BEACON FALLS — After a three touchdown win to open the season against Oxford the Hawks were flying high. Torrington brought them back to earth last Friday.
Torrington defeated Woodland 44-13 on a night when the Hawks struggled in the red zone and committed five turnovers.
“You can’t turn the ball over five times, so you’ve got to start with that,” head coach Chris Anderson said. “When you turn the ball over that much you are close to 100 percent going to lose.”
Woodland (1-1) struck first with a 1-yard touchdown run from Sean McAllen in the first quarter. Ben Nuss added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Torrington (2-0) responded after a sustained drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Conner Finn to Newton Frias. The Red Raiders completed the two-point conversion, which they attempted every time they scored, to go up 8-7.
After a fourth-down stop, the Hawks ripped off back-to-back long runs of 32 yards and 24 yards by Coby Vacarelli and McAllen, respectively, as Woodland drove deep into Torrington territory late in the first half and the score still 8-7.
On first-and-goal from the 6, McAllen carried into the center of the Red Raiders’ big defensive line and stalled near the 5. As Torrington started driving him backwards, Cam Cerruto sliced in and stripped the ball from McAllen. Tyler Marens scooped it up and returned it to the 21.
Marens took the ball 79 yards for the touchdown on the ensuing play to extend Torrington’s lead to 16-7.
On the first play of Woodland’s next offensive possession freshman quarterback Zach Bedryczuk threw his first interception of the night, and the season.
Marens scored two plays later to make it 22-7 and Torrington was off to the races.
“Losses hurt. It doesn’t matter if they won by one point or 30 points, if they score 40 we have to score 41,” Anderson said. “The bottom line is sometimes you lose a game that you play pretty good in, I just didn’t feel like we executed. We had our opportunities going in several times. Three times we were inside the 10 and came away with zero points.”
Torrington outscored Woodland 22-6 in the second half.
Bedryczuk threw his first touchdown of his young career in the third quarter. Bedryczuk hit McAllen on a beautiful pass that led his running back perfectly away from coverage for the 62-yard score. Bedryczuk finished the night 7-for-13 for 155 yards with one touchdown and two picks.
McAllen had 94 yards on the ground and Vacarelli, who also lead the Hawks with eight tackles, added 42 yards rushing.
Anderson said the Hawks have a lot to clean up on the field, starting at the top.
“We didn’t tackle on defense, we were out of position an awful lot on defense, so we certainly have to clean that up. We didn’t do a good job up front in the box. We didn’t do a good job setting the edge on the perimeter. We didn’t do a good job at all on defense, on special teams or on offense for that matter,” he said. “But we don’t make excuses. We didn’t get the job done tonight and it starts with me. I also didn’t put them in the best positions for success. I have to do a better job in everything that I am doing, too.”
Anderson said Torrington deserves a lot of the credit for the final result.
“Credit Torrington, they did a nice job of taking advantage of some of our weaknesses. I thought they did a nice job,” Anderson said.
The Red Raiders racked up 486 total yards. Marens and Frias rushed for 194 and 111 yards, respectively. Finn was 8-for-15 for 85 yards and one touchdown.
Woodland will have to be mentally tough to bounce back when they head to Wolcott (2-0) on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
“We have to be able to overcome and keep playing,” Anderson said.
The Republican-American contributed to this article.