Following a 30-22 loss to then-No. 1 Xavier on Sept. 11 to open the season, Staples’ Marce Petroccio felt quite good about his team.
The Wreckers’ first victory, however drew far different emotions from the longtime head coach. The Wreckers turned over the ball twice, were shut out in the second half, but held on for a 14-7 win over Wilton on Friday.
“We’ve got to figure out what went wrong and fix it,” Petroccio said.
And what went wrong for the Wreckers? Leading 14-0 late in the first half, the Wreckers saw Wilton put together a six-play, 66-yard drive — one that resulted in quarterback Brett Phillips’ 9-yard touchdown run.
In the second half, Staples had just two offensive possessions. The first was a three-and-out, while the second was a nine-play trip that ended with a punt. Wilton controlled the time of possession in the second half, driving deep into Staples territory on each of its three drives. The Warriors, however, failed to score in the second half.
“We need the ball back,” Petroccio said, ” and when we get it back, we’ve got to move it a little bit. Tonight was a myriad of mistakes, but you have to give Wilton credit.”
- Staples received a spark on offense with the return of running back Patrick Lesch. The senior, who had offseason hip surgery, carried the ball eight times for 62 yards and a score in the first half. “It felt fantastic. It was great to be back out here with these guys and help contribute behind the offensive line,” Lesch said. While Lesch returned in a limited role, the Wreckers’ backfield remains banged up. His backup, junior Owen Burke, was held out with an injury. That left them with Jack Greenwald and Jake Melnick at tailback late.”We have all these sets and we can’t use them,” Petroccio said.
- The night ended with an interception near the end zone for Wilton quarterback Brett Phillips. Nonetheless, the senior had an effective night through the air and on the ground. In the first half alone, he completed 5-of-9 attempts for 51 yards, while rushing for 43 yards and a touchdown. Wilton head coach Bruce Cunningham praised Phillips afterward. “He’s a tough kid,” Cunningham said. “He makes us go.”