Cardinals fly in the rain

Muir tossess five touch­down passes to lead Green­wich

Greenwich Time - - SPORTS - By Ryan Lacey

DAN­BURY — Heavy rain threat­ened to change the ap­proach that Green­wich has brought to every game so far, with its high­fly­ing pass­ing at­tack pos­si­bly tak­ing a back seat to a more con­ser­va­tive ground at­tack.

That plan went out the win­dow early, though.

Gavin Muir tossed five touch­downs — in­clud­ing two to Lance Large — as the Cardinals downed Dan­bury 42-3 to im­prove to 8-0 and wrap up the FCIAC’s West Divi­sion. Muir threw for 231 yards while try­ing to nav­i­gate the dif­fi­cult weather.

“We ac­tu­ally didn’t come in try­ing to throw the ball,” Cardinals coach John Marinelli said. “My third play on the script was empty and we liked what we saw. We just kept on go­ing with it and it worked for us.”

The Cardinals picked up their de­fen­sive in­ten­sity in the sec­ond half, con­sis­tently send­ing the Hat­ters’ run­ners back­wards. This cul­mi­nated in a blocked punt in the end zone by Ni­cholas Vero­nis, which was re­cov­ered by Evan Weigold for the score.

Green­wich forced four turnovers in the win as both teams tried sev­eral on­side kicks through the rain.

“It was just throw­ing dif­fer­ent pic­tures and try­ing to force them to coach,” Marinelli said. “I think that’s what we tried to do — show them dif­fer­ent looks — and it con­fused them a lit­tle bit up front.”

Dan­bury’s best chance to stay close came late in the first half, when it moved the ball down to the Cardinals 1-yard line. The lone high­light of the evening came from the foot of Lu­cas Amaral, who booted a 39-yard field goal through the el­e­ments in the sec­ond quar­ter.

“I thought we played tough in the first half,” Hat­ters coach Au­gus­tine Tieri said. “We had a lot of self­in­flicted wounds and against a great team like this you can’t make those mis­takes and get away with it.”

One of those mis­takes — a fum­ble on a kick­off — led to a sec­ond Green­wich touch­down in less than a minute late in the first quar­ter after Dan­bury forced two punts. The Cardinals score twice in quick suc­ces­sion late in the third quar­ter thanks to the blocked punt.

RACE FOR HOME

The Cardinals are in the mid­dle of a stretch of three straight road games that will end next week­end against Xavier. Five teams in Class LL are un­de­feated, leav­ing the pos­si­bil­ity one of them will head on the road in the first round of the state play­offs.

“We just want to get in,” Marinelli said. “Who­ever we play and wher­ever we do it. We have to get used to play­ing on the road. If that’s where it is, then we’re pretty well primed for it.”

QUOTABLE

“I thought this weather would ac­tu­ally be an ad­van­tage for us and it ended up be­ing a huge dis­ad­van­tage,” Tieri said. “They do what they do and do it well. I thought our de­fense did a good job early con­tain­ing them but we just made too many mis­takes.”

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Green­wich’s Gar­rett Mur­phy was all alone in the end zone for a touch­down pass from quar­ter­back Gavin Muir against Dan­bury on Fri­day in Dan­bury.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Dan­bury punter Ken­niel Oliveira (12) goes to the turf after a snap over his head as Green­wich’s Ni­cholas Vero­nis, right, and team­mates Evan Weigold, cen­ter, and Gramoz Bici look to get to the ball on Fri­day night in Dan­bury.

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