Shelton line dominates Greenwich in football win

Jeff Wojtowicz (19), Matt Weiner (53) and Matt Lockavitch (32) made things difficult for Greenwich when Shelton won 35-14.

Jeff Wojtowicz (19), Matt Weiner (53) and Matt Lockavitch (32) made things difficult for Greenwich when Shelton won 35-14.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Shelton had a game plan. Run the ball, control the clock, and keep Greenwich’s high-powered offense off the field. Check, check and checkmate.

Shelton scored the last four touchdowns and defeated Greenwich 35-14 in the CT Football Alliance game played before 1,200 fans at Finn Stadium.

“They have an explosive offense,” Shelton coach Mike DeFelice said of Greenwich, an FCIAC power who brought a No. 4 ranking in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll into the contest. “We had to play keep-away with them. Our guys executed to perfection.”

Shelton looked to show the balance that carried it to victory the first two weeks of the season. When the first two series ended with a three-and-out and an interception, DeFelice unveiled a Wildcat formation. This took advantage of Mike Camiglio, Matt Weiner, Jeremy Oko, Tyler Radzion and Jason Santos’ ability to dominate the scrimmage line.

“Without those big boys up front we can’t do anything. Our line takes information and gets it done,” quarterback Shane Santago said. “We’ve been practicing (the Wildcat) for a couple of weeks just to bring it out against Greenwich. Everyone doubted us. Now we will keep on working.”

Santiago, Tyler Rich and Ayden Sepkaski took center snaps from a tight formation and ran for 332 yards on 56 carries. This enabled Shelton to possess the ball for 33:48 of the game’s 48 minutes.

“They saw something in our defense and came up with a great game plan,” Greenwich coach Anthony Morello said. “They won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. They executed on every third down (11-of-14) to keep our offense off the field.”

Greenwich, now 2-1, overcame a seven-minute time deficit in the first half behind quarterback Jack Wilson. The junior tossed touchdown passes covering 59 yards to Chason Barber and 50 yards to Logan Galleta. The first score came on the final play of the first quarter.

Shelton tied the game at 7-all when Santiago (153 yards) scored on a 3-yard run to cap a 63-yard, 12-play drive with 5:41 left in the half.

Greenwich responded five plays after kickoff on Wilson’s strike to Galleta.

Shelton was nearly as quick. It answered six plays later when Rich (154 yards) broke outside for a 30-yard touchdown. Cristiano Rosa’s second conversion kick tied the game going into the half.

Rich said: “The line came out strong. It’s all on them that we put up 35 points tonight. We put in a Wildcat formation we had been waiting to run. We executed it tonight. That is Shelton football.”

Greenwich fumbled the ball on the first snap in the third quarter. Matt Lockavitch recovered the ball at the 10. Two plays later Shelton had the lead at 21-14 on Rich’s 9-yard run.

Wilson and company earned a pair of first downs on third-down gains to bring the ball to the Shelton 36. Ricky Feola thwarted the game-tying drive with a diving interception on the 15.

With Jake Villalobos and Joey Giliotti taking turns as blocking backs, it took only eight plays for Shelton to go 85 yards. Santiago dove inside the pylon to finish a 20-yard touchdown run for a 28-14 lead with 4:24 left in the third quarter.

Sepkaski’s ran a yard off the left side to complete the scoring with 40 seconds remaining.

Matt Lockavitch, Weiner, Aidan King, Camiglia, Jeff Wojtowicz, Joey Giliotti, Ben Cicale, Jacob Giard, Sepkaski and Randy Mones led a Shelton defense that held Greenwich to nine plays and one first down the final 12:24.

Gael notes: Greenwich ran the ball 17 times for 41 yards. It threw for 199 yards, 189 in the first half with two completions accounting for 99…Shelton led 15-6 in first downs…Shelton’s defense had allowed only a field goal in its first two games, wins over North Haven 23-3 and Amity 14-0…Greenwich got off to big leads in wins against Westhill (49-6) and Ridgefield. (42-34). It led the Vikings 35-0 at the half and the Tigers 28-7…Greenwich continues it Alliance tour when Fairfield Prep visits next Saturday. It returns to FCIAC competition with games at No. 2 ranked St. Joseph and Trumbull…Shelton will play at Trumbull in an Alliance game on Friday, then has a challenging five-game stretch of Hand, NFA, Newtown, Fairfield Prep and Cheshire.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354