Conte takes reins in Jesuits romp over Amity
Published 3:02 pm, Thursday, November 6, 2014
It was a little look at the future. And based on the results, that future looks bright.
Fairfield Prep took a small step toward next season in its game last week against Amity, starting several underclassmen that will be cornerstones of the 2015 season -- and beyond -- including sophomore quarterback Patrick Conte, who led the Jesuits to a methodical 42-6 win.
"We know that Patrick Conte is a good ballplayer and we've been wanting to give him some work and frankly, I haven't done a real good job with that," said Prep head coach Tom Shea. "So, we said, `Pat, you're starting, let's see how you do' and boy, he rose to the occasion and he did a hell of a job."
Conte completed 10 of 12 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns in replacing regular starter, senior Colton Smith, who got the night off, not that he wanted to spend the game on the sidelines relaying play signals to the offense.
"No, Colton was a little frustrated but listen, the other young man needs the work," Shea said. "God forbid something was to happen he has to be ready to go. You can't have a guy stand around for eight games and them all of a sudden say, `Hey, win a game and take us to the playoffs.' That's not fair, so he needed the work and he got it and he responded very well."
On Prep's first drive, Conte took the Jesuits from their own 26 down to the Amity 14 but two incomplete passes ended the march.
After that, however, Conte led touchdown drives of 38, 79, 19, 76, 75 and 46 yards.
"I think nerves were definitely a factor early on but once you get through that first series, they all went away," Conte said. "I was excited to start but I have to prepare every week for everything. You never know when your number's going to be called."
And it wasn't just Conte. Junior tailback Dane Audet (10 rushes, 38 yards) and sophomores Ryan Marusi (six rushes, 14 yards) and Mike Piroli (3-3) saw action in the backfield. As did many others, that don't usually get prime time, playing time.
"A lot of younger guys played, like (senior receiver) Jake Buckley, he did a heck of a job blocking, catching the ball," Shea said. "Dane Audet, he did a great job, so a lot of other guys stepped up and did a terrific job and I'm proud of that."
"It was exciting for a lot of guys," added Conte. "I think it was good for our team to see a lot of guys get more experience and we just have to be ready for Hamden."
Prep (6-2) plays Hamden tonight at 7 p.m. at Warde High School.
With the offense scoring just one touchdown and the defense not being able to come up with big stops at crucial times, the end results for Ludlowe against surprising McMahon was a 28-7 defeat -- the Falcons fourth straight loss -- the dropped them to 3-5 on the season.
After Chris Howell scored on a two-yard run in the first quarter, Ludlowe did not cross the Senators 20-yard line the rest of the game, despite Falcons head coach Vincent Camera saying that he loved his game plan and wouldn't have changed a thing.
"Their defense was clockwork of what I thought it would be. They showed a six-man front on first down and a four-man front on second and third down. I still have my offensive game plan and I wouldn't change a thing," Camera said.
He might want to, however, change his defense after another game where the Falcons surrendered too many big plays that allowed McMahon to keep drives going.
"Our defense has trouble at times just getting off the field," Camera said. "I feel like we have gotten teams into third downs all season and we let them off the hook."
Another week, another struggle for the Notre Dame Lancers.
The Lancers young defense could not contain Bunnell quarterback Adam Wojenski, who passed for three touchdowns in a 36-6 win that dropped Notre Dame to 1-7 heading into Saturday's game (3 p.m.) at Joel Barlow.
After a month-long stretch that saw Warde play No. 1 New Canaan, No. 2 Darien, Wilton and Greenwich, the Mustangs got a bit of a break when they took on winless Sheehan in Wallingford and captured a 14-7 victory to even their record at 4-4.
But that schedule becomes brutal once again as Warde travels to Trumbull on Saturday at 2 p.m. to take on St. Joseph.
Quarterback Brandon Bisack connected with Ryan Brown on a 10-yard TD pass to give Warde a 7-0 lead in the second quarter but Sheehan tied the game on a 25-yard touchdowns pass with 10 seconds left in the half.
But then, the Mustangs special team provided the spark that won the game as Jack Whiting took the ensuing kickoff and raced 93 yards to score and put Warde back on top 14-7 at halftime.
The Mustangs defense did the rest, shutting out Sheehan over the final two quarters to win.