Philips (5 TDs) leads West Haven past Hand

(Peter Casolino - New Haven Register)  West Haven's Ervin Philips looks for rooms around Hand's Sammy Katz during the first quarter.

(Peter Casolino – New Haven Register) West Haven’s Ervin Philips looks for rooms around Hand’s Sammy Katz during the first quarter.

WEST HAVEN >> Ervin Philips has vivid memories of the last time his Westies played Hand a season ago. A two-point conversion attempt sailed off of Philips’ fingertips in the final moments and the Westies fell to the Tigers by one point.

Philips needed all of one play to make sure the Westies did not feel the same way when walking off the field this season as he raced for a 64-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. West Haven went on to a 46-35 victory over the Tigers in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I East battle at Ken Strong Stadium.

With the victory, West Haven improved to 8-1 and clinched the division title with a 4-0 record. Hand, which took a serious hit to its playoff hopes, falls to 6-3 and 2-1 in the division.

“All summer we worked hard for these games,” Philips said. “We lost by one point. We used that as motivation. We wanted to beat these two teams (Hand and Xavier) that we hadn’t beaten. We worked hard to do that.

“I just wanted to carry the team on my back. I just wanted to respond and make big plays. The offensive line did a great job opening holes.”

Philips, who also recovered an onside kick and a Hand fumble in the end zone, ran for 267 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries. The senior star ran for 162 yards in the first half and was almost as good in the second half, scoring on runs of 11, 27 and 4 yards.

“How good is he?” West Haven coach Ed McCarthy asked. “He recovered an onside kick and a fumble and does what he does running the ball. He is the best player in the state.

“This is a great win for us. We pointed to this game all summer. They had us on our heels with their tempo, but we were able to hang on. They are a good team and are going to be very good.”

The Tigers came out ready to play in the second half and scored on the opening possession when Conor Dowd scored from 16 yards out. West Haven needed just five plays to respond as Philips gave West Haven a 26-14 lead with an 11-yard run.

The Tigers fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the momentum was back with the Westies as Philips scored on the next play from 27 yards out with 7:03 left in the third for a 33-14 lead.

“We did not tackle well,” Hand coach Steve Filippone said. “We did not tackle well because they have some of the best backs in the state. Erv is the best back in the state and that is no offense to Arkeel Newsome. He is in a class with him and (Harold) Cooper. He is the best back for what he does for his team.”

Philips’ fifth score increased the lead to 40-14 before the Tigers used an 8-yard scoring strike from Nick van Dell to Tom Wilson and a 3-yard run by van Dell to get within 46-27.

“We are a very young team,” Filippone said. “We have six sophomores starting. We are still learning. These games will help us grow for the future.”

After van Dell evened the game at 7 in the opening quarter with a 6-yard run to cap a 9-play, 85-yard drive, Philips again had an answer.

His 30-yard run off tackle capped a 5-play, 65-yard drive with 2:59 remaining in the first quarter. The Westies missed the extra point, keeping the lead at 13-7.

West Haven increased the lead to 19-7 with 4:03 remaining in the first half. Quarterback Duane Gary, who rushed for 126 yards, capped a 15-play drive, which saw a 17-yard run by Anton Graham, with a 2-yard score. Philips was denied on the conversion, keeping the West Haven lead at 12.

Van Dell finished the game throwing for 221 yards.

West Haven 46, Hand 35
(at West Haven)
Hand 7 0 6 22 0 — 35
West Haven 13 6 21 6 0 — 46
First quarter
W—Ervin Philips 64 run (Tayvon Gibbs Kick)
H—Nick Van Dell 6 run (Tyler Phan Kick)
W—Ervin Philips 30 run (Kick Failed)
Second quarter
W—Duane Gary 16 run (Run failed)
Third quarter
H—Conor Dowd 16 run (Phan Kick)
W—Ervin Philips 11 run (Tayvon Gibbs kick)
W—Ervin Philips 27 run (Tayvon Gibbs kick)
W—Ervin Philips 4 run (Tayvon Gibbs kick)
Fourth quarter
H—Tom Wilson 15 pass from Nick Van Dell (Run failed)
W—Duane Gary 47 run (Kick failed)
H—Nick Van Dell 3 run (Tyler Phan Kick)
H—Conor Dowd 1 run (Van Dell to Tom Wilson pass)
Team records: West Haven 8-1; Hand 6-3



  1. RAY BROWN says

    west haven makes statement——cant play defense and hand is still the defending”YALE SUMMER CAMP” champions enjoy

    • Westie says says

      I’m pretty sure they can beat Seymour by more than a point. And so would Hand.
      And Xavier, and Prep, and Amity, and ND, and Shelton.

    • Westie says

      We will never know. Ansonia has to play Watertown and Crosby. No room for good teams. And I will take Phillips over your top recruit any day. At least his stats are real.

      • Not Ray Brown says

        Agreed. And personally, I think Phillips has as good of an argument as anybody for State MVP. WH is an excellent team with or without him, but he stepped up and took over in their games against Hand and X. 5 td’s vs Hand and maybe the defensive play of the year in OT vs X? LL Playoffs may be wide open this year, but as long WH has Phillips they’re my favorite to win.

  2. RAY BROWN says

    we already know———-or did you conveniently forget ansonia west haven game earlier—newsome ran westies ragged

    • Westie says

      Keep bringing up scrimmages. You know nothing about football. Play in a real league or at least play a real team once in a while. Everybody else does. And stop taking credit for the Waterbury kid.

  3. says


    Do you know what scrimmages are for? I am certain you have no idea what coaches do at scrimmages. OK!! Unlike Ansonia lol this is really comical!! Anyone out there every hear Ansonia lost a scrimmage. Trust me they say they win every won no matter what the outcome . It’s pathetic. A few years back ND beat the living you know what out of them like they owed money 49-6 or something crazy like that and all they still said the won. Scrimmages are to assess talent you moron and usually not the starters but the second and third guys to see the value they add. If a guy goes down who stepped up in the scrimmages or can we play him here and here cause he’s to good not to play. Any real coach could care less about a scrimmage because there starters get a quick look and then back ups go in as well. This guy Ray is a clueless as I have ever seen talking ball. He knows nothing but Ansonia is the best yeah. Learn the game clown!!!!

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