By MICHAEL LETENDRE
NAUGATUCK – The showdown between the St. Paul and Naugatuck football teams on Friday, Nov. 22 was going to be pretty offensive. And it was not in any kind of vile way.
Both pigskin squads have thrown up points on the scoreboard this past season and in the contest from Naugatuck High School, the team that controlled the first quarter was – ultimately – going to control the game. The Greyhounds opened the contest up with three straight scores, edging up a 20-0 lead, before holding on to a 56-41 victory to move to 9-1 on the campaign in a Naugatuck Valley League interdivisional game.
St. Paul fell to 5-5 in the losing effort but with one additional contest to be played, a winning ledger was still in the cards for the squad. This was the game of “300” as two different players – one from each team – roped up more than 300 yards of offense.
For the victors, Naugatuck quarterback Jason Bradley went 13-for-27 passing the ball for 308 yards and six touchdowns in a big effort. Antoine Sistrunk added three touchdowns for the Greyhounds. The back zipped up 11 carries for 147 yards for two rushing touchdowns and nabbed a pass through the air for a third for a third score for Naugatuck.
But not to be outdone, St. Paul’s Eli Parks made all the big moves on the ground in a huge rushing attack. Parks made 39 rushes for 328 yards, good for four touchdowns in the losing effort. With that amazing offensive burst, Parks went over 2,000 yards for the year. Also for the Falcons, quarterback Patrick Etter went 10-for-18 for 144 yards. Etter did not throw for a touchdown but ran one in for six points.
Ben Pyror nabbed six catches for 108 yards and as a team, St. Paul got rolling offensively after the first period of play.
Trailing by 20 points midway through the first stanza, St. Paul’s Daija Fitzpatrick made an impressive 75 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to get the visitors on the board. But off a 26 yard touchdown reception by Sistrunk, off a pass from Bradley, the Greyhound’s edge reached 28-7.
After another rush by Naugatuck led to a score to open the second period offensively, it was Parks’ turn to get into the offensive flow of things. Parks made back-to-back scoring TD runs of 73 and four yards and the Falcons trailed by just a 34-21 deficit with plenty of time left to go in the second tilt.
But two Naugatuck touchdowns later – including a 19 yard sprint into the goal by Sistrunk – the home team’s lead was pushed to 50-21 by intermission. In the third stanza, Etter kept the ball for a one yard score while Bradley threw one for a 47 yard touchdown strike.
Later, Parks sprinted in one from 57 yards out and by the end of three completed frames, Naugatuck’s cushion was 56-34. In the fourth and final quarter, Parks made one last scoring jaunt as he edged in a six yard run to make it a 56-41 game.
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE