Stamford wins city championship over Westhill
STAMFORD—Stamford football coach Jamar Greene looked into senior running back Lenny Garcia’s eyes at halftime and knew his workhorse could carry the Black Knights home.
Garcia had already scored with 30 seconds left in the half and he carried that momentum throughout the second half, finding space to run behind his line, breaking down the Westhill defense and putting away a 19-0 win for Stamford over rival Westhill.
With the win, Stamford claimed both the Frank Robotti Trophy as city public school champions and the Paul Kuczo Trophy as overall city champions for the second-straight season.
“It feels good. We played hard and fought throughout the season even though we didn’t win many games. We threw that all out tonight and played a great game,” Garcia said. “The last couple of drives I was just thinking about Terry (Forrester) and I told my teammates to come out and play for him. The turkey is going to taste better tomorrow.”
Forrester, the Black Knights quarterback, collapsed on the sideline midway through the fourth quarter and the game was stopped as he was attended to and taken off on a stretcher before leaving in an ambulance.
The teams slogged their way through most of the first half before Stamford finally broke through with a score on a 5-yard run by Garcia with 30 seconds remaining in the half after starting with the ball on their on the Vikings’ 45 following a punt.
In the fourth quarter, a screen pass to Garcia picked up 55 yards leading to a 15-yard touchdown run by Alain Paul with 11:32 left.
Garcia would cap the scoring on a 30-yard touchdown run with just under eight minutes to play.
Westhill struggled to get anything going on offense and was hindered by 5 turnovers in the game.
Vikings coach Joe DeVellis said his team did not play well enough to win but thanked the seniors who stayed on the team.
The Vikings a number of seniors over the summer after former coach Frank Marcucio resigned.
“I am very appreciative to the seniors, because a lot of them left and the ones who stayed could have left too and not stuck it out. I am very appreciative of them for helping us build our program,” DeVellis said. “Sometimes you have to kind of hit rock bottom in order to appreciate it when you get up top. It hurts and it stinks, right now.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Lenny Garcia, Stamford. The senior ran with a purpose all night, scoring twice.
“It feels great for the seniors. We struggled offensively all year but we always want to win this one for the seniors,” Greene said. “Especially late when we had Terry (Forrester) go out, the guys out there finished the game up for him.”
STAMFORD 19 WESTHILL 0
WESTHILL 0 0 0 0—0
STAMFORD 0 7 0 12—19
Records: S-3-7; W—1-9
S—Lenny Garcia 5 run (William Martinez kick)
S—Alain Paul 15 run (kick failed)
S—Garcia 30 run (kick failed)