The Frank Robotti Trophy will remain with Stamford football for another year.
The Knights took three long touchdowns from quarterback Ejai Presley, two rushing and one passing, and beat city rival Westhill 33-6 on Thanksgiving in Westhill.
Stamford (4-6) has now won the last five meetings with Westhill (2-8) and has an 18-8 advantage in the teams’ Thanksgiving Series. The Robotti Trophy, awarded since 1978, is awarded to champions from the town of Stamford.
The meeting between the rivals was the first for head coaches Donny Panapada of Stamford and Aland Joseph of Westhill, who are in their first years with their teams.
“Emotions were running high,” Panapada said. “It’s the first time I’ve taken part at Thanksgiving. You could see the kids were a bit more tuned in and the same for the Westhill kids. Everyone wanted to play their ‘A’ game. The crowd was great on both sides. and it’s good for the town of Stamford that our kids come out and get to compete against kids they know and grew up with and played with or a few years ago.”
The Knights took a 21-0 lead in the first half.
Three plays into Stamford’s second possession, junior Camrin Jean Pierre raced to the edge and broke away for a 74-yard touchdown 10 minutes into the game.
Two completions from Presley to Jean Pierre put the Knights on the Westhill four-yard line, and Declan Nestor collected a one-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Presley scored Stamford’s third touchdown, faking a pass, then rushing down the middle of the line for 57 yards with 8:39 left in the first half.
“Ejai is a phenomenal athlete,” Panapada said. “He’s a second-year quarterback for us and he’s able to make the play, not just throwing the ball but with his legs, and his escape ability. He played well. We got to do a few games, and it’s nice to have kids like that that, even if it’s not how you draw it, they’re able to make you look good. We have a few kids like that.
The Vikings notched their lone touchdown, when quarterback Jordan Reyes hit Ty Hollar in the back corner of the end zone for a five-yard score just before halftime.
Stamford has scored once in each of the last two quarters, Presley linking up with Brian Rose for a 49-yard passing strike and then saving the ball for a 40-yard TD on the ground.
“It’s a good win for the program and for continuing the tradition of keeping the Robotti Trophy,” Panapada said. “It’s good that he’s staying at Strawberry Hill.”
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STAMFORD 33, WESTHILL 6
STAMFORD 7 14 6 6 – 33
WESTHILL 0 6 0 0 – 6
S – Camrin Jean Pierre run 74 (Jack Solomita kick)
S – Declan Nestor 1 run (Solomita kick)
S – Ejai Presley 57 run (Solomita kick)
WH – Ty Hollar 5 passes Jordan Reyes (blocked kick)
S – Brian Rose 49 passes Presley (missed pass)
S – Presley 40 run (missed pass)
Recordings: Stamford 4-6, Westhill 2-8
. football Stamford Presley Westhill retain trophy Robotti