Naugy football loses first Copper contest

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BRISTOL — The Greyhounds once again showcased their backfield depth, but Naugy (2-2) was no match for the Bachand twins, as St. Paul Catholic (3-1) turned a 12-8 halftime deficit into a 28-18 victory.

Sophomore fullback Jake Yourison scored on a 6-yard blast, and junior running back Andrew Cirino recorded the first touchdown of his career, a 19-yard scamper, to pace the Garnet and Grey to a four-point lead at the break.

The Falcons assumed possession to start the third quarter, and it appeared their drive might stall before it really began. On four consecutive running plays, St. Paul gained only 12 yards—enough for a first down but nothing that indicated its offense was about to break out.

On second-and-8 from his own 35-yard line, Tanner Bachand, the quarterback of the pair, executed a quick, three-step drop and hit Byron Jones curling into the flat. Had the ball been thrown a split second later, Naugatuck cornerback Tyler Conklin would have glided in for six the other way. But the leather lemon evaded Conklin’s outstretched fingertips—as did Jones, who accelerated into Naugy territory before Jamaal Gee and Iman Farimani chased him down at 26.

Again, the Hounds’ D was stout against the run, forcing the Falcons into a third-and-5. There was no question to whom Tanner Bachand would turn. He lofted a pass high toward the right side of the end zone, counting on Jones, who had bolted off the line of scrimmage on a post route, to beat Conklin in a jump ball situation.

He did. Jones snatched the pigskin and the game’s momentum away from Naugatuck with the biggest of his five receptions, which totaled 90 yards.

St. Paul went for two, but senior linebacker Anthony McKernan barreled into the backfield untouched and spun down Travis Thomas to keep the locals within 14-12.

Naugatuck got a scare when on the ensuing kickoff, Gee appeared to fumble, and the Falcons’ Kevin Hairston fell on the ball. The nearest official called Gee down by contact, and the Greyhounds retained possession at their own 37.

Cirino took advantage, racing off left tackle and up the left sideline, all the way to the St. Paul 26. Two plays later, however, Ian Bradley and Mike Vitrano dropped Naugatuck quarterback Erich Broadrick for a 12-yard loss, one of five times the junior signal-caller was sacked, setting up third-and-20. On the next play, Broadrick rolled out of the pocket to his right and let fly a pass intended for Farimani, just before he was hit by Ryan Peloquin. The ball caromed off Farimani’s left hand and was picked off by Chris Bachand, who had a monster night, adding 100 rushing yards and two TDs on the other side of the ball.

Two other interceptions helped secure the win for St. Paul, which handed Naugatuck its first Copper Division loss of the season. Wolcott and Holy Cross remain the Naugatuck Valley League’s only unbeaten teams. The Hounds venture out-of-league Friday night with a trip to Notre Dame of West Haven at 7 p.m.