Shirden, No. 2 St. Joseph rout Staples
to stay unbeaten
TRUMBULL — Jaden Shirden ran for four touchdowns, Jack Wallace threw for three scores, and the St. Joseph defense kept Staples out of the end zone en route to a 50-0 victory at Dalling Field on Saturday.
Coach Joe Della Vecchia’s Cadets are ranked second in the GameTimeCT poll and improved to 8-0. Coach Phil Treglia’s Wreckers dropped to 2-6.
“It is fun to watch, get the ball to the receivers, hand the ball to Jayden, it’s like a show I get to watch,” said Wallace, who completed 12 of his 18 passes to four receivers for 175 yards. “The protection is phenomenal week in and week out.”
Brady Hutchison got the Hogs off to an electric start when he returned the opening kickoff 78 yards.
Wallace hit Hutchison on first down and the junior raced to paydirt for a 20-yard score only 24 seconds into the FCIAC contest.
“He is going through his progressions and reads all the time,” Della Veccia said of Wallace. “He is working on everything he does. He’s been great for us all year.”
Cole daSilva’s sack of Staples quarterback Jake Thaw forced a punt.
“They are going hard all day,” daSilva said Cadet’s front three of Michael Morrissey, Jermaine Williams and Caden Porter. “It’s great to have them in front. Throwing stunts on, getting blockers out of the way.”
Hutchison, who caught five passes for 91 yards, went up in traffic for a 41-yard gain to the 15. Two Shirden carries finished with a 4-yard TD run by the senior, who ran for 154 yards on 12 totes.
Tackles for losses by Alex Pagliarini (sack), Jermaine Williams and Morrissey got the ball back quickly. The Cadets took the score to 21-0 with 2:32 left in the first quarter on Shirden’s 17-yard run and Austin Jose’s third conversion kick.
“You can tell we are having a great time,” Pagliarini said. “Throughout the week, practice is hard. When we get up this many points early, it’s a great time.”
Thaw, who while under pressure completed 8 of 16 passes, led Staples into Cadet territory before being forced from the game with an injury. The drive stalled, but the Wreckers got the ball back on Michael Metro’s fumble recovery on the Cadets’ 15-yard line.
Preston Kral’s interception of a fourth-down pass into the end zone kept the game at 21-0. Ryan Thompson’s interception for Staples kept the ball pinging back and forth, but on the next snap Pagliarini recovered a Wrecker fumble.
Three plays later, Wallace connected with Hutchison for a 14-yard TD with five minutes remaining. Shirden got outside and went 62 yards before the half for a 36-0 Cadet advantage.
Thaw returned to the game for Staples. Nick Armentano (51 yards), Thompson (12 yards) and Sean Clarke (25 yards) each had a pair of receptions in the game, but the Wreckers had trouble moving the chains against a defense that had allowed only 51 points.
“We are lucky to have them,” Della Vecchia said of his linebackers. “Cole and Pagsie can play, they love to get after it. We did a few things today we thought we could do with the two of them with Denny (Rotunno), who is our other backer. They did a great job coming off the edge with inside stunts. They love to get after it.”
Wallace did his best Johnny Manziel impression as he rolled away from pressure, ducked a few tacklers, and tossed the ball into the end zone. Owen DaSilva, and his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame, went up and got it for a 12-yard score and a 43-0 lead midway through the third period.
“I was just hoping one of our receivers would catch it,” Wallace said. “I didn’t have any one in mind. Owen was there coming across the field and he made a phenomenal play on the ball.”
Shirden capped the scoring with an 18-yard run with 5:58 remaining.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
St. Joseph’s Alex Pagliarino, Cole DaSilva and Dennis Rotunno. The trio of linebackers combined for five quarterback sacks and six tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
“I was just hoping one of our receivers would catch it. I didn’t have any one in mind. Owen was there coming across the field and he made a phenomenal play on the ball.”
— St. Joseph quarterback Jack Wallace
ST. JOSEPH 50
STAPLES 0 0 0 0 — 0
ST. JOSEPH 21 15 7 7 — 50
SJ—Brady Hutchison 20 pass from Jack Wallace (Austin Jose kick)
SJ — Jaden Shirden 4 run (Jose kick)
SJ — Shirden 17 run (Jose kick)
SJ — Hutchison 14 pass from Wallace (Jose kick)
SJ — Shirden 68 run (Will Diamantis run)
SJ — Owen DaSilva 12 pass from Wallace (Jose kick)
SJ — Shirden 18 run (Jose kick)
Records: Staples 2-6
St. Joseph 8-0