FOOTBALL FOLO: Spirited play of Santello & Lyman Hall defense fuel successful start of Weyrauch Era

FOOTBALL FOLO: Spirited play of Santello & Lyman Hall defense fuel successful start of Weyrauch Era

Record-Journal
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Nick Santello scored the game's lone touchdown at quarterback and led the defense at linebacker as Lyman Hall beat Creed/Career/Whitney Tech 7-0 on Bowen Field in its season opener and first game under new head coach Bill Weyrauch. | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal

NEW HAVEN — Lyman Hall football started the Bill Weyrauch Era with a 7-0 win over Creed/Career/Whitney Tech at Bowen Field and the new head coach was ecstatic with the way his team played on opening night.

“I feel so happy for these young men,” said Weyrauch. “I wanted them to get this feeling of winning. They deserve all the credit because they played a heck of a game tonight.”

The star for Lyman Hall was senior quarterback Nick Santello, though just referring to him as a quarterback is not doing him justice. Santello played linebacker and punted as well.

Weyrauch eyes lit up when asked about Santello after the game.

“He does everything,” said Weyrauch. “He’s the one who says, ‘Coach, put me back on the field.’ He’s just a warrior.”

Santello gave the Trojans the lead in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run. Just before the touchdown, Santello ripped off a 20-plus-yard run in which he split two defenders before being brought down at the 2-yard line.

“I was really trying to get in there on the first run,” Santello said. “The touchdown was awesome. There’s no better feeling than that.”

Santello was constantly trying to pump up his team throughout the game. It paid off early in the fourth quarter when Lyman Hall’s defense was asked to stop the Creed offense after a turnover set the home team up on the Trojans’ 16-yard line.

The defense did not give an inch. In fact, it took yards away, eventually forcing a turnover on downs on a fourth-and 20 play.

“I think this year the defense is the best it’s been ever since I’ve been at Lyman Hall,” said Santello. “Everyone is doing great on defense and they just love playing.”

The Trojans certainly looked like they loved playing Friday night as they pitched a dominant shutout. One star on unit was defensive end Zach Kizer, who came up with two huge sacks.

One of them halted Creed’s last chance came with about two minutes left. The co-op took over at its own 46-yard line. Kizer delivered a 10-yard sack to force Creed into punting.

Weyrauch attributed the success of the defense to the preparation put in during the week.

“I’ve got some good athletes on the defensive side of the ball,” said Weyrauch. “They’re tough, they run to the football and I just couldn’t be more happy with the way they played.”

After the game, the Trojans were visibly pumped up, and for good reason. Lyman Hall had a 5-47 record the past five years and it was obvious that the team knew that.

Santello was impressed with the way the team played on opening night.

“Just to come out and compete in a game like this is impressive for our team,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been lacking and it feels good to come out and do this.”


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