Unbeaten Valley/Old Lyme routs Old Saybrook/Westbrook 40-10

Valley Regional/Old Lyme's Jason O'Brien (2) sprints for a touchdown during the Warriors' 40-10 victory over rival Old Saybrook/Westbrook on Saturday at Old Saybrook High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Valley Regional/Old Lyme's Jason O'Brien (2) sprints for a touchdown during the Warriors' 40-10 victory over rival Old Saybrook/Westbrook on Saturday at Old Saybrook High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Old Saybrook — Jae'len Arnum was asked about Valley Regional/Old Lyme's team speed, and answered the question with one of his own.

"Do you mean speed like quickness," he began, "or do you mean speed in how we come back from adversity?'"

It was a good question. Arnum was being asked about the Warriors' team speed, not how he and his teammates quickly shook off a bleh start to Saturday's game against Old Saybrook/Westbrook.

Valley/Old Lyme bungled the opening kickoff to give the Rams the short field for a quick touchdown. The Warriors responded with six touchdowns, often using their speed, for a 40-10 win in a Pequot Football Conference Sassacus Division contest.

"With the adversity, we responded today," coach Tim King said.

Old Saybrook/Westbrook scored in two plays after recovering the Warriors' fumble. Landis Twomey ran for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Rams ahead, 7-0, just 17 seconds into the game.

"We're making too many mistakes," King said. "It's game four, we had three scrimmages, we're halfway through the season, and we're still making mistakes."

Valley/Old Lyme shook it off quickly. O'Brien intercepted a pass minutes later to give the Warriors the ball at the Old Saybrook/Westbrook 5-yard line.

Arnum scored on a 1-yard run two plays later.

And the Warriors were off and running.

"We wanted to punch it down their throat the first (offensive) play (of the game)," Arnum said. "We wanted to get that first touchdown.

"Football is football. Things are going to happen. We knew we couldn't hang our heads. ... The first quarter was a little slow, but we started to pick it up later. Our mindset is we can't give up."

Arnum had 13 carries for 84 yards and three touchdowns for the Warriors (4-0, 3-0). He also had two catches for 37 yards and a score.

Jason O'Brien had nine catches for 267 yards and a touchdown. That receiving yardage tied him for the 15th most in a game, according to the Connecticut High School Football Record Book. O'Brien also had an interception and fumble recovery.

King pointed out that Old Saybrook/Westbrook's turf field worked to his team's advantage, too.

"We love turf," King said. "Our kids love it. We get so fired up playing on turf because we're so much faster (than on) ankle deep grass that you could hay."

Ryan Santos completed 8-of-10 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns for Valley/Old Lyme. Also, John Cox completed 4-of-13 passes for 129 yards.

The Warriors got the ball back at their own 32 with one minute, 54 seconds left in the first quarter and the game tied at 7.

O'Brien caught a screen pass from Santos two plays later on second-and-12 and took it for a 70-yard touchdown with 1:03 left in the period.

Colbe Andrews recovered a fumble on the Rams' next drive at the Warriors' 32.

Arnum caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Santos to push Valley/Old Lyme's lead to 21-7 with 8:40 left in the half.

The Rams (1-3, 1-1) blocked a punt with 24.6 seconds left in the half and turned it into a 25-yard field goal by Cooper Pavlovich.

Arnum scored on a 4-yard run with over three minutes left in the third quarter. Justin Robida then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Old Saybrook/Westbrook 28.

Justin Badolato, a lineman, scored three plays latet on a 1-yard run as Valley/Old Lyme went up 34-10 with 2:13 remaining in the third.

"We've been waiting for these guys to break out (offensively)," King said. "We've been waiting and waiting. I don't know if they've just been feeling their way through, but finally, they broke out."

n.griffen@theday.com

Valley Regional/Old Lyme's Jae'len Arnum (5) runs away from the Old Saybrook/Westbrook defense during the unbeaten Warriors' 40-10 win on Saturday at Old Saybrook High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Valley Regional/Old Lyme's Jae'len Arnum (5) runs away from the Old Saybrook/Westbrook defense during the unbeaten Warriors' 40-10 win on Saturday at Old Saybrook High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

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