Notre Dame football team loses Olayos, game to Masuk

The expectation level for the Notre Dame High of Fairfield football team was relatively high at the beginning of the week heading into its home away from home (at Sacred Heart University) game with South-West Conference opponent Masuk of Monroe on Oct. 2.
After all, the Lancers had put together decent point totals (66 in all) despite respective losses to Bethel (66-36) and Weston (51-30).
Then, more bad news hit an already depleted team — senior quarterback Shea Olayos came down with mono and was forced to sit out the contest with the 1-2 Panthers.
With little offense and a constant inability to stop Masuk’s offense, led by senior running back Mike Dellapiano (164 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown), the Lancers were trimmed by the Panthers, 49-6. It has left the Lancers with four straight losses.
“We’re looking to fill in as many cracks as we can,” said Notre Dame head coach Ted Boynton shortly after the loss. “This is a team with a big heart, but, unfortunately, in the game of football numbers really count. We have just about everybody going both ways and that, in itself, puts us at a huge disadvantage.”
Boynton, who is in the midst of his second year as the head coach and has been with the program for 13 seasons, was only able to dress 25 players for the game.
Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Notre Dame has only been able to win one game on the field — a 26-22 decision over Immaculate of Danbury on Thanksgiving Day of that season. The Lancers received a forfeit victory last year when the Mustangs had to fold their program.
“We’re all in this for the long run,” Boynton said. “I’ve seen our program at its highest point (a Class S state finalist in 2002) and I’ve seen it at some of its worst times. I knew when I took it over, it wouldn’t happen overnight. We do have great support from the school, and that will make a big difference as we go on.”
The Lancers would only generate 29 yards of offense versus Masuk while giving up 309.
They did, however, hold the Panthers scoreless in the first quarter and made a nice defensive stop on Masuk’s first drive. The Panthers had driven to the Notre Dame 4, but turned the ball over.
“I knew that they (Notre Dame) could score some points,” said Masuk coach Joe Lato. “So, I was a little apprehensive coming into this game. But our guys responded well after that first quarter. Our offense got its momentum going. That was good.”
Masuk scored 27 points in the second quarter; added a pair of touchdowns in the third to lead 42-0 and finished with a late touchdown by its junior varsity unit.
Notre Dame’s lone touchdown came on an 89-yard kick-off return by sophomore Brandon White.
Boynton alternated two quarterbacks to try and fill in for Olayos. Senior Kyle Aldrich completed 2 of 11 passes and freshman Kyle Pavone was 1 of 4. Junior running back Hakim Fleming, a 5-11, 245-pounder who also plays inside linebacker, rushed 10 times for 12 yards.
On the teams’ offensive line, Boynton used senior captain Noah Criscoli at center along with juniors Matt Mercad and Trendon Gardiner at guards with senior captain Adam Dawe and another senior, Lynn Nicholas at the tackles.
Notre Dame will visit New Milford Friday at 7 p.m.

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