ANSONIA — The Ansonia football players and coaches expected a healthier, more improved and tougher Seymour team in the CIAC Class S quarterfinals than the one the Chargers beat by 55 points in the regular season on Oct. 26.
While the Chargers’ expectations were right on the money, the result was similar.
Markell Dobbs had 24 carries for 206 yards, including touchdown runs of 1, 3 and 58 yards, and Darwin Amaya had 12 carries for 151 yards and touchdown runs of 4 and 7 yards plus a 39-yard touchdown reception to lead No. 1 seed Ansonia to a 51-16 win over NVL rival and No. 8 Seymour at Jarvis Stadium on Tuesday.
Ansonia (11-0) advances to the semifinals and will face No.5 Stafford/East Windsor/Somers (10-1) at home on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Ansonia defeated Seymour 61-6 in the regular season.
“This is playoff football and we knew we wouldn’t be facing the same team we did in the regular season,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. “Seymour is a great football team with great players with good speed. In the third quarter we started playing better defense and I think that was a turning point for us.”
Unlike its first game in the regular season with Ansonia, where the Chargers led 35-6 after the first quarter, Seymour excelled on both sides of the ball to limit Ansonia to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter.
Dobbs gave Ansonia the first lead of the game on a 1-yard run up the middle with 8:00 left in the first quarter. The touchdown was set up by an 83-yard run by Justin Lopez. A Lopez two-point run made it 8-0 Ansonia.
Seymour answered on its next possession, going five plays to tie the game at 8 with 6:26 to go in the first quarter. Bobby Melms scored on a 24-yard run and Ethan Szerszen caught a pass from Ian Sadick for the two-point conversion and the tie.
Ansonia answered on its next possession. Lopez sent a perfect lead pass to Amaya who caught the ball in stride and scored on a 39-yard touchdown pass with 3:58 left in the first quarter. An Amaya two-point rush made it 16-8 Ansonia.
Turnovers plagued both teams in the second quarter but Dobbs was able to get the Chargers the only score of the quarter. Dobbs broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage and sprinted all alone down the left side of the field for a 13-yard touchdown. Dobbs’ two-point rush made it 24-8 Ansonia with 3:23 to go in the first half.
Ansonia scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter. Amaya’s 4-yard touchdown run made it 30-8 with 8:10 to go. Luca Belenchia caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Lopez and an Amaya rush made it 38-8 with 48 seconds to go.
“That touchdown pass to Luca was the turning point in the game for me,” Dobbs said. “We knew Seymour would come out a better team this game and we expected a tough game from them. But Luca’s touchdown gave us a cushion and it was at that point we had a sense this was our game.”
Melms answered with a 60-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds to go in the third quarter and a two-point conversion pass cut the Chargers’ lead to 38-16. But Dobbs answered on Ansonia’s next play from scrimmage with a 58-yard touchdown run and a Jalen Johnson kick made it 45-16 with 9 seconds left in the third quarter
Amaya’s 7-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter provided the 51-16 final.
Melms led the Wildcats with 20 carries for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Ansonia 51, Seymour 16
Seymour 8 0 8 0 —16
Ansonia 16 8 21 6 —51
A — Markell Dobbs 1 run (Darwin Amaya run)
S — Bobby Melms 24 run (Ethan Szersen pass from Ian Sadick)
A — Amaya 39 pass from Justin Lopez (Amaya run)
A — Dobbs 13 run (Dobbs run)
A — Amaya 3 run (run failed)
A — Luca Belenchia 5 pass from Lopez (Amaya run)
S — Melms 60 run (Jake Carfo pass from Sadick)
A —Dobbs 58 run (Jalen Johnson kick)
A — Amaya 7 run (run failed)