Lawmen looking ahead
Now that the procession of big, strong and athletic teams have come and gone from the Jonathan Law High football teams schedule, the Lawmen can settle in and look for some victories against Division II opponents.
The last in the parade, Hamden High, came through Milford Friday night and the vastly improved Green Dragons, after falling behind 7-0 early, scored 42 unanswered points in posting a 42-7 Southern Connecticut Conference win over Law, whose defense was simply worn down in the second half.
“If you simply looked at this final score, you’d probably think that we didn’t play that hard,” said Law coach Mark Robinson, whose team, with an 0-4 record, hosts East Haven this Friday night.
“That couldn’t be farther from the truth. We battled the entire game. We tried. I can never fault my kids.
“We’ve been battered and bruised for four weeks. Basically, we’ve been put through a meat grinder.”
Law opened its 2013 season with a 32-14 loss against Harding of Bridgeport and its new coach, Jack Cochran. That was followed by a 27-24 overtime loss at Wilbur Cross and last week, the Lawmen were defeated by defending Class M champion Hillhouse, 41-14.
“Physically, I think we’re still trying to catch up from that game against Cross. We’ve had our share of injuries, along with some sickness. We’ll be alright.”
Without question, Law got the start it wanted against Hamden, which has now won three of its first four games.
Law’s defense, led by Max German (end), Mark DiBartolomeo (tackle), Alex Boyd (tackle), Austin Abe (lineman) and Mark Thibault (corner back) made two stops early on, forcing the Green Dragons into a pair of punting situations.
Taking over on its own five-yard line after a 32-yard punt by Hamden’s Andrew Navarro, Law quarterback Tim Maher ran for 16 yards, bringing the ball out to the 21 before Ryan Siddall gained another 11 to the 32.
On a first-down play from the 32, Maher handed the ball off to German, who found a hole off tackle, then broke through the secondary before out-racing Nathan McCary and Emmanuel Hernandez into the end zone completing a 68-yard scoring run.
Mick Murray added the conversion kick and Law held a 7-0 lead with 4:40 left in the first quarter.
That lead, however, vanished on the next play when Hamden’s Keon Simpson returned the kickoff 60 yards, making it 7-6. Navarro’s first of six successful conversion kicks evened the score at 7-7.
Hamden took advantage of one of five turnovers that Law had to score the go-ahead touchdown late in the second quarter.
The ball was recovered by the Green Dragons’ Aaron Green, on Law’s 13-yard line.
Hamden called upon its primary running back, Maliek Williamson (171 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns) and he picked up 7 yards to the six, before Nigel Tappin lost three.
Faced with a third-and-six from the nine, Williamson got the ball again. He went in for the score and Navarro’s conversion boot made it 14-7 as the teams headed into halftime.
The Green Dragons scored on their first possession after the break, with Williamson going in from 4 yards out at 9:01. Navarro’s kick made it 21-7. After that, Hamden’s defense forced turnovers while its offense continued to pile up yardage.
The Green Dragons took a 28-7 lead into the final 12 minutes before getting touchdowns of 28 yards by reserve running back Jayquan Heyward and a final score on a 39-yard interception return of a Giovanni Marzullo pass by Hernandez with 6:41 to play.
“Our fear was that they could score early and they did,” said Hamden’s first-year coach Todd Dowty. “We knew that their quarterback (Maher) and their fullback (German) were good. Stopping them would be important for us. We pretty much did that after giving up that first score.”
Hamden held a 312-234 margin in offensive yardage. But the Green Dragons only held a 49-48 difference in plays.
German led Law with 77 yards on just four carries, while Maher had 39 yards on 11 attempts and Joe Ziebell rushed for 36 yards on four tries. Siddall caught four passes, good for 63 yards.
Each team had 12 first downs. Law had five turnovers to three for Hamden. The Green Dragons were penalized 10 times for 80 yards, compared to three infractions for 25 yards against Law.
Siddall returned six kick-offs for 123 yards for Law which was led up front offensively by Sean Rice (left tackle), Jimmy Davenport (left guard), four-year starter Nick Casagrande (center), Sam McTighe (right guard) and Drew Carolan (right tackle).