Staples edges Trumbull 49-42 in overtime

Staples High School'  Will Six takes down Trumbull's Jamar Robinson Friday. (Mike Ross/For Hearst Newspapers)

Staples High School’ Will Six takes down Trumbull’s Jamar Robinson Friday.
(Mike Ross/For Hearst Newspapers)

There were plenty of talking points from Staples wild 49-42 win over Trumbull.

It was a classic back-and-forth contest; each time Trumbull scored, Staples responded. The teams traded scores and even occasional defensive stops until Staples had the final say.

Trumbull, which led 35-28 with less than six minutes left, appeared it would force a stop on the penultimate Staples’ drive in regulation thanks to some untimely penalties by the offense. The Wreckers committed three personal fouls on the drive, which eventually resulted in a third-and-29 from the Staples 49.

The Eagles intercepted the pass, but pass interference was called, moving the ball up to the Trumbull 36. Jack Massie was sacked on the next play, bringing up a fourth-and 17 from the 39.

Trumbull RB RB Marc Cesare. (Christian Abraham/Staff photographer)

Trumbull RB RB Marc Cesare. (Christian Abraham/Staff photographer)

Massie then delivered a 26-yard strike to Teddy Coogan, who made an excellent catch. Two plays later Patrick Lesch was in the end zone and the score was 35-35.

The Wreckers were also called for holding on the drive, so that’s 55 yards worth of penalties and thy still managed to score.

The Eagles responded as if their undefeated FCIAC season was on the line.

Led by running back Marc Cesare, who had 244 yards on 38 carries and six touchdowns Friday, Trumbull marched down the field. Cesare had runs of 11 — on a crucial third-and-1– and 19 yards to get the Eagles in striking distance. After the fourth personal foul of the game against the Staples put the ball inside the 10, Cesare finished off the drive with a 5-yard run on second down.

This is where you enter the Eagles scored too quickly cliché, because Staples was left with 1:25 and a timeout to get the tying score.

It was almost all over on the first play of the drive, as a slant pass deflected into the air and nearly into the arms of a Trumbull defender. Massie, displaying ridiculous poise given the situation, shook off the near-disaster and hit Will Johnson for 15 yards on the next play. Lesch then followed with a 22-yard run and Staples was in business.

Facing a third-and-10 from the Trumbull 29 with 30 seconds left, Massie lofted a pass into the corner of the end zone that Johnson laid out for, catching it with just enough space to get his feet down.

“We knew we had the team to win, even though there isn’t much time left our offense was confident we could score,” Massie said. “Great receivers like Will Johnson made a spectacular catch; we are very happy right now.”

“I expected him to make that catch.”

The comeback would have been for naught if not forcing a stop in overtime. After Jack Greenwald scored from five yards out to give Staples its second lead of the game, Cesare was stuffed on back-to-back carries and Nick Roberts overthrew a receiver in the end zone. On the game’s final play, Roberts found Quentin Brunetti , but he was tackled five yards from the end zone.

“I’m not going to lie, I got down on my knees and I prayed that we could stop them,” Staples coach Marce Petroccio said. “Thankfully my prayers were answered. We waited four quarters and the last play of overtime to play defense and the kids made a great play.”

Whatever pact Trumbull made to survive these crazy games it has been involved in lately was broken and the loss means both teams are now 6-1 in the conference with the regular season winding down. It will be interesting to see how this result affects both squads going forward.


4 Responses

  1. JB says:

    Ryan, great coverage of an exciting shootout. Both teams left everything on the field. Great FCIAC battle between two proud programs. And that Cesare kid has the heart of a lion – loved the way he played the game.

    Someone had to win and it all came down to one play in OT. Here it is for all of your readers to see:

    By the way, Trumbull did a fabulous job in the renovation of their football complex. It will make a great setting for the FCIAC championship game. And you never know how the points end up, the Eagles will respond with wins down the stretch and will give St Joes a great game on T-day.

  2. rlacey says:

    Thanks a lot! Was an absurd game from a neutral’s point of view.

    Cesare did not have many long runs in open space — he earned every yard he got. Credit to both sides.

  3. JB says:

    Yes, Staples lucky to escape with a win. 55 penalty points in a row was a bit childish from the officials. Against all odds, the Wreckers players responded like champions. Seemed to deflate Trumbull’s fine effort. What seemed like targeting by the officials against Staples proved to be the incentive for the its players to win the game.

  4. JWall says:

    I watched the game. The Wreckers coach needs to take it down a notch. He was wildly inappropriate yelling at the refs and two warning flags were thrown because of his behavior. If I were them, I would have booted him out. In turn, his team was mimicking his childish actions and causing personal fouls left and right. A coach should set a good example for his young team, and that, he was not.