Bridgeport Area Thanksgiving Day Football 1952 – 1982

Sandy Sulzycki: The Week That Was…


In Thanksgiving Day games, five different players scored as Harding shut out Central 32-0 before a Hedges Stadium crowd of 7,500. Bob Green (67-yard punt return), Harvey Wenz (11 pass from John Moran), center Paul Haushill (65-yard interception return) and Moran and Gene Teto scored on respective five and two-yard runs. QB Ralph Petrella turned in some fine running and Len Feroleto had an interception in defeat. … Standout running back Rudy Poklemba returned after a long layoff due to an injury and teamed with Bob Beslove to lead Bassick over Ludlowe 38-6. Poklemba returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a TD before scoring on runs of one and 47 yards and passing to Jerry McDougall for another. Beslove was the defensive standout, recovering three fumbles and returning an interception 60 yards for a TD. Bob Mark added a 24-yard carry. Steve Torak was the Tigers’ main threat and scored from the two. … Gordon Perry (128 yards, 12 carries) scored on runs of 41 and 27 yards to set a regional scoring record (19 touchdowns, 114 points) as Stratford beat Milford 20-6 before 6,000 at Washington Field. Perry broke Eddie Gee’s (Harding) previous mark of 112. Tony Mastroni added a six-yard run while Walt Czekaj, Pete Fox, Tony Petitte, Bob Mikolyczyk, Lee DeLorme and Joe Vitko were the defensive stars. Jerry Harvarda played well on defense and had the Indians lone score on a 20-yard fumble recovery. Two of Milford’s starters, Pete Williams and Gordon Palmer, missed the game. … Fairfield Prep extended Stamford, the state’s top-rated team, before falling 26-13 as Steve Butkovsky scored from the one and threw to Larry Memo for another. Joe Marucco added a 36-yard TD run and Bruno Amato a key fumble recovery. Jerry Starratt (16) and Jack Ringel (one) scored on the ground for Prep. … Ansonia shut out Naugatuck 13-0 at Recreation Field as Rick Ewen’s fumble recovery set up Ed Carroll’s two-yard TD run and Carroll also threw 23 yards to Marty Lawlor. Jack Ahern, Tony Dochailos and John Andrusko played well for coach Boots Jarvis. … Shelton prevailed over Derby 6-0 before 6,000 at Lafayette Field as Dan Taylor caught a 29-yard pass from Paul DiCaro. During the scoring drive, DiCaro completed a 20-yard pass to John Hoye and Wes Hohenshelt was the leading rusher. QB George Russo led the Red Raiders. … Danbury finished undefeated but with one tie by rallying for a 14-13 win over Norwalk as Jim Kieras threw 20 yards to John Tripp and Dave Saul powered over from the one for the winners. Kieras also made a game-saving tackle on Jim Gunzy with less than a minute to play on the Hatters’ 27-yard line while Bob Melvin had an interception. Dick Jowdy hit both PATs for the margin of victory. Jim and Jack Gunzy had TD receptions of 11 and 10 yards while Joe Mola had a fumble recovery in defeat.


Heavy rain and muddy conditions forced some Thanksgiving Day action to be postponed but Law played and beat Bunnell 12-0 for the MBIAC championship as Dan Walker scored on runs of three and 15 yards. Dick Janes had an interception and Andy Pace a fumble recovery for Vito DeVito’s 7-1-1 Lawmen. … Harding beat Central 18-6 for the fourth straight time in the series as nearly 6,000 fans braved the weather conditions at Hedges Stadium. QB Dick Dehart scored on a 25-yard run and threw a 59-yard pass to Steve Super while Bill Riley added a 75-yard TD run. Ed DeSantis scored from the eight for the Hilltoppers, whose potent air attack of QB Bill Maslo to receivers Les Lancaster and Frank Carroll was hindered by the conditions. The Presidents dedicated the game to their rugged lineman Lou Varvella, who broke his leg a week earlier against Bunnell and was forced to miss his first game in three varsity seasons. … Bob Cenci scored on a pair of short runs and Jay Vitrella returned an interception 46 yards for Notre Dame-Bridgeport in an 18-8 win over Notre Dame-West Haven. … Craig Dunna scored on a 26-yard run and an eight-yard pass from Jim Noonan as Stratford beat Milford 21-14. Ken McAllister added a 90-yard kickoff return and Jim Staffaroni a late interception. Bill McGill (14) and Ray Rivard (one) scored in defeat. … Derby shut out Shelton 20-0 as Jim Brenanto’s fumble recovery set up a two-yard TD by Bob Ahearn while Joe Musante added a 12-yarder and Mike Lombardi a 17-yarder. … Stamford blanked Fairfield Prep 14-0 as Carmine Boccuzzo threw seven yards to Bob Loop and Dan DeVito on a two-yarder. Dom DelMazzio starred in the backfield. … Ludlowe beat Bassick 26-0 as Fran Lynch scored on a pair of 23-yard runs and Frank Marcinowski added a 10-yard run and a 26-yard pass to Cliff Tallman. … Danbury bested Norwalk 20-6 in their 70th meeting as Bill Lavalle recovered a fumble recovery in the end zone and Terry Tierney (six) and Ken Adams (one) scored on the ground. John Pinto scored on a 36-yard pass from Paul Pfuhl in defeat.


Stratford capped off a perfect 10-0 season by beating Milford 26-12 as Ed Rooney (46, one) and Nick Giaquinto (41, 11) did the scoring. Brian Burke, Brian Swaller, Bob Carmona, Mark Jankowski, Bruce Beatty and Dave Girard were the defensive standouts. Brian O’Keefe threw TD passes to Mike Coleho (nine) and Tim Terry (31). … Larry Rudd scored three touchdowns to tie the single season mark of 29 in Harding’s 38-16 win over Central before 10,000 at Hedges Stadium. QB Dom Lewis was eight-of-13 passing for 134 yards while Jerry Saunders and Gil Moales were the defensive standouts. The Hilltoppers were led by the passing of Tom Claus and the running of Mike Peluso. … Tony Ciccaglione rushed 24 times for 179 yards and became the first Trumbull High player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in leading the Eagles over St. Joseph 20-6 before a crowd of 5,500. Ciccaglione also scored on runs of one and 47 yards while QB Keith Ancel directed the attack. The Cadets scored first on Len Duford’s keeper. … Stamford Catholic rallied from a 20-6 deficit to edge Notre Dame-Bridgeport 27-26 as Joe Loughran threw a 60-yard TD pass to Joe Magee. The winning score was set up by Nick DeVito’s fumble recovery while Doug McAuliffe also played well. QB Vito Savo was stellar in defeat, passing for three TDs to John Creatura (15), Tim May (30) and Pete Calandro (3)…. Ludlowe handed Bassick a 40-6 setback as Marty Pastor and Ric Chennell each rushed for over 100 yards and Joe Rietano threw for two TDs, including a 24-yarder to Bill Sullivan. … Al Kenyhercz turned in an outstanding three-touchdown effort (40-yard punt return, 80-yard kickoff return and a 48-yard pass from John Cartiglia as Bunnell bested Law 28-18. Steve Jacques caught TD passes of 65 and 17 yards from Mark Shackett while Doug Shackett also scored. … Gerry Scholz scored on a 36-yard interception return and a one-yard run as Fairfield Prep beat Stamford 14-10 at Boyle Stadium. The Black Nights got an eight-yard TD run from Bill Brisson.


Greenwich beat Trumbull 9-7 for the FCIAC championship on Dan Fleishman’s 39-yard field goal and Bob Robben’s five-yard TD run, offsetting John Dionis’ short carry for the Eagles. … CCIAC champion Milford shut out Stratford 14-0 in the 61st and final Thanksgiving Day meeting of the long-time rivals as Eric Liljeros scored twice from close range and QB Bob Haviland directed the attack. … Naugatuck nipped Ansonia 7-6 with all the scoring in the last two minutes. The Chargers scored first on Earl Stanley’s 34-yard run only to have Rich Becchetti come right back with a 14-yard pass to Joe Pascale and convert the PAT. … Harding turned back Central 21-12 with Michael Jones throwing seven yards to Wilfredo Garcia, Dwayne Miller returning a punt 55 yards and Dennis Hairston a 45-yarder. … With Mark Masiello throwing TD passes of 20 and 46 yards to Ed Boyle and George Goldman (11-82) and Steve Loglisci (17-55) leading the ground attack, Fairfield Prep beat Stamford 20-6. … Jack McFarland threw 26 yards to Kurt Neubauer while Steve Bieling scored on a two-yard run and Mike Broderick on a fumble recovery in the end zone for Warde in a 23-20 victory over Ludlowe. Senior back Eric Walzer also played well and Greg Everard led the defense. Rich Nagy was a two-way standout for the Tigers. … Sophomore Mark Peterson returned the opening kickoff 81 yards and added a 3-yard TD tote for Bunnell in a 36-6 triumph over Law. Eric Zimmerman (60 punt return), Dave Manfredi (41 run) and Larry Casale added TDs. … Notre Dame of Fairfield’s Willie Fuller carried 38 times for 199 yards and scored on a 29-yard run and Foran’s Mike Whittaker on an 11-yard pass from Bill Phalen as the two teams played an 8-8 tie. … Derby prevailed over Shelton 18-0 as Jim Stepan stood out with three TDs on an 84-yard kickoff return and a pair of short runs. Jeff Rice picked up 97 yards on 27 carries.