Eagles overwhelm Norwalk



Hour Staff Writer

Pete Tucci would love to be able to compare the talent he saw in the first two games against Greenwich and Staples to the firepower he witnessed from undefeated Trumbull Friday night.

But the veteran head coach of the Norwalk High School football team simply had nothing tangible to base an opinion on.

Trumbull dominated every facet of the game, getting a solid effort from senior quarterback Ian Milne and a shutdown performance by its defense during a 48-0 victory over the uninspired Bears under the lights at Jerry McDougall Stadium.

Milne completed 8 of 12 passes for 125 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for 33 yards and another score for Trumbull, which improved to 3-0.

Senior Phil Terio caught a 37-yard touchdown pass and returned an interception 72 yards for another score for the Eagles, who cranked out 240 yards rushing and held the Bears to 114 yards of total offense.

Whether Trumbull was that much better than Norwalk, Tucci couldn't say.

"It's hard to compare because we played hard in the other two games," Tucci said. "I'm sure they're good, but it would be like comparing apples to oranges because we were not the same team out there tonight."

Norwalk, which managed just seven yards passing with senior Jesse Levitt starting the first half and Anthony Ferraro the second, fell to 1-2 with its second straight loss following a season-opening win over Greenwich.

"We just didn't come to play tonight," Tucci said. "Maybe we thought we were going to go undefeated after we beat Greenwich and packed it in after losing to Staples? I don't know."

Norwalk played hard early on, trailing just 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Trumbull stopped the Bears on a fourth-and-1 at their own 5-yard line on the second play of the second quarter and Norwalk never really threatened after that. Norwalk had just put together a nice 15-play, 58-yard drive fueled by the running of junior halfback Kenny Francois, who rushed for 25 of his team-high 56 yards on the march. Coming away with nothing was a huge psychological blow for the Bears.

"I guess it was real big the way it turned out," Tucci said. "We stopped playing after that."

Norwalk forced the Eagles to punt on the ensuing series, and a 2-yard punt by Anthony Matera set the Bears up in great field position at the 50-yard line. But Terio intercepted a Levitt pass with an over-the-shoulder grab four plays later and weaved his way down the sideline, breaking at least three tackles on his way to a 72-yard touchdown return that gave Trumbull a 12-0 lead with 7:22 left before halftime. Milne added a two-point conversion pass to rangy wide receiver Phil Pauciello to make it 14-0.

Trumbull got the ball back with 5:03 left and drove 54 yards to make it 20-0 with 50 second left before halftime. Milne hooked up with Pauciello for 27 yards on third-and-9 and junior Don Cherry scored on a 7-yard run on a pitch to the right side.

Norwalk appeared to have recovered the second half kickoff but the officials ruled the Trumbull runner down by contact. Trumbull needed just five plays to take a 26-0 lead. Cherry ripped off three straight powerful runs through the center of the line and Terio turned a quick pass in the flat into a 37-yard touchdown with 10:19 left in the third quarter.

Trumbull then scored on its next three possessions to make it 48-0. Matt Lena, who led the Eagles with 73 yards on five carries, scored on a 25-yard run with 4:27 left in the third to make it 33-0. That came following an by Bryan Dewalt on a tipped pass at the line by Ryan Monaco.

Second-string halfback Jj Smart made it 40-0 with a 6-yard run and sophomore Ryan Pearson added a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:30 left. Backup quarterback Brendan Moore scrambled for a two-point conversion run after dropping the snap on the extra-point kick attempt. That's how bad things got for the Bears.

"I can take losing 100-0 as long as I have kids going 100 miles per hour," Tucci said. "We played hard the first 18 minutes, but we stopped playing after that."

Norwalk 0 0 0 0 - 0

Trumbull 6 14 13 15 - 48

T - Ian Milne 3 run (kick failed)

T - Phil Terio 72 INT return (Tom Pauciello pass from Milne)

T - Don Cherry 7 run (kick failed)

T - Terio 37 pass from Milne (kick failed)

T - Matt Lena 25 run (Anthony Matera kick)

T - Jj Smart 6 run (Matera kick)

T - Ryan Pearson 3 run (Brendan Moore run)