DANBURY — It was an anticipated shootout before the game began, and that didn’t change when both teams had to make changes at the most important position.
Danbury junior Patrick Rosetti had the final say, firing a touchdown to Bernie Delacruz with 1:58 left to settle a wild 37-33 win for the Hatters on Saturday.
Rosetti typically alternates time with Jackson Ciccone, who started the game early but left with a shoulder injury. Rosetti shook off a pair of interceptions to throw three touchdowns, including a 15-yard throw in the corner of the end zone to Delacruz that settled the contest.
“When I saw the call on the wristband I knew what was going to happen,” said Delacruz, who took a hard shot to the brand new Danbury track after the play. “I didn’t expect (the fall), but I knew I was going to get a touchdown.”
Danbury got a stop on the ensuing possession, including a sack on fourth down by Jah Joyner to end the game. The Hatters turned the ball over five times but survived thanks to an offense that couldn’t be slowed down as five players found the end zone.
“We talk all the time about self-inflicted wounds and we can’t get away with that,” Danbury coach Augie Tieri said. “Really upset with the turnovers tonight but on the flip side we talk about overcome adversity in every aspect of what we do, we build it into our practices. This entire game was an adversity segment; overcoming the penalties and fumbles.”
Rosetti also threw touchdowns to Artez Taft and Xavier Ross.
“It was awesome to be a part of it,” Rosetti said. “It was awesome to have that (throw to Delacruz) in a game where I think I could have been better.”
Norwalk was without starter Kyle Gordon from the start, but Thomas Brown was a capable substitute. He also threw three scores without turning overn the ball, and made accurate throws to receivers all over the field.
“Tommy would start on over half the teams in this league,” Norwalk coach Sean Ireland said. “Unfortunately for him he has a generational talent right in front of him. Tommy was phenomenal tonight.”
Just moments earlier the Hatters were on the ropes as a short touchdown catch from Andre Robinson, Jr. gave Norwalk a 33-25 lead with 7:03 left. Danbury marched down the field and pulled to within two on a short touchdown run by DJ Donovan, then recovered an onside kick to get the ball right back in Norwalk territory with a chance to win the game.
The Bears spurned chances early in the game while Danbury was gifting them with turnovers. A touchdown rush turned into a turnover on downs thanks to a holding and personal foul on the same play. Norwalk committed five personal fouls Saturday and had leads of 14-0 and 21-10 evaporate
“That was a tough one,” Ireland said. “We had the lead at halftime and late in the game but we just don’t make the big plays when we need to. If we recover an onside kick, we win the game.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Norwalk comes right back as Andre Robinson Jr. takes the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for TD #cthsfb
Norwalk leads Danbury 27-25 in 3Q pic.twitter.com/3i72c74Uys
— Pete Paguaga (@PetePaguaga) November 9, 2019
Andre Robinson Jr., Norwalk: Did it all for the Bears, hauling two interceptions in addition to his two receiving touchdowns and kickoff return for a score.
“Talk about a mentally tough kid,” Tieri said of Rosetti. “He was so humble and handled everything so well; I know how tough it was for him to stand on the sideline of the Darien game. Jackson has done a phenomial job and we were upset he got hurt today. Rosetti is always ready and our plan was to alternate (them) again today.”