Bulinski’s career night sparks Hawks

DERBY — Two dozen starts into his career as Woodland’s quarterback, Tyler Bulinski enjoyed a career night — but one that might become a regularity during his senior season.

In a Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division contest Sept. 27 at sparkling new DeFilippo Field in Derby, Bulinski threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 120 yards and two scores in the Hawks’ 45-19 victory.

Bulinski has emerged as a dual threat in the spread offense for Woodland, which started the season 3-0 for the second straight year. The difference this year, though, is that the quarterback is the straw that’s stirring the Hawks’ drink.

“I just go out there and do what is best for the team, what they want me to do,” Bulinski said. “It’s a lot of fun to be more involved, but there is a lot of pressure. I love it.”

He hasn’t been alone in producing offensively for the Hawks, who cruised in their two games following a tense opener against Torrington. Sophomore running back Jason Palmieri has become one of Bulinski’s favorite targets out of the backfield, while senior James Champagne, junior Joe DeDomenico and sophomore Nate Bodnar have emerged as key weapons.

Bulinski also lauded the play of his offensive line, led by returners Alek Tolboe (left guard) and Ryan Knobel (right tackle). Three new starters — left tackle Justin Petta, center Collin Lacy, and right guard Brett Barrett — have begun to jell.

“We are communicating better and working better as a whole,” Bulinski said. “Our line has exceeded our expectations so far this year, and they’re only getting better.”

Plenty of work remained for the Hawks as they opened the second month of the season. They are set to visit rival Wolcott Friday, before returning to the Woods for a three-game homestand.

The first game of that set, against St. Paul, was originally set to kickoff at night Oct. 11 but was moved to a 10:30 a.m. kickoff Oct. 12 due to restrictions on nighttime outdoor activities with the ongoing Eastern Equine Encephalitis threat.

The NVL’s bye week will give the Hawks a week off Oct. 18 before they resume action against Sacred Heart-Kaynor Tech on Oct. 25.