Juggernaut Staples rolls past Darien
In his 20 years on the sidelines at Staples High School, Marce Petroccio has won a total of seven FCIAC and state championships. So clearly, he's seen his share of playmakers come through the Wreckers program.
It's just that he's never had so many game-breakers on the same roster before.
Staples continued with its video game-like scoring pace Saturday afternoon, showcasing a quick strike offense and a seemingly small army of weapons in a 63-28 road victory over Darien.
LIke they have been in every game this season, the reigning FCIAC champion Wreckers (6-0) were virtually unstoppable in upping their perfect record.
Junior quarterback Jack Massie threw three touchdowns, ran for another on a 73-yard keeper and a total of five different players found the end zone in Staples' latest offensive clinic.
"We've certainly had some weapons over the years but I don't think we've ever had this collection of them on one team before," Petroccio said. "It all starts with the offensive line (of tackles Kyle Vaughn and Nick Ward, guards Will Patrick and Burim Trdevaj and center Chris Speer)."
As they always do in 2012, the Wreckers scored early and often starting with a 42-yard run by Joey Zelkowitz to cap a three-play, 80-yard drive on the game's first series.
There would plenty more where that came from as Zelkowitz plowed in from 3 yards out on Staples' second possession, and later scored on an 83-yard pass from Massie to make it 42-7 late in the third quarter.
Ultra-talented seniors Nick Kelly (1-yard run) and James Frusciante (4-yard pass) also scored for the Wreckers, who have now piled up a staggering 324 points through six games.
"Our line does a great job opening holes and giving us time to make plays," Zelkowitz said. "It really doesn't matter who touches the ball for us, we all try to go the distance every time. We're off to a great start, but there's always room for improvement and so we're just focused on the next game."
The Blue Wave (4-3) led last season's game by 10 at the intermission, but trailed by 21 this time around even after a 39-yard pass from Henry Baldwin to Ian Vanderhorn (two TDs on the day) helped make it a 14-7 contest late in the first quarter.
Every time Darien scored, however, Staples had a response -- and usually a direct and powerful one.
Baldwin finished with three touchdown passes -- including fourth-quarter strikes of 53 yards to Peter Gesualdi and 49 yards to Nick Lombardo, but it was much too late to catch a runaway Staples squad that also got rushing touchdowns of 34 yards and 31 yards by backups Jack Greenwald and Teddy Coogan in the final period.
An aggressive Wreckers defense led by Brian Book, Lance Lonergan, Pieter Hoets, Jared Levi and Kevin Kearney also forced two turnovers -- a diving interception by Kelly and a fumble recovery by Greg Strauss after a strip by Zelkowitz inside the 5-yard line.
Staples can punch a return ticket to the FCIAC title game -- likely against either Trinity Catholic or Greenwich -- by winning its next two games against Warde and Westhill.