Greenwich’s defense holds off Newtown in the first CIAC football match

NEWTOWN — Typical of the inaugural CIAC football game almost every year, Friday was full of mistakes, cramps and penalties, with the referees moving the ball more efficiently than the offense at times.

However, the referees did not have to deal with the Greenwich defense. It was pretty first class for most of the night at the Blue and Gold Stadium, holding off Newtown in a 34-14 win.

“When the offense was a little bit stagnant, it was great to see that we had the defense to fall back on,” Greenwich quarterback Jack Wilson said. “We trust them a lot.

“We know we can turn to them. That is not what we want; we want to keep the pressure on at all times. You can’t always do that, and that’s why it’s a team sport. You have to be able to get both sides to lift each other up.”

Newtown was down just 14-8 at halftime and received the ball to start the third quarter, moving into Greenwich territory. Junior defensive lineman Griffin Galletta threw Newtown quarterback Dylan Magazu for a 7-yard loss on second and 10 from the 37-yard line, and the Cardinals forced a punt.

Greenwich, ranked No. 1 in the preseason GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, scored on their next two possessions.

“We had moments in the game where we played to our potential,” Newtown coach Bobby Pattison said, “and then we had moments where we didn’t.

“We felt like we were in that game until the end,” he added later. “We missed some opportunities.”

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The Cardinals limited Newtown to 121 yards in the second half, 68 of them on the Nighthawks’ second touchdown, the final play of the game.

“We were excited all offseason working on this,” Galletta said.

“We know that defense is our strong point this year. We have to set the tone with D. We came crashing down. We come hard. We showed what we could do.”

It was not a particularly pretty night. Newtown lost some of its best players for a while to cramps on a sultry, sneaky night. The penalty flags flew so frequently that it was impossible to keep track. Both teams met on at least one play where they had more than 30 yards for a first down. The game lasted almost three hours.

“When you’re behind the goalposts, that’s not where you want to be,” Wilson said. “You’re looking for those second-and-6s (opportunities), not second-and-20s.”

But the Cardinals started off on the right foot when Brandon Auguste returned the opening kickoff 54 yards, setting up Konigsberg’s first touchdown in the first minute of the game.

Konigsberg rushed in a second-half touchdown; Wilson capped each of the other three scoring drives with a 1-yard sneak pass.

A pair of long passes set up Newtown’s touchdown in the second quarter and, get this, a Greenwich penalty led to a two-point conversion by the Nighthawks.

But the Cardinals didn’t allow much more.

“Their quarterback is excellent. He moves very well. He hurt us in the running game,” Greenwich coach Anthony Morello said, noting that young players stepped up in the secondary, and Jaden Scott admirably replaced linebacker Matt Trimmer, who will return soon from meniscus surgery. .

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“I was very happy with the performances of our juniors who had never played college games before. Obviously Dominic DeLuca and Griffin Galletta on the wings were real forces for us. … When the tide started to turn in the second quarter, they held on and we were able to pull away in the second half.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Greenwich junior defensive lineman Griffin Galletta made a handful of key tackles in the second half, on a pair of sacks, to prevent Newtown from erasing the Cardinals’ lead.

QUOTABLE

“Four unsportsmanlike penalties in the first half, it’s not going to get you very far, neither in life nor in football.” —Greenwich coach Anthony Morello

[email protected]; @fornabaioctp


GREENWICH 34, NEW TOWN 14

GREENWICH 14 0 6 14—34
NEW TOWN 0 8 0 6—14
G—Jack Konigsberg 26 runs (Sergot Boone kick)
G—Jack Wilson 1 run (Boone kick)
N—JJ Haddick 23 pass to Dylan Magazu (Magazu run)
G—Wilson 1 run (pass failed)
G—Konigsberg 6 run (Boone kick)
G—Wilson 1 run (Boone kick)
N—Cam Ward 68 passes Jayden Cordova (kick miss)
Records: Greenwich 1-0; new city 0-1

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