The stats sheet indicated that Greenwich fared much better than an undefeated Trumbull on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium. Unfortunately the scoreboardand a controversial penaltytold a different story, as Greenwich (3-2) fell in a heartbreaker, 18-13. It was a devastating loss against Trumbull (5-0), who had not beaten the Cardinals in four years.
Trumbull quarterback Brian Gallo, in his first start, killed Greenwich with the deep ball all night even though he had more incomplete passes than completions. Greenwich clung to a slim 13-12 lead with Trumbull threatening in the red zone when an extremely late pass interference penalty was called against Cardinals linebacker Shane Nastahowski on a crucial third down. Greenwich head coach Rich Albonizo was absolutely livid with the officials for the penalty and let them hear it long after the game had ended. One play later, Gallo punched it into the end zone for the winning touchdown with 55 seconds to play. Greenwich almost came up with a last minute miracle, driving 47 yards to the Trumbull 17, but could not find the end zone.
"Everybody worked so hard today," Nastahowski said. "We know we're the best team in the state. Without the turnovers we had, the game was ours. When we meet Bridgeport Central [next week] we're gonna smack them in the mouth."
Greenwich kicked off scoring in the first quarter with a 12-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dan Lombardi. On the very next play from scrimmage though, Gallo launched an 81-yard bomb to Pauciello to knot the score at 6. Gallo took it himself early in the second quarter to put the Eagles up 12-6.
Nastahowksi and Chris Daly chewed up yards for the Cardinals, combining for more than 100 yards. Mark Kelley capped a six play, 40-yard drive early in the second half with a 16-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals a slim 13-12 lead. The defense could not hold, though, and Gallo provided the dagger.
"We should have beaten these guys tonight," Daly said. "But there are eight teams in the playoffs. Watch out for Greenwich."
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