Rams Football uses turnovers and special teams to help fuel rivalry

Last Friday, the Cheshire High School football team saw just how costly special teams rotations and problems can be in a 33-10 loss to Fairfield Prep at Fairfield University.

Coming home a week later, the Rams turned the script around and rebounded from their first loss. On Friday, CHS (5-1) forced four turnovers inside the 20-yard line in a 27-12 win over Notre Dame-West Haven (4-2).

In special teams, senior Micah Galloza scored two field goals and went three-for-three on extra points, while second Coryon Harris had a pair of long punt returns.

Junior quarterback Matt Jeffery got bumped in last week’s game, but switching to wide receiver caught two touchdowns from senior co-captain Michael Simeone.

Led by senior quarterback Matt Piechota, ND-WH moved the ball throughout the first half, but three turnovers got in their way. In the opening practice, the Green Knights walked to the Cheshire 21-yard line, but ND-WH missed a rally and junior Adam Vernon fell on the ball with 8:06 left in the game. first quarter.

After forcing the CHS to kick the next shot, the Green Knights came back to strike first on a 3-yard touchdown by senior Jacob Staton with 4:26 left in the first quarter. Since the failure of the extra point attempt, ND-WH led 6-0.

While facing a deficit, the Rams changed momentum on a long Harris kickoff return at the 36-yard line. Senior co-captain Michael Simeone completed a 21-yard pass to senior Drew Vagts on the sideline, then junior Jeffery Gonzalez ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 2:49 remaining in the first. Galloza kicked the extra point to give the Rams a 7-6 lead.

Cheshire shoved the Green Knights into a fourth down, then blocked a punt. Senior Riley Wilson picked up the ball at the ND-WH 44-yard line.

The Rams turned the play into their second touchdown. At the 24-yard line, Simeone threw to Jeffery, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone with 5:59 left in the second quarter.

After going up 14-6, the Cheshire defense took center stage. ND-WH hit the red zone twice in the final four minutes of the first half, but the Rams created turnovers on both trips.

The first stretch was played with 3:22 to go in the first half. At the 11-yard line, ND-WH attempted a passing trick, with Piechota, Staton and senior William Panza taking over. Panza looked to pass downfield, but senior lineman Brett Rochford forced the ball to float in the air and junior defensive back Lucas Chymbor made an interception at the 3-yard line.

Shortly after, Cheshire returned the ball to ND-WH. Piechota passed to senior Matteao Petruzziello inside the red zone, but senior Connor Moran dislodged the ball at the 14-yard line and Jeffery recovered.

The Rams came back to extend their lead in the second half. Harris returned the opening kickoff at the 40-yard line, then Simeone broke free on a 66-yard run to the ND-WH 4-yard line.

CHS scored a first and a goal, but a late game penalty saw them settle for a 20-yard field goal by Galloza with 8:28 left in the third.

When ND-WH kicked again, Vernon returned the ball to the 15-yard line. From there, CHS extended their lead on a 39-yard field goal from Galloza with 4:55 left in the third.

Facing a fourth down on their next possession, ND-WH called for a fake punt, but Rochford tackled Piechota short of the marker.

The Rams capitalized on the short field. On a backhand, Vagts drove 16 yards to the 11-yard line and ND-WH was penalized for a late hit out of bounds.

The Green Knights kept the Rams out of the end zone on three running plays, but on fourth down Jeffery caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Simeone with 9:32 left in the game.

ND-WH tried to organize a late rally. After recovering a Cheshire fumble, Staton earned his second 3-yard touchdown with 5:51 left.

The Green Knights fell short on a two-point conversion play, so the Rams led 27-12.

ND-WH made another push into Cheshire territory, but in the final two minutes Chymbor earned his second career-high interception in the end zone.

The summary of the rating is shown below.

first quarter

* 3-yard touchdown executed by Staton (4:26) 6-0, ND-WH

Point after failed touchdown

* 3-yard touchdown by Gonzalez (2:49) 7-6, CHS

PAT by Galloza was good

second quarter

* 24-yard touchdown pass from Simeone to Jeffery (5:59) 14-6, CHS

PAT by Galloza was good

Third quarter

* 20-yard field goal by Galloza (8:28) 17-6, CHS

* 39-yard punt by Galloza (4:55) 20-6, CHS

Fourth trimester

* 1-yard touchdown pass from Simeone to Jeffery (9:32) 27-6, CHS

PAT by Galloza was good

* 3-yard touchdown run by Staton (5:51) 27-12, CHS

Failed two-point conversion attempt

This story will be updated with comments.

Next Friday, the Rams face North Haven (5-1) at 7 p.m.