- Veterans Field, New Britain, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
- Tickets $10 [Buy online]
- No. 4 ROCKY HILL 11-1
- No. 2 ANSONIA 12-0
- Rocky Hill: MARK FRITZ (3rd year, 24-9)
- Ansonia: TOM BROCKETT (11th year, 135-10)
- Rocky Hill — 0-0 (first appearance)
- Ansonia — 19-10 (30th appearance)
2015 lost to Bloomfield 31-20; 2014 lost to Valley Regional/Old Lyme 21-20; 2013 def. Woodland 51-12; 2012 def. North Branford 59-26; 2011 def. Ledyard 38-0; 2010 lost to St. Joseph 49-28; 2008 lost to Cromwell 14-12; 2007 def. New London 35-0; 2006 def. Bloomfield 34-12; 2003 def. Cromwell 55-0; 2002 def. Notre Dame-Fairfield 44-14; 1999 lost to Bloomfield 56-0; 1998 lost to Bloomfield 40-7; 1995 def. Bloomfield 7-0; 1994 def. Bloomfield 54-14; 1992 lost to New London 21-19; 1991 lost to New London 34-18; 1989 def. Weston 44-0; 1988 def. New London 20-15; 1987 def. New London 28-27; 1984 def. Putnam 56-6; 1983 def. Stamford Catholic 32-0; 1982 def. Derby 14-0; 1981 def. Woodrow Wilson 23-6; 1980 lost to Newington 24-12; 1979 def. Seymour 28-14; 1978 lost to Amity Regional 35-20; 1977 def. Stamford Catholic 20-7; 1976 def. Derby 6-0.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
|GRANT NIEVES, Sr., RB (6-0, 185)|
RICKY MONTALVO, Sr., LB (5-9, 190)
DANNY CAVALLARO, Jr., QB (5-9, 160)
JOE CATANIA, Jr., RB (5-8, 185)
KRIST VELI, Sr., C (5-10, 230)
DAMON LONERO, Sr., G (5-10, 215)
|BRYSON CAFARO, Sr., QB (6-2, 190)
MALCOM MARTIN, Sr., FB/LB (6-1, 239)
MARKELL DOBBS, Jr., RB/DB (5-11, 170)
JUSTIN LOPEZ, Jr., WR/DB (5-9, 160)
CODY TEODOSIO, Jr., WR/LB (6-0, 190)
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Ansonia is in search of its 20th state title in its 30th appearance in a state championship game.
The Chargers are playing in their seventh straight state final and have qualified for the playoffs in 11 consecutive seasons.
The Terriers reach a state final for the first time. Rocky Hill has fielded a varsity program for just 18 seasons. Coach Mark Fritz took over for program founder David Coyne, who retired after the 2013 season.
Ansonia defeated the Terriers 48-27 in the semifinals in 2013 when the current players were freshmen.
This game has the makings to be a classic. Both teams thrive on running the ball and each would like to control the clock and tempo with their potent ground games.
Rocky Hill runs an effective double wing offense featuring Nieves and Catania at running back. Despite the Terriers’ penchant to run the ball, Cavallaro is capable of leading Rocky Hill down the field through the air. Cavallaro has thrown with more regularity as the season’s progressed.
Nieves, Catania and Montalvo lead a defense that has allowed just 127 points, or an average of just 10.6 per game.
Dobbs has been one of the state’s best running backs this season. He’s rushed 166 times for 2,213 yards and 30 touchdowns. Dobbs has also caught five touchdown passes and has made two interceptions.
Cafaro (13 touchdown passes), Martin (seven rushing touchdowns) and Lopez (15 total touchdowns) also contribute offensively. Martin, Lopez and junior linebacker Cody Teodosio have been stalwarts on defense for Ansonia, which has allowed just 112 points.
Ansonia and Rocky Hill share a common opponent in Seymour. Ansonia defeated Seymour 41-20 in a regular season game on Oct. 28, while the Terriers earned a 42-7 win over the Wildcats in the semifinals.
Ansonia will be challenged by Cavallaro and the running back duo of Nieves and Catania, while the Terriers must contain Dobbs.
The Chargers might benefit from opening up the playbook and utilize the weapons it has in Cafaro, Lopez, Martin and Teodosio. In any case, this one should be a good one.
POOCH’S PICK — Rocky Hill
SPB’S PICK — Ansonia 35-21
CALPREPS PROJECTION — Ansonia 34-28
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