Law looks to learn from loss to Harding

The Jonathan Law football team took the field with high hopes and coach Derrick Lewis’ Lawmen were greeted by bleachers full of fans for its season opener with Harding High from Bridgeport on Sept. 10.

Mick Murray’s 22-yard field goal staked Law to a 3-0 lead in the SCC-FCIAC Challenge game, and Max German ran for a two-yard touchdown.

In between the scores, however, Harding High scored 38 unanswered points and left Milford with a 38-10 victory.

“As soon as we got in the red zone, we started botching snaps, we started missing calls,” Lewis said. “We deserved to get beat. In fact, we should’ve got beaten worse.”

Since taking over the program in the spring, Lewis promised his players he and his coaching staff would give their all and would expect the same in return.

“We never sugar-coated anything,” Lewis said. “We are all going to be held accountable. That’s how you learn to win.”

Law’s defense, led by Brandon Chiaraluce, David Patrick, German and Tim Caldwell, stopped the President on their first two series, including a drive-stopping forced fumble tackle by Chiaraluce on a fourth-down play.

Giovanni Marzullo and Tim Edson took snaps from center and guided the Lawmen to their first score of the season.

Dylan Lucas centered a line that included Drew Carolan, Brendan Ahern, Colin Dipisa, Andrew Paulus and Chiaraluce and Law moved the first down chains three times to set up Murray’s field goal with 23 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Logan Danville went up high and absorbed a big hit to latch on to a 10-yard aerial from Edson on a fourth-and-eight play from the Harding 18-yard line.

Law kept the pressure on the Presidents after Patrick stepped in front of a Taisun Phommachanh pass and returned the interception to the Harding 48-yard line.

Tucker Saley caught a button-hook pass from Edson for eight yards, before Marzullo ran 16 yards on a draw play to the 24.

On first down, the President’s Kanard Codrington read a pass intended for Saley down the left sideline and picked it off.

Two plays later, Phommachanh connected with Jahzarri Mullings for a 40-yard gain. Dequan Woods rushed for a one-yard score with 10:37 left in the first half for an 8-3 lead.

The teams played it even the next two possessions, and Law had an opportunity to regain the momentum midway through the second quarter.

Edson hooked up with Saley for a first down, but a bobbled snap resulted in a 10-yard loss and Law was forced to punt.

The ball was fumbled, however, and Law recovered at its 40 with 3:33 left in the first half.

Marzullo ran for 12 yards into Harding territory, but the drive stalled.

Harding’s Tyshawn Walker then got behind the Law secondary and caught a 69-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion with 49 seconds on the clock, sent the Presidents into the half with a 16-3 lead.

Law took the second half kickoff, drove into Harding territory, and then lost yardage on three straight plays (two bobbled snaps) and gave the ball back.

Phommachanh and his offense was fully in sync and marched 76 yards in eight plays to go in front 24-3 on a Woods’ 11-yard run and another two-point conversion.

Law kept working, and after Marzullo took a sweep for an 11-yard gain, Edson found Danville in the end zone for a 14-yard score. The touchdown, and Logan’s great catch in traffic, was negated by a holding penalty.

Law gave the ball up on downs at the 21.

On its next series, the Lawman drove from their 37 to a first down at the Harding 13, but again the Presidents held on downs.

Harding then went 81 yards in eight plays to up its advantage to 32-3 with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter.

Two fumbled snaps and a punt preceded Christian Hopkins’ 61-yard run for a touchdown.

Law’s Dylan Vienneau caught a 45-yard pass from Edson to set up German’s two-yard touchdown run with 1:55 left in the game.

Law will host Wilbur Cross at 7 p.m. on Friday. The New Haven team defeated Brien McMahon from Norwalk, 29-14, in its first game.