Line play leads Eagles to 20-12 victory
Trumbull’s High junior outside linebacker/offensive lineman Cory Haslam pulled his weight on both sides of the ball when the coach Bob Maffei’s Eagles went into Bridgeport’s Kennedy Stadium in need of a win and got one over Bridgeport Central, 20-12, on a night where temperatures dipped into the low 30s by game time on Nov. 14.
Haslam anchored a senior-dominated offensive line that included Patrick Sullivan, John Newland, Ryan Moulton and Greg Goldman, which allowed Trumbull’s single-wing formation to roll for 336 yards.
The Eagles earned their fourth win of the season against six losses heading into their final game on Thanksgiving Eve at home against town rival St. Joseph.
“Basically, we did what we needed to do to come out of here with a win,” Maffei said. “We ground it out on offense and came up big on defense.
“It seemed like Cory was in their backfield all game long. He put the needed pressure on their quarterback (Cael St. Fleur).”
Trumbull’s defense held the now 2-8 Hilltoppers to 58 yards and a lone touchdown. Of Central’s 24 running plays, 13 of them netted negative yardage. Haslam sacked St. Fleur four times.
Meanwhile, Trumbull running back Adam Angelucci rushed for 79 yards on 27 carries.
Quarterback Stephen Nagy passed for 164 yards, on a 13-of-22 night, and a touchdown. He ran for a score and gained 80 yards on 13 attempts.
Angelucci caught five passes, with Michael Miller catching four and Niko Principi and Jack Kelly two each.
The Eagles took a 6-0 first-quarter lead at 9:41 when Principi ran it in from 16 yards out.
Trumbull’s game-opening drive covered 52 yards on only five plays. A 21-yard pass completion by Nagy to Kelly gave the Eagles a first-down on the Hilltoppers’ 26-yard line.
Trumbull scored again at 10:18 of the second quarter when Nagy’s pass bounced off the hands of a Central defender and was caught by Miller in the end zone. It covered 10 yards.
The Hilltoppers scored their only offensive touchdown at 8:41 of the third quarter when St. Fleur completed a 25-yarder to Brian Ranger. who broke several tackles en route to the goal line.
Nagy’s 1-yard run with 6:35 left in the game capped a six-play, 52-yard drive. Nagy’s scamper of 25 yards was the series’ big play, bringing the ball down to the Central 26-yard line.
Trumbull made it interesting, however, giving up a touchdown with 47 seconds to play.
A 40-yard fumble recovery run for a touchdown by Brian Jackson made it 20-12.
The Hilltoppers were unsuccessful on a two-point conversion before the Eagles were able to hold on to an on-sides kick before running out the clock.
“You don’t like to see those thing happen (the late-game fumble), Maffei said. “But this wasn’t an easy night to hold on to the ball. It’s a nice win for these kids because they’ve worked very hard this year.”
Trumbull’s other wins have come over Norwalk (13-10), Westhill of Stamford (28-14) and Wilton (35-21).