Desilus Takes the Reigns

Jayden Desilus

Christopher Green, Staff Writer

Norwich Free Academy football has been injury riddled in the first five weeks of the 2019 season. Key injuries were suffered in weeks three and five for the Wildcats. NFA, now with a 3-3 record, is currently being led by their third string quarterback, Jayden Desilus. Two knee injuries placed the first two Wildcat’s quarterbacks on the bench.  

On September 27th, the Wildcats were playing at Shelton High School in a Friday night game. In the first quarter of this contest, starting quarterback, Austin Richards, who was coming off a school record 480 yards passing game, was tackled and suffered a torn ACL. The backup quarterback, senior Jakob Hosko finished out the game with 180 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. 

“You hate to see it. [I] love the kid,” stated Hosko, when talking about Richard’s injury.

The following week, Hosko got his first start on October 5th at East Lyme High School. The long-legged quarterback threw for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

“It was a good team win. [I] had a couple of picks and fumbles. [I] can’t be having those types of things,” commented Hosko. 

On October 18th, at West Haven, in NFA’s third straight game on the road, the Wildcats were struck with another injury in the first quarter. Hosko rolled right on a broken play on the 14th offensive play of the game. When tackled, he suffered a sprained lateral collateral ligament (LCL). 

“Well first off every coach’s first thought is always ‘Is he okay, and how can we make him more comfortable in what he’s going through?’ Then, the second thought is next man up. And in that case this was Jayden,” added Wildcat Football Coach, Jason Bakoulis. 

At that moment, the NFA offense took the field led by the third string quarterback, sophomore Jayden Desilus. 

“It was definitely a scary experience. I just wanted to do good in the game,” added Desilus. 

NFA went on to lose the game against West Haven 27-13. Desilus completed 10 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown in his first varsity action. Going forward, he appears to have emerged as the NFA quarterback. Claiming the starting role for what looks to be the rest of the season. 

“I need to be more of a leader,” said Desilus, when asked about his leadership role after being named the starter. 

On October 26th, Desilus had his first official varsity start during the Homecoming game. In this game, he threw for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns in NFA’s loss to Fairfield Prep.

NFA is searching for a class LL playoff berth. This would be their first playoff appearance since 2016. With 3 losses, it would be difficult considering that there have been only five three-loss teams that have qualified for either Class LL or L since the CIAC expanded to eight teams per division in 2010. NFA is currently playing under the belief that it is improbable, though not impossible.