HOLGATE — The Danbury offense has received its share of accolades this season, but for a team to start the season 6-0 and win its share of close, hard-fought games, the defense must also play at a high level. That was evident in the Lakers’ 30-12 victory over Holgate.
The Danbury defense allowed no points in the second half, holding its own after struggling in recent weeks. Guy Maltese finished with nine tackles and one sack for a unit that allowed just 220 yards of total offense. Brandon Wunder also had nine tackles, Cole Shortridge had another tremendous performance on both sides of the ball, registering eight tackles and an interception, and Danny Harris forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.
“I’ve been asked what fixes need to be made on defense. I just think it was some little, fundamental mistakes that we were making. We played better coverage, giving our kids a sense of confidence,” said Danbury coach Keith Mora. “I felt like we had answers to anything Holgate could do. We knew they were going to be a hard-running football team.
“Guy Maltese turned in another solid performance, and he’s just a sophomore on a senior- and junior-heavy team. As a defensive end, if you look behind you, there’s usually nothing but open field. He understands that he’s the widest guy at times.” said Mora. “He usually does a very nice job of stretching the play toward the sideline.
“Danny Harris had another nice night. They did a good job anchoring our defense. It was Danny’s first start against Holgate. He brought a lot of physicality to the defense.”
Danbury led 14-12 late in the first half before scoring a touchdown late to take a 22-12 lead into halftime.
Offensively, the Lakers (6-0, 5-0 Northern 8 Football Conference) accumulated 381 yards of total offense. Kaden Conrad completed 10-of-20 passes for 194 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Shortridge rushed 20 times for 146 yards and a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Nate Frattaroli caught five passes for 81 yards and Wyatt Caskey had three catches for 64 yards.
“This was our lowest night in terms of production, but they did what they had to do. Holgate had to score with 58 seconds to go in the second quarter. Then we drove the length of the field and scored, it gave us a 10-point lead at the half.”
The Lakers host St. Mary Central Catholic on Friday.