NAUGATUCK — For the third time in the past four games, the Naugatuck offense opened up the floodgates.
Naugatuck outscored Wolcott 35-0 in the second half last Friday night at Veterans Field en route to a convincing 61-22 victory and an Iron Division title. The game marked the second straight the Greyhounds (8-0) hung up 61 points on the board.
“The guys are going out and getting it done,” Naugatuck head coach Dave Sollazzo said. “They have bought into the system and they are going through the process. We have good senior leadership and a very good coaching staff. These guys have been around the league for a while and are doing a great job.”
Naugatuck showed its versatility on offense. Six different players found the end zone, and it began with quarterback Mike Plasky, who snuck in to score from 2 yards out to open the scoring.
Plasky scored two touchdowns on the ground and rushed for 47 yards on 11 carries. He was 12-for-21 threw the air for 154 yards and one score. The touchdown pass went to Zack Koslosky with 3:18 left in the first half to give the ‘Hounds the lead for good at 26-22.
Malachi Gatison scored on a 4-yard run, and Elijah Robinson took a reverse 18 yards for a touchdown as Naugy opened up a 20-6 lead.
Wolcott (4-4) came to play, though. Quarterback Mike Polzella scored on a couple of 20-plus yard runs, and Anthony Ligi got into the end zone at the start of the second quarter to take a 22-20 lead.
The Eagles blocked a field goal attempt and looked like they would run out the clock on the half only to have Gatison recover a fumble to give the Greyhounds one more shot before the break.
Koslosky pulled in a 13-yard pass for the touchdown, and Naugy went into the break up 26-22.
Wolcott never got any closer as the ‘Hounds just took over the game in the second half.
“The kids are practicing hard and putting in the work to get better,” Sollazzo said. “It’s not always pretty but it’s consistent and it gets the job done. We have the luxury of having a lot of guys who can carry the rock. And each of their talents are different. If we need to run inside we give it to a few guys, if we want to go outside we have a couple of more options. When we want to throw we have quite a few who can bring it in.”
Wolcott keeps the offense on the field for all four downs and doesn’t punt, a style that left the Eagles wide open for disaster in the second half. Wolcott turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory on multiple occasions, but credit the Naugy defense for making it happen.
Plasky got things going in the second half with a 5-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 33-22 with 7:50 remaining in the third quarter.
Robinson (5 catches, 85 yards) kept the Wolcott defense from keying on the run. When the ‘Hounds did hand it off, Efe Onakpoma (5 carries, 49 yards) brutalized the Eagles’ defense, bashing his way into the end zone from 16 yards out.
Gatison (4 carries, 22 yards) finished off the third quarter with a 6-yard scoring blast to open up a 47-22 lead.
Doreon Chapman (11 carries, 48 yards) ran for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
“We are so deep at the skilled positions,” Sollazzo said. “Ricardo Montanez, Isaiah Williams, Elijiah Robinson and Zack Koslosky, they can all go out and catch the ball. Doreon Chapman, Nick Airall, Efe Onakpoma and Malachi Gatison, they can all run the ball.”
Naugatuck will look to improve to 9-0 against Waterbury Career on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.
“We are starting to put it all together,” Sollazzo said. “Our line has worked hard to improve and we are seeing the results from all the hard work starting to pay off.”