A preview of some of what’s to come this fall unfolded on the Blue & Gold Stadium turf on June 14. The annual Blue & Gold Game, an intrasquad football scrimmage, took place on a fittingly borderline early fall-like evening, and the Blue team pulled away for a 41-21 victory.
“It’s a good start for the summer. You get to gauge where the kids are,” said Newtown High School coach Steve George, adding that some, who were sucking wind in the first quarter, may need to step it up for the football team’s summer workout program.
“So when I tell them to run and sprint in July they’ll remember why, hopefully,” George said.
Quarterbacks Drew Tarantino and Matt Maturo each took snaps and ran the pocket in series for both sides, and Jacob Burden also got in some throws.
The Gold team got the scoring started when Tarantino connected with Julian Dunn on a nearly 50-yard scoring play through the air. Connor Miller, who kicked for both sides, tacked on the extra point for an early 7-0 lead. Blue pulled to within 7-6 after one quarter of play on a five-yard Jaret DeVellis run.
In the second quarter, Ethan Carpenter came up with an interception to thwart a Blue drive, but the Blue team would later take the lead 13-7 on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Matt Maturo to Nick Lotrecchiano and a Miller point after. Tarantino answered with yet another big in-the-air play, a 62-yard connection with Dunn to tie the score. Cooper Gold ran in the two-point conversion for a 15-13 White advantage with just 1:38 left in the second quarter. Blue reclaimed the lead before halftime. A long reception by Sam Czel set up a 21-yard Declan Sullivan TD catch, making it 20-15 Blue at the break.
Blue opened the second-half scoring when Tarantino hit Troy Frangione on a 63-yard scoring play for a 27-15 advantage. Gold team player Harry Depuy had a fumble recovery late in the third.
In the fourth, Depuy then added a 29-yard catch in a crowd to set up first and goal at the two yard line. After a loss of a yard, Gold got into the end zone when Depuy made a three-yard reception in the paint. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score 27-21 in favor of Blue. That is as close as the Gold squad would come.
Lotrecchiano caught a three-yard TD pass and Miller’s PAT made it 34-21 midway through the fourth. Gold player Michael Doyle broke up a would-be touchdown play late in the game, but Mark Urso’s long reception set up a Burden to Sullivan score from two yards out.
The coach was pleased by a lot of what he saw from his players following nine spring practices.
“I liked the way that our line played. I like the way our receivers caught the ball. Drew threw the ball well today and I think our defense played well — at least on half the side of the ball,” George said.
After a break for exams, the players will get back onto the field for morning conditioning and weightlifting throughout the summer weeks.