STAMFORD, Conn. – There has not been a lot to cheer about for Stamford football teams in recent years. This past weekend, however, was one to savor.
Westhill snapped a 19-game losing streak Friday with a 37-30 win against Trumbull.
Trinity Catholic upset New Canaan Saturday, 31-28, its first win versus the Rams in 28 years. Coach Pete Stokes was the team’s quarterback the last time the Crusaders beat the Rams.
Also on Friday, Stamford crushed Norwalk, 48-6, barely a week after the death of one of its former stars.
The three victories were the first time since 2006 that all three teams won on the same weekend. For good measure, King whipped Hamden Hall, 33-7. Stamford, Trinity and King are 2-0. Westhill is 1-1, with its loss coming against Trinity.
There’s a long way to go, but there’s certainly some good vibes coming from a town that has not produced a state champion since the Crusaders won the title in 1993.
Westhill’s win against Trumbull was the first shocker. Davell Cotterell rushed for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings, who had never beaten Trumbull. The victory was important in that it validates the approach of first-year coach Frank Marcuccio and because the Vikings showed mettle. Westhill led late in the game before Trumbull tied it. Cotterell scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime, and an interception by Brandon Turner ended it.
“It’s a real character builder for the kids,’’ Marcuccio said. “They didn't get down on themselves when momentum shifted. They learned a lot from the first game of the season against Trinity, when they didn't overcome the momentum changes. This time they did.”
The Crusaders’ victory Saturday was equally compelling. Trinity rode the running of Shaqun Howsie (two touchdowns) and the arm of Danny O’Leary to a 28-21 lead. New Canaan tied it in third quarter, but the Crusaders won on a 21-yard field goal by John Benalcazar.
“It’s the best football game they’ve played and the best game I’ve coached,” Stokes said, tears welling in his eyes.
Stamford had its own score to settle against Norwalk, who beat the Black Knights early in the year in 2011. This time, Stamford sent a clear message. “We’ve been waiting for this game for 365 days,’’ coach Bryan Hochter said.
King unleashed multi-purpose threat Joey Santoro, who rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass. The Vikings are on a collision course with undefeated St. Luke’s for a spirited showdown in early November.
Two weeks into the high school football season, the Stamford teams have emerged as some fall surprises.
“I’m hoping we have a snowball effect,’’ Marcuccio said, echoing a sentiment of all the Stamford coaches. “We have to take it one day at time. Now, we want to build from here.”