Defense, Gold lead Newtown to back-to-back SWC championships

MVP Cooper Gold of Newtown tries to escape the grasp of Brookfield's Liam Clancy in the SWC title game. (Photo Mara Lavitt)

MVP Cooper Gold of Newtown tries to escape the grasp of Brookfield’s Liam Clancy in the SWC title game. (Photo Mara Lavitt)

BROOKFIELD >> When you think of Newtown’s third-ranked football team, offense is typically the first thing that comes to mind, what with multi-year stars like quarterback Drew Tarantino, receiver Julian Dunn and back Cooper Gold on the roster.

But perhaps its time to start learning a few more Newtown player names, those of the defensive variety.

Jaret DeVellis, Ryan Shaw, Ben Mason, Harry Duffy, Josh Krapf… Learn them and get used to them.

They’re going to be around for awhile.

Defense won the night and the SWC championship for Thursday night with a swarming and smothering effort in the Nighthawks’ 28-7 victory over Brookfield.

[PHOTOS: The SWC Championship]

The Hawks’ big D, comprised mostly of underclassmen around seniors Dom Scarangella and Tim Krapf, forced two turnovers, sacked Brookfield quarterback Brad Westmark six times, and came up with a handful of fourth-down stops to keep the SWC trophy in Newtown.

“We had a two weeks to prepare for this team and we knew what they were going to run, thank God for the coaches for that,” said DeVellis, a fiery, 5-foot-6 junior linebacker who was a constant thorn with four sacks. “They really prepared us well.

“We came out a little sluggish in the first quarter, but we fixed that up a little bit. And at halftime the coaches challenged us to do better and we showed up. So that was good.”

Of course, offense played a big role too. Tarantino and Dunn hooked up for a pair of first-half touchdowns to put Newtown ahead 14-7 at halftime. Then Gold put the game away with two short touchdown runs. He ran for 165 yards on 27 carries and was named the game’s MVP for the second consecutive year.

“Two years in a row and they’re a really good team,” Gold said. “They gave us a lot of trouble at the beginning. They have a lot of really good players, man. …But I think we stepped up. I think our defense played really well. Our underclassmen picked up the slack we had in the beginning and it’s just a blessing.”

“I’m at a loss for words right now. It’s unreal, man.”

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Newtown’s Jaret Devellis sacks Brookfield’s Brad Westmark during the first half of the SWC championship game at Brookfield. (Mara Lavitt – Register

Newtown scored on its first possession, a fourth-down pass Dunn took 26 yards for a touchdown. But Brookfield, picking up where it left off in last week’s win over Barlow, responded quickly. Gabe Pompette took the ensuing kickoff all the way down to the Newtown 15. Austin Reich made it 7-7 on a 1-yard run.

Brookfield continued to move the ball well throughout the first half. But every time Newtown came up with a clutch stop.

The tone of the game changed when Devellis sacked Westmark twice to end a Brook drive at the Newtown 21. Then it turned when Tarantino converted a third-and-14 pass to Jared Pearson along the left sideline.

A few plays later Tarantino found Dunn again for the go-ahead score.

That’s when the defense kicked in again. Nick Lotrecchiano picked off Westmark to thwart another Brookfield drive and preserve the 14-7 halftime lead.

“Let’s face it, they’re a good football team,” said Brookfield coach Rich Angarano, whose team had already clinched a spot in the Class M playoffs and plays Bethel to determine their seeding on Thanksgiving. “We’re a good football team too. But you’ve got to score when you’re down deep. You can’t, not score when you’re in the red zone and you’re in a playoff game.”

In the second half, Newtown’s defense consistently stomped on what few hopes Brookfield had left.

Devellis blew up a trick play. Tim Krapf batted down a fourth-down pass. Mason, a 6-1, 200-pound freshman, snuffed out a fourth-down run at the Newtown 8. Duffy forced a fumble, which was recovered by Shaw late in the game to set up Gold’s final score of the evening.

Scarangella and junior Josh Krapf also had sacks in the first half.

“Part of it is my first-year defensive coordinator Bob Pattison, he spends tireless amounts of time going through film and practices schedules and working with these kids to put them in the best position,” George said. “This isn’t the easiest offense to stop, it’s like the three little nutshells and you can’t find the ball. But our kids were prepared and the result was just seven points scored.”

This is Newtown’s fourth SWC title overall. But there’s plenty of season left. The Hawks will face Masuk on Thanksgiving to determine their seeding in the Class LL playoffs.

“It’s great for our community it’s great for us in Newtown and it’s great for our kids who put so much time in to prepare for this,” George said. “Now it’s no more weeks off. Our backs are against the wall the rest of the season.”

Brookfield quarterback Brad Westmark looks to pass amid a heavy pass rush in the SWC final. Newtown won, 28-7 (Mara Lavitt - Register)

Brookfield quarterback Brad Westmark looks to pass amid a heavy pass rush in the SWC final. Newtown won, 28-7 (Mara Lavitt – Register)

SWC Championship at Brookfield
BROOKFIELD 7 0 0 0 — 7

NEWTOWN 7 7 7 7 — 28

First quarter

  • N– Julian Dunn 26 pass from Drew Tarantino (Otto Kerler kick)
  • B– Austin Reich 1 run (Dane Borges kick)

Second quarter

  • N–Dunn 20 pass from Tarantino (Kerler kick)

Third quarter

  • N–Cooper Gold 1 run (Kerler kick)

Fourth quarter

  • N–Cooper Gold 5 run (Kerler kick)

Team records: Brookfield 9-2, Newtown 11-0

Newtown fans cheer as the football team takes on Brookfield in the SWC title game Nov. 21, 2013. (Mara Lavitt - Register)

Newtown fans cheer as the football team takes on Brookfield in the SWC title game Nov. 21, 2013. (Mara Lavitt – Register)


  1. Big Dog says

    And you guy’s wonder who fires up all these Ansonia people on these blogs…Heres a quote from their fearless leader on their blog.Now they are bringing Newtown into the coulda shoulda debate.I went to the game the other night…Seriously, I have seen Woody twice live now.They went 9-1…Is this the 2nd best team?Really??I have seen every SCC D1 team this year…Woody would beat Cross and Amity that is it.Foran and NH would beat them by 3 Td.s in D2..Kyle,no wonder why you guys always compare Ansonia with everyone thats the only thing the keeps the blogs going….Take a look:

    Remmy and I took in the Newtown-Brookfield game last night. Newtown is good, but not the Class LL favorite as far as I’m concerned. For the age-old question — how would Ansonia do? — I’d pick the Chargers by two-three touchdowns against Newtown

  2. Fciac jr says

    Big Dog, Newtown will lose in the first round. Defense is slow, offense can hang some points on you, but shut dunn down and a good team will roll. Hoping Ridgefield gets #8 and Newtown, that would be a bad matchup for Newtown.

    Offense struggle against an avg Brookfield team and had to revert to a mediocre running game to pull out the victory. Ridgefields defense will not be like any swc defense, that’s for sure.

    • TP says

      Not exactly sure how Ridgefield would be a bad match up for Newtown…while I don’t think they have played their best games over the last month I would not sleep on Newtown. They are better than people give them (and their league) credit for. I love how people say they struggled against this team and that team when they still win by 3 or 4 td’s. There is a difference between struggling and not playing your best and still beating the team soundly. I would say struggling to beat a team is what Ridgefield did versus a 3-7 Wilton team…
      Maybe Ridgefield should be concerned with beating Danbury and making the playoffs right now…

  3. Eye of the Tiger says

    Ridgefield should beat Danbury and quite sure Greenwich will beat Staples. Now if Prep beats WH, Ridgefield should be 8 vs 1. That is the match up Ridgefield prefers over an NFA or Glastonbury. we saw NFA last year and what they can do and Glastonbury is big, strong and fast. But you are right, need to beat Danbury first.

  4. JB says

    Staples just needs to contain Longi – not your typical Greenwich defense … gave upt 66 to NC, 50 to Trumbull and 42 to Darien. Will be another great T-day classic and down to the wire like always. Strap it on and let’s find out!

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