Foran High gridders lose to Shelton High
The Foran High varsity football team faced an unenviable task on Oct. 2.
The Lions had to travel to Shelton to take on the Gaels in a SCC crossover matchup, pitting Foran against the SCC Division I school and likely the best team the Lions will play this season.
After hanging with Class LL Shelton for the first quarter, Foran was outscored 28-0 in the second period en route to losing a 42-15 decision at Shelton’s Finn Stadium.
“They had too many weapons,” said Foran head coach Jeff Bevino. “Their quarterback is unbelievable. We hung in there as long as we could. I just think that is the best Shelton team I’ve seen in a long time.”
Making matters worse, Foran lost senior quarterback Jake Kasuba to a turf toe injury. It is unclear when Kasuba will be able to see action again.
“He’ll see the doctor on Wednesday to see if he gets cleared or not,” said Bevino. “He’s in a lot of pain. He’s in a boot right now.”
Still, the Lions (1-3) gave Shelton (4-0) all it could handle for 12 minutes. After spotting the Gaels an early touchdown, Foran came back to pull within 7-3 on a Joe Radecki 18-yard field goal.
But Shelton scored on four straight second-quarter possessions to open up a 35-3 halftime lead and end any thoughts of a Foran upset.
Shelton senior quarterback Mark Piccirillo either threw or ran for Shelton’s first five touchdowns, and he has been involved with 18 of Shelton’s 20 touchdowns on the season.
Both teams used their reserve players liberally in the second half, with Foran getting the better of the scoring over the final 24 minutes.
Senior wide receiver Matt Rosmus caught a 5-yard pass from sophomore reserve quarterback Lance DiNatale in the third quarter, the first career varsity touchdown for either player.
Senior David McLenithan closed out the scoring with a 39-yard, fourth-quarter punt return for a touchdown, the first varsity score for the linebacker.
Shelton head coach Jeff Roy was pleased that his Gaels were able to slow down a Foran offensive attack that was averaging more than 30 points a game entering the contest.
“They have a pretty potent offense,” said Roy of Foran. “They were scoring points against anybody, so I really thought our defense stepped up last night.
Bevino found a silver lining in the loss, complimenting the running of senior captain Stephen Longley and RJ Balado.
“I thought Steve Longley and RJ Balado played very well. They ran the ball hard,” said Bevino. “Again, it’s just one of those deals that they just had too many weapons.
Bevino also credited his offensive line of Sam Kopatch, Anthony Raccio, Mike Howell, Aniber Moras and Luke Edmondson, not just for what they did Thursday night, but the season to date.
“I really think that our line has played outstanding for us so far,” he said. “The other night up at Sheehan, we scored 42 points in our last three quarters and that was basically on the heels of those five kids up front.
“They did a great job for us. We ran for over 350 yards in three quarters, so they’re playing well for us.”
Bevino also noted the play of senior wide out Pat Fitzgerald, who leads the team in receiving.
Bevino and the Lions (1-3 overall, 1-0 SCC Division II East) now turn their attention to a home date with Trinity Catholic of Stamford Friday night, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Trinity Catholic, an FCIAC team, is 3-1.
Over the last 10 years, Foran has had to play two SCC Division I teams a season, per the way SCC scheduling works.
The Lions are 1-19 in those mandatory games against SCC Division I teams, with the lone win coming in a 50-35 victory over West Haven in 2012.
While Foran is currently 40-56 overall over the last 10 seasons (with seven more games to play in 2014), the Lions would be 39-37 without the SCC Division I games.