Woodland-Naugatuck football preview capsule


When and where: Friday, Nov. 11, 6 p.m., at Woodland High
Records (through Oct. 28): Woodland 6-1; Naugatuck 6-1
All-time series: Woodland leads, 11-5, but Naugatuck is 4-1 since 2014.
What’s at stake: The George Pinho Trophy will go to the winner for the seventh time. The teams did not meet from 2018-20. Woodland hasn’t won the trophy since 2015, and the Greyhounds have won the last three meetings against the Hawks by an average of 30 points per game. Both teams are also battling for positioning in the state playoff rankings. Woodland entered November third in the Class S standings, while Naugatuck entered the month third in Class L. The top eight teams in both classes will qualify for the playoffs, which begin with quarterfinals Nov. 29.
Word from the Woods: Senior quarterback Darren Gasparri leads the Hawks’ offensive attack, thanks in part to his frequent connections to senior wideout Jace Molczyk. They hooked up for three touchdowns in a 46-16 win over St. Paul on Oct. 28. Over the past month, though, Woodland has been successful running the football with junior Mason Mastropietro and sophomore Christian Morales enjoying strong play by their offensive line. Also against St. Paul, junior Kole Molcyk forced a fumble that he recovered and ran back for a 38-yard touchdown. The victory over the Falcons was the Hawks’ fifth straight since a 42-7 loss to Ansonia on Sept. 16. Woodland entered the game against Naugatuck coming off a contest against Holy Cross, the team that dealt Naugy its only defeat of the year.
Naugy Notes: Senior running backs Cayden Martin and Michael Deitelbaum have led the way on the ground all season for the Greyhounds, who have dealt with a number of injuries, including to junior two-way standout Jett Hall. Senior quarterback Blake Stone has helped to fill that void, though, emerging as a dual threat with the capability to both throw and run the football. Naugatuck will wrap up a three-game road trip against the Hawks after previously visiting Waterbury Career on Oct. 28 and Torrington on Nov. 4. The Greyhounds will have to beat Woodland to keep alive their hopes to win at least a share of the NVL title for the second straight year; of course, that will also require beating Ansonia on Thanksgiving, a game that’ll be contested in the borough for the first time since 2019.