Renewed rivalry

Naugatuck, Seymour meet on gridiron

Naugatuck's Jalen Datil tries to break free from a tackle by Seymour's Tamar Coverson-Epps Sept. 16 in Seymour. Seymour won the game, 48-12 -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN.

Naugatuck’s Jalen Datil tries to break free from a tackle by Seymour’s Tamar Coverson-Epps Sept. 16 in Seymour. Seymour won the game, 48-12 -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN.

SEYMOUR — The last time Naugatuck and Seymour High school met on the gridiron was in 2010. That year, the Greyhounds overcame the odds and captured the NVL championship after beating defending champs, Ansonia. Conversely, the Wildcats couldn’t capture a win the entire season, posting a 0-10 record.

The 2010 meeting between ‘Hounds and Wildcats ended in a 54-6 routing giving the Garnett and Grey their first victory in a 9-2 season. This year’s game was very different, as Seymour managed to dish out an overwhelming performance that resulted in a 48-12 victory over Naugatuck.

Both teams entered the game with an arsenal of playmakers and came out swinging for the fences.

From the first drive, the Wildcats demonstrated their offensive prowess. Seymour marched down the field on a four-play, 85-yard drive that resulted in seven points courtesy of quarterback Jaylen Kelley.

The ‘Hounds responded in kind with a hard-fought drive that ended with a touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Plasky to senior Jalen Datil. Naugatuck’s two-point conversion attempt failed and the Greyhounds trailed 7-6.

Seymour responded with three touchdowns, including a 56-yard fumble return for a score, before Plasky scored from 4 yards out to stem the tide. A 55-yard pass from Kelley to Alex Massie put Seymour up 34-12 at halftime.

Kelley and junior running back Bobby Melms carried the load for Seymour. Collectively, Kelley and Melms accounted for five of the Wildcats’ seven touchdowns and 383 of their 397 rushing yards.

“It was a difficult game, and we knew it coming in,” Naugatuck head coach Coach Bruno said. “We thought we hung in there a little bit and the dam started to break — a couple turnovers here, [and] we didn’t punch it in on one down there — [that was] the course of the game.”

Coming into the game there were questions surrounding the Wildcats’ defense and how it would hold up against the Greyhounds’ versatile offense. The Greyhounds struggled to gain momentum against Seymour’s defense, which allowed only two touchdowns on the night.

“We knew they were dangerous offensively,” Seymour head coach Tom Lennon said. “They took our best punch in the beginning of the game and answered right back. I was proud of the way the defense stepped up after that.”

Although the opposition was formidable, the Greyhounds refused to let up on their game plan, utilizing senior running backs Tyler Deitelbaum and Devon Biancarelli-Milano as well as newcomer Jacob Fazeikas to grind it out on the ground while Plasky aired it out when possible.

Deitelbaum led the way with 105 yards on 25 carries. Plasky was 10-for-20 through the air for 87 yards, 37 of which went to Datil.

Moving forward, Bruno will go back to the drawing board as the Greyhounds prepare for their next big opponent. Naugatuck will be home on Friday night against Torrington in what will be an opportunity to shake off the past and gain some redemption in more ways than one.

“In this game you always get back on the horse,” Bruno said. “It’s a hard game, and it’s hard on all of us. I’ll go home, I’ll watch the film, and prepare for next week the same way we prepared [this week]. Whether we were successful or not you have to continue to grind it out. Torrington beat us last year so we’re going to have to be ready.”