By: TIMOTHY W. GAFFNEY , Register Citizen Staff
FALLS VILLAGE - The Housatonic football team played a brutal schedule its first four games and came away with an 0-4 record.
Drawing Tolland, Ellington and Avon in the first three games is not the best of hands, but Mountaineer second year coach Deron Bayer reminded his players not to dwell on it.
"I told them that we couldn't control the hand we were dealt, we could just do the best with what we were given."
Saturday's game could be called a jackpot game, as Housatonic (1-4) rolled over Canton 43-21 behind a 168-yard, two-touchdown rushing effort from senior Will Kennedy.
"We came out mentally prepared today," Kennedy said, "We were sick of losing and determined to do something about it."
The talented upperclassman was a one-man wrecking crew in the first half, as the home team drove down the field on the game's opening drive and didn't look back until they were up 43-7 at halftime.
Kennedy chewed up 40 yards on the 71-yard opening march that took just 1:29 off the clock. Six runs and a five-yard penalty later, Kennedy made his way on a sweep from 16 yards out. His effort didn't let up when the defense was on the field either. He added an interception, a sack and numerous tackles in the backfield as Housy stymied the 1-4 Warriors' offense while it built up the big lead.
In 2007, Bayer unveiled the single-wing offense as his team's signature attack, and it worked week after week in a 6-4 season. With that good record came a tougher schedule. Those programs, like the Mountaineers, decided somewhere along the line to buy into what their coaches were asking them to do.
That's just what started to happen in Falls Village last season.
The players bought into what Bayer and his staff were teaching them. Running a single wing runs the risk of becoming too predictable so Housy has changed up some this year.
Trevor Brissett, one of the three options who may get the ball behind center, has developed into the team's best thrower, and while he attempted only one pass against the Warriors, he made it count.
After running almost exclusively the first four times they had the ball, Brissett found blocking back Trevor Watts on a rollout from the Canton 15. Watts caught the pass on the 10 and bowled over three Warriors before bending into the end zone for a 20-0 lead.
The Warriors broke onto the scoreboard late in the second quarter when QB Tyler Campbell (10-19-190) found John Chevalier (seven catches, 137 yards) on a 32-yard strike.
Showing all grades wanted to have a voice in this win, freshman Sam Cadman took the ensuing kickoff and followed his blocking wall beautifully before streaking for an 87-yard kickoff return.
When Brissette added a 47 yard rushing score following a fumble recovery by Gian Lodevola, and Eric Avery rambled 15 yards for the Mountaineers, six touchdowns were scored by the home team in the half.
It became a junior varsity effort in the second half, and while the scoring barrage stopped, quality playing time was had by the second team.
Housatonic stays home for the next two games, playing Nonnewaug Saturday followed by a matchup with Stafford on Nov. 1.
The Mountaineers play their last road game Nov. 8 when they travel to take on Windsor Locks before finishing the season with a home game against Coventry Nov. 22 before its annual Berkshire Bowl battle with
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