Norwalk put its superior size advantage to good use Sunday to defeat the Aspetuck Wildcats, 28-0, in the season-opener for both seventh-grade teams. Aspetuck battled until the final whistle, but the Panthers' size was too much to handle for the Wildcats.
"We had some opportunities, but we were outsized,'' Aspetuck head coach Philip LiCastri said. "It's hard to match up an 85-pound guy against a 215-pound guy. Coming from the towns that we do (Weston, Easton and Redding), we are usually one of the smaller teams. They were just bigger than us."
Alex Jerome ran for one touchdown and passed for another for Norwalk. He scored on a 9-yard touchdown run on Norwalk's first drive of the game. Jerome and speedy Lester Harris hooked up on a 82-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring. Norwalk's other touchdowns came on a 22-yard touchdown run by Mark Crafter Jr. and a 1-yard run by Tony Burden in the second quarter. Kevin Woodring and Jerome kicked PATs. Crafter carried four times for 42 yards to lead Norwalk rushers.
Despite its size disadvantage, Aspetuck moved the ball against Norwalk. Speedy running back Emmett LiCastri rushed 12 times for 67 yards and Axel Effinger also was effective in running the ball. Two turnovers were particularly costly, especially a fumble when the Wildcats marched to the Norwalk 28 on the opening drive of the third quarter.
"We had our opportunities,'' LiCastri said. "For the first week of the season, I thought we executed the best we could. I thought we had some bright moments. Overall, I feel we are ahead of where we were last year."
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