TORRINGTON >> On a cold night in Torrington, the Red Raiders gave up five fumbles and a kickoff recovery while Watertown took advantage of it by running the ball almost at will for a 42-20 win for the annual Helmet Award.
“This is better than we’ve done all year,” said Watertown junior Adam Alenkis, leading the Indians with 15 carries for 133 yards and the game’s final touchdown.
“We’re trying to build the program and we just kept fighting and fighting,” said Coach Luigi Velardi.
The pain started right away for the Red Raiders, who won the Helmet for the last four years in the annual Thanksgiving rivalry game.
Torrington stopped the Indians in eight plays in the opening drive, then fumbled on its first play from scrimmage. Oscar Mideros picked it up on the nine-yard line and ran it in.
In the makings of a wild game between the two 4-6 teams, Jermaine Reese took the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for a Torrington touchdown.
The Indians were back in the lead with a methodical 10-play drive from their own 35, capped by a two-yard plunge by Joe Deptula.
The Raiders fumbled again on their second play of the game from scrimmage.
Quarterback Nick D’Elia threw 34 yards to Dan Grazziano; Deptula ran in from the one. Torrington paid up again, 20-7.
Even so, there was hope for the Raiders. Dom Phengkaen sprinted 65 yards for a Torrington touchdown, 20-13. The Raiders held Watertown scoreless in the second half, catching up 20-20 on a one-yard Phengkaen run with 17 seconds left.
The hope and the game left with one more miscue in the third quarter.
A Watertown punt touched a Torrington players. Mideros fell on it. Eight plays later, the Indians led again, 26-20.
Another Torrington fumble headed the Indians into the final period on a 10-play drive, 34-20.
Torrington had one more fumble. The Indians had a final touchdown, with 2:34 left in the game.
Watertown 42, Torrington 20
At Torrington High School
Watertown 20 0 6 16 – 42
Torrington 13 7 0 0 – 20
W – Oscar Mideros 9-yard fumble recovery (run failed)
T – Jermaine Reese 79-yard kickoff return (Ricky Patai kick)
W – Joe Deptula 2-yard run (pass incomplete)
W – Deptula 1-yard run (Nick D’Elia run)
T – Dom Phengkaen 65-yard run (kick blocked)
T – Phengkaen 1-yard run (Patai kick)
W – D’Elia 1-yard run (pass incompete)
W – D’Elia 1-yard run (Jaylen Arline run)
W – Adam Alenkis 5-yard run (Dan Grazziano pass from D’Elia)
Rushing: W – Nick D’Elia 12 carries/10 yards; Adam Alenkis 14/133; Joe Deptula 6/37; Jaylen Arline 10/73. T – Jermaine Reese 1/79; Dom Pengkaen 11/97; Dylan Myrie 6/60; Brandon Reiff 3/16.
Passing: W – Nick D’Elia 5 completions/14 attempts/48 yards/1 interception. T – Brandon Reiff 1/2/5.
Receiving: W – Joe Deptula 1 reception/8 yards; Adam Alenkis 1/-3; Dan Grazziano 3/43. T – Justin Egliskis 1/5.
Records: Watertown 4-6; Torrington 4-6.