TORRINGTON >> Torrington first-year head football coach Gaitan Rodriguez knew his team was in for a tough first game opening up at defending state champion and NVL kingpin Ansonia.
Torrington struggled on both sides of the ball in the first half but played a better brand of football in the second stanza but still fell 52-7 in the season opener for both teams at Jarvis Stadium.
Torrington also saw Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome run himself into the state’s record book again, this time passing former Charger great Alex Thomas for career points scored. Newsome ran for 181 yards on 10 carries, all in the first quarter, as Ansonia jumped out to a 26-0 lead after one stanza.
Newsome, who scored on runs of 1, 24, and 25 in the first quarter, all without being touched as Ansonia raced to a 40-0 halftime lead. Newsome now has 758 career points. Thomas finished his career with 747 points.
“I owe it all to my offensive line,” said Newsome. “They played great tonight. They always hustle and play to the whistle.”
Ansonia (1-0) head coach Tom Brockett forgot Newsome had even set the record. “I feel bad. I forgot about it until you just told me. He is on pace to take them all down. If he stays healthy, he will have them all.”
As impressive as Newsome and his Charger offensive mates were, Ansonia’s defensive effort was stellar. In the first half, Torrington could only muster three total yards on 25 plays. Their lone first down came on an Ansonia penalty. For the game, Torrington managed just 90 yards of total offense and four first downs.
“We couldn’t execute tonight,” said Rodriguez. “That is an excellent football team. We have a young team and played like it at times, but we grew up tonight. These type of games will help us get better.”
Torrington (0-1) avoided the shutout when Connor Finn and Tyler Marens connected on a 60-yard scoring strike.
“We can build on that one play,” said Rodriguez. “I asked them at halftime to stay together and play as a team. I wanted max effort for 48 minutes. They did that.”