East Lyme comes out firing, outscores Ledyard 50-14

East Lyme's Tyler Valdez (29) races away from the Ledyard defense for the Vikings' opening touchdown in Friday night's game at Mignault Field in Ledyard.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
East Lyme's Tyler Valdez (29) races away from the Ledyard defense for the Vikings' opening touchdown in Friday night's game at Mignault Field in Ledyard. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Ledyard — East Lyme coach Rudy Bagos came into the game not knowing how his team would do.

"It's weird," Bagos said. "We don't practice well. We've got to start seeing some good practices. We get on 'em. We want them to understand we've got a lot at stake."

And then the first quarter happened Friday, when the Vikings clearly showed they understand.

East Lyme scored five times in the first quarter and went on to a 50-14 victory over Ledyard in an Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I high school football matchup. East Lyme led 30-0 after one quarter, 36-0 before Ledyard got on the board and 42-7 at halftime.

The Vikings' opening series yielded a 43-yard touchdown run by Tyler Valdez, followed by a safety on a blocked punt by Blake Bragaw to make it 9-0. Marshall Mason added a 5-yard touchdown run, Dylan Hatajik caught a 30-yard scoring pass from quarterback Chris Salemme and Valdez scored again on a 5-yard run for a 30-0 lead with 44 seconds still remaining in the first quarter.

Isaac Tomblin finished with 17 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown and Valdez had five carries for 68 yards and two touchdowns for East Lyme, now 5-1 overall, 2-0 in the Large Division and fully immersed in contention for a division title. Hatajik caught two passes for 77 yards and the touchdown.

"It seemed to take so long," said Bagos, who looked at the scoreboard at one point and found time still remaining in the opening quarter. "It was quick."

"It's all about the offensive line; it's all them," Valdez said. "Anyone can run the ball because of them. ... It was a good feeling to come out and finally be on top of a team. We were a little slow in practice this week, but we were ready for this game. I've been ready for it since my freshman year."

A reminder once again: East Lyme was 1-9 last season.

"Always in the past we've had teams where, 'We could have been good if we had this, this and this,'" Bagos said. "(This year), it's a tough combination when you can go inside and outside; we have a ton of backs and they're all talented. We have a quarterback that can sling it with the best of them and we have great wide receivers ... and a great tight end in Sam (Highman). Sam has maybe the best hands on the team.

"They deserve every bit of success they're having right now. The kids stuck together."

Todd Robbins (5 yards), Tomblin (1 yard) and Andrew Haase (4 yards) also had touchdown runs for East Lyme.

Ledyard scored with 48 seconds left in the first half on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Sylvia to Elijah Brown-Young that followed a 64-yard completion from Sylvia to Stanley Green. The Colonels added a 23-yard touchdown catch from Robbie Petriel in the fourth quarter.

"It was kind of quiet, it was businesslike," Bagos said of the Vikings' scoring onslaught.

"The guys came out and showed who we were from the first play to the last play," Valdez said. "It's a great feeling to make your coaches proud and to make East Lyme proud."

v.fulkerson@theday.com

East Lyme's Dylan Hatajik (15) beats Ledyard's James Smith (2) for a first quarter touchdown in Friday night's ECC football game at Mignault Field in Ledyard.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
East Lyme's Dylan Hatajik (15) beats Ledyard's James Smith (2) for a first quarter touchdown in Friday night's ECC football game at Mignault Field in Ledyard. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

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