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Thrill of '80 Victory Hasn't Faded

Frank Moffet was a young line coach when Norwalk High School beat Greenwich in football in 1980. The 13-10 win made the Bears' season, but Moffet didn't think he'd have to wait three decades until they did it again.

Moffet's still coaching linemen at the school, perhaps the one constant on a staff that has seen head coaches come and go and the program's fortunes ebb and flow. And while the details of that ancient victory have grown a bit fuzzy over the years, he still remembers how he felt that day.

"Our kids were jumping around like they'd won the Super Bowl," he recalled. "And it was Greenwich's homecoming, the fourth game of the year, so we really put a damper on their celebration. Their coach was a little upset."

Moffet thinks there are some similarities between the 1980 squad and this year's Bears. "They're both 'no name' teams -- we don't have one or two stars, just a bunch of kids working together," he said.

But there are differences as well. "This year, we were excited to beat Greenwich, of course, but it wasn't like we'd pulled off a huge upset -- the kids believed they had a legitimate chance to beat them."

The 1980 team went on to finish with a 5-5 record, although Moffet recalls they were still in the hunt for an FCIAC playoff berth until late in the season. The current squad hopes their high point has yet to come, and didn't occur in the opening game, making everything that follows anticlimactic. The Bears will get another test Friday night against a strong Staples team, and another win could set them on a historic gridiron journey.

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