WATERBURY — The Hawks were in complete control against Sacred Heart-Kaynor Tech from the opening kick last Saturday at Municipal Stadium.
Senior receiver Jon Scirpo returned the opening kickoff to the 45-yard line. Just two plays later senior running back Sean McAllen hit pay dirt for the Hawks’ first score of the game as Woodland rolled to a 42-7 win over the Hearts (0-6).
Sophomore Ben Nuss missed the extra point after McAllen’s opening score, but he didn’t do much else wrong the rest of the game.
Nuss had a solid game on defense (two pass deflections) and special teams while also being a standout on offense. Nuss scored twice on the ground and gained 87 yards on 13 carries.
“Ben really had a bounce back game for us,” head coach Chris Anderson said. “He had a tough game against Holy Cross two weeks ago and got hurt in that game as well so it was nice to see him play well.”
Nuss played very well, but McAllen played fantastically. The all-time rushing leader for Woodland (4-2) added 182 yards to his total on just eight carries, including touchdown runs of 35 and 70 yards.
McAllen also caught two passes for a remarkable 141 yards and two additional scores from freshman Zach Bedryczuk. McAllen made his presence felt on defense, as well, with an interception to help swing the momentum back after a Woodland sack fumble put the Hawks’ defense on a short field.
Yet another player that had an exceptional game was junior linebacker Issac Negron. While amassing eight total tackles, one for a loss, and an interception on defense, Negron added seven carries and a reception on offense.
“Issac is one of those players where size doesn’t matter,” Anderson said. “His heart is bigger than his body and he plays hard every down. He is an example of what we want on this team.”
The Woodland defense played yet another strong game holding the Hearts to just seven points. The Hearts’ Joel Guzman juked Woodland defenders for the Hearts only score.
It was impressive, yet expected, to see the Hawks play such disciplined defense.
“The coaches did a good job of simplifying the game plan and putting the players in the right positions to succeed and the kids played within the defense,” Anderson said.
With a coach that harps on the importance of fundamentals, it is not surprising to see his team playing fundamentally sound football. The Hawks didn’t give up a single first down in the first quarter against the Hearts, and gave up just one in the first half.
Even with two losses in which the Hawks gave up 55 and 44 points, the Woodland defense is giving up just three scores on average per game. The defense has totaled ten sacks, eight interceptions, and five fumble recoveries in six games.
Woodland looks to be getting a boost this week as junior middle linebacker and offensive guard Coty Doyle is probable to return to action.
“He is likely to be limited this week as we ease him back in but barring any setbacks he should play this week,” Anderson said.
The Hawks look to remain on a roll when they return home Friday to face Wilby (0-7) at 6:30 p.m.
“Their (Wilby) record doesn’t look good but they can be a problem if they can get momentum early,” Anderson said. “Number 5 Daren Bell and number 1 Maliek Allen are dangerous players.”