MONROE — The Weston and Masuk football teams entered their matchup on Friday with playoff hopes on the minds of players and coaches.
Masuk came in on the Class L bubble along with Wilton and Windsor. Weston arrived in Monroe holding the last playoff spot in Class M.
The winning team would certainly improve its playoff chances.
In a game where defense took a back seat to a combined offense from both teams that produced 103 points, it would be the Trojans who prevailed in the end.
Quarterback James Goetz completed 13 of 19 passes for 210 yards, including four touchdown passes, and ran for 106 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, leading Weston to a 62-41 SWC interdivision win at Masuk.
“I give all the credit to our kids,” Weston coach Dan Hasett said. “I am so pleased at how well they came in here and executed. To come to Masuk and come away with a win here isn’t easy. James Goetz had his best game tonight. He’s a fantastic kid.
“They say I gave a great motivational speech at halftime. I can’t even remember what I said at halftime. I don’t know if this win improved our chances for the playoffs, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.”
In the first half offense dominated. Weston scored on its first possession with Goetz scoring on a 1-yard run for a 7-0 lead. Two plays into Masuk’s first possession of the half, Chris Tillotson responded with a 66-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7 with 5:28 to go in the first quarter.
The Trojans regained the lead when Goetz connected with Brandon Sawyer for a 22-yard touchdown pass and a 14-7 lead with 2:45 to go in the first quarter. The Panthers responded again when Henry Minnick caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Nick Saccu to tie the game at 14 with 11:53 to go in the second quarter.
The teams continued to trade touchdowns, and with the game tied at 28, Tyler Bower scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds left in the second quarter. It gave Weston a 34-28 advantage, a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the game.
The points continued to come in the second half.
Weston’s Phoenix Parker recovered a Masuk fumble on the Panthers’ 46, and five plays later Brenden Sawyer scored on a 44-yard touchdown run for a 41-28 lead with 8:16 to go in the third quarter.
Tillotson caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Saccu with 6:22 to go in the third quarter, cutting Weston’s lead to 41-35. But John Cassol caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Goetz with 3:38 to in the third quarter and a 1-yard interception return for a touchdown by the Trojans made it 55-35 and the rout was on.
“I’m so psyched we got this win,” Goetz said. “I scored all those touchdowns but everyone contributed on those touchdowns. Our offfensive line was great and realy took control. We got a great motivational speech at halftime and that got us pumped for a strong second half.
“The playoffs have been our goal the last three years and this win is a big step in that direction.”
Quarterback Nick Saccu completed 15-of-21 passes for 211 yards and three touchdown passes for the Panthers (6-3).
“We held serve in the first half but they broke serve in that second half,” Masuk coach Joe Lato said. “We just couldn’t stop them. They just took it to us in that second half.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
James Goetz, Weston. The Weston quarterback had the Trojans offense humming all night, making plays with his arm and his legs while accounting for five touchdowns.
“We’re going to enjoy this win for about 12 hours and then we have to go back to work. We have a lot more work to do.” — Weston coach Dan Hassett.
WESTON 62, MASUK 41
WESTON 14 20 14 14 — 62
MASUK 7 21 7 6 — 41
[WS] James Goetz: 1-yard run (Phoenix Parker kick)
[MA] Christopher Tillotson: 66-yard run (Michael Epifano kick)
[WS] Brendan Sawyer: 5-yard pass from James Goetz (Phoenix Parker kick)
[MA] Henry Minnick: 22-yard pass from Nick Saccu (Michael Epifano kick)
[WS] Tyler Bower: 9-yard run (Phoenix Parker kick)
[MA] Daniel Verrastro: 41-yard run (Michael Epifano kick)
[WS] Jack Sawyer: 38-yard pass from James Goetz (Phoenix Parker kick)
[MA] Daniel Verrastro: 2-yard run (Michael Epifano kick)
[WS] Tyler Bower: 5-yard run
[WS] Brendan Sawyer: 44-yard run (Phoenix Parker kick)
[MA] Christopher Tillotson: 7-yard pass from Nick Saccu (Michael Epifano kick)
[WS] John Cassol: 29-yard pass from James Goetz (Phoenix Parker kick)
[WS] 1-yard interception return (Phoenix Parker kick)
[MA] Henry Minnick: 38-yard pass from Nick Saccu
[WS] Hayden Lawrence: 25-yard pass from James Goetz (Phoenix Parker kick)