Bakken, Sutman lead Waterford to rout of Montville
Montville — Neither of Waterford High School's victims to date — Plainfield and Montville — will be confused with New Canaan and Darien, thus making it difficult to gauge the Lancers' improvement.
But there's no denying that Waterford, more famous for basketball and baseball state championships, has a football team to watch in 2019.
The Lancers, who once went decades without beating Montville, defeated the Indians for the second straight season Friday, pounding their rivals, 62-20.
In two weeks, Waterford has scored 95 points. Quarterback Ryan Bakken has thrown 10 touchdown passes already — five in each game — including three Friday to classmate Payton Sutman, who is playing football for the first time.
"A lot of kids playing for us right now kinda got beat up last year," Waterford coach John Strecker said, alluding to the 3-7 record of 2018. "They made a commitment. They've been in the weight room since Christmas."
Bakken, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards last season, has a new favorite target in Sutman, who brings championship experience from basketball and baseball as well as some height and athleticism.
Bakken threw touchdown passes of 13, 35 and 77 yards to Sutman, who recently committed to play baseball at Holy Cross.
"I was really excited when I heard Payton was playing football," Bakken said. "I went home and told my dad, 'Payton is really playing.' When we knew for sure, we went down to the field in the summer and ran a lot of routes. It's paying off."
Montville coach Tanner Grove said of Sutman, "We didn't really handle the big wideout very well. It's one thing to know he's going to get the ball. We saw a lot of that on film. But it's another to go make a play on him. He's really hard to handle."
Bakken also threw touchdown passes to Sam Menders and Quincy Foren. Christian Hightower, Trey Brennan, Michael Vincent and Bakken (rushing) also scored for the Lancers, who led 34-20 in the third period before scoring 28 straight points.
Bakken finished 11-17 for 216 yards and five scores.
Jayden Long, who scored early in the third period to bring Montville (1-1) within 14 points, led the Indians with 117 rushing yards. Ryan Douchette and Miles Sarmiento also scored for Montville.
"We knew what we were capable of," Bakken said. "But it was important for us just to listen to the people in our own locker room. Other people probably thought we'd have a losing season again. But we know what we can do."