2-0), 6:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart (0-2) at Naugatuck (2-0), 6 p.m.
Seymour (1-1) at Wolcott (1-1), 7 p.m.
Watertown (0-2) at Crosby (0-2), 7 p.m.
Ansonia (2-0) at Holy Cross (1-1), 7 p.m.
Woodland (2-0) at Kennedy (0-2), 10 a.m.
Torrington (0-2) at St.Paul (1-1), 1:30 p.m.
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- THE FCIAC BEAT: St. Joseph adds another chapter; Staples welcomes back Lesch
- THE SWC BEAT: McCourt, New Fairfield Rebels yell
- THE NVL BEAT: ‘Brunoball’ a smash hit in Naugy
- STATE FOOTBALL BEAT: Pequot grounds-n-pounds; Capital (Prep) Punishment
- Laxworm’s ‘The Show’ high school football podcast: Jack Cochran guest