TORRINGTON >> Wolcott quarterback Vincent Gambino threw for 281 yards to six different receivers in the Eagles’ first half, clinching the game by halftime in a 44-7 win over Torrington at the Robert H. Frost Sports Complex Friday night.
Three of Wolcott’s six touchdowns finished on the ground, but the air attack delivered them to the red zone.
“I have total trust in all my receivers. They’re all playmakers,” said Gambino, a junior in his first year as a starter.
“Our quarterback has been exceptional. He’s better than we had expected,” said Coach Jason Pace.
On the other side, Torrington coach Gaitan Rodriguez expects more from his young team (0-3).
“It’s a maturation process, but, at some point, you’ve got to grow up and start doing what you’ve been taught to do,” he said.
The first few minutes of the game looked even. Then the air had too many footballs for the Raiders.
“We knew at the beginning of the year our strength would be our offense,” said Pace.
Both teams started with interceptions.
Torrington junior Manny Rijos picked off a Gambino pass on Wolcott’s second play from scrimmage.
The Raiders got a first down, then Adam Santopietro got it back for the Eagles on a pass from Connor Finn.
Both teams had to punt.
Then Gambino (7-for-24) spread his wings: 10 yards to Phillip Lebel; 30 to Jayson Matos; and another completion to Matos for a 28-yard touchdown.
Joseph Keeley was good on all five of his point-after kicks.
Torrington lost one of its two fumbles for the half after a long pass connection from Finn (7-for-13/91 yds) to Desmond Langs (8-for-61 yds).
The Eagles started from threir own 20.
Gambino and Matos (4-for-126 yds) had the big connection again for 47 of the yards that set up Joseph Lynch (10-for-40 yds) on the Torrington 20-yard line.
An Eagle draw play worked to perfection. Lynch bucked straight up the middle for the second touchdown, 21-0.
The second quarter had new Eagle receivers, same results.
Gambino hit Jason Pelletier on a 49-yard bomb three-and-a-half minutes into the period.
He stuck a two-yarder to Lynch five minutes later after a 17-yard pass to Pelletier set up the finishing touch.
Ahead 35-0, Coach Pace and his Eagles showed their class in the second half.
Backup runners Matt DeFazio and Michael Audibert combined for 59 yards and a touchdown by DeFazio, but the passing attack was over.
Torrington quarterback Finn strained his knee late in the first half.
Junior Anthony Pandolfo took over the Raider controls, engineering Torrington’s only touchdown in the third quarter.
First, he had to work things out with the snapper in the shotgun formation. One snap went over his head for a safety.
Then things went right.
Pandolfo hit Rijos and Langs for short passes. Then Marens took off around the left side of the line for 60 yards.
The NVL competition doesn’t ease up for Torrington.
Naugatuck, the only team to beat Wolcott so far (in overtime) comes to the Robert H. Frost Complex Friday night.
Wolcott 44, Torrington 7
At Torrington High School
Wolcott 21 14 2 7-44
Torrington 0 0 7 0-7
W-Jayson Matos 28-yard pass from Vincent Gambino; Joseph Keeley kick
W-Joseph Lynch 20-yard run; Keeley kick
W-Lynch 1-yard run; Keeley kick
W-Jason Pelletier 49-yard pass from Gambino; Keeley kick
W-Lynch 2-yard pass from Gambino; Keeley kick
T-Tyler Marens 60-yard run; P.J. Kilmartin kick
W-Matt DeFazio 9-yard run; Edward Parenti kick
Rushing: W-Joseph Lynch 10-for-40 yds; Adam Santopietro 1-for-5 yds; Matt DeFazio 14-for-44 yds; Michael Audibert 2-for-15 yds. T-Connor Finn 3-for-9 yds; Tyler Marens 12-for-108 yds; Damian Lajoie 5-for-28 yds.
Passing: W-Vincent Gambino 17-for-24/281 yds/interception. T-Finn 7-for-13/91 yds/interception; Anthony Pandolfo 7-for-12/59 yds.
Receiving: W-Santopiertro 2-for-41 yds; Pelletier 6-for-92 yds; Lynch 2-for-7 yds; Jayson Matos 4-for-126 yds; Michael Druan 1-for-5 yds; Pillip Lebel 1-for-10 yds. T-Nate Bresson 3-for-47 yds; Zack Mancini 1-for-35 yds; Desmond Langs 8-for-61 yds; Marens 1-for-7 yds.
Records: Wolcott 3-1; Torrington 0-4