BEACON FALLS — By the end of the first quarter last Friday, Anthony Scirpo owned three touchdowns, had converted four point-after kicks and was one of many Woodland players wreaking havoc on the St. Paul offense.
By the end of a game that took two hours and 40 minutes to play, Scirpo and most of Woodland’s starters were shivering on the sidelines. Their work was completed in one half, really one quarter, and they became spectators in a 54-28 thrashing of the Falcons.
That will most likely be the end of the Hawks’ second-half respites for the remainder of the season.
“Our season starts now,” Woodland coach Tim Shea said. “We’ve been able to get some of our younger guys a lot of playing time early in the season but the second half of our season has a lot of meat in it.”
Save for a 47-16 loss to Ansonia in week two, the Hawks (3-1) have picked the bones of their opponents dry. There were dominating shutouts of Kennedy and Sacred Heart before they opened a 48-7 halftime lead Friday against the winless Falcons (0-5).
The next three weeks are much different, bringing trips to Torrington and Naugatuck before Holy Cross heads to play atop the hill in Beacon Falls.
Scirpo and his mates made sure to put the last of the preliminaries to rest quickly. He scored on a 10-yard pass from Tanner Kingsley three minutes into the game. Four minutes later, he alertly picked up a punt St. Paul failed to down and burst 69 yards for a touchdown. Soon after, Kingsley hit Brian Reis with a 1-yard touchdown pass.
After a Falcons score, Scirpo returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and a 28-7 lead at the end of one quarter. Woodland’s spread offense took over from there, deciding the game before halftime.
“We like to start fast and get everybody going early in the game,” Scirpo said. “We want to come out and set a tone and I think we did that. But it gets a lot harder from here. We have to build off these first five weeks.”
Running back Joe Fancher needed just six carries to amass 109 yards and a touchdown. Kingsley threw for 159 yards and completed 11 of his 15 attempts. Reis had four catches for 64 yards. All of them stood on cold, wind-driven sidelines for the second half.
St. Paul tried to make a game of things with quarterback Logan Marchi throwing for 233 yards. But he also needed 43 attempts to get there, completing 21 passes while being intercepted twice. From the start, St. Paul was simply outgunned.
“Woodland is a very good football team,” St. Paul coach Jude Kelly said. “They’re strong, they’re fast and they run to the ball. The second half we were able to compete a little bit and the kids played hard, but that’s just a really good football team.”