No. 2 Ansonia survives Seymour’s upset bid

(Peter Casolino — New Haven Register)   Seymour's Christian Thurmond breaks away for a TD in the second quarter against Ansonia.  pcasolino@NewHavenRegister

(Peter Casolino — New Haven Register) Seymour’s Christian Thurmond breaks away for a TD in the second quarter against Ansonia. pcasolino@NewHavenRegister

(Peter Casolino — New Haven Register)   Ansonia's Arkeel Newsome, right, celebrates with captain Corel Dzienkiewicz (#76) and Tajik Bagley after Newsome scored a 4th quarter TD. Ansonia converted for 2 points and held on to win the game.  pcasolino@NewHavenRegister

(Peter Casolino — New Haven Register) Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome, right, celebrates with captain Corey Dzienkiewicz (#76) and Tajik Bagley after Newsome scored a 4th quarter TD. Ansonia converted for 2 points and held on to win the game. pcasolino@NewHavenRegister

SEYMOUR >> A winning streak that has covered nearly three seasons came very close to ending in stunning fashion.

Seymour, a considerable underdog to visiting Ansonia, was in position to kick the potential game-winning field goal with less than two minutes remaining.

A hush fell over DeBarber Field and both sides held their collective breaths as the ball was snapped. The kick from 28-yards had the distance but sailed right.

The Chargers, ranked second in the Register Top 10 Poll, survived, winning this NVL Brass Division contest 21-20 Thursday.

“If you’re a competitor, your heart’s in your throat whether you’re on the field or there (in the stands),” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said about the field goal attempt.

[PHOTOS: Ansonia 21, Seymour 20]

The win extended Ansonia’s winning streak to 37 games, a school record. Cheshire won a state-best 49 in a row from 1992-1996. The Chargers also clinched the division title and will play an opponent to be determined for the NVL championship.

Ansonia took the lead for good on Arkeel Newsome’s 19-yard touchdown run with less than seven minutes remaining.

But the Wildcats responded. Joey Salemme scampered for a 48-yard gain, which brought the ball into the red zone. Four plays later, Salemme scored on an 11-yard run to cut the Ansonia lead to 21-20. Seymour decided to attempt a two-point conversion, but a running play was stuffed.

“We thought we had them we’re we wanted them (on the two-point conversion attempt),” Seymour coach Tom Lennon said. “We wanted to try to end it there. We thought we had a (good) play called, we thought we could get the two, but they had the right defensive call. We gambled and lost.”

The Wildcats, though, recovered the onside kick on the ensuing kickoff and drove from midfield to the Ansonia 11 before the missed field goal.
Seymour led 14-7 and by a point (14-13) after three quarters. Despite a heroic effort by the Wildcats, Seymour fell just short of pulling off what would’ve been one of the biggest upsets in state history.

“That’s the best effort (against Ansonia) in my five years,” Lennon said. “I can’t be more proud of them and the way they played tonight. We went in with a game plan and we just executed it to perfection, both offensively and defensively. I think we made great strides this season.

“We talked all week about believing that we can do it. Most teams, including our’s some years, are beat as soon as they get off the bus and they see that Charger on the helmet. We believed that we can win and we never gave up.”

Newsome scored three times but was held to 112 yards on 26 carries. He scored on an 11-yard run to put his team up 7-0 in the second quarter.

Seymour, though, scored the next two touchdowns. Salemme tossed a 42-yard scoring strike to Christian Thurmond and then Salemme added a 44-yard run to put the Wildcats up 14-13 at the intermission. Salemme finished with 244 yards on 38 carries.

In the third quarter, Newsome scored on an 8-yard run but the Chargers missed the extra point and trailed 14-13. That’s the way it stood until the wild fourth quarter.

It was an atypical performance by Ansonia, which fumbled three times and overcame three recovered onside kicks by Seymour.

“It was uncanny,” Brockett said. “You don’t win football games (with six turnovers). You’re not supposed to win this game.”

ANSONIA 0 7 6 8 — 21
SEYMOUR 0 14 0 6 — 20

  • A–Arkeel Newsome 11 run (Witold Gul kick)
  • S–Christian Thurmond 42 pass Joe Salemme (Frank Marcucio kick)
  • S–Salemme 44 run (Marcucio kick)
  • A–Newsome 8 run (kick failed)
  • A–Newsome 19 run (Tajik Bagley pass Jai’Quan McKnight)
  • S–Salemme 11 run (run failed)
(Peter Casolino - New Haven Register)   Ansonia at Seymour game action. November 7, 2013.  pcasolino@NewHavenRegister

(Peter Casolino ? New Haven Register) Ansonia at Seymour game action. November 7, 2013. pcasolino@NewHavenRegister

Further Reading


  1. says

    Easy FCIAC JR. This was Seymour but the FCIAC doesn’t have much to brag about. The last time New Canaan won a title was 2009 and they were blown out in 2010 by Masuk and 2011 by Hand.
    Staples last title was 2005 and they choked in 2009 vs. Cheshire and they were blown out by Xavier in 2011. Besides ST. Joe winning in 2009 & 2010 Class SS & S the FCIAC hasn’t done much.

    • enjoy the game says

      SCC this is 2013 not anything else. The past is history, let kids play Im sure there will be a new team next year from a different divisiion, I love how you guys all like to criticize the kids, did you ever even sniff the field yourself?

    • wave says

      The success of the FCIAC has absolutely nothing to do with his post… Way to try and stir up conflict, especially when the SCC was beaten pretty solidly in the challenge this year.

      • says

        Beaten soundly? 9-8 and some games were decided in final seconds? Win some titles and get back to me. Darien have any titles? Staples not since 2005? That is soundly right there

      • says

        I agree the guy was ripping the NVL and Ansonia remember they are not in and don’t want anything to do with the SCC. They can’t leave all the competitive rivalries they have in the NVL. That said “beaten Handily” ahh no not quite they won by 1 game and North Haven Darien still up. I agree though you can bask in the challenge win but let’s not forget the past because you can’t. Ansonia doesn’t and will never they live in it obviously!!! Lets not forget how many state title games the SCC beat the living snot out of FCIAC teams the numbers are not remotely close at all. This is one of the SCC worst years if not the worst and eventually in the near future your comments will be on every SCC locker room board and you or any other blogger bragging about the wins are not going to have to pay for it. No the players on these teams will be taking a old school whipping because there fans hardly know football and what it’s all about.

          • says

            Ray please its high school top teams never get challenged by inferior teams like that. I don’t care rivalry or not that will get you to Half time then talent takes over. Now Why don’t we talk about there record in a power conference again! LOL I don’t need to say another word. That game proved what we all knew all along!!!! THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO RUN WITH THE BIG BOYS!!!!!Go back to touch football STAT BOY!!!!!!! Ervin Phillips 270 and 5TD’s against a Hand team that would blow Seymour’s doors off!!!

  2. dom says

    A win is a win . 37th straight second longest in state history so yes ansonia program is consider a poweehouse . When nc wins a state title they will then be top dog . Nc deserve to be #1 for now but the playoff will tell the story who’s really #1 . As for seymour tonight great effort against a very good team . If nc were to lose at any point this season there would be more excuses then respect for their opponent . Its h.s football anythings possible and anyone who actually played understands that

    • The Truth Hurts says

      How exactly will the Playoff tell the story? Check out the teams in “L” and the Teams in “S”.The only story it will tell is by winning”L” you have defeated teams that have some clout and carry some weight .

  3. The Dude says

    I’m not too familiar with Seymour since they haven’t been relevant in so long but they fought like warriors tonight. 5 and 54 for them are studs. Only negative I can take from them they seemed a little to happy with themselves after such a crushing loss. Moral victories get you nowhere.

    This is probably just going to end up being a bump in the road to another state title for Ansonia. But there is no way they are the number 1 team in the state based on tonight. Not even close. Naugy can definitely give them a game on Thanksgiving.

  4. valleyrough says

    here we go on how gritty seymour is and how it has ‘studs’. that is one of the most poorly coached teams in the area and an awful win for ansonia. yes there’s such a thing when polls are concerned.

    • JB says

      Seymor wouldn’t win more than two games in the SCC. If Ansonia put that same effort up against Xavier, West Haven, Shelton, Prep, Hand, North Haven … they wouldn’t be .500

      • says

        .500??? They would lose to every team on that list and a few others. Like I said 3-7 at best but lets not kid ourselves they would for sure weasel themselves in D2 and consider it the same thing as D1 cause there in it

    • perspective says

      Valley Rough, Seymour poorly coached? They obviously must have coached them up at least for a week well- did you see how they were blowing up Ansonia’s power and setting the edge on almost every play? As for offense, I haven’t seen too many teams run it on Ansonia like that in many a year, give credit where credit is due you obviously have an axe to grind with Seymour’s staff

      • The Dude says

        In all honesty though, Seymour should be sitting pretty in Class S at 8-1 at this time. Instead they basically threw away the Amity, Wolcott and Ansonia games and are at 5-4 and going home in a couple of weeks.

  5. Big Dog says

    Drum roll please…. everyone waiting for Mr.Browns post…Is this not the program that lost all their talent to Woody and Oxford?Also same team beaten by oxford and Amity this year….

  6. D Money says

    As i previuosly, said. I saw Ansonia in last years state championship and they were good for a Class S team in beating an averagy Hyde team. However, they would not beat the top 2 – 3 teams in Class L (NC, Middletown etc.).

  7. ROY BRAWN says

    The Chargers amaze me every week. What a statement they made last night . They played arguably their most lackluster game in years and still came away victorious. Only the really good teams can pull that off.

  8. Newmanium says

    I heard crickets from the Norwood AC last night. Seymour has been striving for mediocrity for years and this ‘win’ may have finally gotten them there. Celebrating a loss?

  9. GO NOLES!! says

    So we’ll have to wait for an explanation from the Ansonia haters. Because all season theyhave declared that the NVL is garbage, and just cannon fodder for Ansonia.
    Yet, last night Seymour-a decent but not great NVL team, demonstrated that they could push an uninspired, sloppy Ansonia team to the limit.

    So which is it guys?

    And by the way, Ansonis demonstrated last night why they should have been ranked behind New Canaan. The defense has been spotty, and the special teams brutal. On anight when the offense could not get possessions (onside kicks) or hang on to the ball (muliple lost fumbles), those glaring deficiemcies stood out.

      • GO NOLES!! says

        Geez Stan. We get it. You hate Ansonia. So why don’t you put away the venom for a little while. And at least get your facts straight.
        Angry and ignorant is a bad combination.

  10. JB says

    GN … I don’t hate Ansonia, but the weaknesses you highlight in Ansonia’s effort/capability can only become apparent when a team plays real competition week-in and weak-out. Seymour is likely an “average” competitor when compared to every other conference, so how would Ansonia be ranked if it had the grueling schedule of the SCC? That is the litmus test applied to all state-wide ranked teams, like it or not.

    • dom says

      If w.haven xavier hand were the size of a class s school they wouldn’t be good at all . If ansonia was the size of a ll or l school it would be unfair for them to play cths football

      • says

        That’s a ridiculous statement. They have 80 kids on there team who are you kidding. Woodland 05-06 had 77 kids on the team in SS!! Your pulling kids from towns all over the Valley. Enough with that and with that they wouldn’t be good if they were small. Last time I checked there can only be 11 kids on the field at once for a team. That statement couldn’t have been more off!!! How many kids actually play on any team. Awful football post

  11. GO NOLES!! says

    There is no doubt that playing a punishing schedule week in and week out can expose weaknesses in any team.
    It all depends on your perspective. Should a team be ranked highly because they are capable of beating any team any given weekend, or based on a body of work navigating a tough schedule?

    I don’t give much weight to what happened last night. It had to be difficuult for Brockett to rally the troops for a Thursday night game, against a team they were predicted to roll over, on a cold, damp night. Seymour played hard and well, and Ansonia was unfocused and sloppy. It can happen. Would the Chargers have performed differently against a tough opponent in a game anticipated to be difficult? Probably.

    But I do think some of the flaws in Ansonia’s defense, and their lousy special teams, are eveident and should be taken into account in this year’s rankings.

    • JB says

      GN … I start to fall on the side of body of work this far into the season. Ansonia has all of the potential in the world and my view is the Ansonia coaches and players do it the right way, earning total respect. Not sure exactly where to rank them yet, but definitely a top team in the state regardless of the off night versus Seymour. Need to see how they bounce back for that Naugatuck game.

  12. Big Dog says

    Ok….It’s high noon still waiting on Ray Brown….Ray-“You are who I thought you were”First one on a new thread when an FCIAC or SCC team plays bad…We know your around heard from you on other site…Maybe out with Raven to long last night….Oh forgot he left the Cats too….The Dude one word for you REALLY???I guess all talk of beating Bosco,Bergan,the Patriots,NC is finally over..

  13. RAY BROWN says

    seymour was in a great position to win game——6 turnovers 3by newsome and 3 muffed on side kicks kept cats in game all nite—–kept ansonia offense off field—-the poll controversy may have taken a bigger toll on kids than expected——not to take anything from seymour—they played valley-tough football and nearly shocked the state/but in end when chargers needed drive to win game—they did 75 yards of pounding the run—- and are still unbeaten

    • The Truth Hurts says

      A on sides kick recovery is a Turn over for the receiving team ?I have never knew that is what it is considered.It has been classified this by a few Ansonia people in regards to this game.It is the first time I have seen it mentioned it this way.

  14. RAY BROWN says

    big dog you have no idea who i am—–i dont run and hide or chandge screen names li ke most of the scc and fciac cowards do—–im on win or lose—ask spb

  15. go blue says

    Good job Ray. Your rite on the mark. Guys like little dog need to to rant and hate the best program in the state. Woo 37 in a row and counting..

    • Hannibal Barca says

      37 in a row and counting. Something to be proud of. Sorta like when the European powers cruised through Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Real tough, sophisticated opponents. I suppose you’d be proud of the Globetrotters for winning 500 in a row against the Washington Generals too. 😉

  16. XHS says

    Dude I’ve been XHS and haven’t waive red for years. Ray (be honest) should they still be ranked in the top 5? I say around 5. What you say?

  17. RAY BROWN says

    the nvl obviously is better than people think——ansonia wins a close game and it gets the states attention—-it would still run thru scc this year—thats respect

  18. willie says

    hmmm…well one game for ansonia is just that of course. everyone can have a bad night. but one cannot help playing the game of x played y and y played z a little bit here and asking how good is z? often not a fruitful exercise but when z does not play anyone competitive it may be the only worthwhile way of drawing some conclusions. so.. lets see… amity beat seymour 24-21. ansonsia beat seymour 21-20 …missed two point conversion and two missed field goals that would have won it for seymour. lets see.. amity is about the 10th best team in the scc, correct? a pretty good team actually playing a tough schedule, good offense. lost or would lose soundly to west haven, xavier, shelton, prep, hand, ndwh, north haven, cheshire, foran (?), hillhouse (?), and others. wow..that would be a good schedule for ansonsia to play. how do we think they would do? how do we think amity would do in the nvl? well we dont know and never will….all we know is x played y and y played z we also know of course that seymour -a team that lost to the 10th best team in the scc-shut down ansonia’s running game that we keep hearing so much about…i would like to make a modest suggestion: ansonia should not be ranked higher in polls than the best team in the scc ,which for this week-and at least until we know the results of the hand-west haven game,-is west haven…..all agreed that this is a sensible way forward?

    • willie says

      well, nc is clearly the best in L, and st joes in M and , ahem, ansonia in S. LL is a mess and i think illustrates the weakness of the fciac compared to the scc. it is a shame that teams like macmahan, trumbull, ridgefield etc may get in to the playoffs rather than teams like xavier, shelton, prep.
      lets take a look:
      trumbull-shelton was winning 49-0 at half. without the 50 point rule the score could have been 90-0. 49-0 at half is not a fluke. these teams play 10 times shelton wins 10 by an average of 3 touchdowns. one has to feel for shelton. dropped three scc games in the final seconds.
      macmahan-come on. isnt there something wrong with a league when a team can play no one,go 7-0 and then lose by 40 points to ridgefield-see below? this is a farce. and would never be allowed to happen in the scc, particularly for an LL school.
      ridgefield-probably will win out and get in the playoffs. easy schedule with only a couple of difficult games, which they lost. beat cheshire in a close game. if not for two interceptions late, cheshire would have won. beat ndwh in OT. i know a win is a win. but there are 6 or 7 scc teams that are 3-4 tds better than cheshire and ndwh this year, including those on the bubble above.

      • JB says

        Willie, the real pretenders are in the SWC and CCC … nothing but cupcake filled schedules for playoff points. Glastonbury, Hall and Southington play no on except themselves. Newtown plays no one at all. NFA plays no one, except Glastonbury and wow, what a game … 6-0. Those are the teams crowding out better teams. And I don’t see any of those teams as better than Ridgefield, Trumbull, Staples or McMahon … and not anywhere near as good as NC, St Joes and likely Darien. The FCIAC at least beefed up their scheduling. But as good as the SCC? … no way, but the FCIAC is not crowding out anyone. Look up north, dude. Only one FCIAC and only two SCC teams will be in the LL playoffs.

    • GO NOLES!! says

      So take a look at what happened around the state last night.
      New Canaan goes to the locker room at halftime tied with undermanned Wilton. Newtown took a while to shake a terrible Stratford team. St. Joseph’s struggled to put away Warde.

      Some of the posts taunting Ansonia were remarkably juvenile, and apparently ignorant of the fact that this is a game played by teenagers where motivation and emotion play roles. These kids have been practicing and playing since mid August. With the weather turning cold and damp, and the end of the season not quite in sight, it is not shocking to see upsets and closer-than-expected games at this time of the season.

      Doesn’t mean the likes of NC, Ansonia, Newtown and others are not as good as we thought. It happens. And each of the teams regrouped, won the game and move on to next week.

      • Sean Patrick BowleySean Patrick Bowley says

        @GoNoles Absolutely. It’s Week 9 of an insanely long football season. Everybody’s banged up, chewed up and wiped out… The fatigue factor is setting in. This is a marathon and we’ve still got a few kilos left and some major hills to climb. We should expect this

  19. Football fan says

    Get your facts right, Ansonia, is lucky to suit up 40 kids a year and some are Freshman. They beat a good North Brandford team last year in Championship game. They played head to head with a senior St. Joe’s team late into the forth quarter. remember, the senoirs this year were Freshman that year and haven’t lost since. Stop trshing a team that goes out plays their schedule every year and just wins..did see NC had a tough time with a average Wilton team tonight, 14-7 after 3.. This is High School football, they are young kids, 16,17-18 years old, they play flat sometimes..Some days the little schools get their do.. It is just a shame they always have to wait until the big schools lose…
    No matter what they do they will never be respected. As far as leaving the NVL, it is not that eay. They have no Track, Swimming, Locross, and Cross Country teams.

    • says

      Football Fan,
      Let me start by saying I do not insult or condone any negative remarks to the kids. If you look at other blogs you will be able to see that I have gone against that from the start
      Ok that aside 1. The 2013 Ansonia HS Football roster has 51 players on it. 51 not including the freshman team and please don’t tell me the 7 freshman on the roster are the only freshman. Don’t go there on that one because every kid that is able to run in tghe town of Ansonia tries out for freshman football. I figure with the 7 on varsity the frosh team prob has another 20/25 kids with 10/12 that can actually play so numbers are never a problem nice try. 2. It’s North Branford not Brandfordand I agree NB was a solid team and showed in the semi finals which record breaking QB was better. Basil won by 40 plus I believe over Woodland and there QB. 3. Head to Head with a Senior Team yea and?????What does that even mean? To me it sounds like just another cry baby excuse for getting destroyed and I watched the game I know every inch of football they were ransacked and beaten like they owed money. 4. Play Flat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me it’s a rivalry game!!!!!!!! on top of that you have the line a mile long of people who say you don’t belong at the top of the poll!!!!!! WHAT MORE MOTIVATION DO YOU NEED ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im sick of hearing it a real pipe hitting #1 team in the state would have been so pissed off they would have beaten Seymour 49-0!!!!!!!! Listen these kids get free rides, there all over the internet, no one slips threw the cracks anymore like they used to odds are if you are good enough someone will see you and get you a ride. These kid’s are going to be under a miscoscope at all times in college and if they are truly blessed the pro’s. It’s people like you who have made these kid’s today think that they are intitled to stuff they didn’t earn and the everyone should get a award we can’t have people left out. That makes me sick…………promoting medioucrity and don’t say this or that parents barking for there kid to play when he stinks and everyone see’s it but him. It’s a joke so keep your bleeding heart liberal bs out of football and go play Tennis

  20. Ray Jr says

    Ansonia scrimmages amity every year and pound them not even a game. I went to the Ansonia West Haven game and AHS dismantles the mighty blue devils

  21. The Truth Hurts says

    Ansonia gets the Final #1 Spot for Scrimmage Season.2-1 with Quality wins over Notre Dame and West Haven and a loss to Shelton

      • willie says

        ok girls, what sort of life lessons are you interested in here. you can kill a kid with kindness you know. it is really something to see the way the sentiments expressed on this website flip from remarkable bravado at one extreme when all seems in order ,ie the author’s team is winning big , to, at the other extreme when the going gets tough, the they are only kids, everyone is banged up, they only suit up 40 players, they go out and play their schedule, it is getting cold outside brigade…you know it is getting tough when these sorts of arguments start coming out….actually they are 16-17 yrs old -old enough for the marines- and a little truth is not the worst thing. ..ansonia is an excellent team and i wish them the best. i have no animus toward ansonia. they are a small school and dont have the resources of the LL schools and are to be commended for their excellent program, certainly among the best in the history of the state. no one disputes that. but one has to be fair and honest. one has to take into account the feelings of players not only at ansonia but also on other teams that compete, eg lets say shelton or ndwh for example who play a really tough schedule and are I am quite sure banged up. and i think the poll voters should treat the kids with respect and as reasonably intelligent people and in the spirit of fairness and honesty, based on strength of schedule, vote west haven -the best team in the scc-ahead of a
        ansonsia. this is my modest request.

      • Westie says

        Obviously these scrimmages mean a lot to Ansonia fans. Imagine how much fun it would be for the players and fans if Ansonia played real games against these teams. Everybody would love to see it.

    • Westie says

      Truth Hurts, if we are counting scrimmages as real games, which is apparently what you are doing, then Ansonia lost to Shelton. That means they are not even close to being the best team in the state. Not even Top Ten. I don’t believe that but you guys keep bringing up scrimmages.

      • GO NOLES!! says

        I think scrimmages are only brought up in the context of pointing out that Ansonia does strap on the pads with big SCC schools , albeit in the preseason.

        Obviously scrimmages don’t really count, but do not dismiss how seriously West Haven and Ansonia take it. I am friends with a Westie assistant who hates losing to the Chargers.
        the Shelton scrimmage, at least this year, was treated like a JV game, both teams sitting out numerous starters-including Newsome and McKnight.

  22. dan says

    It’s much harder making states from the FCIAC and therefor much more difficult to win. NC/Darien/St. Joes would all be undefeated in the SCC this year. If Darien had lost to North Haven last night, they would have been essentially eliminated. This is ridiculous as Darien’s only loss has been to St. Joes (St. Joes will only loose to New Canaan this year). Now, Darien will dominate at least one “undefeated” team in states. Every year, 2 or 3 FCIAC teams don’t make states because horrible teams in other divisions take up space and go on to get destroyed in the first round. FCIAC teams also beat each other in states. For example, the 2009 New Canaan Rams held on to defeat Darien, clearly the second best team in the state (Darien beat the “undefeated/unbeatable” Hillhouse squad in the second round). Comparing teams simply by number of historical championships doesn’t show what division has more talent.

    Although it is not their fault, let’s not forget that every state championship Ansonia wins is in the weakest class size. Take away every SINGLE one of Ansonia’s championships if you put them in Class L. Maybe not this year, but 95% of the time, New Canaan, Greenwich, and Staples would DOMINATE Ansonia in the state playoffs. With that being said, Ansonia would most likely beat Greenwich and Staples this year but New Canaan is another story. Take a look at the film, Ansonia’s passing game is comparable New Canaan’s JV team this year. The top three FCIAC teams would simply load up the box, play man, and take away the run. Every high school coach in the country would prefer to have Ansonia over New Canaan on their schedule.

    ^Stan, please pay more attention in class. You’ll never get a job with your current writing level (at least we wont need a debate on the academic levels between FCIAC and SCC schools)!

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