WESTERLY — Rocco Cillino did a little bit of everything Friday in Westerly High's 50-8 victory over Capital Prep Achievement of Hartford on the Bulldogs' Senior Night at Augeri Field.
Before the nonleague football game, he escorted his parents onto the field as part of Senior Night introductions.
During the game, he rushed for 195 yards — giving him 1,001 for the season — and two touchdowns. He also threw a 30-yard TD pass to Joe Fusaro.
On special teams, Cillino returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown.
Defensively, he was the signal caller from his defensive back position.
And during the halftime show, he joined Westerly's nine other seniors in a choreographed (or not) routine with Westerly's dance team.
Having fun was the theme of the evening for the Bulldogs, who improved to 6-1, in a cross-state game that didn't hold as much meaning as a tilt with another Connecticut team or as much impact as next Saturday's RIIL Division II first-place showdown at Burrillville.
But the victory was meaningful just the same for coach Duane Maranda and crew.
"As a former coach at Bacon Academy and New London in Connecticut for 21 years, every game means something," Maranda said. "Preparation-wise, we did something a little different this week, but Capital Prep is a huge team and very athletic. Overall, I'm very happy. We clinched a winning record and we got out to a big lead and contained their playmakers. Rocco going over 1,000 is very impressive."
Capital Prep (1-5) will join the Eastern Connecticut Conference as a Division IV team next season. A Class S state champ in 2014 and a program that has two current UConn players, the Blazers have struggled in the last two seasons. They have allowed 50 points three times and generally show weak line play.
Cillino ran untouched for 6 or 7 yards a clip from the start. Westerly took the opening drive 65 yards in six plays, scoring on Derek Mason's 23-yard run.
Westerly pressured Capital Prep's strong-armed quarterback, Solomon Barlow (8 of 18, 100 yards), all game. Trent Lamb and Eric Whewell each registered two sacks.
After the Bulldogs stopped Capital's first possession, Cillino scooted around the right side for a 75-yard punt return to make it, 13-0, six minutes into the game.
The Bulldogs drove 72 yards for a score late in the first quarter, capped by Cillino hitting Fusaro on a 30-yard scoring strike to make it 20-0.
A short Capital punt gave Westerly the ball just 20 yards from the goal line. On the second play, Cillino ran 17 yards for a score. Xavier Ledbetter passed to Fusaro for two points and a 28-0 lead with 9:18 left in the half.
Cillino added a 15-yard TD run for a 35-0 halftime lead. Maranda credited the offensive line, specifically the play of sophomore Michael Herman, who was filling in for injured starter Mike Garafola. Cillino, who was a complementary back the last two years to Westerly all-time leading rusher Tristan Turano, also praised his blockers.
"The 1,000 yards is nice because it's a result of all the hard work the line has done for me all season," Cillino said. "Today, we did things any which way we could: throwing, running, returning."
Capital Prep's Kadeem McKnight returned the second-half kickoff 74 yards to the Westerly 14, but the drive stalled at the 8. Westerly responded with a 92-yard scoring march behind the running of Anthony Perez, who ran for 40 and then scored on a 7-yard run to increase the lead to 42-0.
The Blazers got on the scoreboard on Barlow's 18-yard pass to McKnight to make it 42-8 late in the third quarter. Westerly pulled its starters after Cillino went over 1,000 yards with a 14-yard gain early in the fourth quarter.
Luke Marley completed the scoring for Westerly with a 5-yard TD run. Perez added a conversion run.
The game was Westerly's last regular-season game at Augeri Field. A victory over Burrillville could give the Bulldogs a home playoff game.
"We're ready for the grind now," Maranda said. "We'll send some coaches to scout Burrillville and Stonington Saturday. We've put ourselves in a good position."