STAMFORD, Conn. Norwalk High Schools football team made a name for itself last year with its tough, physical style en route to a Class LL playoff berth.
That same trait was noticeably missing, however, in Fridays 48-6 loss to Stamford. The Black Knights gouged the Bears for 221 rushing yards in the first half alone, led by Cameron Webbs 140 yards and two touchdowns. Webb also caught a touchdown pass, one of three thrown by Stamfords Tyler Kane. Norwalk, meanwhile, had just two first downs in the first half and a paltry 58 offensive yards.
That was not physical football, coach Sean Ireland said. One team played physical football tonight, and it wasnt us. They dominated from the first whistle to the last play of the game. They just took it to us. We had one good drive, and that was it.
Norwalk managed a fourth-quarter touchdown from Tomar Joseph, who scored on a 1-yard run. But the Bears were beaten on the line of scrimmage throughout the game, and gave up yards in big chunks. Last year, few teams could get big plays against the Bears, and, if they did, they paid the price.
We couldve played our JV team tonight and they wouldve beaten us, Ireland said. The one thing I have to give credit to our kids is they played hard. They might not execute well all the time, but they played hard. I cant ask for anything more than that.
With significant losses to graduation, Ireland knew there were going to be growing pains with this years team. A season-opening win over Danbury gave hope that maybe the Bears could re-capture some of the 2011 magic. Fridays loss showed there is still a long way to go.
Its game experience, Ireland said. Game speed. Its not something you can simulate. When you watch film, they always say youre not as good as you look when you win and youre not as bad as you look when you lose. I have a feeling that may not be the case this time.
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