NAUGATUCK — It was a special night in Naugatuck last Saturday when the Greyhounds played their final game on the natural grass field. The next time the ‘Hounds step onto Veterans Field artificial turf will be under their feet.
Naugy throttled Watertown 52-14 and in the process senior Mick Pernell moved into second in school history with his 25th touchdown of the season, breaking Pablo Couvertier’s 2001 mark of 24.
Watertown (1-7) took a little steam out of the Greyhounds (5-3) early, taking the initial drive of the game into the end zone on an Anthony Chacho 11-yard reception from Andrew Biello with 6:59 remaining in the first quarter.
“We kind of helped them along their way making two personal foul penalties on that first drive,” Naugatuck coach Shawn Kuczenski said. “Without those two penalties our varsity defense would have pitched a shutout. Once our defense got rolling and we came away with a few key turnovers our offense just controlled the game from there.”
Naugatuck got to the Indians’ 20-yard line on a pass interference call before Jerome Love punished the Watertown defenders with a bruising, 19-yard carry. Pernell found an opening on the next play to tie the game at 7-7 at the 4:23 mark of the first.
Bryan Coney recovered a Watertown fumble on the next series and soon after Pernell, as he has done all season, weaved his way on a 58-yard pass from Jason Bradley to put Naugatuck on top for good at 14-7.
Once again the opportunistic Greyhounds defense came up with a big play as lineman Devon Watkins intercepted a pass and took it down to the Indians’ 18.
Pernell latched onto an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bradley (8-of-11, 181 yards, four touchdowns) to move into second place on Naugy’s single-season touchdown list behind Wayne Edmonds, who scored 28 touchdowns in 1963.
“I knew I was close to the record but honestly I never thought about that during the last four years,” said Pernell, who scored three times and had 151 total yards. “I was more interested in helping our team wins games instead of setting personal goals. Our line has been tremendous all season long and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Naugy blew open the game when Love (108 total yards, three touchdowns) pulled in an interception and returned it for a score to up the advantage to 27-7 with 3:38 left in the half.
The Indians turned it over on their fourth consecutive drive when Will Paul recovered a fumble. Bradley closed out the half with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Griesenauer for a 33-7 lead at the break.
“Jason has really had an outstanding season,” Pernell said. “He gives us a good attack, mixing up the run with the pass. We also have a couple of young guys on the line like (Will) Paul and (Jack) Reardon who really have stepped up their game.”
In the second half Kevin Robinson and Antoine Sistrunk began taking carries and the ‘Hounds never slowed down. Love scored on 40- and 42-yard swing passes to open a commanding, 45-7 lead heading into the final quarter.
Naugatuck closed out its scoring on a 12-yard pass from Bradley to Brandon Kuczenski early in the fourth quarter.
The ‘Hounds will try to clinch a winning record Saturday at Municipal Stadium when they face winless Kennedy at 11 a.m.