ANSONIA >> Friday nights in the fall at Jarvis Stadium have brought countless moments of joy to various families in the Ansonia community.
However, before, during and after the ninth-ranked Chargers’ 48-0 Naugatuck Valley League win over Derby, producing high-quality football was far from the only thing on the minds of the players, coaches and spectators.
Playing the first home game since the death of John “Bucky” Glenn, who has been the statistician at Ansonia football for more than four decades, his children served as honorary captains and there was a moment of silence before the game in his honor. Then, with just under five minutes left to play, it was time to pay honor to another Ansonia football family.
The night was over for the scintillating senior duo of Tajik Bagley (18 carries, 108 rushing yards, 3 touchdown runs) and Tyler Bailey (87 yards on five carries and a 70-yard touchdown reception) for Ansonia (2-0).
Markell Dobbs, the younger brother of former Ansonia All-State running back Montrell Dobbs, was doing much of the heavy lifting as the Chargers ran out the clock in the fourth quarter. Dobbs broke free for an apparent 11-yard touchdown run when he slid to his knees at the 1. On the next play, sophomore Jayme “J.J.” Tuttle shook off a tackle and bounded into the end zone for his first varsity touchdown. The Ansonia sideline erupted in joy and there were likely some tears shed along the way.
Tuttle is the grandson of former Fairfield Prep football coach Rich Magdon. But Magdon has been much more than “grandpa” to Tuttle.
Since Tuttle was 2 years old, Magdon has been acting as a surrogate father. Just a few days ago, however, Magdon, suffered a heart attack and he remains hospitalized.
“It was my first touchdown, I had adrenaline so I broke a tackle and (scored) a touchdown,” Tuttle said. “I said I am going to make a touchdown for him. He is going to be all happy and excited for me. I know he will say these words ‘football is your culture now.’”
Magdon has spent the last two seasons as Ansonia’s defensive line coach and the Chargers line had a game to remember Friday. Ansonia recorded 15 tackles for loss.
Tuttle said his plan was to give his grandfather a call once things settled down after the game and he will likely have plenty of other people grabbing the phone to chat with Magdon.
“He has been around football his whole life, he knows what it means and he knows what the Ansonia/Derby game means,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. “His grandson is such a great kid that we love him and we root hard for him.”
The emotional impact of Friday night’s festivities was not lost on Bailey as the Chargers were able to pay homage to the Glenn and Magdon families.
“He (Tuttle) is somebody we all look out for on the team, we make sure he is good every day in school and out of school. We really want to teach him,” Bailey said. “That (Tuttle’s touchdown) is big for us, we are gong to go in there and congratulate him, we are so happy for him. I know it is difficult, every day his grandfather is always there for him, he does everything for him. His grandfather is a great guy and I know this is tough for him, but we are going to get him through this.”
While Magdon only began dealing with the current Ansonia players on regular basis in the last couple of years, Glenn has been a fixture on the Ansonia sidelines for more than 40. He was quick to engage anybody he came in contact with in friendly banter.
“His family talked to us before the game,” Bailey said. “We knew we had to come out to do what we had to do and win this game for him.
“I enjoyed getting to now him a lot, he was a funny guy. Every time I went to the sideline, he had a joke to say. He was funny and he was a nice guy.”
Bagley had scoring runs of 3, 13 and 4 yards, quarterback Bryson Cafaro had touchdown passes of 70 yards to Bailey and 41 yards to Malcolm Martin, and Justin Lopez returned an interception 40 yards for a score.
For Derby (2-1), Ricky Bartone ran 18 times for 50 yards and also had an interception.
Ansonia 48, Derby 0
Derby 0 0 0 0 0 — 0
Ansonia 21 7 14 6 0 — 48
A—Tajik Bagley 3 run (Bryson Cafaro kick)
A—Tajik Bagley 13 run (Cafaro kick)
A—Tyler Bailey 70 pass from Bryson Cafaro (Cafaro kick)
A—Malcolm Martin 41 pass from Bryson Cafaro (Cafaro kick)
A—Justin Lopez 40 int ret (Cafaro kick)
A—Tajik Bagley 4 run (Cafaro kick)
A—Jayme Tuttle 1 run (run failed)
Team records: Ansonia 2-0 (1-0); Derby 2-1 (1-1 NVL)