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Martinotti a defensive force in Lewis Mills' victory over Morgan

POSTED September 17, 2011
BY Patrick Tiscia
Twitter: @PatrickTiscia

Lewis Mills QB Devon Pease (9) tries to escape the grasp of Morgan's Hunter Aiano (50) Copyright 2011 Gerry deSimas, Jr., Collinsville Press.

BRISTOL – Despite a brawl that drew state headlines against North Branford last season, the first year on the varsity level for the Lewis Mills football team was a success.

The Spartans mustered up two victories on the field, and while that may not seem like an accomplishment, just check the records of other programs in their first year. It’s not good.

Year two of varsity play for the Spartans began Saturday with more promise: a 42-28 win over Morgan before approximately 200 fans at Muzzy Field.

The victory showcased three brilliant performances courtesy of Devin Pease, Jeremy Dunn and, most notably, Bobby Martinotti.

Pease completed 13 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns, while Dunn was a recipient of two touchdown tosses, the first from 44 yards and the next from 37 and a total of 108 yards.

Martinotti had a great game on both sides of the ball, returning an interception 80 yards for a touchdown, and setting up another score with a pick – both in the second quarter. In the fourth, with the Huskies on the comeback trail and only down seven, the senior put to rest any thought of a comeback with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

First year head coach Greg Todd, a winner in his debut, liked how his team fought through adversity, dealing with the talk of last year’s brawl and fighting through 16 penalities on the field Saturday.

“I’m very happy with the win, but a little disappointed in the penalties,” Todd said. “I’m big on fundamentals and believe they take care of the little things. I’m confident we’ll get better.”

The Spartans’ first drive of the game had a little bit of everything. It took 5:33, consisted of 11 plays and 71 yards and, in the process, they used all three of the first half timeouts in the possession. The worst part, though, was that they wasted the drive after failing to convert on fourth down on the 18-yard line.

Any lingering effects of that disappointment was quickly washed away when Parker Colby recovered a fumble on Morgan’s next play from scrimmage.

This time Lewis Mills didn’t waste a great opportunity as Pease hit Nick Gnitzcavich on a 11-yard scoring strike.

The second quarter belonged to Martinotti, who stepped in front of the tight end, intercepted Mark Zumpano’s pass and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown to give the Spartans a 15-6 advantage.

With 13 seconds left in the half, Martinotti picked off another pass and was tackled at the Morgan 37. One play later, Pease threw up a jump ball and Dunn caught it for a touchdown and a 22-6 lead.

“When I was scouting this team, I was able to pick up on the routes their tight ends were running,” explained Martinotti. “I saw them run those routes today and was able to guess right when to jump in front of them.”

Added Pease on the touchdown: “Jeremy ran a great route down the right sideline and when the safety bit left, I just threw it up to him. He made a great play.”

That combo combined for 44-yard touchdown in the third, while Martinotti scored another touchdown in the period as on a 27-yard run.

Morgan pulled within seven at 35-28 at the 5:22 mark of the fourth when Martinotti put the game out of reach with his 90-yard kick return.

“It was a sloppy game, and we should have scored even more points if it weren’t for penalties,” Martinotti said. “It feels great, though, to get the win and we’re ready to rally around this and hopefully upset some big teams.”



MORGAN 6 0 8 14 - 28

LEWIS MILLS 7 15 7 13 -42

Scoring summary

First quarter

LM – Nick Gnitzcavich 11 pass from Devin Pease (Nathan Wilson kick)

M – Marc Simmons 78 pass from Mark Zumpano (run failed)

Second quarter

LM – Bobby Martinotti 80 INT return (Jeremy Dunn pass from Mike Leary)

LM – Dunn 37 pass from Pease (Wilson kick)

Third quarter

LM – Dunn 44 pass from Pease (Wilson kick)

M - Jake Ward 42 pass from Zumpano (Nick Sneider run)

Fourth quarter

LM – Martinotti 27 run (kick failed)

M – Mike Iavarone 11 pass from Zumpano (run failed)

M – Sneider 1 run (Simmons pass from Zumpano)

LM – Martinotti 90 kick return (Wilson kick)

Individual statistics

Rushing: LM – Martinotti 15-63, Pease 6-63, Gnitzcavich 4-8, Radek Galicki 1-2, Parker Colby 4-11. M – Jake Ward 10-23, Zampano 5-7, Nick Sneider 9-31.

Passing: LM – Pease 13-24, 246 yards. M – Zumpano 8-18-3, 191 yards.

Receiving: LM – Martinotti 5-94, Dunn 5-108, Galicki 2-14, Issac Abreu 1-30; M – Wood 3-62, Simmons 2-86, Iavrone 3-43.

Records: LM, 1-0; M, 0-1.

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