BRIDGEPORT — Darryl Sebastian tipped his cap.
That’s really all the Thames River football coach could do after watching Tyrese Wright turn in another Superman-like performance in a 52-0 Bullard-Havens rout on Saturday.
“When it came down to it, we just couldn’t stop that kid,” Sebastian said. “He’s a lot faster in person than on film.”
Wright torched the Crusaders’ defense for 188 yards on the ground — a whopping 140 of which came in the first half — and 105 yards through the air. He had a hand in five of his team’s seven touchdowns, including three he ran in himself.
The funny thing is, as remarkable as Wright’s performance was, Bullard-Havens coach John Johnson wasn’t all that surprised by what he saw.
“That’s the expectation with him,” Johnson said of the senior, who ran for scores of 1, 15 and 14 yards. “We expect him to dominate a game both on the run and on the pass, as well as on defense.”
Wright hauled in an interception in the end zone on the game’s final play for good measure.
“Every day in practice, our coach emphasizes finishing, finishing, finishing,” Wright said. “Finish our conditioning drills and finish our practice period, and we come out in a game and do the same thing.”
In Sebastian’s mind, the lopsided win reinforced the Bullard-Havens’ standing as the team-to-beat in the newly remodeled Connecticut Technical Conference. Through five weeks, the Tigers (5-0) have outscored their opponents 284-42.
Thames River — a co-op consisting of players from Norwich and Grasso Technical High Schools and St. Bernard — dropped to 1-3 on the season.
“We had a plan to try to corral (Wright), but it’s easier said than done,” Sebastian said. “You see him in person, he’s an incredible athlete.”
Wright capped Bullard-Havens’ opening possession with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Smith, making it 8-0. Keith Gathers doubled the lead with a 21-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and everything snowballed from there for Thames River.
Bullard-Havens finished all five of its first-half drives with touchdowns and led 36-0 at the break.
“All year round we worked and lifted and (did conditioning drills) just to start like this,” Wright said. “We’re going to keep going. We’re not satisfied yet.”
Smith and Gathers each finished the day with two touchdowns.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Tyrese Wright, Bullard-Havens, QB/CB: Who else? The senior rushed for 188 yards, passed for 105 yards and accounted for five touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, he had an interception. He simply did it all.
THANKS FOR THE HELP
Wright is in his fourth year starting at quarterback, and believe it or not, his supporting cast has never be stronger. At least that’s how he sees it. “They’re young, too, so they have time to progress. It’s good. You can talk to them, and they listen. They’re a good group,” he said.
The two players who scored touchdowns besides Wright — running back Keith Gathers and wide receiver Tavon Smith — are both seniors, but the Tigers got plenty of help on both sides of the ball from the likes of junior running back Edward Holmes (51 yards rushing) and sophomore middle linebacker Marcus Johnson (interception).
“We haven’t seen everybody, but he’s definitely the best player (in the CTC). He made a couple moves where you just drop your hat. You tip your hat to him.” — Thames River coach Darryl Sebastian on Tyrese Wright
BULLARD-HAVENS 52, THAMES RIVER 0
THAMES RIVER 0 0 0 0 — 0
BULLARD-HAVENS 8 28 8 8 — 52
BH — Tavon Smith 17 pass Tyrese Wright (Keith Gathers run)
BH — Gathers 21 run (Wright run)
BH — Wright 1 run (Wright run)
BH — Wright 15 run (Pass failed)
BH — Smith 25 pass Wright (Run failed)
BH — Wright 14 run (Gathers run)
BH — Gathers 19 run (Edward Holmes run)
Records: Thames River 1-3; Bullard-Havens 5-0.