Kilmartin, DeMarco spark St. Joseph defense in win over Staples
TRUMBULL—With each play Jack Kilmartin and Ryan DeMarco made for the St. Joseph defense, you could sense their teammates getting more and more energized.
Kilmartin, DeMarco and the rest of the St. Joseph defense swarmed Staples all afternoon, causing four turnovers and keeping the Wreckers offense at bay as the Cadets pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 42-21 FCIAC win.
“I think I played well and shout out to Ryan DeMarco, he played great on the other side and we got in on a lot of tackles together,” Kilmartin said. “Our coaches were calling all the right plays. Our D-line was on fire and our linebackers were filling gaps like animals.”
St. Joseph (2-0) only led 21-14 after three quarters, but Riley Jordan scored on two runs and Sean Curley ran back an onside kick attempt by Staples for a touchdown, sealing the win in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the St. Joseph defense was all over Staples quarterback Caleb Smith, flushing him from the pocket and taking him down several times for sacks.
“Ryan DeMarco and Jack Kilmartin set the edge and they were coming,” St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia said. “We knew (Staples) was going to throw a lot and those guys could just fly in. They did a great job containing the quarterback and put pressure on him all day and that was the key to the game. We felt if we got in his face a little bit, it would help us.”
Staples coach Adam Behrends placed the blame on himself.
“I did a really bad job calling the offense. I put all three phases of our team in a bad spot,” Behrends said. “It was just bad decisions by me in certain situations and that put them ahead. I think they are a way better football team than some people give them credit for. Coach Della Vecchia is a hall of fame coach and has won a bunch of state championships and they are never going to be bad.”
Staples (1-1) scored first on a 1-yard run by James Hillhouse, who would score later to make it 14-14 on a 41-yard pass from Smith.
In between the Hillhouse touchdowns, St. Joseph’s quarterback Will Singewald connected with Mickey Covino for a 15-yard touchdown pass and then ran one in himself from 5-yards out.
The Cadets would take a 21-14 lead in the third quarter on a Keenan Fraczek 14-yard touchdown run, putting them ahead to stay.
Staples travels to Newington for a CT Alliance game Friday at 6:30 p.m.
St. Joseph hosts Masuk in an Alliance game Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jack Kilmartin, St. Joseph: The senior outside linebacker was all over the field making tackles and inspiring the Cadets defense.
“We are confident but we also need to keep our heads down,” Kilmartin said. “On to the next one. This game has to be in our past now and we have to stay focused and not take any of this for granted.”