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FOOTBALL Greenwich’s secondary sparking the defense

September 28, 2018

It’s tough to score in football these days if you have difficulty passing the ball and successfully doing so against Greenwich has been a daunting task.

The Cardinals have allowed only 14 points against its first two opponents and coach John Marinelli didn’t hesitate when asked what’s sparked the defensive unit.

“Our defensive backs have been outstanding,” said Marinelli, whose Cardinals sport a record of 2-0 heading into Friday’s 7 p.m. road game against Norwalk. “Our offense has yet to score in a two-minute drill during practice against our defense, which tells me more than anything — and we have a very good offense. We’ve crossed the 50-yard line only a few times. That’s how good our defensive backs’ cover skills are.”

Senior free safety/captain Charlie Ducret anchors the Cardinals’ secondary.

“Charlie Ducret’s football IQ is through the roof,” Marinelli said. “He puts everyone in the right position and his presence in the back end is so important to us. In terms of communication, he also does a great job.”

Ducret began his Cardinals’ career as a receiver as well, but his responsibilities now are primarily on defense.

“We saw a need for him on the defensive side of the ball,” Marinelli said. “Although he was a wide receiver, we thought the best option was to have him start at defensive back and for him to focus his attention on defense. He is totally selfless and took it to heart and he has become one of the eli te defensive backs in the FCIAC.”

Nick Veronis, a senior, has found his niche at strong safety.

“He was a rotational defensive back last year and is one of our most improved pla yers,” Marinelli said of Veronis. “He plays physical, has great cover skills and is up there among the best defensive backs in the league.”

With Ducret and Veronis manning the safety spots, senior cornerbacks Hunter Cusimano (6-foot-2) and Ryan Raybuck (6-foot-3) have been tough to get open against.

Raybuck registered three interceptions through the first two games, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Sophomore A.J. Barber has also effectively rotated his way into the secondary

“We have two Division I prospects on that island at cornerback and they are big,” Marinelli said. “They are big, long and are both sub 4.6, 40 guys. Each day in practice, they love going up against our offense and enjoy the competition.”

The Cards’ secondary will indeed, be tested on Friday against Norwalk, which has scored more than 40 points in each one of its three games so far this season.

Quarterbac k Kyle Gordon has passed for 651 ya rds with 10 touchdowns and has gained 295 yards on the ground. Receiver Khalil Eason has 267 receiving yards and four touchdowns, while Jamal Boyd has hauled in three scoring strikes from Gordon.

“They are electric, explosive and can score from anywhere on the field,” Marinelli said of Norwalk. “Their quarterback is extremely athletic with a good arm and their receivers can fly. Our defensive backs are in for a competitive day. Defensively, our guys up front have to get after the quarterback and we have to try to keep everything in front of us.”

OFFENSIVE LEADERS

Through two games, GHS senior quarterback Gavin Muir has thrown six touchdown passes with just one interception. He has passed for 382 yards. ... Senior Tysen Comizio has gained 145 rushing yards and has reached the end zone three times . ... Seniors Stephen Bennett and Lance Large have six and eight receptions, respectively, for the Cardinals.

dfierro@greenwichtime.com

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