WESTPORT, Conn. – Less than 60 seconds into Friday’s game against Danbury, the Staples football team had a two-touchdown lead and was on its way to becoming the state’s top-ranked team.
Staples went on to rout the Hatters, 51-6, to improve to 4-0 on the season. The Wreckers, who entered the game ranked No. 2 in the state polls, should ascend to No. 1 after top-ranked Xavier fell to Hand on Friday, 40-20.
On Staples’ first play from scrimmage, quarterback Jack Massie threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to James Frusciante. It was seven seconds into the game, and Staples led 7-0. After Danbury went three-and-out, senior running back Greg Strauss raced 45 yards for another score. Liam Gilmore’s conversion made it 14-0 less than a minute into the contest.
“That was pretty awesome,’’ said running back Nick Kelly, who added a touchdown on a 57-yard run later in the half. “We kind of faltered after that. We have to do a better job maintaining our consistency.”
Kelly’s touchdown put Staples ahead 30-6 at halftime, but the Wreckers were not cohesive on offense. “I never thought I’d be unhappy leading by 24 points at halftime,’’ coach Marce Petroccio said. “We know we can play better. We need to clean some things up. Maybe the bye week hurt us, I don’t know. I’m not making excuses, and Danbury played hard. But we kind of shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times in the first half.”
Staples got a big game from running back Joey Zelkowitz, who ran for 128 yards and one touchdown. Lance Lonergan scored on a 75-yard interception return, and Patrick Lesch raced 15 yards for a score. Staples’ other touchdown was a 1-yard run by Massie. Kelly had 93 yards rushing on just two carries.
Staples has yet to see a challenge. The Wreckers have outscored opponents, 204-54, and their average margin of victory in their last three games is 44.33 points.
“We gotta do what we gotta do,’’ Petroccio said. “We’re going to play hard every week. I think we have something to do with the fact that games haven’t been competitive. We have a tough game against Trumbull next week, and we’ll work to be ready.”