ANSONIA >> It didn’t take long Tuesday night for Ansonia to show why it’s one of the favorites in the CIAC Class S football playoffs.
The second-seeded Chargers exploded for 35 points in the first quarter and routed seventh-seeded Stafford/East Windsor/Somers 48-0 in the Class S quarterfinals at Jarvis Stadium.
Ansonia (11-0) will host sixth-seeded Cromwell/Portland at 6:30 p.m. Monday night at Jarvis Stadium in the semifinals. Cromwell/Portland ousted previously unbeaten Bloomfield 28-14 on Tuesday.
Ansonia’s speed on both sides of the ball was the difference. Its defense totally shut down the offense of Stafford/East Windsor/Somers.
The Bulldogs had 10 yards rushing and 35 yards passing at halftime. They ended up with minus-3 yards rushing and 92 yards passing. Of the 92 yards passing, 42 came on one play late in the fourth quarter when Ansonia had its second- and third-team defensive players in the game.
“Our speed was definitely the difference in the game,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. “I thought it was a faster game for them.”
“We knew they were really good,” Bulldog coach Brian Mazzone said. “Did we expect to get beat like this? No. No one really does.”
Ansonia scored touchdowns the first seven times it touched the ball. Three of them came with Stafford snapping the ball on offense to start the play.
After Markell Dobbs finished off the Chargers’ first possession with a two-yard run less than 4 minutes into the game, Stafford/East Windsor/Somers was forced to punt from its own 3-yard line. Dobbs took it right back with a 29-yard punt return for a touchdown to make it 14-0.
The Bulldogs only had the ball for 1:05 before quarterback Nate Lajoie was picked off by Justin Lopez at the Ansonia 30. Lopez ran it all the way back down the left side without being touched for another touchdown with 6:33 remaining in the first quarter.
Two minutes later, Dobbs scampered 74 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-0. With 58 seconds left in the opening quarter, Dobbs bobbled a punt at his own 27-yard line, but regained control and had a wall leading him down the left side for a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown, his fourth of the first quarter.
“He’s fantastic and I saw that on film,” Mazzone said. “We saw their size and I thought we were timid. I sensed it after the first two series.”
Dobbs tacked on a 31-yard touchdown run and Jake Butler added a 13-yard rush for a touchdown in the second quarter to put the game away.
Brockett took many of his starters out late in the second quarter with the field conditions going downhill quickly with the rain earlier in the day taking its toll.
“You have a short turnaround and we were able to get the younger kids in there,” Brockett said. “You also want to avoid injuries.”
Stafford/East Windsor/Somers, which qualified on Thanksgiving, finished its season at 9-2.
“We had an unbelievable season, but I went into halftime and you don’t feel very good about the way we played,” Mazzone said. “I just told them to go out and find a way to enjoy the last two quarters.”
ANSONIA 48, STAFFORD CO-OP 0
Ansonia 35 13 0 0—48
Stafford 0 0 0 0—0
A—Markell Dobbs 3 run (Bryson Cafaro kick)
A—Dobbs 30 punt return (Cafaro kick)
A—Justin Lopez 70 interception (Cafaro kick)
A—Dobbs 74 run (Cafaro kick)
A—Dobbs 73 punt return (Cafaro kick
A—Dobbs 30 run (Cafaro kick)
A—Jake Butler 12 run (kick failed)