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FOOTBALL: Trojans hit stride in second half, pull away from East Catholic

MANCHESTER — Old-school football was on display in Lyman Hall’s 31-0 Connecticut Football Alliance victory over East Catholic on Saturday at the Cheney Tech turf field.

The Trojans’ defense was dominant and senior strong safety/running back Gavin Janowski took control of the game on both sides of the ball, finishing the game with two touchdowns and an interception.

The offense provided a heavy formula of running plays with some short and intermediate throws by freshman quarterback Ryan Casey mixed in.  

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Casey said about his new role as a varsity quarterback. “I love the group of guys around me; I’ll do anything for them. I’m just looking forward to keep getting better and keep winning.”

The win was the second straight for the Trojans, who are now 2-1 heading into next week’s SCC Tier 3 home game with Bassick. The Eagles of the CCC fell to 0-3.

Despite the records and the final score, the first half Saturday was a slugfest, as East Catholic’s defense matched the tenacity of Lyman Hall’s. After both teams exchanged punts at the start of the game, Lyman Hall drove down to the East Catholic 10-yard line, but had to settle for a field goal from Jonathan Terrace.  

It would be the only scoring of the half.

“We need to have a better start,” LH head coach C.J. Monroe said. “We’ve got to make sure we are ready to go early on in the game, understand what defenses are trying to do early and, as coaches, make adjustments quicker. Our team will respond, as they showed in the second half.”

The adjustments Monroe and his staff made at halftime drove second-half nails into the East Catholic coffin.

After the Trojan defense forced another three-and-out, the offense got rolling. Janowski took the first handoff for a 45-yard run down to the Eagles’ 2-yard line, then scored the game’s first TD on the next snap.

“Coach went over how their linemen were going to line up during halftime,” Janowski said. “I just followed my blockers, ran hard and just put it all out on the field.”

With a 10-0 lead, the Lyman Hall offense opened up. On his only deep completion of the game, Casey connected with Michael Fisher for a 51-yard touchdown pass.

“What I initially saw was the safety drop down,” Casey said. “I knew that it was going to be a touchdown. It was executed very well, and I’ll continue to do that.”

After that score, Lyman Hall’s special teams got into the action. On the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans recovered a fumble in the red zone and Janowski followed with a 13-yard touchdown run for a 24-0 lead.  

The Trojans capped off their scoring spree with a 58-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Austin McWeeney.  

“A football game is not defined after one quarter or two quarters,” Monroe said. “It’s what you have overall at the end of four quarters. We played a great game overall and we are happy to get to 2-1.”


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