STAMFORD — It’s not the primary focus for St. Joseph; a third consecutive CIAC football title comes in higher. But it’s nearing the point where getting that will also get the Hogs their first undefeated season since 1983.
No. 2 St. Joseph took care of business Friday night at Boyle Stadium in a 58-0 win over Stamford, jumping on top early and building a steady lead. With only Trumbull left on Thanksgiving before the Class L playoffs, the Hogs are 9-0.
“We’ve talked about (10-0) a little bit,” coach Joe Della Vecchia said. “We’ve got one more regular-season game to go. We’re excited about it. It’s a big thing for us. Hopefully we come out Thursday the way we came out tonight, ready to go.
St. Joseph scored on its first possession. Stamford (3-6) forced a turnover on downs on the Hogs’ second possession, but then Owen DaSilva jumped on a bad snap in the end zone on Stamford’s punt attempt.
“My teammate, Justin Williams, came across, and I thought he was going to take it, so I was kind of upset at the time,” DaSilva said. “But he tackled the punter for some odd reason. I just saw the ball, so I jumped on it.”
DaSilva also caught a touchdown pass from Jack Wallace, who also threw one to Will Diamantis and ran for two touchdowns on a blustery night. Jaden Shirden ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
“We were hoping to come out quick and play hard,” Della Vecchia said.
“The kids love playing football. They really love being out there. They’re ready to play every week. You don’t have to do a lot to get them ready to play. They love to play.”
— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) November 23, 2019
The Hogs are just ahead of Hand, No. 1 in the GameTimeCT poll to the Cadets’ No. 2, for the top seed in Class L. If those two teams win their Class L quarterfinals, they’ll host the semis.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Pick a Hog, as so often seems to be the case, so we’ll go with Owen DaSilva for his fumble recovery in the end zone.
GROWING INTO IT
Where St. Joseph is, Stamford coach Jamar Greene told his players at game’s end, is where the Black Knights want to be. “Use this as motivation to get in the weight room at the end of the season and get better,” he said. “That’s where we want to be. They’re strong, physical, fast: All things of the game, they were just better than we were.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys. It’s what we do in the offseason that’s going to determine how good we’re going to be next season.”
Stamford’s cheerleaders set down their pom-poms at halftime as they got ready to honor their seniors. The pom-poms blew 50 yards downfield.
Stamford netted minus-7 yards of offense on 31 plays. Including muffed snaps, five sacks and the like, the Black Knights lost 80 yards on 16 rushing plays. Their longest play was their second-to-last, a 42-yard catch-and-run on which they lost a fumble.
Both teams will finish their regular seasons on Thanksgiving morning. St. Joseph welcomes in Trumbull. Stamford, a bit banged up, goes up to Westhill.
“We’ll rest this weekend, and it’s back to the drawing board Monday,” Greene said. “The Thanksgiving game is always fun. It’s our rival.”
“Continue to compete, continue to execute, continue to get better every day. You’re never going to be satisfied. … The goal is always to try to be perfect. It’s definitely not attainable all the time, but that’s the goal we want to get to. Doing that, I think, makes us stronger for other things in life outside the football field.” — St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia, on what the team takes out of Friday’s game