After a less than ideal 13-0 deficit to start the game against visiting Norwalk, the Wreckers settled down and shutout the Bears in the final three quarters Friday evening to collect the 48-13 victory at Staples Stadium.
“I thought for the most part, we played a complete game,” Petroccio said. “The kids, they stepped up to play; about time we played defense like this.”
While the Wreckers (8-2, 8-1) did their part, continuing to improve and win, Friday night also brought news that the slim chance of advancing to the FCIAC title match next week was gone.
But with one game left on the schedule for Staples, Thanksgiving against Greenwich, the Wreckers’ state playoff hopes are still alive.
Meanwhile though, Petroccio got the four quarter effort from his team after an early scare. The Bears made things interesting in the first seven minutes of the game as they took advantage of a Wreckers fumble and Clifford Joseph punched it in from 4-yards out to take the 7-0 lead. After a stalled drive from Staples, Norwalk’s offense hooked up again as quarterback Andrew Huzina found Yesid Rodriguez for 56 yards to go up 13-0 after a blocked extra point.
Staples’ Jack Massie got the Wreckers on board late in the first quarter with a 16-yard keeper to bring the score to 13-7.
From that point on, both the Staples offense and defense found a rhythm they never broke.
“They (Norwalk) put a lot of guys in the box we kind of struggled moving the ball at first, they had two big ones (scores),” Petroccio said. “But once Jack (Massie) warmed up, he had a great night. We were able to throw the ball and have some success and come back.”
Staples took the lead early in the second quarter as running back Patrick Lesch rushed for a 26-yard score. The Staples offense got the ball right back as senior Jack Greenwald, who had a great night on both sides of the ball, came up with the interception. The Wreckers took advantage of the field position as Massie hit Porter 8-yards out for the score.
Greenwald added to the Wreckers lead – a 4-yard run – to give Staples the 28-13 edge at the half.
“If I was told we’d be 13-0 up on Staples, I would have signed on the dotted line right there,” Norwalk head coach Sean Ireland said after.
But for Norwalk, the Bears struggled the final three quarters to string any offensive drives together as they were plagued with penalties and turnovers. They were also met with a stingy defensive effort. Staples limited Norwalk’s yardage to less than 50 the entire second half.
“It’s when you play Staples, you have to play discipline for four quarters and we did for the first half, and we didn’t for four quarters,” Ireland said.
Added Petroccio: “We made some changes up front; we made a change at the linebacker spot, Chase Colasurdo defensive lineman, had a great night for us. He had two guys on him all night and he did a great job. I’m just proud, I’m happy for the seniors.”
The Wreckers scored three more times in the second half, as Massie connected with Will Johnson and Greenwald scored his second of the night. Backup quarterback Teddy Coogan scored the final points for Staples, a 31-yard run.
Offensively, Staples was paced by Massie’s two touchdowns, while Lesch was just shy of the 100 yard mark, running for 94.