Staples football wrecks Wilton in their white-out home opener By Lys Goldman ’21 and Emma Dantas ’21

Cover photo by Emma Dantas

The Staples Wreckers football team blew past the Wilton Warriors in their home opener on Friday, Sept. 14 by a score of 37-12.

In the first minute of the game, quarterback Jake Thaw ’20 connected with wide receiver and captain Kevin Rabacs ’19 for an 80 yard touchdown play to put the Wreckers up 7-0. The offense got back on the field shortly after their opening drive thanks to the Staples defense.

“The defense was really strong. Wilton has a good offense and we shut them down early and often,” Thaw said.

The Staples defense tackles a Wilton player at the line of scrimmage. The Wreckers prevented the Warriors from gaining yardage on many plays throughout the game. Photo credit: Lys Goldman

The Staples defense forced the Warriors to punt multiple times on fourth down. This allowed the Wreckers to close out the first quarter with a 14-0 lead following a second touchdown by running back Tim Luciano ’19.

Both the Wreckers defense and offense played a very aggressive game from start to finish. The defense came up with many hard hits that stuffed the Warriors at the line of scrimmage, preventing them from gaining momentum and getting in the end zone. Wilton, similarly, fought back against the Wreckers; however, the Wreckers offense was able to prevail and fight for yards after contact.

Cameron Lynch ’19 carries the ball up the field. Lynch scored a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Photo credit: Lys Goldman

Early in the second quarter, Thaw, who was mobile in and out of the pocket throughout the game, added another six points to the Wreckers’ lead after scrambling into the end zone on fourth down. However, fourth downs, especially in the red zone (between the 20 yard line and goal line), were not the strongest aspect of the game for Staples.

“A couple times in the red zone we got caught; we’ve got to execute better [there],” Thaw said. “We failed to convert on fourth down so we’ve got to work on that for next week.”

The Wreckers finished the first half with a shutout lead of 21-0 after the extra point was tacked onto Thaw’s touchdown.

Max Mahr ’19 (left) and Jake Thaw ’20 (right) celebrate after Thaw’s rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Photo credit: Emma Dantas

To start the third quarter, the Wreckers continued to use the width of the field to their advantage. Receivers were getting open wide, and running backs hugged the sidelines to gain yardage. On the flipside, the Staples offense was also able to find gaps in the center of the Warriors defense, which they exploited to pick up additional rushing yards.

Along with the dominant Staples offense, the defense was also able to pick out holes in Wilton’s offensive line. This allowed them to get to the quarterback; in the fourth minute of the second half, Pat Ciquera ’20 left the Wilton quarterback behind the line of scrimmage at the Warriors’ own 30 yard line. This was one of multiple sacks on the Wreckers’ game stats.

Captain Cole Brockwell ’19 led the Staples defense with an early sack and many tackles on the line of scrimmage.

“As a team we did really well on defense. We hit really hard and didn’t let them get many yards besides penalties; we need to clean that up for next week,” Brockwell said.

Thaw sets up for the snap in the red zone, where the Wreckers had trouble throughout the game. Photo credit: Emma Dantas

With a strong 31-0 lead, the Staples coaches subbed freely in the second half. Wilton was finally able to get on the board and score two touchdowns during the fourth quarter, bringing the final score to 37-12 after a fifth Staples touchdown.

“We had a lot of fun,” Staples coach Phil Treglia said. “The best part of the game was that everyone got in on a Friday night with all the awesome fans, so that made it a whole team effort.”

Staples players celebrate and pick up momentum after Kevin Rabacs ’19 scores a touchdown. Photo credit: Lys Goldman

Next Friday, Sept. 21, the Wreckers will host Brien McMahon for the homecoming game as they look to bump their record up to 3-0 and remain undefeated.

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