The Cromwell/Portland football team remained undefeated with a 37-7 victory over Morgan last Friday at Pierson Park.
Kristian Sapp rushed for 145 yards and added two more rushing touchdowns to his season total, giving him 11 through four games, but is was his special teams effort in the first quarter that changed the dynamic of the game.
With the contest tied at seven, Sapp blocked a Morgan field goal attempt and running mate Kittrell Lauray scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a 70-yard touchdown, giving the home team a lead they would not relinquish.
The special teams score and big plays on offense supplied the highlights, but it was another solid defensive performance that made the difference.
Morgan used a hurry-up offense and scored a touchdown of their first offensive possession, but Cromwell’s tone-setter Ethan Roy and his
defensive mates adjusted to the up-tempo pace and made goal line stands in the first and third quarters, which thwarted two scoring opportunities for the Huskies from Clinton.
“We just had to make adjustments. It really helps that we condition a lot during practice. It took us a while and we weren’t really expecting it, but you come into a football game sometimes and you don’t expect things. You just have to adjust to it real quick and we did that really well,” said Roy, “Every time we get in that goal line situation we always band together and we say that we can’t let them into the end zone, because that’s our end zone.”
Roy shares the captain duties with Lauray, Matt Wolak, and Jon Siena.
All four played well, but Siena had himself a night to remember. The senior intercepted a pass in the second quarter and also ran for a two-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, but his biggest play of the night came on Cromwell’s first offensive possession when he hauled in a 61-yard touchdown pass.
On the play, the Panthers reached into their bag of trick and had quarterback Bryce Karstetter throw a backwards pass to wide receiver Liam Coleman, who heaved a beautiful rainbow pass downfield to a streaking Siena.
Karstetter also threw a touchdown of his own, a perfectly placed 26-yard post pass to Dianta Highsmith late in the first half, which provided Cromwell a 19-7 lead at the half.
The game was the first game played under the new and improved lights at Pierson Park and Cromwell/Portland improved to 4-0 with the convincing victory. They have outscoring the four opponents by a combined 173-33, but despite the terrific start the team remains focused on the short term.
“Right now we’re taking it game by game and we’re focused on the next game. We hope it's a good one,” Roy said following the victory.
The next game is Saturday, Oct 22 at Lewis Mills High School. The daytime duel in Burlington kicks off at 1 p.m.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin