Gasparri passes Woodland football past Oxford

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BY KYLE BRENNAN
CITIZEN’S NEWS
Woodland football coach Joe Lato throughout the preseason praised senior quarterback Darren Gasparri for his IQ at the position, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the Hawks trusted Gasparri to do most of the offensive work in Week 1 of the season.
Gasparri completed 16 of 23 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns, and he added a 1-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter, to lead Woodland to a 38-6 rout of Oxford on Sept. 9.
Gasparri hit three different targets with his touchdown passes: Michael Strachan on a 27-yarder in the second quarter, Mason Mastropietro on another 27-yard connection in the third, and Jace Molcyk on an 80-yard hookup later in the third.
Mastropietro ran 20 times for 139 yards and a 1-yard touchdown, while Molcyk recorded five receptions for 122 yards.
Landon Barrows hit a 24-yard field goal along with a 5-for-5 effort on point-after kicks.
Still, Lato found plenty of room for improvement in the victory. The score belied some of Woodland’s mistakes.
“It was OK. We were a little sloppy,” Lato said. “It wasn’t our best game. There were silly mistakes like penalties and some turnovers. We were in control but just couldn’t finish some drives.”
Still, Lato admitted one thing.
“A bad win is better than a good loss,” he said.
The meeting against Oxford was Woodland’s only dress rehearsal for a showdown with Ansonia at Jarvis Stadium on Sept. 16. The Chargers were coming off a 60-0 drubbing of Derby in Week 1.
The Hawks’ season will continue Sept. 23 at Watertown before finally playing their home opener Sept. 30 against Derby. The latter matchup will feature the homecoming of first-year Red Raiders head coach Jeremy Clark, who was an All-NVL center for the Hawks from 2010-12.