The Foran High football team upended Notre Dame West Haven, 50-34 in a Southern Connecticut Conference game at the Vito DeVito Sports Complex on Saturday night.
“Our game plan was to hold on to the ball and keep it away from them,” Foran High football coach Jeff Bevino said after his Lions won for the fourth straight week.
“Our o-line hit on all cylinders and our young quarterback put us in good position.”
Behind that offensive line of senior co-captain James Monk, Zach Hubler, Ed Drapp, John Carchia and Anthony DeTullio, the Division II Lions churned out 26 first downs against the Division I Green Knights.
“Foran played a great game,” Notre Dame coach Tom Marcucci said. “We dug a big hole and they outplayed us.
“Jeff did a great job getting them prepared. They were tougher than us and they deserved to beat us.
“We never could stop them.”
The biggest of Foran’s first downs came after Notre Dame (1-5) scored a pair of second-half touchdowns to turn a 43-14 Foran lead into a more worrisome 43-28 margin on the first play of the fourth quarter.
On the Lions’ next possession, Jake Kasuba, the young quarterback Bevino had referred to, connected with Nick Weissauer for an eight-yard gain to move the chains.
Foran’s 22nd first down stole back the momentum, and six plays later Weissauer turned a 10-yard curl pass into a 15-yard touchdown.
Samuel Olsson’s extra point made it 50-28 and helped quell the echoes of past game’s between the rivals.
“I’m pretty good with history, and I believe this is the first time we’ve beaten them,” Bevino said after his 4-2 Lions turned the trick.
“They are a good football team and that Cameron Tucker can break a play at any time.”
Tucker, a 5-10, 210-pound junior, ran for 203 yards on 16 carries in the first half, including touchdown runs of 51 and 92 yards.
Foran took a 7-0 lead on Connor Cadrin’s two-yard run and an Olsson conversion at 2:15 of the first period.
Tucker brought ND back on the next play from scrimmage from 51 yards out, but Foran used Zach White’s 53-yard touchdown pass off a reverse to Sean Deegan to make it 13-7 two minutes into the second period.
Kasuba, off play-action, found Deegan for a 35-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead following Weissauer’s conversion pass to Cadrin.
“Jake does a fantastic job,” said Weissauer, who ran for two scores. “We have a lot of playmakers and he distributes the ball well.”
Notre Dame closed within 21-14 on Tucker’s 92-yard scamper with 5:51 left in the half.
On its next possession, Foran went 63 yards in 12 plays with Weissauer bucking over from two yards out.
“We practice hard every day,” Monk said of the o-line. “We work hard and try to limit our mistakes.”
Carchia said: “Zach Hubler was the only lineman back, so we had to learn by going over all the techniques to become one unit.”
Bevino said, “Our o-line never played better. Whether it was the step down, the trap, or zone blocking, they did it.”
Cadrin scored another two-pointer and Foran took a 29-14 lead into the locker room.
Niko DeRosa, who ran for all the tough yards between the tackles, also contributed on special teams.
Notre Dame’s Chris Perry broke off a long run on the second-half kickoff, before DeRosa brought him down from behind, forcing and recovering a fumble on the Lions’ 35-yard line.
DeRosa then scored from a yard out to complete the 65-yard, nine-play drive that featured receptions of 20 yards by Deegan and 17 yards by Weissauer.
Miceal Callahan dropped back into coverage from his position on the defensive edge, and intercepted a Blake Rice pass on the 49.
Six plays later, Weissauer scored on a seven-yard run and Olsson’s left-footed conversion brought the score to 43-14 with 6:12 remaining in the third period.