Brunswick School

Defense, special teams spark Brunswick football team past Wyoming Seminary

Photo by David Fierro: Brunswick School running back Bryce Davis runs for a touchdown during a game against visiting Wyoming Seminary on October 15, 2022, at Brunswick in Greenwich.

Special teams set the tone of today’s football game between Brunswick School and Wyoming Seminary, blocking a punt and recovering a fumble off a kickoff for the Bruins.

Then the Bruins’ defensive unit made sure the tone didn’t change.

Brunswick’s special teams set up two quick touchdowns and the team’s defense forced four fumbles, resulting in excellent field position throughout.

The result? Brunswick extended its winning streak to four games, receiving three touchdowns from running back Bryce Davis in a workmanlike 28-0 victory over Wyoming Seminary in a Northeast Prep Division matchup held at Cosby Field.

The Bruins upped their record to 4-1 heading into Saturday’s home game against division opponent Phillips Andover Academy.

Photo by David Fierro: Jurgis Schmedlen sparked Brunswick’s defense vs. Wyoming Seminary with several key plays.

Brunswick has allowed less than 10 points in three of its five games and has yielded just 27 points in its four wins.

“Coach (Sean) Stanley is doing a phenomenal job with them, putting them in a position to win and they’re flying around and playing really good team football,” Brunswick head coach Wayne McGillicuddy said of the squad’s defensive unit.

Bruins senior defensive lineman Jurgis Schmedlen helped make it a challenging day for Wyoming Seminary’s offense. Schmedlen sacked Wyoming quarterback Jaden Keefner three times, blocked a punt and recovered a fumble to ignite the Bruins throughout this physical matchup. Visiting Wyoming Seminary (3-2) has a formidable offensive line, led by 6-foot-6, 275 pound senior Melvin Siani, but the Bruins’ defensive line held its own.

“They’re offensive line was great, No. 71 (Siani) played a heck of a game,” Schmedlen said. “We stayed in our gaps, we did our responsibilities and we played a great game – we pitched a shutout again.”

Brunswick huddles up and celebrates its latest win – a victory against visiting Wyoming Seminary.

The Bruins’ defense was on point from the start against the Blue Knights. Key tackles by senior defensive back Luke Michalik and junior linebacker/lineman EJ Perez halted the Blue Knights’ first drive at the Bruins’ 46-yard line.

On the visitors’ second possession, Michalik recovered a fumble, setting Brunswick up on the Wyoming Seminary 42-yard line. Though the Bruins didn’t capitalize on the turnover, their defense remained sharp, quickly stopping another drive. Schmedlen sacked Keefner for a 12-yard loss on a third down play, forcing a punt.

The ensuing punt was blocked by Schmedlen and pounced on by Michalik, setting the Bruins up on the Blue Knights’ 6-yard line.

“Schmedlen is a kid that shows up every day and he does everything we ask him to,” McGillicuddy said. “He battles through injuries, his will to win is phenomenal.”

Brunswick’s defense swarms Wyoming Seminary running back William Luflau.

Two plays after getting the ball following the blocked punt, Brunswick took the lead on a 7-yard touchdown run by Davis, who received a pair of blocks from senior offensive lineman William Janis and junior lineman Jadon LaFontant along the way. The touchdown occurred with 11:53 left in the second quarter.

“I just give it all to our defense,” Davis said. “They gave us great opportunities to score and come down the field. We just kept pushing, kept running the ball and it finally opened up.”

On the ensuing kickoff by sophomore Oliver Reynolds, Wyoming Seminary fumbled and Bruins senior Wiley Ocken recovered it, giving the home team the ball at the visitors’ 19-yard line. It took only one play for Brunswick to cash in on their opportunity. Junior quarterback Elijah Cromartie connected with Davis on a screen pass and Davis dashed into the end zone for a 17-yard score, making it 14-0 at the 11:39 mark of the second quarter – only 14 seconds after the game’s first TD.

“It was a drawn up play, a screen pass,” Davis said of his second touchdown. “The linemen did a great job of blocking and I just got into the end zone.”

Bryce Davis scored three touchdowns to lead Brunswick to a 28-0 triumph against Wyoming Seminary.

The third quarter saw the Bruins seize a commanding 21-0 lead on Davis’ spectacular 36-yard touchdown run in which he broke several tackles on his route to the end zone.

“On my last touchdown, it opened up,” Davis said. “We faced adversity all day, we just kept on going.”

Bryce Davis rushes for a 36-yard TD for Brunswick. Click the arrow to watch video.

Davis’ 36-yard TD run was set up by a fumble recovery by Perez. Schmedlen recorded two more sacks in the second half, Michalik registered a sack and Schmedlen and Ocken each pounced on fumbles for the Bruins.

“We capitalized, they fumbled a lot and we recovered their fumbles and were there when the opportunities called for them,” Schmedlen said. “Our defense played a hell of a game. Our linebackers, our secondary, they were great.”

Said Michalik: “We had a hard week of practice. Coach has us preparing well, we still have some things to clean up. A couple of formations, but we’re happy. I thought we tackled better this week, so we just have to keep making steps throughout the season and hopefully, reach our goal.”

The Blue Knights have a tough running game, with junior William Lufiau and Maximus Ycaza pacing the way. Keefner, the quarterback, also ran the ball numerous times for the visitors, but the Bruins’ defense held strong.

“Coming off Williston last week, they had the same kind of running back,” Michalik said of the team’s win against Williston Northampton a week ago. “We focused on getting 11 guys on the football and gang tackling and just hitting hard. Special teams came up great for us, it’s one of those things we harp on in practice and can win games and we saw it today.”

Brunswick’s offensive linemen gather after a successful scoring drive.

McGillicuddy praised the team’s special teams performance.

“Special teams – we put a lot of emphasis into it,” he said. “It can win or lose you games. We schemed up a really nice block, had a really nice block that put us in the red zone. Our PATs were perfect, so yet again, it’s helping us win games.”

Michalik and sophomore Ethan Long helped lead the Bruins’ secondary.

“Ethan Long is a safety, he loves to be physical and he loves to be down in the box and make plays,” McGillicuddy said. “He does everything we ask him to do and more. Luke Michalik is a phenomenal leader for us on the field. He comes down in the box and makes plays. He does a really good job of making sure guys are wrapped up and punch the ball out and he did it a couple of times today.”

Bryce Davis follows the block of William Janis on his way to scoring a touchdown for Brunswick vs. Wyoming Seminary.

The Bruins’ final touchdown came on a run up the middle from approximately 10 yards out from sophomore Jaylen Noisette with 1:31 to go in the fourth quarter. As the game progressed, Cromartie also found success running the ball. The Bruins’ offensive line, paced by senior Miles Walker, Janis, a senior, junior Matthew Augustine and LaFont (junior) were solid throughout.

“I want to give a shout out to the defense,” Cromartie said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have these opportunities. Our offensive line held their own. Toward the second half, we started to run the ball more and take the short things and just kept going on. There’s still stuff to clean up on the offensive side. We had chances that the defense gave us, but we didn’t take advantage of them. So, we have to go into practice this week and continue to work.”

Bryce Davis runs for a touchdown for Brunswick vs. Wyoming Seminary.

Davis has shown a knack for finding the end zone when the Bruins reach the red zone.

“Bryce is a phenomenal runner, a versatile back and a hard runner,” McGillicuddy said. “We try to emphasize falling forward to our running backs and he’s does a great of doing that and finishing drives.”

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