South Windsor A-Squad rolls

The South Windsor Panthers (A-Maroon team) extended their record to 5-1 courtesy of a 31-0 victory over the Durham Falcons (3-3).

Durham received the opening kickoff and began a successful drive to the South Windsor 35 yard line,however an errant shotgun snap was scooped up by linebacker Connor Kapisak, with the help of cornerback Ben Custer who attacked the quarterback not allowing him to recover the ball.

The Panthers then, led by quarterback Adam Harz, engineered an 8-play, 62-yard, scoring drive on carries by halfbacks Gavin Duff and Colin Ryan and culminating with a 3-yard dive by fullback Matt Smith.

The ensuing kickoff by Ankit Saini bounced off of a Falcon and was recovered by Benett Saylor leading to a brief 3-play drive that ended with a 45-yard Colin Ryan run.

Again, Durham could not secure Saini’s kickoff and South Windsor recovered at midfield. During the next drive the Panther’s began throwing the ball, with Harz hitting tight end Jimmy Tamburro for 17 yards and Connor Kapisak throwing a 17-yard touchdown strike to Custer.

The Falcons were able to secure the kickoff and began slowly moving the ball up the field until the quarterback misplayed another snap. Cornerback Duff occupied him so he couldn’t recover, and linebacker Alex Valente fell on the ball.  From there 3 runs by fullback Will Nowak and 3 passes by Kapisak – one each to Will Pineo, Saini, and Custer – led to the Panthers fourth touchdown.  The final play of the drive featured a spectacular leaping and diving catch by Custer.

The first half ended with four Nowak runs that followed a Michael Bazzano recovery of another mishandled kickoff.  The score at the half was 26-0.

During the second half the Panthers turned the tables and allowed their hard-working linemen to run the ball. The next two drives featured runs by Tito Pasqualoni (1 yard), Chad Croxford (1), Michael Gore (15), Julian Ibes (1), Saylor (4), Brendan Mabey (11), Matt Pereira (1), Jimmy Tamburro (7), Matt Kennedy (8), Muhammad Hassan (5), Valente (4), and Kobe Davis (2).

Once again the Panthers’ defense played a good game, and for the fifth game out of six did not allow a score while holding the Falcons to 68 total yards of offense. In the second half South Windsor forced three more turnovers (South Windsor forced nine in total) and also pinned the Falcons into their own end zone for a safety.

Following the safety, Hassan returned the free kick 15 yards, and after a stalled drive Smith punted to the Durham 5-yard line. Pasqualoni then recovered a fumble allowing for a Custer field goal. Other Durham second half drives ended in interceptions by Bazzano and Harz.

On the day the Panthers rushed for 222 yards and were led by Smith (9 carries for 62 yards), Ryan (2 for 53), Nowak (7 for 30), and Duff (3 for 18). Instrumental in the Panthers’ running attack were the downfield blocking of split ends Custer and EJ Kelly. In the air, while being protected by centers Dylan Jones and Matt Pereira, Kapisak completed 4 passes on 5 attempts for 50 yards and Harz was 1 out of 2 for 17 yards.

For the game Durham rushed for 52 yards and threw for 16.

Captains for the game were Will Nowak, Michael Bazzano, Colin Ryan, and Matt Kennedy. Next up for the Panthers are the 5-1 Berlin Bears on Sunday at 11:00 AM at Rye Street Park.

–By Scott Higgins

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