Rocky Hill Football is Officially the Best in the West
ROCKY HILL - Rocky Hill quarterback Andrew Jenkelunas quietly took a backseat to the team’s remarkable run-game and dominant defense during the Terriers 3-0 start. However, Friday night was a different story, as the senior signal-caller played a flawless game and made several memorable plays in Rocky Hill’s 38-14 victory over the Bloomfield Warhawks. The win improves the Terriers to 4-0 and gives them sole possession of first place in the Central Connecticut III West.
Jenkelunas, also Rocky Hill’s free safety on defense, not only played his usual smart and savvy game at the helm, but also added an incredible sequence of plays late in the second quarter. With time running out in the first half and Rocky Hill clinging to a 14-7 lead, Bloomfield running back Travis Thompson broke free from the Rocky Hill front-seven and looked on his way to a game-tying touchdown until Jenkelunas took a perfect angle from the secondary and tackled Thompson at the Rocky Hill 14-yard line. Two plays later, Jenkelunas intercepted a tipped pass with only 38 seconds left in the half. The two stellar defensive plays were enough for the home team to head into halftime in the lead, but Jenkelunas wasn’t done. Rather than be content with a seven-point advantage at the half, Rocky Hill decided to run a hurry-up offense in an attempt to put more points on the scoreboard. Jenkelunas proceeded to drive the Terriers to the Bloomfield 37 yard-line and called the team’s final timeout with one-second to play. The Terriers, who usually deploy a run-oriented offense, spread out their offensive personnel for the half’s final play. Jenkelunas took the snap, avoided pressure from the Bloomfield defensive line, and launched a pass towards the goal post. The perfectly spiraling pass hit receiver Tommy Seaver right in his stride as he crossed the goal line, and the hometown faithful erupted in celebration.
“I told Tommy to run towards the cameraman,” Jenkelunas said, referring to the cameraman who films all of Rocky Hill’s home games from the North end zone. “After that play, the whole team was pumped and we knew we had the momentum heading into the second half.”
Jenkelunas and Seaver are two of Rocky Hill’s team captains and have a noticeable rapport on the field. Jenkelunas credits his bond with Seaver from the two having played football together since the second grade. The decade of familiarity and hard work is paying big dividends through the first four weeks and have the Terriers primed for a run at a state title.
Dave Sevigny opened the scoring for the Terriers late in the first quarter with a three-yard scoring plunge, putting Rocky Hill up 7-0. The Warhawks countered when quarterback Norvel Stewart ran a quarterback keeper and dashed into the end zone from 11 yards out to tie the game. Rocky Hill’s Chris Young (17-164) scored his team-leading 10th touchdown on the ensuing possession to put the Terriers up for good, 14-7. This is when Jenkelunas began to work his magic, and he would later add a touchdown run to his impressive resume, in the third quarter.
The Terrier’s 4-0 start has the town of Rocky Hill talking and one player that is getting a lot of attention is Greg Marzilli. Marzilli is one of three running backs in Rocky Hill’s backfield rotation and is also a solid all-around linebacker on defense. However, the skill that has the town buzzing is his ability to kick. He is perfect this season on field goal attempts and consistently puts kickoffs into the end zone (which is an automatic touchback in high school football). Marzilli, who one local fan referred to as “Greg the Leg,” finished off the Terrier’s scoring Friday night with 24-yard field goal that perfectly split the uprights and would have been good from 45 yards out.
Bloomfield (3-1) came into the contest tied with Rocky Hill atop the Central Connecticut III West and looked to be a formidable opponent for the first 22 minutes. Stewart, who has already committed to playing collegiately next season for the University of Massachusetts, used his rocket right arm and elusive running skills to keep the Rocky Hill defense on their heels early in the contest. However, the Terrier’s defense settled down and ended up intercepting two of Stewart’s passes. The defense also did an excellent job spying him with two defenders during the second half and kept him contained to the pocket.
It doesn’t get any easier for Rocky Hill, as they travel to Meriden and play the undefeated Platt Panthers this Friday night in what Jenkelunas described as “another huge game.” Platt comes off a 41-7 dismantling of Tolland and has defeated their opponents by an average of 27 points per game. The Panthers are carried by junior sensation Tyzahn Leatherwood, who is averaging an astonishing 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns through the first four games. Kickoff for the game is 6:30 p.m. at Platt High School.