All-Area Football: Defense | 2nd & 3rd Teams
The 2015 New Haven Register All-Area Football Team: Offense. Selected from schools within New Haven Register’s immediate coverage area.
Compiled and written by Mike Pucci. Photos by Catherine Avalone (except Byron Dickens, by Arnold Gold). Designed by Sean Patrick Bowley.
Mike Montano, North Haven
Stats: Rushed 149 times for 1,892 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Indians, who advanced to the Class L state championship game. He also passed for seven touchdowns and made 54 tackles, five interceptions and recovered one fumble.
Honors: A New Haven Register first-team All-State, a coaches all-state first team, an All-SCC, a Walter Camp and a Levi Jackson selection. Named the SCC Division II player of the year.
Christian Lupoli, Notre Dame-WH
Stats: Completed 129 of 210 passes (61.4 percent) for 1,705 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Green Knights, who advanced to the Class L state semifinals. Also rushed 128 times for 679 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Honors: A Class L coaches all-state, an All-SCC and a Levi Jackson team selection. Named the SCC Division I Player of the Year.
Up next: Has committed to play at the University of New Hampshire.
Nick van Dell, Hand
Stats: Completed 176 of 288 passes (61.1 percent) for 2,074 yards and 19 touchdowns against just four interceptions. Also rushed 110 times for 568 yards and seven touchdowns. Holds school records for career passing yards (6,331), touchdown passes (50) and completion percentage (59.8).
Honors: A Class L coaches all-state and All-SCC selection.
Tajik Bagley, Ansonia
Stats: Rushed for 219 times for 2,083 yards and 31 touchdowns for the Chargers, who advanced to the Class S state championship game. Also made five interceptions.
Honors: A New Haven Register first-team All-State, coaches all-state first team, an All-NVL and a Walter Camp team selection. Named the NVL Player of the Year.
Brett Huber, Foran
Stats: Made 88 catches for 1,353 yards and 14 touchdowns, rushed for five touchdowns and passed for two more. Also made eight interceptions.
Honors: A Class M coaches all-state and an All-SCC selection.
Ryan Kaufmann, Hand
Stats: Made 60 receptions for 876 yards and eight touchdown, the team-leading in each category. Also started every down on defense and kicked off.
Honors: An All-SCC selection.
Kevin Robinson, Shelton
Stats: Made 39 catches for 839 yards and 11 touchdowns, rushed for three touchdowns, also made 21 tackles, two interceptions and blocked one field goal and averaged 42.8 yards per punt for the Gaels, who went 12-1 and advanced to the Class LL state championship game before losing to Darien.
Honors: A New Haven Register first-team All-State, coaches all-state first team and an All-SCC selection.
Byron Dickens, West Haven
Stats: Junior paved way for Westies to rush for 2,572 yards and 45 touchdowns. West Haven, which advanced to the Class LL state quarterfinals, finished with 3,668 total yards of offense. He also made 33 tackles.
Honors: A Class LL coaches all-state, an All-SCC and a Levi Jackson team selection.
Kevin Lawrence, Xavier
Stats: Made 10 pancake blocks and paved way for Falcons to gain 2,787 total yards.
Honors: A New Haven Register first-team All-State, coaches all-state first team, an All-SCC and a Walter Camp team selection.
Up Next: Has committed to play at the University of Rhode Island.
Mike Masnato, North Haven
Stats: Helped the Indians rush for 4,873 yards and 62 touchdowns. Also made 39 tackles and one sack for North Haven, which advanced to the Class L state championship game.
Honors: An All-SCC selection and a two-time Register All-Area choice.
Matt Zelanin, Shelton
Stats: Paved the way for the Gaels to gain 4,864 yards of total offense. Shelton, which went 12-1 and advanced to the Class LL state championship game. Team rushed for 2,269 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Honors: A New Haven Register All-State first team, Class LL coaches all-state and an All-SCC selection.
Gabe Eriksen, Morgan
Stats: Rushed 184 times for 1,738 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Huskies, who advanced to the Class S state quarterfinals. Had eight touchdown receptions, finished with 2,465 all-purpose yards and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. Also made 135 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one sack.
Honors: An All-Pequot Conference selection. Named the Pequot South Division MVP.
Up next: Is considering Stevenson and Western Connecticut State among his college choices.
Joe Zoppi, Shelton
Stats: Made 52 of 54 extra point attempts and six field goals, including a long of 35 yards. Tallied 70 points for the Gaels, who went 12-1 and advanced to the Class LL state championship game before losing to Darien. Also recovered one fumble and caused another.
Coach of the Year
Tony Sagnella, North Haven
Stats: Guided the Indians to a 12-1 record, a berth in the Class L state championship game and a seventh straight SCC Division II-East title. North Haven reached a state final for the first time and a playoff spot for the third consecutive season. In 19 seasons, he has led the Indians to 11 division titles and six state playoff berths.
More 2015 Football Awards
All-Conference Football Teams
All-State Football Teams
Walter Camp Football Foundation: All-Connecticut Team
USA Today: All-USA Connecticut Team