EAST HAVEN >> The first time Stevie Swinson touched the ball the Wilbur Cross junior scat back nearly went the distance. One play later he finished the deal.
That was just the beginning of a night that neither Swinson nor the rest of the Governors will soon forget.By the time Swinson came out of the game during the final drive of the Governors’ 24-0 Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision victory over East Haven, he had blazed his way to 249 yards rushing, including a 35-yard touchdown at Crisafi Field on Friday night.
“I can’t take all the credit,” said Swinson, who had 166 yards by halftime, “I give it to the (offensive line). I am going to be humble about it. It is all them; they work hard every day in practice and they just ask me to run the ball hard.”
Run the ball hard is exactly what Swinson did on the first two plays from scrimmage, totaling 90 yards on two rushes.
“You get bright eyes and just run to daylight,” Swinson said. “That is what I was told.”
Even with Wilbur Cross dominating play and holding the Yellow Jackets to 27 yards of total offense in the first half, East Haven stopped the Governors four times on fourth down in the opening half and went into halftime only down 12-0.
Aided by a 32-yard run by senior quarterback Mike DeMarco, East Haven moved 55 yards on nine plays on the first drive of the second half. Faced with a 2nd-and-7 at the Wilbur Cross 29, East Haven had a chance to get right back into the game, but running plays on second and third down lost a total of eight yards. Not only did the Yellow Jackets squander their best chance at scoring, but the Governors needed just six plays to go 82 yards for a touchdown. The final 40 came on a TD pass from A.J. Consiglio Jr. to Elijah Long to put Wilbur Cross up 18-0.
“It’s a long process we are going through,” East Haven coach Anthony Lucibello said, “Unfortunately it’s been a tough go around here for a while, so they sputter. There’s no consistency. The practices aren’t consistent, the reps aren’t consistent during the week.
“It is going to take time. They are working hard, they are getting better, but they have been so far behind the 8 ball all these years. I am trying to force-feed this program to this senior class because I feel like they are going to get cheated the most because they are going to be gone in two months.”
Wilbur Cross (2-2) punched in another score on the next drive on Jaylin Fuller’s 15-yard run with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Fuller also had a 5-yard scoring run in the second quarter and finished with 62 yards on 15 carries.
The Governors defense made 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, but none were bigger than back-to-back stuffs on East Haven’s first possession of the second half.
“I knew we were going to be with our heels back a little bit, but when it gets close just buckle down and don’t get beat on the pass,” said Cross coach John Acquavita, who won his 100th career game. “That is all we ask, let them have to grind it out. It was rewarding, it is a nice win.”
Tyvon Bradley had seven tackles while Zach Washington and Javon Phelmetta had five tackles each.
Alex Anastasio had seven tackles and DeMarco rushed for 40 yards for East Haven (1-3).
Wilbur Cross 24, East Haven 0
(at East Haven)
Wilbur Cross 6 6 12 0 — 24
East Haven 0 0 0 0 — 0
W—Stevie Swinson 35 run (kick failed)
W—Jaylin Fuller 5 run (run failed)
W—Elijah Long 40 pass from A.J. Consiglio (pass failed)
W—Jaylin Fuller 15 run (kick failed)
Team records: East Haven 1-3; Wilbur Cross 2-2