NORWALK, Conn. – Three weeks into the season, Norwalk High football coach Sean Ireland is still looking for play-makers to ignite the Bears’ struggling offense.
Westhill, which snapped a 20-game winless streak last Friday against Trumbull, won its second straight Saturday with a 13-0 triumph over the Bears. Norwalk (1-2) played well defensively, but managed little on offense. Norwalk had just two first downs in the second half and 22 yards of offense.
Westhill scored two second-half touchdowns to pull away from the Bears, who managed to hold Westhill running back Davell Cotterell to 82 yards on 21 carries.
“We held them in check all day defensively, but we just can’t get anything going right now,’’ Ireland said. “They put eight or nine guys in the box to stop the run, and if we can throw the ball a little bit, we’ll be all right. But we’re having trouble throwing the ball. Offensively, we just have to execute.”
Ireland tried a quarterback change, turning to senior Andy Lovo to replace junior Jared Smith. Lovo completed six passes for 58 yards, and was intercepted twice. Norwalk also struggled to move the ball on the ground, managing just 13 yards.
“Andy’s more athletic back there and if things break down, he has a better chance of making something happen,’’ Ireland said. “His arm is a little stronger. This is his first time playing as a varsity quarterback. We’re not done with him. We’re not going to scrap him. He just needs more reps.”
A year after making the Class LL tournament, Norwalk is struggling to find the identity it needs to succeed in the rugged Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. The Bears are close on defense, but the offense is a whole other matter.
“We have to keep coaching and keep putting in the effort,’’ Ireland said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 3-0 or 0-3, you still have to be prepared to work hard. We’ll see who our real leaders are. It’s very easy to lead when you’re 9-2, not so easy when you’re 1-2. We’ll see who the real leaders are on Monday.”