Fall sports

Scoring 35 first-quarter points, Greenwich football team powers past visiting Westhill

Photo by David Fierro: Linebackers Nio Vigilante, left and Dylan Brehm combine to make a tackle for Greenwich during its game against Westhill on Oct. 1, 2022, at Cardinal Stadium in Greenwich.

It took just one quarter for Greenwich High School’s football team to score 35 points and a half for it to put 52 on the scoreboard today at Cardinal Stadium.

Indeed, Westhill was in the unfortunate situation of playing a laser-focused Greenwich team following a loss.

On a mission after suffering their first setback of the season last week against Southington, the Cardinals scored early, often and nearly every which way on their way to rolling to a resounding 62-14 win over visiting Westhill in an FCIAC matchup. Getting back on the winning track, the Cardinals improved their record to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in FCIAC play with the triumph.

“This week we wanted to come out and play four quarters and finish the game,” Cardinals coach Anthony Morello said. “It was good to see contributions from players we haven’t seen a lot of at this point. Penalties were a huge factor last week, we wanted to eliminate those today and I think we did that. There were definitely some encouraging things going into the bye week.”

Greenwich’s James Wailgum scores one of the team’s early touchdowns. Click to watch.

Greenwich senior quarterback Jack Wilson needed to throw only five passes, but completed two of them for touchdowns, one of which went to senior James Wailgum and one going to senior Charlie Dixon. Junior George Vomvolakis ran for two touchdowns for the Cardinals, who also scored on defense and special teams.

“We knew after that tough loss against Southington (a 29-28 defeat) we had to come out flying, we had to come out better,” said Greenwich junior linebacker John Insinga, who along with defensive end Dominic DeLuca, linebacker Matthew Trimmer, junior lineman Ignacy Pietryka, junior lineman Griffin Galletta and a host of others, helped spearhead the defensive unit. “We had a tough week of practice. We got better as the week went on, we knew we had to come out popping or there was no other way to get better.”

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich junior linebacker John Insinga registered four tackles and a sack against Westhill.

The game’s opening possession saw Greenwich reach the end zone on a 7-yard run by Wailgum with 10:52 remaining in the first quarter. Senior Sergot Boone split the uprights with the point-after attempt and the Cardinals quickly seized a 7-0 lead. After Greenwich’s defense forced the Vikings to go three-and-out on their first possession, the Cards needed just one play to register its second score.

This time, Wilson threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Dixon, a wide receiver, making it 14-0 at the 8:11 mark of the first quarter. Insinga registered a sack on Westhill’s next possession, forcing the visitors to punt and the Cardinals continued their scoring surge when they took possession.

A 24-yard run by junior running back Jack Konigsberg put the ball at the Vikings’ 18-yard line. Two plays later, Wilson threw a scoring strike to Wailgum, who caught the ball near the goal line and used his shiftiness to find his way into the end zone. Another extra point by Boone put Westhill in a 21-0 hole with 5:13 still to go in the first quarter.

Greenwich quarterback Jack Wilson, left, congratulates running back George Vomvolakis after a touchdown vs. Westhill.

Utilizing his breakaway speed, Vomvolakis escaped Westhill’s defense for a 35-yard touchdown run, putting the home team on top, 28-0, at the 3:57 mark of the first quarter. Vomvolakis compiled an impressive 98 yards on only three carries.

“The offensive line did its job, the wide receivers did their job, Koningsberg did his job when he was in,” Vomvolakis said. “You can’t individually score on offense, you have to work as a team, or else you’re not going to score and that’s what we did today. On that touchdown run, I saw the hole and took off.”

Greenwich’s George Vomvolakis sprints to the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown run vs. Westhill on Oct. 1, 2022. Pursuing him is Westhill senior defensive back David Moodie.

Westhill again had difficulty moving the ball on Greenwich’s aggressive defensive unit and was forced to punt. This time, the punt was blocked and the ball rolled into the end zone. Seizing the scoring opportunity, Dixon pounced on the football, resulting in another GHS touchdown and a commanding 35-0 lead with 27 seconds to go in the opening stanza.

Charlie Dixon scores on a blocked punt for Greenwich. Click arrow to watch.

The Vikings moved the ball to the Cards’ 15-yard line on their opening possession of the second quarter, behind a pair of receptions for first downs by senior wide receiver/defensive back David Moodie. Yet the visitors drive was halted when Insinga recorded a sack on Westhill’s quarterback, resulting in a fumble. Junior defensive lineman Ignacy Pietryka alertly picked up the fumble and returned it approximately 75 yards for his first varsity career touchdown, extending the Cardinals advantage to 42-0.

“It was really exciting. I saw the ball and scooped it up,” Pietryka said. “John Insigna forced the fumble from the quarterback and I was there after getting past the offensive line. I just scooped it up and thankfully, there were enough blockers behind me.”

Greenwich’s Ignacio Pietryka runs back a fumble for a touchdown against visiting Westhill.

“We knew the defense had to step up,” Insinga said. “When coach called that blitz, we knew we had to get the ball and I just hit the ball out and I’m glad Ingnacy picked the ball up and scored.”

Cardinals junior quarterback Rocco Grillo got some work in the second quarter in place of Wilson, with GHS dominating the game. Grillo promptly showed his strong arm, throwing a 29-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to junior wideout Gavyn Gennarelli for a 49-0 Cardinals lead with six minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Gavyn Gennarrelli catches a 29-yard TD pass vs. Westhill. Click to watch.
Gavyn Gennarelli gives the ball to the official after catching a 29-yard touchdown pass for GHS vs. Westhill.

Moodie scored Westhill’s first touchdown, catching a 37-yard pass for a score at the 4:11 mark of the second quarter. Vomvolakis sealed Greenwich’s huge first half by breaking free for a 42-yard touchdown run, increasing the lead to 56-7 at halftime.

Greenwich rushed for 217 yards, with Vomvolakis gaining 98 and Konigsberg adding 50 yards on the ground. Junior Ian Kim had 33 yards rushing and junior Brandon Auguste had 32 for the victors.

George Vomvolakis helped paced Greenwich’s running game in its FCIAC matchup against Westhill.

In the second half, Kim scored on a 4-yard run up the middle for the Cards and senior wide receiver Ty Hollar had a 73-yard reception for a touchdown for Westhill (1-3).

The Cardinals won the battle at the line of scrimmage on both ends of the ball, with its offensive line, led by senior Jake Kiernan, senior Teddy Flinn, sophomore Peter Vomvolakis, senior Drew Falla and senior Vincent Insinga, opening holes for the running backs and protecting Wilson.

Meanwhile, the defensive line made it tough for Westhill to run. The Vikings gained just seven yards on the ground on 14 attempts, while passing for 199 yards.

Greenwich’s defense limited Westhill’s offense in an FCIAC matchup held on Oct. 1, 2022.

Greenwich has a bye week next week, then hosts rival St. Joseph in a key FCIAC showdown on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.

“St. Joe’s they are a tough team,” John Insinga said. “We are going to take this bye week very seriously and the week going into St. Joe’s very seriously. Our defense has to play good, special teams has to play good, offense has to play good and I know our team is definitely capable of doing that.”

“There were definitely some encouraging things going into the bye week,” Morello noted. “We have an extra week to prepare for our next opponent. I want to make sure we are at our best when we come out of the bye week.”

Photo by David Fierro: Ignacyo Pietryka returned a fumble more than 60 yards for a touchdown for Greenwich.
Greenwich coach Anthony Morello addresses the team following its 62-14 victory against visiting Westhill.


Booth Garnett, a 7-year-old was Greenwich’s honorary captain today.

“He loves playing flag football in Cos Cob,” Morello said. “He was on the sidelines getting the players fired up. He went over plays on the IPad.”

Booth wore No. 8, the same number as one of Greenwich’s captains, senior Matthew Trimmer.

Contributed photo: Greenwich captain Matthew Trimmer goes over plays on an IPad with 7-year-old Honorary captain Booth Garnett during today’s home game vs. Westhill.
Contributed photo: Greenwich players gather with 7-year-old honorary captain Booth Garnett.

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