Football: Shelton's second half play key to victory
Shelton High football coach Jeff Roy was not happy as his team headed to the locker room at halftime Thursday night.
His No. 4 ranked Gaels led host Amity 14-7, but Shelton looked anything like a team that hopes to compete for a Class LL state championship in a few weeks.
“Myself and the rest of the coaches were pretty upset with the first half performance, and we went in there and gave them a little ripping at halftime,” said Roy. “We didn’t expect them to come out and play like that.
“We talk to them all the time about coming out and playing our brand of football. No matter who we’re playing, where we’re playing, when we’re playing, we’re going to play a certain way. We didn’t play that way in the first half. I was not happy with the offense, defense or the special teams. That was our worst half of football.”
The Gaels took the talk to heart in the second half, as they scoring 32 unanswered points to turn a close game into a 46-7 victory before about 500 at William Johnson Field in Woodbridge.
“They responded in the second half, and we got out of here with a win,” said Roy, whose team is now 7-0. “But we can’t do that and come out and play that way.”
Shelton, which has beaten Amity 13 straight times and 20 of the last 21 times the long-time foes have played, led 14-0 late in the second quarter on a pair of Jack Carr two-yard touchdown runs and two conversion kicks by Nick Andrade.
The Gaels appeared to be on their way to getting the ball with about a minute left in the first half and a chance to add to their lead, but a personal foul following a sack that would have left Amity facing a 4th-and-13 instead gave the Spartans (4-4) a first down at the Gael 37.
Amity went on to convert a 4th-and-6 play and eventually scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the half to cut the Shelton lead to 14-7 at the intermission.
“We can’t make the mental mistakes, the penalties, blown assignments,” said Roy. “We’ve got to clean those things up.”
Shelton’s opening drive of the second half resulted in a missed field goal, but the Gaels scored touchdowns on their final five drives of the night to put the game away.
Jake Roberts threw touchdown passes to Paul Ferrigno and David Yackowicz and kept the ball himself from a yard out for a third score.
Shelton reserve quarterbacks James Curley and Michael Callinan posted their first varsity TDs, with Curley throwing a 15-yard scoring pass to Brian Berritto and Callinan scoring on a 15-yard scamper.
Freshman Cristiano Rosa added the final PAT for his first varsity point.
Carr led a balanced Shelton offensive attack with 77 yards on 10 carries.
Roberts added 48 yards on 12 rushes, and completed 15-of-20 passes for 205 yards.
There were plenty of stars on the defensive side of the ball for the Gaels.
Zachary McEwen was in on seven tackles, including two sacks and another tackle for a loss.
Michael Lockavitch recorded a sack and a tackle for a loss.
Tyler Pjatak recorded a strip fumble and interception.
Shelton travels to West Haven next Friday night to take on a 4-3 Notre Dame of West Haven squad. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Gael notes: The Amity game was moved up a day to Thursday night due to the potential for rain and thunderstorms on Friday…Shelton hasn’t lost to Amity since 2005.