Naugy tunes up for Thanksgiving

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Naugatuck’s Mick Pernell (11) rushes for one of his four touchdowns in the first quarter against Kennedy Saturday at Municipal Stadium. –KEN MORSE

WATERBURY — The Naugatuck football team entered Municipal Stadium Saturday with one agenda in mind: play a perfect football game.

In their final tune-up for the Thanksgiving battle with Ansonia, the Greyhounds achieved their task, building a 49-0 halftime lead before beating Kennedy 56-20.

If there were any doubts last week as to whether Mick Pernell had broken the school’s single-season scoring record, the senior running back laid them to rest with four touchdowns and 280 total yards. He scored the game’s first four touchdowns, all in the first quarter.

“Mick had a real good game for us,” Naugatuck coach Shawn Kuczenski said. “We came in with a plan to play a perfect game. Jason (Bradley) threw the ball real well. Brandon (Kuczenski) and (Mike) D’Agnone pulled in some good catches and the offensive line did a terrific job.”

Pernell took the opening kickoff 94 yards to the house and just 16 seconds into the game Naugatuck was on top 6-0. On the next series Pernell took the ball on five of the six plays, scoring on a 3-yard run behind Jack Reardon, Will Paul, Patrick Murphy, Mark Cavagnuolo and Devon Watkins. Bradley’s two-point conversion made it 14-0 with 6:49 left in the first.

After another 3-yard touchdown run by Pernell, he latched onto a Bradley pass and took it 55 yards to pay dirt, opening up a 28-0 lead at the end of the first.

Naugy’s defense, which dominated Kennedy throughout the half, made a big play when Jerome Love picked off a pass and returned it to the 3-yard line. Love scored from there to make it 35-0.

“The varsity defense did their job,” Kuczenski said. “Even in the second half I thought the second and third string guys played real well. It was a good game to take a lot of positives into the Thanksgiving Day game.”

Kennedy had little chance at moving the chains in the half, gaining just 26 yards and punting seven times, along with the interception.

With 7:52 left in the half Kuczenski reached up and pulled down a 25-yard touchdown pass from Bradley and Ricky Plasky tacked on the two-point conversion for a 42-0 lead.

Just before halftime, Kevin Robinson took two handoffs and picked up 25 total yards, breaking into the end zone to open up a 49-0 margin at the half.

Kennedy did respond in the second half against the second- and third-string Greyhounds as the Eagles put two scores on the board in the third quarter. Nate Andrews scored on a 35-yard run and Ty’zhon Young scored from 19 yards out.

Naugatuck concluded its scoring with D’Agnone pulling in a 6-yard pass from Bradley to make it a 56-12 advantage. A late Kennedy score by Andrews accounted for the final margin.

“Well at least I didn’t get suspended,” said Kuczenski, referring to the CIAC’s 50-point rule. “We played as good a first half as we could possibly play. We had a few penalties and one turnover but all in all I thought we did well.”