St. Joseph tops Brookfield for Class M football championship

St. Joseph's players celebrate with the Class M championship trophy after a 54-16 victory over Brookfield at New Britain.

St. Joseph’s players celebrate with the Class M championship trophy after a 54-16 victory over Brookfield at New Britain. Photo by Sean Patrick Bowley

NEW BRITAIN >> For the third time in the last five seasons, and 11th overall, the St. Joseph football team is a state champion, rolling over Brookfield 54-16 at Central Connecticut State University’s Arute Field.

“It’s a different group of kids. In 2011 we lost a lot of players and all these kids had to play as sophomores and we got beat up a bit,” St. Joseph’s head coach Joe Della Vecchia said. “To make the playoffs last year and get knocked out early, we had a little attitude coming into this year and we knew were better than that and wanted to finish it off.”

Musfasha Abdul Basir rushed for 166-yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half, leading the way for the Hogs (13-2) in the snowy conditions.

“The conditions didn’t bother me. I prefer running in snow and rain; it makes me work twice as hard. It’s kind of fun jumping around, sliding in snow,” Abdul Basir said.

“A great day for them (offensive line). They were just moving people out of the way and made great running lines for me and (Joey) Civitella. They work hard all week and they were relay serious about this game and wanted to leave with a big statement.”

[Photos: The Class M Championship St. Joseph vs. Brookfield]

Abdul Basir rushed for both of his touchdowns in the first quarter, carrying the load for the Hogs early on, which was their game plan.

“More due to the field conditions when we got here, we thought we’d have to play more of an inside game,” Della Vecchia said.

After Abdul Basir’s two touchdown runs, St. Joseph turned to quarterback Jordan Vazzano who started the game off throwing two incomplete passes. He then completed his last five passes, four of them to four different receivers. All of them went for touchdowns.

“The first couple were more mental than having something to do with weather,” Vazzano said. “I was confident the whole time I was confident in game plan and my whole team.”

Della Vecchia was confident that his senior quarterback would be able to pass through the snow.

St Joseph's running back Mufasha Abdul-Basir struggles for yardage duriing the Cadets 54-16 state cahmpionship win over Brookfield at CCSU's Arute field. John Vanacore for the Register

St Joseph’s running back Mufasha Abdul-Basir struggles for yardage duriing the Cadets 54-16 state cahmpionship win over Brookfield at CCSU’s Arute field.
John Vanacore for the Register

“We talked before the game and said he was fine,” he said. “He has a strong arm and big hands, so he felt fine. He just wasn’t putting heat on the first two passes.”

Jack Yerxa had a 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter for St. Joseph.

The Cadets were able to do what they wanted to against the Bobcats’ defense all game.

The Bobcats (11-4) were in search of their third state title.

“We got beat by a better team. They were as advertised,” Brookfield head coach Rich Angarano said. “Not much we could do as an offense and they ran the ball down our throats.”

The Bobcats were able to get on the board, scoring two touchdowns late, runs by Brad Westmark and Bobby Drysdale in the fourth quarter. Drysdale rushed for a game-high 172 yards in the loss.

With his third state title under his belt, Dellavecchia doesn’t have a favorite.

“They’re all special in their different ways,” said Dellavecchia. “First two with my sons and this one, we worked really hard the past three years to get back here, you never know when you’re going to get an opportunity like this. It’s a special feeling.”

Mark Hirschbeck catches a touchdown pass as St Joseph Cadets defeated the Brookfield Bobcats 54-16 to win the CIAC Class M tate football crown at CCSU's Arute field.

Mark Hirschbeck catches a touchdown pass as St Joseph Cadets defeated the Brookfield Bobcats 54-16 to win the CIAC Class M tate football crown at CCSU’s Arute field.

BROOKFIELD 0 0 0 16 — 16
ST. JOSEPH 16 22 16 0 — 54
SJ — Mufasha Abdul Basir 3 run (Abdul Basir run)
SJ–Abdul Basir 1 run (Mark Hirschbeck pass Jordan Vazzano)
SJ–Lars Pedersen 30 pass Jordan Vazzano (pass failed)
SJ–Mark Hirschbeck 21 pass Vazzano (Hirschbeck pas Vazzano)
SJ–Abdul Basir 54 pass Vazzano (Hirschbeck pass Vazzano)
SJ–Jack Yerxa 40 fumble recovery return (Joey Civitella run)
SJ–Shane Miller 46 pass Vazzano (Civitella run)
B–Brad Westmark 27 run (Austin Reich run)
B–Bobby Drysdale 50 run (Drysdale run)

Stats:

Rushing: SJ – Mufasha Abdul Basir 19-166, 2 touchdowns; Christian Trefz 7-15; Joey Civitella 3-13; Shane Miller 4-12. B – Bobby Drysdale 21-172, 1 touchdown; Brad Westmark 7-54, 1 touchdown; Austin Reich 9-44; Daniel Jackson 3-5; Gabe Pompette 1-3.

Passing: SJ – Jordan Vazzano 5-7, 168, 4 touchdowns. B – Brad Westmark 3-12, 15.

Receiving: SJ – Shane Miller 2-63, 1 touchdown; Mufasha Abdul Basir 1-54, 1 touchdown; Lars Pedersen 1-30, 1 touchdown; Mark Hirschbeck 1-21, 1 touchdown. B – Liam Clancy 1-10; Bobby Drysdale 1-5; Nick Seis 1-0.
Team Records: St. Joseph 13-2, Brookfield 11-4

St Joesph Cadets defeated the Brookfield Bobcats 54-16 to win the CIAC Class M tate football crown at CCSU's Arute field.

St Joesph Cadets defeated the Brookfield Bobcats 54-16 to win the CIAC Class M tate football crown at CCSU’s Arute field. Photo John Vanacore

Comments

  1. James says

    Ansonia is the equliviant of a middle school St joes plays l and double ll all year long then they play a m post season Teams like hillhouse snd st joes have too much tradition and pride to play in a m post season that team today was god awful and was scars stiff Where’s the pride ??? You have it in basketbsll I feel that you will be ranked out of top 5 because if this.

  2. willie says

    Congrats to st joes! great program. frankly, they are just too good for the other class M schools. they play a great big time regular season schedule. one of the toughest. then it seems they can just phone it in in the class M play offs. I dont want to be harsh. But the game film for this final looks like st joes was running through a limited contact practice with its scout team. Must be a bit odd. The question is this. Could st joe’s jv win class M? ok maybe not class M, but class S. The st joes experience certainly highlights the difference between class M and S, on the one hand, and L and LL, on the other. A steady diet of class M competition and st joes would become pretty mediocre pretty fast. Got to respect st joe’s ability to play a big time regular season schedule. Cant wait for the rematch with prep next year! Anyway, it is what it is. Class M champs. And they are most definitely a top 5 team.

  3. PapaDags says

    St Joes is a top 10 team for sure but probably not top 5, I agree with James. Ansonia, NC, possibly Darien in a rematch, Southington, Prep in a rematch, and let’s not forget WH , Hand, or No. Haven. For some of the St Joes backers who feel they should be ranked 1 or 2 is asinine. ( and what the hell where they doing going for 2 up 52. Do they not know how to take a KNEE

    • bandwagoner says

      It was the 3rd quarter and they don’t have a kicker. SJ beat Prep and Darien far and square so give them the credit where it’s due. Leave them out of the top 5? What an asinine thing to say! They earned a spot in the top 5 with their regular season and playoff run. Don’t let your St. Joe’s hate bias the objectivity.

  4. willie says

    Congrats to st joes. Great program. Great regular season schedule. And Brookfield gave it a go under tough tough conditions. It is interesting to see how a team like st joes that plays a great top notch regular season schedule can clean up in class m.

  5. Frank says

    They wanted the #1 for the recruiting trail they will start after the Holiday. When the Administration at the Public School say ENOUGH of these Private schools nonsense, it may change.

  6. Johnnybaccala says

    Papa days, I attended the joes vs prep game earlier in the season. Joes was ahead by three tds and cruising well into the 3rd quarter. Prep forced some turnovers and dominated the rest of the game. Joes connected on a Hail Mary to win the game. Both are very good teams but in my opinion the combination of running and passing the edge goes to joes by two or three TSS.

  7. Darien Fan says

    St. Joes is definitely a top 5 team. I’d argue that they are #2 – beat FP and Darien
    1. NC
    2. St. Joes
    3. FP or Southington winner
    4. Darien
    5. FP or Southington loser
    6. Ansonia

  8. walter says

    you cannot put ST Joe’s ahead of Prep regardless that they beat them. St Joes took the easy way out and went M had they gone to L they would have lost to New Cannaan hence never been in front of prep who just won the LL… bigger picture folks… they shot themselves in the foot playing in the NIT…

  9. jeb says

    Walter I hope you are joking with your post. Joes beat Prep and lost to New Canaan twice. They are a great team and should be ranked ahead of Prep due to head to head competition. Also they did not take the easy way out…they are locked into the class M due to enrollment. In my opinion if they played Prep again they would have a much easier time beating them. I might be wrong but that’s how I see it.

  10. willie says

    St joes is a great program. And to their credit, they have won all these state titles in their class. But they have never won the FCIAC league title. In fact, this is the first year they have been to the finals. Does that make you wonder just a little bit about how a class S school like ansonia would do in the FCIAC or SCC? no, why would it? Different story entirely…

    • Big ansonia fan says

      ANSONIA NUNBER 1!
      DONE DEAL. WE ARE UNDEFEATED!
      LETS MOVE ON TO NEXT YEAR.
      YOU GOT IT-ANSONIA NUMBER 1 AGAIN PRESEASON NEXT YEAR!!!!
      WHO IS GOING TO GO UNDEFEATED NEXT YEAR? HINT: ANSONIA!
      YOU GOT TO BE UNDEFEATED TO BE NUMBER ONE MATE!
      ALL THESE OTHER TEAMS PLAY EACH OTHER. SOMEBODY IS GOING TO LOSE. HARD TO PLAY 8 OR THE BEST 10 TEAMS IN THE STATE AND GO UNDEFEATED. OH OH, MISPOKE. NOT HARD AT ALL- IF YOU ARE ANSONIA!

        • Big ansonia fan says

          sorry what did i say that was untrue?
          -got to be undefeated to be number 1 in conn polls? untrue?
          -ansonia is undefeated? untrue?
          -ansonia most likely to go undefeated next year? untrue?
          -all other teams likely to lose next year? untrue?
          -ansonia number one this year and preseason number one next year? untrue?
          You got it?
          Yea, lets move on exactly, mate.

          • Big ansonia fan says

            apologies, i would rephrase the first point:
            -the only undefeated team in conn has to be number 1? untrue?
            and, I submit that everything said in my submission is 100 percent true. This is not sarcasm as some suggest. Would be funny if it was. This is accurate.
            And yes,indeed, it would be a good idea to move on.

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