Football: St. Joseph tops Trumbull, to host state game

Jaden Shirden rushed for four touchdowns in St. Joseph's 65-6 win over Trumbull on Thanksgiving. — Andy Hutchison photo
Jaden Shirden rushed for four touchdowns in St. Joseph's 65-6 win over Trumbull on Thanksgiving. — Andy Hutchison photo

In the annual Thanksgiving “Rumble in Trumbull,” it was the St. Joseph who came out on top, defeating Trumbull High 65-6 on Thursday morning.

“We didn’t want to show up the way we did a year ago and I think we were ready to play,” said St. Joseph head coach Joe Della Vecchia, referring to Trumbull’s win on Thanksgiving a year ago.

The Cadets finish the regular season at 9-1.

It looks like St. Joseph, the second seed in Class S, will play host to O’Brien Tech from Ansonia in quarterfinal action on Tuesday night.

The Eagles conclude their season with a record of 2-7.

“They just beat us. We thought we’d play a little better than we did,” said Trumbull head coach Bob Maffei.

St. Joseph quarterback David Summers threw for four touchdowns.

The Cadets’ Jaden Shirden ran for four scores.

The defense blanked the Trumbull offense, as the Eagles’ score came on Markeese Woods’ 95-yard kickoff return in the third quarter.

The Cadets’ Phil Pasmeg caught a pair of 15-yard TD passes and ran 26 yards to paydirt to complete the scoring.

Will Diamantis (24 yards) and Jared Mallozzi (40 yards) had TD receptions.

Luke Kirby was perfect on nine conversion kicks

The defense forced an intentional grounding penalty on Trumbull QB Colton Nicholas and was awarded a two-point safety.

St. Joseph drove 65 yards on its opening drive for the score, as Summers connected with Pasmeg for a 15-yard touchdown with 9:01 left in the first quarter.

After Trumbull went three-and-out, a short punt set St. Joseph up in great field position at the Eagles 24-yard line. The Cadets needed just one play, as Summers hooked up with Diamantis for the touchdown to give St. Joseph a 14-0 lead with 7:36 left in the first quarter.

The Cadets next drive went 82 yards, spanning the final 3:39 of the first quarter and into the second period.

Shirden capped the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run with 11:54 left in the half.

After a Trumbull punt, the Cadets started at their own 48-yard line.

Summers found Mallozzi for two big plays on the drive. First, the two connected for a 12-yard completion to the Eagles 40 and then on a 40-yard touchdown pass to with 10:45 left in the half. The touchdown increased the Cadets lead to 28-0.

“I thought we brought a lot of energy and a lot emotion,” said Della Vecchia. “I think when we play we can be very good.”

Trumbull started its next drive at the 10-yard line.

On the first play of the drive, intentional grounding in the end zone was called on Nicholas, giving the Cadets a 30-0 lead with 10:28 remaining in the first half.

After the safety, a free-kick gave the ball back to the Cadets.

St. Joseph went 70 yards for another score as Shirden ran in for the 10-yard score with 8:10 left in the half.

Shirden set up the run with a 46-yard run to get St. Joe’s to the Eagles’ 20-yard line.

St. Joseph scored again with 1:12 left in the half, when Summers found Pasmeg again from 15 yards out for a 44-0 lead.

The touchdown was set up by receptions of 41 yards and 33 yards by Mallozzi to get St. Joseph into the red-zone.

“We wanted this game more than anything. We thought this was a playoff game,” said Summers. “Thanksgiving games are always big for rivalries.”

After Jesse Lawson recovered a Trumbull fumble at the Eagles 11-yard line with 59.2 on the clock, Shirden took it home from 5 yards out for a 51-0 lead at halftime.

“We were pretty crisp. Our offensive line played really well. I’m very happy that they got after it a little bit,” said DellaVecchia. “I thought we did a lot of the things we wanted to do.”

Shirden scored again with 7:16 to go in the third quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run to put the Cadets up 58-0.

Trumbull got on the board when Woods ran back the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for the touchdown with 4:40 left in the third. The extra point was blocked and St. Joseph’s lead was cut to 58-6.

After St. Joseph recovered the Trumbull onside kick at the Eagles 41-yard line, Pasmeg scored on his 26-yarder with 28 seconds remaining in the third period.

“We didn’t play very well, obviously and they are really good and you combine the two (you get 65-6),” said Maffei.

The game MVP’s were Adam Tolk for Trumbull and Mike Dilorio for St. Joseph.

“I think we are finally clicking on all cylinders. We’ve got our full potential going for the playoffs,” said Summers.