NAUGATUCK — The Greyhounds have shown that they are not only a team that is big and fast, but one that can strike at any time whether on offense, defense or special teams.
Naugatuck (4-0) has outscored their opponents 170-12 so far and have shown the ability to spread the ball around on offense with 14 rushing touchdowns and six passing touchdowns.
That was evident in yet another dominating performance — this time a 49-0 win at Watertown on Oct. 5.
Quarterback John Mezzo threw two touchdowns — a 3-yarder to Paul Marsh and a 40-yarder to Zack Koslosky. Five players — Nicholas Airall, Jayden Anderson, Doreon Chapman, Elijah Robinson and Jason Spino — scored rushing touchdowns for Naugy.
The defense has been amazing, allowing just 12 points in 16 quarters of football. The Naugy defense has returned two interceptions for touchdowns and recovered six fumbles.
What makes the Greyhounds a complete is team is the play of their special teams. Naugatuck has blocked three punts, including one for a safety, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and added a 32-yard field goal.
“We have been able to excel on all three phases of the game,” Naugatuck head coach Dave Sollazzo said. “That makes the difference when you are able to have success in all areas of the game.”
Mezzo, a junior in his first year starting, is 20-of-42 passing for 344 yards and six touchdowns behind an offensive line that includes Andrew Balkcom, Derek McGrath, Ray Hess, Joshua Lastra and Mike Natkiel.
“The beginning of the year we started out a little shaky,” Mezzo said. “Having so many seniors out there is a tremendous help to me, and we are starting to click.”
Sollazzo said the coaching staff changed some things offensively following the Greyhounds’ 14-0 win over Wolcott to open the season.
“It takes a little longer on offense to find that rhythm,” Sollazzo said. “As a coaching staff we need to hold guys accountable. We have 18 seniors who are providing great leadership.”
Naugatuck has a load of playmakers.
Airall has caught two touchdown passes and ran for three scores, and Malachi Gatison has rushed for three touchdowns.
Robinson returned two kickoffs more than 80 yards for touchdowns against St. Paul on Sept. 21.
“Coach is always telling us we need to have all three phases of the game working, and I’m just trying to do my part returning kicks,” Robinson said.
Koslosky, who kicks for the Greyhounds, seems to be in on every play on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. He has recovered a fumble, blocked two punts, caught two touchdown passes, kicked a 32-yard field goal, and has been close to automatic booting extra point.
“I’m just looking to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Koslosky said. “Doesn’t matter to me if its offense, defense or special teams.”
“Koz is a football player who can do multiple things and does a great job for us,” Sollazzo said. “He plays defense, catches touchdowns, blocks punts, kicks field goals and extra points. He probably scored more points than anyone in the NVL last year. He’s definitely a playmaker.”
The Greyhounds will host Oxford on Friday before heading into the bye week. Naugatuck will kick off the second half of the season against Kennedy at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury on Oct. 19.