CANTON, Sept. 19 – Canton High coach Chris Currier can see the improvement of his team but the results aren’t necessarily showing up on the field.
The CREC co-op football team erased a 14-point deficit and scored 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to stun Canton, 38-28 and earn their first-ever varsity victory.
“We let one get away,” Currier said. “We played three quarters of good football. We were driving the ball. We were doing what we wanted to do. We were grinding it out.”
But mistakes – four lost fumbles and nine penalties for 100 yards – hindered the Warriors chances of taking home a victory.
“We did some good things,” Currier said. “We ran the ball well. We have to work on getting off the field (when playing defense). We have to tackle better and play in the moment. It takes more energy to play defensively which is we need (to make a play) and get off the field.”
Canton (0-2) led 28-14 with 10:14 remaining in the game after a one-yard touchdown run from QB Alex Higley. But the visiting Colts continued to press.
Marquis Hawkins scored on a one-yard run with 8:41 remaining and a two-point conversion run from QB Cristopher Rivera cut the Canton lead to six, 28-22. CREC’s Manny Sanchez scored on a 13-yard run with 2:33 left in the game and Rivera’s two-point conversion run gave the Colts its first-ever lead, 30-28.
Canton was moving the ball for a potential game-winning score but fumbled it away. The Colts iced the victory with a 43-yard run from Rivera and another two-point conversion run. Rivera ran for 83 yards on 15 carries. He completed 6-of-13 passes for 155 yards and two TDs and ran for three two-point conversions in the fourth quarter.
Higley completed 7-of-11 passes for 76 yards. Melton ran for 102 yards and a TD on 16 carries. Matt Bangs ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with a good injury.
Currier praised the play of senior linebacker Julius Adams in his first start along with Melton, Higley and Bangs. Sam Jenkins had some nice stops on defense. Elliot Moreau led the Canton defense with seven tackles.
NOTES: CREC made its varsity debut a week ago in a 53-16 loss to Lyman Hall. … Canton resumes play next week when they hit the road for the first time this year to play Nonnewaug (1-1) in Woodbury.
CREC 38, Canton 28
CREC (1-1) 0 8 6 24 – 38
Canton (0-2) 7 7 6 8 – 28
C: Matt Bangs 17 run (Eddie Melton kick), 2:27
C: Bangs 10 run (Melton kick), 2:14
CREC: Omari Said 40 pass from Cristopher Rivera (Said pass from Rivera), 0:12
C: Melton 1 run (kick failed), 8:27
CREC: Khahari Mangual 11 pass from Rivera (run failed), 6:09
C: Alex Higley 1 run (Melton run), 10:14
CREC: Marquis Hawkins 1 run (Rivera run), 8:41
CREC: Manny Sanchez 13 run (Rivera run), 2:33
CREC: Rivera 43 run (Rivera run), 0:28
RUSHING: Canton – Eddie Meilton 16-103, Matt Bangs 7-48, Alex Higley 7-40, Sam Jenkins 6-31; CREC – Manny Sanchez 8-71, Cristopher Rivera 15-83, Omari Said 3-99
PASSING: Canton – Alex Higley 7-11-0, 76; CREC – Cristopher Rivera 6-13-0, 155
RECEIVING: Canton – Matt Bangs 2-30, Eddie Melton 4-41, Mekiah Davis 1-5; CREC – Matos 1-0, Said 3-99, Hawkins 1-39, Mangual 1-17
RETURNS: Punts: Melton 1-1; Kickoffs: Melton 3-43, Walczak 1-7, Jenkins 1-21, Click 1-35
FUM RECOVERY: Matt Walczak