ENFIELD, Nov. 21 – Big gains throwing the ball wasn’t part of the plan for Canton High’s Pequot Conference game against Enfield on Thursday.
However, it was a nice tool to pull out of their pocket when they needed it.
Quarterback Eric Scott completed 5-of-8 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns to help spark the Warriors to a 36-7 win over Enfield. Four of Scott’s five completions were for 27 yards or more.
“Our defense got toasted,” a disappointed Enfield coach Jay Gauther said afterwards. “We couldn’t cover our own shadow tonight.”
Actually, the Raider defense was able to slow down the Canton running game in the early going. But the big plays from Scott helped Canton break the game open.
“They did a great job against our running game,” Canton coach Paul Philippon said. “It forced us to get out of what we wanted to do. I’m glad we were able to find our passing and get a few chunks out of it.”
Canton (7-3) won for the third time in four games and tied a school record for most wins in a single season – an accomplishment first achieved last fall. The Warriors can win a record eighth game next Wednesday night on Thanksgiving Eve when they travel to Granby to face the Bears under the lights at 6:30 p.m.
And the Warriors remained mathematically alive in the hunt for a berth in the CIAC’s Class S tournament. Canton moved up No. 10 with the win and the top eight teams earn bids. But realistically, the teams ahead of Canton are heavily favored to win their remaining games and earn playoff berths.
Philippon was thrilled that his Warriors played a solid defensive game and didn’t make any big mistakes. Canton forced three Enfield turnovers with Cam Daley and Patrick Lawlor recovering fumbles and Lawlor intercepting a pass and returning it two yards on the final play of the game.
“We’ve played well in spurts this year but we haven’t been disciplined,” Philippon said. “That was our challenge today. This is a dangerous offense.”
Canton led 12-0 early in the second quarter and extended it to 22-0 to help put the Raiders (4-6) into a deep hole.
“We dropped some passes, struggled on defense and all of a sudden, we’re trailing 22-0,” Gaucher said.
On Canton’s second possession, Scott completed a nine-yard pass to Sebby Gumbs on third down to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Scott scrambled 19 yards on the Enfield two-yard line. On the next play, Mike Amoroso powered into the end zone with his first touchdown of the year and a 6-0 lead for Canton.
On its next possession, Canton marched 58 yards in five plays to extend its lead to 12-0. Delos ran for 29 yards to put the ball on the Enfield 29-yard line. Three plays later, Canton was facing fourth down and nine but Scott found Keith Wilson near the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown pass. The Enfield defender jumped too soon and Wilson was able to catch the pass at the five-yard line and score.
Canton marched 68 yards on the Enfield eight-yard line on its next drive. The drive died there but Canton had a firm grasp of the game. On Enfield’s first four drives of the game, they gained a total of 16 yards, fumbled the ball away once, punted twice and snapped a punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety and a 14-0 Canton lead.
After the safety, Enfield had to give it back to Canton on a free kick. That kick bounced out of bounds and on the ensuing penalty, Canton took over on the Raider 45-yard line. Scott found a wide-open Cam Daley at least five yards ahead of his defender for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 3:18 left in the second quarter. A two-run from Delos extended the lead to 22-0.
Enfield got on the scoreboard with a nine play, 63-yard drive, scoring a touchdown with 18 seconds left in the first half on a three-yard run by Jason Davis.
But Canton squashed any momentum by scoring in 2:15 on a 60-yard, four play drive to open the second half. Gumbs outleaped an Enfield defender for a 27-yard pass completion on third down and Delos ripped off a 26-yard run to the four-yard line. Delos scored from the four for a 29-7 lead.
Delos and Brophy each scored a touchdown and ran for over 100 yards. Delos ran for 109 yards while Brophy ran for 101 yards. Gumbs ran nine times for 29 yards and caught three passes for 65 yards.
It’s the first time since the program was resurrected in 2006 that Canton had two players run for 100 yards or more in the same game.
“We watched them on film and I saw them play Hyde in person. But I didn’t realize how fast their backs were until today,” Gaucher said. “I was impressed.”
With his two touchdown passes, Scott has tied the single season school record for most touchdown passes with 10. Nick Delvecchio threw 10 touchdown passes in 2007.
Enfield has lost three straight games. A week ago, they rallied to pull within a point by scoring on the final play of the game. But they went for two points and failed in a 34-33 loss to Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton.
Canton 36, Enfield 7
Canton (7-3) 6 16 7 7 — 36
Enfield (4-6) 0 7 0 0 — 7
C: Mike Amoroso 2 run (run fails), 4:19
C: Keith Wilson 27 pass from Eric Scott (kick fails), 11:51
C: Safety. Punt snapped out of end zone, 3:29
C: Cam Daley 45 pass from Scott (Dan Delos run), 3:18
E: Jason Davis 3 run (Nicholas Joren kick), 0:18
C: Dan Delos 4 run (Melton kick), 9:37
C: Sebby Gumbs 1 run (Melton kick), 9:54
RUSHING – Canton: Eddie Melton 3-22, Terrance Brophy 18-101, Sebby Gumbs 9-29, Dan Delos 11-109, Eric Scott 1-19, Cam Daley 1-0; Enfield: Jason Davis 5-27
PASSING – Canton: Eric Scott 5-8-0, 137; Enfield: Jason Davis 10-19-0, 80; Chris Lapointe 10-20-1, 93
RECEIVING: Canton: Sebby Gumbs 3-65, Keith Wilson 1-27, Cam Daley 1-45; Enfield: Nicholas Joren 8-109, Tyrik Henry 5-42