HARWICH ─ Cape Tech's Sept. 17 football game against Tri-County came to a frightening end when a player from the opposing team was left unconscious after a defensive hit.
An eerie silence fell upon the field when Tri-County linebacker Colin Cicchetti lay motionless on the field after a hard hit. He was unconscious, according to Cape Tech head coach Chris Leonard, for nearly 20 seconds. Though the clock read 1:36 still left in the final quarter, officials immediately deemed the game over as they waited for emergency crews to tend to Cicchetti, who regained consciousness prior to being taken to Cape Cod Hospital to be examined.
According to Tri-County Athletic Director Pete Kubiak, Cicchetti returned to school Monday, and was diagnosed with a concussion following the game.
Prior to the early ending, it was a lackluster performance from the Crusaders, who played without much of a spark in the 28-0 shutout, their second loss of the season.
As Cape Tech floundered, Tri-County battled, earning a commanding lead of 22-0 in the first half. The Cougars scored twice in the opening quarter, the first on a touchdown from Zach Currier and the second from Davante Ozoria, which was followed by a successful two-point conversion from Bobby Fryar.
Though Tech's defense stepped it up somewhat in the second half, Currier struck again seconds into the third quarter with a 90-yard run for the final TD of the outing.
“It just felt like we didn't go out there and play hard,” said Leonard after the game. “It just didn't feel like we played with spirit. We had some opportunities and we missed them.”
Those opportunities included a number of missed passes that left Crusader quarterback Justin Lukas with a 1-for-13 game record that included an interception, though he led the team in rushing yards with 60. Archer Estinvil tacked on another 22 rushing yards for good measure.
“We've just got to teach these kids how to respond after adversity,” Leonard said. “When we go three and out and punt it deep, we need a big defensive stand right there and we just didn't get it.”
Next up for the Crusaders is a home game against longtime rival Upper Cape Tech, which Leonard is hoping will ignite a much-needed spark in his team.
“We've just got to get them going,” he said. “If we can't get up for playing Upper Cape [this] week, though, then we've really got something wrong. Hopefully just that rivalry will get us going and we'll play hard.”