STAMFORD, Conn. – Westhill football team’s inexperience at winning was evident on the penultimate play in Saturday’s 13-0 win over Norwalk. Instead of taking to knee to let the clock expire, quarterback Ryan Coppola spiked the ball, stopping the clock with just a few seconds left.
That was one of the few mistakes in the second half for Westhill, which snapped a 20-game winless streak last week with a victory over Trumbull.
“We never practice that victory formation,’’ coach Frank Marcuccio said. “I was thinking we’ve practiced the two minute drill, how to kill the clock at the end of a half, and we messed that up at the end of the first half. We’ve never practiced taking a knee. I don’t know when the last time was when we took a knee on this field.”
The Vikings were more dominant that the final score showed. Westhill’s defense limited Norwalk to 13 yards rushing and 71 total yards. Norwalk had just two first downs in the second half, and the Vikings forced two turnovers.
After a scoreless first half, Westhill marched 65 yards for game’s touchdown on its first possession in the second half. Coppola threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Yves Cassmajor to put the Vikings ahead. Coppola’s 30-yard strike to Cassamajor with 3:42 left in the game iced it.
Coppola completed nine passes for 105 yards, and provided a nice compliment to workhorse running back Davell Cotterell. The running back carried 21 times for 82 yards, but the Vikings used a more diverse attack in the second half to stop the Bears from keying on him. Seven other Westhill backs also carried in the second half. Coupled with Coppola's passing, the Vikings were able to move the ball enough to generate two touchdowns.
“That first drive of the second half set the tone,’’ Marcuccio said. “I told the kids at halftime I thought we were the better team and we were going to take the kickoff to open the second and go down and score. That gave us a big lift.”