BEACON FALLS — The target on the backs of the Woodland football team grows larger and larger each week as its undefeated march continues. The Hawks had little trouble last week in a convincing 54-6 win over Sacred Heart.
Senior quarterback Tanner Kingsley had another superb game in the pocket, passing for 256 yards and five touchdowns on 11-of-15 passing. Kingsley is nearing the century mark in career touchdowns and will enter Friday’s contest at Municipal Stadium with Holy Cross as the Naugatuck Valley League’s career leader with 98 touchdown passes.
What is making the Hawks (7-0) tick this season is not only a passing game that is second to none, but an overall attack that produces an average of 185 yards rushing and 266 yards passing per night.
Sean McAllen broke the 1,000-yard barrier against Sacred Heart. The sophomore tailback rushed for 89 yards and hauled in three catches for 119 yards to giving him 1,079 all-purpose yards on the season with 785 on the ground and 294 in the air.
“The season we are having is allowing us to bring in some of the younger kids to give them some quality varsity time,” Woodland coach Tim Shea said. “We have a lot of skilled positions being manned by some younger players but a lot of the JV players are also seeing time and they are undefeated on the season, as well. That really will help us out down the road and keep us as a balanced team.”
Kingsley and McAllen sparked a first-quarter flurry that put away the game early for the Hawks. Kingsley connected with McAllen on an 82-yard pass play to open the scoring.
McAllen found pay dirt on the second series, taking it 45 yards to open a 14-0 advantage as Will Flormann (6-of-7 PAT) booted the extra point. Coby Vaccarelli latched on to a 30-yard scoring pass and Mike Kenney hauled down a 16-yard strike to make it a 27-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
“Coming into the season we knew Tanner would be throwing the ball,” Shea said. “But we needed to be more balanced and not allow teams to just sit back there and defend the pass. Sean and Coby have provided that balance in our running game. Kenney is the leading receiver as a junior and seniors (Jack) Pinho and (Taylor) Tucciarone have really helped us to create that balance.”
Kenney got behind a defender and pulled down a 22-yard scoring pass from Kingsley to start the second quarter. Pinho hung on to a 35-yard touchdown pass to end the Hawks’ scoring in the first half.
Sacred Heart did not go into the locker room empty-handed as Quincy Williams busted one in from 27 yards out to make it a 41-6 Woodland lead at the break.
“We obviously have a lot of tools in our toolbox,” Shea said. “But give Sacred Heart credit. They played hard and they have a couple of real good skill players. But they just don’t have the same kind of numbers that most teams have and they are struggling.”
Dylan Abarzua fell on a loose ball in the end zone to score a touchdown for the Hawks in the third quarter. Pat Hale came on to quarterback the Hawks and Dave Bobbie (five carries for 64 yards) showed that Woodland does not have a shortage of playmakers as the sophomore broke one for a 9-yard touchdown run to conclude the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Woodland will put its seven-game streak on the line on Friday against Holy Cross. A victory by the Hawks would give them their second straight NVL Copper Division title and their fifth division championship in 10 years.