TORRINGTON — Torrington football stunned Wolcott 36-14 by air and land Friday night at the Robert H. Frost Sports Complex in a defensive struggle that became a Red Raider blitz by the final quarter.
“This was a Raider win!” Coach Gaitan Rodriguez told his team after the final buzzer.
The win was testimony to Gaitan and his staff’s strategy to go with what they have this year — powerful runners and a smallish quick line.
“Size doesn’t matter,” said Conrad Avallone, a runner who sometimes plays quarterback, praising his line’s eventual dominance over a much bigger Eagle front four.
“I think we wore them down,” Rodriguez said.
The no-pure-quarterback plan took hold with Torrington’s first play from scrimmage Friday when Avallone took the snap and handed it to running back Jacob Coleman.
Coleman launched a 71-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Hamonds with just 23 seconds ticked off the clock.
The Eagles (1-2), with a new coach and quarterback, recovered from the shock, launching an eight-play drive from their own 49-yard-line to even the score 6-6.
Torrington was back in the second quarter, grinding out yardage on the ground until Avallone struck from the air again — a 36-yard score to Hammonds.
“That’s our offense,” Rodriguez said. “We’re gonna wear you down, then put it up in the air.”
After the half Wolcott proved its own ground game again — with a 4-yard touchdown by Joe Fontano.
Torrington went back to the ground that saw a 39-yard run by Avallone, capped by a 27-yard touchdown pass from Avallone to Rangel Pascual, taking a 20-14 lead on Exodus Rosado’s two-point conversion.
Two plays into the fourth quarter, Coleman took off on a 61-yard scoring run, followed by his two-point conversion.
Five minutes later, it was Avallone’s turn to do it on the ground: a 52-yard scoring run followed by another two, from Christian Estafani.
“I think we’ll be in every game on our schedule,” said Coleman and the Eagles were likely to agree.