High-octane Shelton batters Hamden (Updated)
The Shelton High football team reeled off its third victory in a row on Friday night, pounding Hamden High, 57-30, at Finn Stadium in an SCC Division I West matchup.
Sophomore quarterback Mark Piccirillo threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another to power coach Jeff Roy’s Gaels to victory.
Senior tailback Matt Feigenblat added three rushing touchdowns, while Jagger Kalagian punched in a four-yard score for Shelton.
Kalagian rushed for 151 yards and Feigenblat carried the ball 16 times for 116 yards.
Eddie Kochiss hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions for the Gaels (5-2, 2-1 Division I West), while Kyle Drost caught a 33-yard touchdown strike.
Spencer Thomas ran for two touchdowns for Hamden (1-6, 0-3) and quarterback Eli Bonadies tossed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Atkinson.
The Green Dragons also blocked a fourth-quarter punt, with Leandre Clark returning it 18 yards for a touchdown to account for the game’s final points.
Shelton will host fourth-ranked Xavier High of Middletown (6-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Gaels flexed their explosive offensive attack on the opening possession of the game, rolling 80 yards in nine plays — capped by Piccirillo’s one-yard plunge.
With the offensive line of Eric Howard and Donald Schiffer at tackle, Tommy Gottschalk and Austin Peel at guard and Christopher Sinko at center providing the protection, Piccirillo connected with Michael Ortoli on a 42-yard catch-and-run to provide the key play of the drive.
After the Shelton defense forced a Green Dragon three-and-out on their first possession, the Gaels needed just three plays to move 44 yards for a score.
Piccirillo scrambled for 11 yards on first down, before Feigenblat was stopped for no gain. Piccirillo then hit his tight end Drost over the middle for a 33-yard touchdown.
Drost then caught the two-point conversion pass from Piccirillo, making it 14-0 with 5:59 left in the frame.
Hamden responded with a three-play scoring drive of its own, with Thomas ripping off a 45-yard run to set up first-and-goal from the Gael 1.
The sophomore tailback then finished off the drive with a one-yard plunge and ran in the conversion, making it 14-8.
It was all Shelton from there, as the Gaels countered with an eight-play 55-yard touchdown drive.
Kochiss made a diving catch in the end zone on third-and-15 from Hamden 20, pushing the score to 22-8 after Piccirillo connected with Drost on the conversion. Following a big return inside its territory by Hamden’s Rob Grissett, Shelton’s defense held again, forcing a turnover on downs when Bonadies’ pass on fourth down fell incomplete.
Kalagian and Feigenblat then took turns carrying the ball, as the Gaels rumbled 68 yards in eight plays.
Piccirillo found Kochiss again for another touchdown connection, this time for 15 yards out, and Eddie Groth’s first of five PATs armed Shelton with a 29-8 advantage.
Another Hamden three-and-out lead to a punt, with Shelton taking over at the Green Dragon 34. Feigenblat’s three-yard burst with 3:38 left in the half made it 36-8.
Thomas scored from a yard out with 1:21 left in the half, with Bonadies hitting Trevor Perry on the conversion to make it 36-18 at the break.
But that was as close as Hamden would get, as Feigenblat ran for a pair of touchdowns and Kalagian another in the second half to seal the victory for Shelton.