Newsome, Ansonia run over Naugatuck

NAUGATUCK >> Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome has a career full of memorable performances.

Newsome, the state’s all-time leading rusher, added yet another to his impressive resume, turning in a simply dominating performance against rival Naugatuck.

The senior tailback carried 40 times for 406 yards and seven touchdowns as the Chargers, ranked No. 2 in the Register Top 10 Poll, ran over the Greyhounds 66-28 in this Naugatuck Valley League contest Thursday.

Newsome had to carry most of the load after junior quarterback Jai’Quan McKnight suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter. McKnight returned, but was limited.

The Chargers adjusted, and ran Newsome out of the wildcat formation numerous times.

“We practice it a lot,” Newsome said. “But we never thought we would have to run it. Jai’Quan got hurt, so I had to come in and run it.”

Ansonia (12-0), which has won 40 straight games, leads the overall series with Naugatuck 69-35-11 in a rivalry that dates back to 1900.

“It means a lot,” Newsome said about defeating Naugatuck. “We’ve been waiting for this game all year.”

The Chargers now advance to the Class S state quarterfinals, where they will be the No. 2 seed and host No. 7 Coginchaug on Tuesday. The loss ended the Greyhounds’ playoff bid in Class L.

The yardage, touchdowns and number of carries are all season highs for Newsome, who’s headed to UConn next fall. Newsome has now rushed 239 times for 2,863 yards and 48 touchdowns this season.

Ansonia coach Tom Brockett was pleased with his team’s offensive effort, especially after McKnight’s injury.

“To lose your quarterback and still be able to do what we did — and have a backup plan — hats off to the guys,” Brockett said. “The linemen, we put the game in their hands, and I thought they did a great job, and Arkeel was great.”

The offensive line, consisting of Matt Simon, Antone Mack, Ryan Hovan, Corey Dzienkiewicz and Tyler O’Connell, was physical throughout, allowing Newsome to carve up the Naugatuck defense.

“Basically, to us, he’s like our child,” Mack said about Newsome. “We have to protect him out there. If we don’t get the run game going, other facets of the game don’t open up. We always preach run first and get Arkeel into the open field. We just go out there and block as hard as we can and know that he’ll win the game for us.”

Touchdown runs by Newsome (5 yards) and McKnight (1 yard) put Ansonia up 13-0 after one quarter. Newsome’s 26-yard touchdown run in the second quarter extended the Chargers’ lead to 19-0 before Naugatuck (9-2) got on the scoreboard on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jason Bradley to Bryan Coney. But Newsome added a 14-yard TD run on the ensuing possession to put Ansonia up 27-8 at halftime.

“They have a really good football team,” Naugatuck coach Craig Bruno said about Ansonia. “We weren’t able to stop Arkeel. You have to be able to stop him if you’re even going to stay with that team. They have a great team; a great organization, class kids. It was a tough day.”

Newsome broke free for a 53-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter. He added touchdown runs of 37, 17 and 12 in the second half. Saiheed Sanders and Tajik Bagley also scored rushing touchdowns for Ansonia.
Naugatuck moved the ball better in the second half, with Bradley tossing his second touchdown pass of the day to Coney and one each to Ryne Griessenhauer and Rick Plasky.

“We moved the ball a little bit, but they’re tough,” Bruno said. “They were physical and strong and they beat us in a lot of areas of the game. I’m proud of my team, we had a good season, but we came up short today.”

Bradley, one of the top quarterbacks in the NVL, completed 9 of 29 passes for 173 yards. Bradley was only intercepted once, by Bagley, but was pressured all game.

“We had a great rush on him,” Brockett said. “The kid Bradley is a great player, he can run all around and he makes a ton of plays. I thought we played real good defense all day.”


Ansonia 66, Naugatuck 28

(at Naugatuck)

Ansonia  13-14-26-13  66
Naugatuck 0-8-14-6    28

First Quarter

A-Arkeel Newsome 5 run (Witold Gul kick)

A-Jai’Quan McKnight 1 run (kick failed)

Second quarter

A-Newsome 26 run (run failed)

N-Bryan Coney 38 pass from  Jason Bradley (Tom Douty run)

A-Newsome 14 run (Newsome run)

Third quarter

A-Newsome 53 run (pass failed)

N-Ryne Griesenhauer 3 pass from Bradley (kick failed)

A-Newsome 37 run (run failed)

N-Coney 8 pass from Bradley (Douty run)

A-Newsome 17 run (pass failed)

A-Sanders 27 run (Newsome run)

Fourth quarter

A-Newsome 12 run (Gul kick)

N-Rick Plasky 8 pass from Bradley (pass failed)

A-Tajik Bagley 8 run (kick failed)


  1. says

    News Flash there’s a moron blogging on CT football or is that just Ray Brown floating in my toilet!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Best RB running behind the state’s best line. It really makes no sense but then again Ray doesn’t really know the game. He learned it from The Internet like most of the DC in the state. LOL Ray get lost

      • bgarf says

        Coach Fillipone stated Philips was a couple weeks ago but I think it’s a rare instance of him being wrong.

        Philips is lightning quick but his frame is such that he will likely have more durability issues at next level than Cooper, Newsome, Highsmith, and Outlaw (Underwood prolly also in conversation but I haven’t seen him).

        I also know Newsome’s work ethic to be second to none and I wonder about Philips mental toughness based on comments he’s made and reactions to adversity on the field.

        It’s definitely debatable this year with so many D-1 caliber guys…here’s footage of Newsome and Philips competing against each other in this year’s scrimmage super bowl:

        • Fciac jr says

          Ervin looked quicker hitting the hole. Newsome wasn’t as dominating as I heard he was in this game. Sounded like a real game atmosphere and exciting. Would love to see that in a regular season.

          I also expected to see a huge Ansonia line but didn’t

  2. The Truth Hurts says

    Injured QB and Ansonia wins big.Not against a top tier SCC or FCIAC team.Without Newsome Ansonia is still 12-0 and big favorites in S playoffs.

    • bgarf says

      They didn’t just win, they put up 66 points. Most seasons, I’d have to agree but this senior-laden O-line and Newsome are a special combo.

  3. Just Sayin says

    @RAY and bgarf…

    You put the video up so we watched.
    That is NOT the best O-Line in the state.
    They are NOT blowing people off the line.
    Get your heads out of the subpar NVL and watch some football.
    Also, I think Phillips looks better, but that’s just my opinion, they’re both good.
    I like Phillip’s explosiveness better.

  4. bgarf says

    I posted the videos for the Newsome-Philips comparisons that came up, this is not an NVL game, and I’ve likely seen more high school football games around the state this year than you have in the past five years. Just sayin.

    • Just Sayin says

      If you’ve seen that many games then you should be able to evaluate an offensive line pretty well. They are pretty big ( there are plenty that are bigger) and pretty good ( not the best in the state), you didn’t say that, Ray the genius did. Phillips/Newsome is my opinion, not fact, just like everything else on this blog. And I see roughly 40-50 football games per year so while I may not be qualified to run an NFL offense, I’m pretty sure I can tell if an O-Line is getting a good push or not…Just Sayin…

  5. bgarf says

    Listen, I swore off gettin into ego- pissing matches on blogs so if you’re not a coach or ref, then kudos, you’re right up there with me for number of games seen.

    As for the offensive line, they’re very good…I wouldn’t say best in state because judging o-lines is far more subjective than judging star running backs. However, if you’re making assumptions only by the amount of push an o-line gets against a similarly big and strong defensive front, you’re doing it wrong.

    • Just Sayin says

      I didn’t say I was making assumptions only by the amount of push an o-line gets, that was just one example. I’ve seen them live and on tape and I don’t believe they are the biggest or best offensive line in the state. That’s not just my opinion, it’s just the one I agree with. But you’re probably right, I’m sure I’m doing it wrong! By the way, I only mentioned the number of games because you brought it up. I’m sure you can piss farther too.

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