Shel­ton uses big sec­ond quar­ter to re­main un­beaten

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - SPORTS - By Michael Forn­abaio

MON­ROE — It took a cou­ple of of­fen­sive drives for Shel­ton to get click­ing, not to men­tion with­stand­ing one weird open­ing Ma­suk drive.

No. 5 Shel­ton did get the of­fense rolling in the sec­ond quar­ter, scor­ing three touch­downs in a lit­tle over seven min­utes, and strong de­fense all night paced a 38-10 win over the Pan­thers at Bene­dict Field on Fri­day night.

“We made the ad­just­ments. I mean, it comes down to coach­ing and who’s a leader on the field,” said Shel­ton quar­ter­back Jake Roberts, who ran for a touch­down and threw for three more.

“In the first half, every­one was kind of shaky. Once we got used to the en­vi­ron­ment, we were good.”

The Gaels (5-0), who visit 5-0 North Haven in a week, had a cou­ple of big plays on their first cou­ple of drives but stalled soon af­ter on both.

But Roberts’ 22-yard run up the mid­dle got them into Ma­suk ter­ri­tory on the third drive. A 10-yard pass to Paul Fer­rigno set up a 22-yard touch­down pass to Fer­rigno to open the scor­ing.

Fer­rigno caught four of Roberts’ eight com­ple­tions for 70 yards, in­clud­ing a 26-yard gain that set up Roberts’ 15-yard touch­down run two drives later.

“They were very good. We both had two weeks to pre­pare for each other,” said Ma­suk quar­ter­back Thomas Ju­liano, whose team had won two in a row go­ing into last week’s off week.

“I just give credit to my

whole team, fight­ing. No mat­ter what hap­pened, the ad­ver­sity we faced, I’m happy the way we re­sponded.”

The Pan­thers (2-3) visit Bun­nell next week.

Shel­ton’s de­fense came up big in big spots sev­eral times. Mike Lock­av­itch was in on at least a cou­ple of sacks. The de­fense com­bined for eight tack­les for a

loss. Ju­liano com­pleted 20 passes, but six of them went for no more than a yard.

“I thought the de­fense played well all night. They pose some prob­lems of­fen­sively,” Shel­ton coach Jeff Roy said.

“We thought the de­fense kind of held us in there that whole time, and then we got the of­fense click­ing.”

Ma­suk chewed up most of the first quar­ter with a 15-play, penalty-laden drive that started on the Pan­thers’ 4 but stalled at the Shel­ton 40.

Af­ter Roberts found Jake Oddo in the left corner of the end zone for the third touch­down of the sec­ond quar­ter, Nolan McCarter drilled a 39-yard field goal for Ma­suk at the first-half

buzzer to cut Shel­ton’s lead to 21-3, and the Pan­thers got the ball to start the sec­ond half.

But Fer­rigno picked off Ju­liano on the sec­ond play, and three plays later, the Gaels were in again on a Fer­rigno pass to David Yakow­icz.

“I’m feel­ing great. We’ve got a lot of mo­men­tum right now,” Roberts said.

“We’ve just got to keep fight­ing. To­mor­row morn­ing, 10 o’clock, lift­ing. That’s it.”

Nick Andrade had a 34-yard field goal for the Gaels, and Ge­or­gio Ghazal’s touch­down run capped the scor­ing. Chris Til­lot­son caught Ju­liano’s touch­down pass in the fourth quar­ter.

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