The Bunnell Bulldogs handed the Pomperaug Panthers their first loss of the season – a 34-21 win which left Bunnell and Masuk as the only undefeated teams in the SWC.
Bunnell (5-0) scored on three big plays; two 80-yard plus touchdown strikes from Bryan Castelot to the speedy Jawad Chisholm and one from the defense on an interception – tackle Evan Foster read screen, put up his big paws and batted it into the air to a waiting Do Nguyen who ran it in from 46 yards out.
“I saw them setting screen and did what we’re taught to do. Jump with hands high and got a good chunk of the ball,” said Foster.
Nguyen said, ”I just happened to be in the right spot.”
The Bulldogs weren’t getting much in their ground game early on when Castelot went deep to Chisholm.
”I thought I could get past the defense and when I ran a deep fly down the right sideline, Bryan (Castelot) put it right in my hands,” said Chisholm. The pass traveled about 55 yards.
On their next possession they tried the same play again and again it resulted in a touchdown – this time an 82-yard completion.
The Bulldogs’ third consecutive touchdown was the result of a long drive, capped off by a Joseph Bivona run from the 2-yard line.
It appeared the Bulldogs were on their way to running away with the game when they made it 26-0 on the interception – one of three in the game.
But Pomperaug (4-1) scored two touchdowns in a four- minute span before the intermission. First it was Eric Beatty to Andrew Reel who made a nice run after the catch and then it was Matt Paola to Brett Gaughan for 22-yards.
Pomperaug went into the locker room down two touchdowns.
“None of us really worried after they got their touchdowns,” said Chisholm.”We knew we’d score again.”
Chishom proved to be prophetic. Bunnell started the third quarter with a 73-yard drive, mixing their passing and running game and driving to the Panthers’ eight yard line. Jared Vasquez got some room in a deep corner pattern where Castelot found him all alone. It was 34-14 when Pomperaug finally got its first possession in the quarter.
They scored early in the fourth on a touchdown pass from Beatty to Reel and that was it for the scoring.
Winning coach Craig Bruno praised his d-line and added, "I thought we played fast and with lots of emotion."
Bunnell had 236 total yards with David Camille the leading rusher with 20 carries for 63 yards. Castelot was 7 for 11 for 237 yards including three touchdowns.
Pomperaug was led by Paola on the ground – 11 for 50 – while Beatty was 10 for 19 for 162 yards.