WESTON, Conn. – Weston senior Jack Hamilton walked wearily in the mist to the team bus following Friday’s 22-21 football win over Pomperaug. Even with the fatigue brought on by playing on both sides of the ball, however, the lineman probably could have run from Southbury back to Weston on adrenaline after the shocking win.
The Trojans’ victory was their first over Pomperaug since 1990. The Trojans had lost to the Panthers in 54 straight football games at the varsity, junior varsity or freshman levels. In their last six meetings dating back to 2004, Pomperaug beat Weston by an average of 34.66 points.
The last time Weston (3-0) beat Pomperaug, a long-time power in the South-West Conference, the players on this year’s team were not even born. Coach Joe Lato, now the Weston coach, was just beginning his own storied career at Newtown. Now he was directing the Trojans to his biggest win in his six-year tenure.
All the weight lifting, summer workouts and hours and hours of practice and preparation by Weston players and coaches were done with nights like this in mind. The win wasn’t just for this year’s team. This was one to savor for past, present and future Weston football players.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world,’’ said Hamilton, who starts at center and defensive tackle. “It’s not just me. The whole offensive line played great, the whole defensive line. The whole team deserves this.”
Weston took a two-touchdown lead, fell behind in the fourth quarter and then took the lead for good with under five minutes to play. Weston had to stop Pomperaug twice in the final minutes. The Panthers did not get a first down on either possession.
“It was exhausting and it was high pressure,’’ Hamilton said. “I worked my tail off to do the best I could so that we could seal the win.”
Hamilton finished with six tackles. Erik Dammen-Brower had 10, and Aaron Pomerance had eight. Austin Gomar had two sacks and five tackles. Thomas McGlone, who caught the touchdown pass that got Weston close, had seven tackles. Justin Schaffer, who caught the game-winning conversion, had four tackles and an interception. It was a team effort, with contributions from players up and down the roster.
The Weston sideline erupted when Pomperaug’s last possession ended with an incomplete pass. For the Trojans seniors, it was particularly sweet. Hamilton hinted, however, that more surprises might be in store. Weston is currently ranked sixth in the Class M playoff ratings, and figures to be in the race for one of the eight spots right through November.
“All the work we put in during the summer paid off,’’ Hamilton said. “We worked out four times a week during the morning. Now it’s all paying off this season. I can’t wait for what’s coming next.”