Marce Petroccio walked off the Staples Field turf at halftime, his brow furrowed, his lips pursed, fists clenched.
Crazy things were happening. And, for the football coach, his team and the hundreds of homecoming fans packed into the stands Saturday, they weren’t good.
Start with Darien’s ease in moving the football up and down the field. Add the blocked field goal that one of the Wreckers mistakenly touched and was recovered by Darien at the goal line. Then there was that goal line stand, the endzone-to-redzone drive that followed, and the field goal that gave the Wave a 17-7 halftime lead.
“There must have been holes punched in the walls,” MSG’s Mike Quick said on the sidelines.
It was a good guess, but incorrect.
While Petroccio had some choice words, it was a relatively calm halftime. All business.
The explosive bit came in the second half. From the kickoff to the final horn.
Just as a nor’easter swept into town, bringing gobs of snow that made the field a sheet of white, Wreckers buried Darien and it’s league title hopes. Staples forced turnovers, blocked a punt and scored touchdowns — Lotsa, lotsa touchdowns — from Nick Kelly, Rob Wolf and, of course, Joey Zelkowitz, who scored three straight to put Darien away.
“In the first half everything that could have went wrong, did,” Petroccio said. “I give my kids a heck of a lot of credit. They showed a lot of resolve and a lot of heart today. We came out in the second half and played the type of football I thought we were capable of playing.
“That could have been the greatest third quarter in Staples history right there. I mean that was phenomenal.”
Dave Ruden’s got all the goods on what went down in Wrecker wonderland Saturday afternoon: Staples crushes Darien in snowy FCIAC showdown.
In the midst of Staples’ 28-point third-quarter outburst, my trusty HD camera shorted in the snow. I missed the final three touchdowns of the game — including both of Zelkowitz’s 60-yard TDs. So those will be noticeably absent on the film.
One camera down, I (stupidly) used my iPhone in an attempt at postgame interviews. And, in addition to some pretty lousy clips, I got a case of frostbite from the snow caked all over my hands. (Thanks to the Staples trainers for nursing me back to health in the postgame.)
ELSEWHERE: Snow wreaked havoc all across the state, damaging trees, downing power lines and causing meteorologists who’d predicted a later start to hide beneath their desks.
All of the games that began at 10:30 were completed, albeit in a driving snowstorm late. A others that started at their regularly-scheduled noon and 1 p.m. times were played almost entirely in snow. Greenwich-Westhill, Harding-Norwalk never started. They’ll be played Monday.
- Trinity Catholic defeated Bassick 28-0 in a whiteout.
- Weston held off New Fairfield in a thriller
- Barlow defeated Oxford 31-20
- Bullard-Havens stayed alive in Class M with a 40-6 win over new rival O’Brien Tech
- Platt Tech lost to Prince Tech 12-2
- Statewide: Hall bolted to an early lead, waited out a delay, then mopped up Southington in a game with Class LL implications. …Hartford Public beat Fermi 13-6 …Coventry/Windham Tech stayed unbeaten with a 48-8 win over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby in the battle of the slashes.
We’ll wrap it all up Monday.
The Full Hearst CT Wrap
- Birdsall scores 6 TDs as Bethel stuns Bunnell
- Fenaroli scores three TDs as Newtown buries Brookfield
- Seniors Harrington, Calitro lead Danbury over Trumbull
- Warde forces six turnovers, rips St. Joseph
- Ridgefield serves another heartbreaker to McMahon
- New Canaan stays the course, handles Wilton
- Boderick brothers lead Stamford rout of Ludlowe
I’ve received a few emails from fans all over the state asking me to extend our coverage umbrella north and eastward. While I appreciate the praise for our fair space, I believe many of our media friends do a find job themselves. Just promise, when you’re finished reading all of these fine pieces of journalism, to come back here to discuss.
Beyond Shangri-La: The Week 7 state roundup
Ray Curren’s SCC Notebook: An SCC look at the CIAC playoff race – Elm City Newspapers
- Guilford runs by Lyman Hall – Record-Journal
- Xavier crushes Hillhouse – Middletown Press
- Hand stays unbeaten with 28-14 win over West Haven – Shoreline Times
- Gannon brothers lead Sheehan over East Haven – Record-Journal
- Pascale, Ecke lead Cheshire over Foran – Record-Journal
- East Hampton/Vinal Tech defeats Lewis Mills - Middletown Press
- Avon nips Housatonic/Wamogo in OT thriller — Torrington Register-Citizen
- Gilbert/Northwestern routs Canton – Torrington Register-Citizen
- North Branford edges Cromwell in Sassaucus thriller - New Haven Register
- Valley Regional routs Coginchaug – ShoreLine Times
- Carillo, Highsmith lead Middletown over Bristol Central – Middletown Press
- Berlin closes out Plainville - Bristol Press
- Maloney defeats Bristol Eastern – Bristol Press
- Windsor stays unbeaten, knocks off Farmington – Hartford Courant
- Bloomfield wipes out Platt - Bristol Press
- Kennedy defeats St. Paul – Bristol Press
- Lytton, Torrington outshoot Derby – Republican-American
- Scirpo runs wild for Woodland over Naugatuck – Republican-American
- Minus DiGiorgi, Holy Cross edges Sacred Heart – Republican-American
- Nicol, Wolcott defeat Watertown – Republican-American
Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech defeats Wolcott Tech in snow – Register-Citizen
- Dream becomes reality for Fitch, beats New London – The Day [For you pups out there, Ned sure knows how to write a good game story]
- The Day Friday roundup: Stonington shocks NFA
- Waterford routs Killingly – The Day
- Ledyard crushes Montville - The Day