Ranko’s Redemption; Wreckers Shock Bridgeport Central in FCIAC Championship Game

The Wreckers hope to add their second title of the year and celebrate again as thye did in this photo taken after the thrilling 14-10 victory over Central in the FCIAC championship game.

The Wreckers hope to add their second title of the year and celebrate again as thye did in this photo taken after the thrilling 14-10 victory over Central in the FCIAC championship game.

D.J. Sixsmith
Staff Writer

The Wreckers celebrate a thrilling 14-10 victory over Central in the FCIAC championship game.
The Wreckers celebrate a thrilling 14-10 victory over Central in the FCIAC championship game.

Redemption was the story of Friday night’s FCIAC Championship game between Staples and Bridgeport Central as wide receiver Brendan Rankowitz caught the game winning 66-yard touchdown pass in the Wreckers unbelievable 14-10 victory over the Hilltoppers.

The senior just minutes before had nearly blown the Wreckers bid for a 5th FCIAC championship.

On third and two with two minutes to go, the Wreckers go-to target was wide open down the field and saw the ball go straight through his hands. Central began to see their dreams of an FCIAC championship about to come true, until the Wrecker defense delivered their best performance of the evening giving the ball back to the offense with 1:36 left in the game. After senior quarterback Keith Gelman completed an 8-yard pass to Rankowitz, Central coach Dave Cadalina called a surprising timeout that stopped the clock for the Wreckers.

The Wreckers took full advantage of this decision as the next play Gelman found Rankowitz on the far side where he side stepped a defender and burst down the sideline for the score to make it 14-10 Staples. However Central still had enough time on the clock for one final drive. 

The Wreckers made sure of putting an end to those thoughts as who else but Rankowitz pick off a deep pass from Hilltopper quarterback Christian Gill. From goat to hero, Brendan Rankowitz saved the day for Staples as the stunning 14-10 victory marked the Wreckers first FCIAC championship since 2003. Rightfully so the captain received MVP honors for the game.

The wild rollercoaster ride continues for Staples, as they will face rival Greenwich in a Turkey Day Collision. The Wreckers need a win to clinch a spot in the state playoffs. As the rankings currently stand, the Wreckers are in first place in the state meaning that they would play the number four-seeded Central in the semi finals. What a game that would be.