A large lead in the first half allowed the Weston High varsity football team to accomplish something else for its efforts in its game against Immaculate.
The Trojans, who led 35-0 at one point, used the opportunity to give their younger players some time on the field. When the Mustangs started to show signs of life the hosts simply put their starters back in to end the threat for a 48-20 win on Saturday, Oct. 6.
After taking the opening kickoff, Weston’s first series led to a touchdown that was aided by a 17-yard reception by Justin Schaffer, a 22 yard jaunt by Sam Panton, and Zach Cannon running the ball to the Immaculate one yard line. Tyler Hassett then found the end zone just three minutes and 36 seconds into the game. Cannon kicked the extra point and Weston was ahead to stay.
The Trojans again found the end zone with 1:45 left in the first quarter on a Panton two-yard run, capping off a 46-yard drive that took seven plays. It was the second of four Weston drives that started in Immaculate territory in the first half.
Immaculate used some trickery at the end of the first quarter on fourth down and three on its own 12 when it ran a fake punt that picked up 18 yards on a run by Ryan Chris. The Mustangs still ended up having to punt, and Hassett took it back 50 yards for a score and with Cannon kicked the extra point with 10:06 left in the first half, putting the Trojans up 21-0.
Weston still had plenty of time to find the end zone on two more occasions before the half ended. One score was on a 21-yard pass from Hassett to Erik Dammen-Brower. the latter also scored on a 16-yard jaunt. In both cases Cannon kicked the extra point as Weston led 35-0 at halftime.
When play resumed the Trojans put their junior varsity players in the game. Just 21 seconds into the second half the Mustangs scored for the first time on a 64-yard pass from quarterback Matthew Ryan to Darel Bowman. Ryan also ran in for the 2 point conversion, making it 35-8. Shortly thereafter the starters were back in the game.
“Our young guys were struggling,” said Weston head coach Joe Lato. “My goal was to get everyone playing time, and try to keep our kids healthy, we had to put our kids back out there, as a program we have to get better.”
Hassett threw a 33 yard pass to Cannon for a score with 8:47 left in the third quarter. Immaculate found the end zone again on the ensuing kickoff as it took it back 70 yards for a score. Before the end of the quarter Panton found the end zone on a two-yard run making the score 48-14.
Ryan again found Bowman for a touchdown on a 55-yard pass just 10 seconds in the fourth quarter, which was the final score of the whole game.
“Our starters did a nice job, it was a weird game,” said Lato don’t really pay attention to what we are, I just know we got to get better, that’s the bottom line.
“In some respects we struggle with a few things,” he continued. “Special teams we have to get better at.”
Hassett rushed for 98 yards, scoring twice, and passed for 123 with two more touchdowns. On defense, Kris Dammen-Brower had nine tackles and Tom McGlone had eight. Aaron Pomerance, Erik Dammer-Brower and Austin Gomar each had seven.
Weston, now 4-0, visits Bunnell on Friday at 7 p.m.