Greenwich football team dominant vs. Bassick

Those who attended Friday night’s FCIAC football game between Greenwich High School and Bassick in the rain got to see an utterly dominant performance by the Cardinals.
It was apparent from the outset the Lions were overmatched and undermanned on the offensive and defensive lines and the Cardinals used their superiority up front to cruise to a 49-8 victory.
Here’s a look at some of the key points of the game and some noteworthy statistics. Below this blog, check out the great highlights my colleague Scott Ericson posted.
Nastahowski and more Nastahowski on first drive: The Cardinals drove 54 yards in six plays on the game’s first possession and senior quad-captain Shane Nastahowski gained 53 of those yards on five carries, including a 1-yard touchdown. You could tell from that first drive the Lions’ defense wasn’t going to be able to handle the Cards’ offensive line.
“It was important that we got off to a fast start tonight,” Nastahowski said. “I remember last year we came out flat at home against Norwalk and ended up losing. So tonight, we wanted to come out strong.”
Winning the turnover battle: After forcing five turnovers in last week’s 16-3 season-opening win against visiting Ridgefield, Greenwich (2-0) forced five more Friday. Ryan Kelly, Joel Arroyo and Shawn Dunster each intercepted Bassick quarterback Vochan Fowler, with Arroyo recording two picks. Arroyo’s second interception gave GHS the ball on the Bassick 16-yard line late in the second quarter and the home team promptly scored, as Alex McMurray ran it in from a yard out.
On Bassick’s first play of the third quarter, Fowler was sacked by Michael Daly and defensive lineman Nick Pennella recovered the ball in the end zone, putting the Cardinals ahead 42-0. Greenwich also scored on a blocked punt, as senior quad-captain Kyle Camacho got his hands on a punt for the second consecutive week. Daly scooped the ball up and scooted 35 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Sack attack: I have Greenwich down for registering eight sacks. Fowler competed 5-of-11 passes for 131 yards, but couldn’t get a high percentage of his passes off thanks to the constant pressure the Cardinals put on him. I have James Wynne with 2.5 sacks, Robert Gelcius with 1.5, Mark Bernstein, Michael Daly, Alex McGee and Kyle Ballone with one each, and Elijah Dume and Ryan Whittle with a half a sack. Greenwich’s starting defense did not yield a touchdown in the team’s first two games.
Ground and pound: The Cardinals amassed 195 rushing yards, with Nastahowski leading the way (70 yards, 10 carries). Bernstein had 34 yards on just two carries, while Daly had 29 also in two attempts.
Melo making strides: Jose Melo looked good in his second start under center, completing 5-of-10 passes for 85 yards. Vincent Ferraro was the leading receiver, catching two passes for 37 yards. His 31-yard reception set up a touchdown in the first half.
Cutting it close: Due to heavy traffic on I-95 Bassick didn’t get to Friday’s 7 p.m. game until 6:25. The game wasn’t pushed back for them, so they had a quick stretch and warmup session before taking on the hungry Cardinals.
Up next: Greenwich will face New London on Friday at a site yet to be determined. The game may be played at Bunnell High School, but GHS athletic director told me at Friday’s game he won’t know for sure until Monday.
Again, be sure to check out Scott’s game highlights posted below.
– David Fierro

David Fierro