WOODBURY – The Nonnewaug football team lost its real home opener Saturday against Valley Regional/Old Lyme 48-0.
Coming off its first win of the 2017 season, and what head coach Zach Mihaly said was a good week of practice, all signs led to Nonnewaug being up for this game.
However, the Chiefs came out flat.
“We came out flat when we did our warmups and stretches, and it led into the first half and it escalated from there,” Mihaly said. “We can’t come out flat. We have to come out with high energy and come out focused.”
Nonnewaug lost the ball on its first possession on a fumble by Joe Wall, then got Valley to go three-and-out on a 4th-down pass that was broken up by Chris Criscione.
But on the next play, Nonnewaug quarterback Jarrett Michaels threw the ball away as he was flushed from the pocket, and was picked off. Four plays later, Valley quarterback Mike Cullina hit Ernest Jean-Pierre for a short gain that turned into a 33-yard touchdown.
“We were playing with them in the first 5 minutes,” Mihaly said. “We didn’t make such smart decisions with the ball in the beginning, and that hurt us. Once that happened, everything went downhill from there.”
Highlights for the Chiefs included:
- Linebacker Brian Viveros stripped Valley running back Jake Kruszewski at the Nonnewaug 1-yard line, and Michaels recovered the fumble.
- Kurtis Krizan blocked an extra point attempt.
- Michaels hit Viveros on a 17-yard pass, and Wall on passes of 18 and 21 yards.
Nonnewaug suited up just 34 players, and has all but one player starting both ways. But Mihaly said his team is in shape, and isn’t hindered by playing both ways.
“They’re certainly conditioned, there’s a huge emphasis on conditioning,” Mihaly said. “When you play a team with a larger roster and more depth, you have to be conditioned. I don’t think we were beat condition-wise, we were beat based on our body language before the game.”
Nonnewaug (1-3) lost its first “home” game of the season three weeks ago against North Branford.
[yikes-mailchimp form=”1″ title=”1″ description=”1″]