Notre Dame-WH football uses two-point conversion in OT to edge Wilton

WEST HAVEN — Notre Dame-West Haven had nothing to lose.

With a 1-2 record and having suffered both losses on the final play of the game, the Green Knights decided to go for the winning two-point conversion after scoring in overtime.

And Robert Torres made a great grab of a Matt Piechota pass in the right corner of the South end zone and was able to get his feet down in bounds to give Notre Dame a wild 36-35 overtime victory over Wilton in a Connecticut High School Football Alliance matchup at Veterans Field Friday night.

“I knew I was going to catch it if the ball was thrown my way,” Torres said after a wild celebration. “I barely got my feet down.”

Notre Dame had closed to 35-34 when Jacob Staton (27 carries for 186 yards) barely was able to get across the goal line for a touchdown.

“The creases were open for me,” Staton said. “As soon as they got tired, that’s when we prevailed.”

After calling a time out, the Green Knights of the SCC elected to go for the two-point conversion.

“We didn’t want to go for the tie and go for the win,” Notre Dame coach Joe DeCaprio said. “It was the right thing to do. We’re at home and we’ve practiced those two-point plays a lot. We’re a little shaky with the kicking game with two sophomore kickers and I didn’t think it was going to be advantageous to put him in that spot.”

Wilton, from the FCIAC, got the ball first in overtime and didn’t take long to score. On the first play of overtime, quarterback Grant Masterson (13-for-20 passing for 202 yards) connected with Craig Hyzy for the second time in the game with Hyzy catching the ball just in bounds in the right corner of the end zone. Michael Cooper’s kick made it 35-34.

“I was afraid if I went for two and didn’t get it and then they score, they’d go for the kick and win the game anyway,” Wilton coach E.J. DiNunzio said.

The game was back and forth from the beginning.

Notre Dame went down the field on its first possession and took a 7-0 lead when Robert Torres caught a 41-yard pass from Piechota (17-for-25 for 192 yards) in the right corner.

Wilton bounced right back in less than two minutes when Masterson connected with Hyzy for a 16-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 7-7.

Piechota put the Green Knights ahead, 14-7, with 51 seconds in the opening quarter with a four-yard run.

A Masterson to Ben Calabrese 54-yard touchdown pass just before halftime closed the Warriors with one, 14-13, as Wilton missed the extra point kick.

However, Wilton took the opening kick of the second half and went right down the field on a 14-play, 73-yard drive with Jacob Sommer (13 carries for 68 yards) scooting in from a yard out. With the kick, it was 20-14.

Staton scored his first touchdown of the night with 1:07 left in the third quarter and with a floating pass from Piechota to Cooper Torrey for the two-point conversion, the Green Knights led again, 22-20.

A Masterson six-yard run and a two-point conversion carry by Sommer, Wilton took the led again, 28-22, with 9:48 to go.

Notre Dame tied it with 5:10 to play on a Piechota run, but the extra point kick was no good and it remained 28-28.

DeCaprio never thought about going for the two-point conversion there.

“No, I did not,” DeCaprio said. “I was going to save that two-point play for overtime.”

Both teams had chances in the final 5:10 of regulation but neither could capitalize.

Wilton fell to 3-1 with the loss.

“They (Notre Dame) were the best 1-2 team out there,” DiNunzio said. “We couldn’t come up with an answer for them. We just made too many mistakes and penalties.”


Jacob Staton, Notre Dame-West Haven: 27 carries for 186 yards and two touchdowns, including one in overtime.