Foran High’s football team will take on Wilbur Cross of New Haven in its Southern Connecticut Conference Tier 2 opener at Vito DeVito Field on Friday.
The Governors posted a 5-5 record a year ago, including a 40-21 win over the Lions in week one.
Foran finished with a 7-3 mark, just missing out on a spot in the Class M playoffs.
“We’ve been knocking on the door,” said head coach Jeff Bevino. “Last year we needed one more win, or five of the teams we beat to win one more game. We made a boatload of mistakes (against Cross). We were physically outmatched and coach (John) Acquavita did a tremendous job having his kids ready. I’ve seen Cross and they are huge and we’ll have to combat that size.”
To say that Foran will start a brand new offensive line is misleading.
“Ryan Michelson, Mike Guerrero and Todd Gentley missed time as juniors, when they were expected to start,” Bevino said. “We have them back as seniors, with Ryan Zarnoch at center and Jordan McLenithan at tackle.”
Jared Hubler, who did a lot of everything to help the Lion offense average 31.6 points a game as a junior, will move to quarterback for his senior season.
Hubler, who caught 42 passes for 667 yards and five touchdowns, steps in for the graduated Lance DiNatale (2,640 yards, 20 TDs).
“Hubler has been fantastic,” Bevino said. “He throws a great ball, can run with it, and his accuracy is improving every day.”
Leading the receivers will be returnee Zac Cleary, who caught 18 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns as a sidekick to the graduated Brett Huber (107 catches, 1,142 yards, eight TDs).
Also back are Max Tavitian and Matt Cruz.
“We have a bevy of good players at receiver, with Will Phelan, Will Mauro and Andrew Janik (sophomore) who is also our backup quarterback,” said Bevino.
Cruz (415 yards), Matt Kennedy and Tommy Dempsey are the top running backs.
Mauro and Cleary are back to handle kicking duties.
Mark Wooten, Victor Rios, Rich Piscitelli will man the secondary.
Huber and Cruz led the team in tackles a year ago from their linebacking positions.
Hubler, Cruz, Cleary, Wooten and Kennedy are team captains.
“We’ll have to rely on our quickness up front,” Bevino said. “We’ll scheme it up (week to week). We’re not big boppers so we’ll get after it with angle blocking.”
Sept. 8 WILBUR CROSS 7
Sept. 15 at Brookfield 7
Sept. 22 HARDING 7
Sept. 28 at Lyman Hall 7
Oct. 6 at Daniel Hand 7
Oct. 20 SHEEHAN 7
Oct. 27 GUILFORD 7
Nov. 3 at North Haven 7
Nov. 10 HILLHOUSE 7
Nov. 23 at Law 10:30