BRIDGEPORT — There’s a new coach, but it’s the same winning tradition for the Staples High football team.
The Wreckers opened the Phil Treglia regime by dominating Bridgeport Central on both sides of the ball for most of the game en route to a 35-6 FCIAC victory over the Hilltoppers in Friday’s opener at Kennedy Stadium.
“It feels great,” said Treglia, the former coach at Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, N.Y. “The boys did a great job, all camp we came together, and we played really well today. That’s what we expect from them.”
Staples set the tone early, grabbing a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, and scored on all five of its first half possessions.
“We were mixing it up a little bit,” Treglia said. “The o-line played really well, our running backs and quarterbacks did a nice job reading the defense, our defense did a great job giving us field position and special teams was really strong as well. So it was all three phases of the game.”
One of the plays of the game came when quarterback Jake Thaw found Kevin Rabacs, who eluded two tackles and sprinted down the left sideline for a 51-yard touchdown that put the Wreckers ahead at 7-0 with 9:06 on the clock.
Thaw and fellow QB Jack Saltus moved their team effectively and the running game, led by Tim Luciano (2 TDs), Cameron Lynch and Henry Beck, churned up yards.
After trailing 21-0, the Hilltoppers finally got something going on a big return from Jean Desir following the kickoff. He returned it to the Staples 28, but two plays later, the Wreckers had a strip sack with Blake Runkle recovering the ball at the Staples 45.
That was as close as Central would come to getting in the red zone in the first half.
“If we make something happen there, maybe we turn the tide a little bit and maybe compete a little bit, but Staples is Staples,” said Central’s first-year coach Derrick Lewis. “No matter who is coaching there, they’re Staples. They have great athletes, they play very hard and are very large up front. We knew we were in for it but our kids played hard.”
Staples converted that turnover into points by going on a 12-play drive capped by a 1-yard plunge from Luciano with 9:18 left until halftime. The Wreckers concluded their scoring with an eight-play, 66-yard touchdown drive with Thaw executing the perfect zone read and hitting pay dirt from 9 yards out (1:39).
“It was great blocking up front,” Thaw said of the play as he had the defense going one way and ran the other for the score.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jake Thaw, Staples. The junior QB threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help the Wreckers open the season with a 35-6 win over Central.
Tim Luciano, Staples. The senior running back led the Wreckers’ ground game with two touchdowns.
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“Coach Treglia has done a great job with us and it’s been a great team effort. We’ve come together and this was a good statement but we have to keep going.” —Thaw