Having taken one on the chin in a blowout loss to St. Joseph a week ago, the Staples football team was looking for a spark to ignite it against Stamford.
That spark came in the form of a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown by Kevin Rabacs midway through the first quarter for the game’s first score.
Staples would roll from there, scoring four times in the second quarter en route to a 42-0 win at a frigid Boyle Stadium Friday night.
Rabacs said he was glad to be the player sparking the Wreckers (6-3).
“I was trying to make a play for the team. There was great blocking on that return, I just had to make a couple of moves. It was great play all-around by everybody,” Rabacs said. “Our defense prepared really hard coming into this game and really executed. The secondary and the run defense was unbelievable tonight. We were looking to bounce back (from St. Joe’s) and I think we did a good job of that tonight. We focused up in practice and we had a great night.”
The Staples defense never let Stamford get anything going, forcing four turnovers and only allowing the Black Knights across midfield two times.
Staples quarterback Daniel Thompson threw two touchdown passes, one to Max Longeran and one to Jake Thaw.
Longeran also ran for a score and Harris Levi ran two in for two touchdowns.
Stamford (2-6) coach Jamar Greene thought his team stuck to the game plan but was simply overmatched along both lines of scrimmage.
“Bottom line is this, we need to get in the weight room and we need to get stronger and we need to get bigger. That’s it in a nutshell, they were bigger and stronger than us,” Greene said. “Our game plan was fine. We had their triple option shut down for the most part. We just couldn’t get anything going up front offensively because we couldn’t block them.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Rabacs not only sparked the team with his punt return, he also intercepted a pass in the third quarter.
“We were just so disappointed in how we played last week. We felt like we needed to get back to the basics and feed Harris (Levi) a little bit and the offensive line came alive tonight,” Staples coach Marce Petroccio said. “Kevin Rabacs lit the match with that runback. That kind of woke us up and we did a great job on both sides of the ball.”
Game-time temperatures were down in the mid-20s with a stiff wind blowing north to south through Boyle Stadium the entire evening. Few fans were left in the old stadium by the final whistle.
STAPLES 42, STAMFORD 0
STAPLES 7 28 7 0—42
STAMFORD 0 0 0 0—0
STP—Kevin Rabacs 65 punt return (Ben van der Merwe kick)
STP—Max Longeran 35 pass Daniel Thompson (van der Merwe kick)
STP—Jake Thaw 8 pass Thompson (van der Merwe kick)
STP—Longeran 16 run (van der Merwe kick)
STP—Harris Levi 2 run (van der Merwe kick)
STP—Levi 3 run (van der Merwe kick)
Records: STP 6-3; STM—2-6