Football: Trojans fall short in ‘Turkey Bowl’

Weston High’s Cosmo Randazzo picks up a few yards in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game against Joel Barlow on Thursday, Nov. 23. Weston lost 50-14. — Scott Mullin photo

In one sense it was a guessing game for the Weston High football team in the Thanksgiving Day game.

The host Trojans were well aware of Joel Barlow’s triple option offense. How to stop it was the problem, however.

With a lot of depth in its backfield, Barlow could depend on several players to move the ball, which it did quite well in a 50-14 win on Thursday, Nov. 23.

This marks the 22nd time the two teams have faced each other in the annual contest. Weston still leads the series 10-8-4.

The victory not only secured Barlow a spot in the state Class M tournament, it also earned the team its first-ever South-West Conference Division II title.

“They did a great job,” said Weston head coach Dan Hassett of Barlow’s efforts. “They ran their offense very well and they’re well-coached.”

Both teams stumbled on their first possessions. An interception by Barlow’s Trevor Furrer cut short the Trojans’ opening drive and Weston’s Finn Stuebe recovered a fumble.

The Falcons then got busy. After a Weston punt, the visitors used a 40-yard run by Will Cusick on the option for the score and with Mike Puglio’s extra-point kick the Falcons were up 7-0 with 5:42 left in the first quarter.

After the kickoff the Trojans were pinned deep in their own territory. Barlow’s Calvin Peterson then brought down Patrick Stack in the end zone for the safety.

Although the Falcons again fumbled on their next series, Weston again went three and out to give them the ball back on their own 38. Runs by Furrer and Cusick got them into Weston territory to set up a 14-yard option run by Charlie Wilson, who later left the game with a dislocated elbow.

It remained a 16-0 game until the second quarter. Jason Baisley’s 38-yard punt was downed by Daniel Santa-Maria on the Barlow one, but that did not stop the Falcons, who again found success with a 55-yard run up the middle by Peterson with 6:42 left in the half.

Following another Weston punt, the Falcons again started deep in their own territory. On first down, Peterson went 95 yards down the right side and after the extra point it was 30-0.

Weston did respond in the time remaining. Jack Sawyer returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to the Barlow 15 before he was forced out of bounds by Will Reed. Baisley caught a 12-yard pass from James Goetz and the former later scored on a four-yard run to make it 30-6.

Stack blocked a punt on Barlow’s first series of the second half and Baisley smothered the ball on the eight to set up the Trojans’ final touchdown, coming on a one-yard run by Goetz, who also passed to Chris Fruhbeis for the two-point conversion.

“The one thing I love about this team is there’s fight in them,” said Hassett. “We knew there’d be some ebb and flow. I thought we competed, but they ran their offense well and we didn’t have enough answers for it.”

The Barlow offense was far from finished. With its offense running on all cylinders, it scored on each of its next three series to pull far out of reach.

Weston finishes the season at 6-4 overall, its best record since 2012.

“I’m incredibly proud of this senior class and the leadership,” said Hassett. “What the seniors have done this year, they’ve turned Weston football into a winning program, and from there we’re looking to continue to build.”

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. The Weston Forum, 16 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress