Greenwich football wins big on Senior Night against Westhill

Playing with the emotion of senior night, the Greenwich High School football team hosted Westhill High School and dominated with its defense, beating the Vikings 40-7 earlier today at Cardinal Stadium.

“Senior night is special for us and we look forward to it,” GHS senior captain Jack Harrington said. “It’s sad, but rewarding at the same time because you realize that you so hard for something you care so much about. We love the fact that this is where we get to play football and love our school. The seniors are going to miss it here.”

For the seniors at Greenwich High, tonight’s game had extra meeting, as they were honored prior to the start of the final home game of the season. The seniors lined up in the end zone and were escorted to the midfield by parents or family members.

“The seniors here have all been playing for at least two years here,” GHS senior captain Jack Wynne said. “We put so much time into this program and I think everybody really loves this program. I think that coming out here and knowing that it’s the last time we’re going to walk on this field together to play a game is tough. However we got a nice win and least we can say that we ended it on a high note.”

Yet again, junior Austin Longi had another stellar outing for Big Red, finishing with three touchdowns on the day. Longi finished with touchdown runs of 18 and 13 yards, as well as an 80-yard touchdown run down the GHS sideline.

While it took Big Red’s offense to start clicking, the Greenwich defense was solid from the start. In fact, Westhill scored its only touchdown with 8:27 left in the game.

“I thought our defense played one of their better games of the year,” Greenwich head coach Rich Albonizio said. “They put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and I thought we did a great job against their run all night. We stopped their run, played pretty good pass defense and had a great pass rush.”

In Greenwich’s first scoring drive of the game, they showed the strength of its running game, as seven of the eight plays were on the ground. The only pass on the drive was a 23-yard completion from junior quarterback Matt Marzulla to senior wideout Jose Melo. Tommy Rappa, who carried the ball five times on the drive scored the game’s first points off a two-yard touchdown run with 3:35 to play in the first.

In Greenwich’s second scoring drive, they got a little help from special teams. After being forced to punt to Westhill, Big Red was able to strip the ball out of the returner’s hands and recovered to keep the drive alive.

Four plays later, Greenwich found the end zone when Longi darted 18 yards down the GHS sideline for the 14-0 lead with 7:56 to play in the half. Rappa highlighted the drive with a 14-yard run down the far side of the field.

Big Red started the second half in grand fashion, as the duo or Marzulla and Longi combined to give Big Red a 20-0 lead with 9:20 to play in the third quarter. Marzulla called his own number five times in the drive and had runs of 11 and eight yards. Longi had a run of 19 yards and completed the eight-play drive with a 13-yard touchdown run.

Longi iced the game. After a slew of penalties against both Westhill and Greenwich moved the ball back to the Greenwich 20, Longi gained possession of the pigskin, darted around three Viking defenders, turned on the jets and bolted down the sideline 80 yards for the 27-0 lead with 1:07 to play in the third.

Rappa netted a seven-yard touchdown run up the middle of the field and Joe Fedorko added a 18-yard touchdown run down the Greenwich sideline with 5:46 to play.

“I think we played pretty good all the way around,” senior Thomas Martins said. “We could have done a better job avoiding some penalties, but other than that we played well and it felt good to get the win on senior night. We’ve been building up all week for this night and I have been looking forward to this day for the past three years. I am very happy with the outcome.”

With the victory, Greenwich upped its record to 6-3 overall and will be back in action when they travel to Danbury High School Friday night.

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