NEW BRITAIN – Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia’s record-setting running back, and his fellow seniors have compiled a resume that may not be matched for some time on the high school football scene.
They capped their careers with a third-straight state title Friday, but that only begins to tell part of the story. This victory, a 51-12 decision over Naugatuck Valley League rival Woodland in the Class S championship game before 1,400 at Arute Field, was the Chargers’ 43rd in a row.
Translation: the Ansonia seniors did not lose a game the last three seasons.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Newsome said. “This is a little more (meaningful) because it’s my senior year and third in a row.”
After winning the Class M title in 2011, the Chargers have won the last two in Class S. It was the 19th state title for the Chargers, who have been to 27 state finals. Both are state records. Ansonia, ranked No. 1 in the Register Top 10 Poll, also became the first team to win 15 games in a season.
“To do this is an unbelievable accomplishment,” said Ansonia coach Tom Brockett, who has won five titles and is 100-7 in eight seasons. “These kids have done every single thing that’s been asked of them, and I don’t think it left any doubt in anybody’s mind.”
Newsome capped an illustrious career by running 34 times for 259 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tom Majchrzak in the fourth quarter.
A 42-yard run on the first play of the second half allowed Newsome to break his own single-season record for rushing yards. Newsome finished this season with 333 carries for 3,867 yards and 68 touchdowns. Newsome, who is headed to UConn next fall, has career totals of 10,672 yards and 187 touchdowns, both state records.
“What’s the best adjective you could use to describe a running back, and I’ll use the word,” Brockett said. “I’m out of them. He’s been unbelievable; a special, special kid. I can’t wait to watch him at UConn. He added his legacy to high school football. He’s got some records that won’t be touched, at least in my lifetime.”
Woodland turned the ball over on its first two possessions. Both led to Ansonia touchdowns, a 6-yard run by Newsome and a 27-yard fumble recovery by junior Witold Gul that put the Chargers up 14-0. The Hawks (12-3) cut the lead to 14-6 on a 14-yard run by Tanner Kingsley, but Newsome scored the next two touchdowns to put Ansonia up 28-6 at halftime.
Sophomore Tajik Bagley scored on a touchdown run in the third quarter for the Chargers, while Newsome’s pass to Majchrzak, and a Newsome run, accounted for Ansonia’s scores in the fourth quarter. Kingsley scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter for Woodland.
The Ansonia offensive line, consisting of seniors Matt Simon, Ryan Hovan, Corey Dzienkiewicz, Antone Mack and junior Tyler O’Connell have been a big reason for Newsome’s success, and they didn’t mind letting Newsome get all the notoriety.
“If he scores, we score,” Hovan said. “Obviously he is a superstar, we understand that, and we just play as a team. When he gets credit, we all get credit.”
This state title was especially rewarding for Hovan, who missed all of last season with a broken leg.
“This is everything we worked for since we were freshmen,” Hovan said. “We wanted to come out here and do something special that no one else has really done. It was a big achievement.”
WOODLAND 0 6 6 0 — 12
ANSONIA 14 14 8 15 — 51
A–Arkeel Newsome 6 run (Witold Gul kick)
A–Gul 27 fumble recovery return (Gul kick)
W–Tanner Kingsley 14 run (kick failed)
A–Newsome 2 run (kick failed)
A–Newsome 8 run (Newsome run)
A–Tajik Bagley 4 run (Thomas Majchrzak pass from Jai’Quan McKnight)
W–Kingsley 5 run (pass failed)
A–Majchrzak 11 pass Newsome (Bagley run)
A–Newsome 3 run (Gul kick)
Team records: Ansonia 15-0, Woodland 12-3