By Rob Adams
The Greenwich High School football team finally played their home opener Monday night, as they hosted the Norwalk Bears.
The Cardinals — winners against Trumbull and Trinity Catholic to start the season — jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and never looked back, topping the Bears 48-0.
It’s the second shutout in a row for the Cardinals (3-0), who have outscored their opponents 167-16.
The Bears (2-2) appeared to the be moving the ball on their opening drive before stalling. Faced with a fourth and 10 at their own 34 yard line, Big Red powered through to block the punt after a bad snap. Junior Matthew Davey scooped up the loose ball and rumbled into the end zone. The Cardinals failed on the conversion try, but had the lead.
“It was very imperative that we got off to a good start this week,” Greenwich co-captain Nick McIntosh said. “We just did what we had to do in the weight room and the score shows it.”
Another special team stumble by the Bears put the ball right back in the hands of the Cardinals. A 41-yard punt return by junior Stephen Bennett put Greenwich in business at the Norwalk four. Quarterback Gavin Muir handed the ball off sophomore Jack Warren for the touchdown. Zach Moore tacked on the extra point to give Greenwich a 13-0 lead.
“It was great,” McIntosh said of the special teams’ effort. “Thanks to special teams, they gave the defense great field position and even put points on the board. It was a great team victory.”
The scoring continued on their third possession. Big Red commenced a somewhat-traditional nine play, 63-yard drive, capped by a 43-yard touchdown from junior Tysen Comizio, who had 11 carries for 139 yards and two scores.
Muir, the junior quarterback, got in on the scoring in the second quarter, as he ran a keeper up the middle for a five yard score. After exchanges of possessions, the Cardinals got the ball back with only 32 seconds remaining in the first half. Sticking with their offense on the final play of the quarter, Muir found senior receiver Jael Negron along the right sideline, who then peeled off for a 35-yard catch and run.
The Cardinals led 35-0 at the break, and only running clock could stop them. Still they weren’t done yet.
Comizio capped an eight play, 60 yard drive with his second scoring run of the day, this time from 13 yards out. Moore tacked on his fourth of five extra points to improve the Greewich lead to 35-0 with 8:14 remaining in the third.
The Bears found their best chance to make it into the end zone in the fourth quarter. Norwalk sophomore quarterback Kyle Gordon (16 of 30 for 130 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT) picked up a first down to senior AJ Hall on third-and-18. Hall caught five balls for 80 yards, while sophomore running back Jakari Walker carried the ball 13 times for 76 yards.
Still, the Bears drive ended at the Greenwich 19 as Gordon’s completion to Jalen Elliott came up short of the first down.
Exchanges of punts commenced before sophomore running back Matthew Pilc found the end zone on the last play from scrimmage.
The Cardinals — already coming off a bye week that gave them a 16-day break — don’t play again until they meet New Canaan at home on Sat, Oct. 14.
That game will be the third meeting between father and son, as GHS head coach John Marinelli goes up against his father, Lou — the winningest coach in Connecticut football history.
What did the Greenwich head coach say to his crew after the game about their upcoming family showdown?
“Nothing,” McIntosh said. “We have a bye week coming up. We have to focus and stay locked in, like any other week.”