WEST HAVEN >> The West Haven football team has not forgotten what transpired the last time Cheshire visited Ken Strong Stadium. The Rams defeated the Westies by two touchdowns two years ago en route to an 8-3 record.
So, there was a bit redemption on the line when the SCC Tier I rivals met Friday. Both teams entered unbeaten.
On the strength of its explosive running game, and a tenacious defense, West Haven made quite the statement and earned a convincing 41-14 victory to hand the Rams their first loss of the year.
Senior Anthony Godfrey rushed 20 times for 288 yards and three touchdowns for the Westies (4-0), who are ranked fifth in the Register Top 10 poll.
“We knew this was a big week for us,” Godfrey said. “They were talking about how two years ago they manhandled us (in a 42-28 Cheshire victory) and we had to get our revenge.”
West Haven scored five of its six touchdowns on the ground. Junior Kyle Godfrey, Anthony’s brother, rushed 24 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Westies.
Anthony Godfrey scored on a 43-yard run and then senior quarterback Tim McCarthy connected with junior Chris Chance on a 70-yard touchdown pass to put the Westies up 14-0. West Haven extended its lead to 21-0 at halftime following a 3-yard touchdown run by Kyle Godfrey.
“Cheshire’s a very, very good team,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “We hit some big plays, our line played great and the Godfreys, they’re good running backs. So is Chris Chance. Chris Chance did a nice job tonight, too.
“It was a total team effort. The defense, that’s where we’re better than we have been the past few years. (Scott) Benoit and (Mark) Ecke did a great job coming up with a defensive scheme.”
Five of West Haven’s touchdowns were on plays of 40 yards or more.
“They’re a good football team,” Cheshire coach Don Drust said. “They’re dynamic, everybody knows they have three good backs. When you don’t wrap up, when you don’t tackle, that’s what happens. It’s frustrating a little bit, but I have to watch the film. But, they’re a good football team.”
Cheshire senior quarterback Jack Raba exited the game with an injury in the first half. He did not return. Drust said he does not know what the injury is nor the extent of it.
The Rams (3-1) scored on the first series of the second half when junior quarterback Will Graikoski hit junior Eric Angelone on a 77-yard touchdown pass to put Cheshire on the board. West Haven responded two plays later when Kyle Godfrey scored on a 58-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, Graikoski hooked up with senior Mike Millea on a 4-yard touchdown pass to bring the Rams to within 28-14, but that’s as close as Cheshire would get.
Millea caught seven passes for 72 yards while Angelone made four receptions for 153 yards.
The Westies took their foot off the throttle just a bit in the second half, but Anthony Godfrey would add touchdown runs of 49 and 76 yards in the fourth quarter.
“We were able to control the line of scrimmage and, generally in football, if you can do that, you’re going to win the game,” Boshea said.
West Haven 41, Cheshire 14
(at West Haven)
Cheshire 0 0 7 7 — 14
West Haven 14 7 7 13 — 41
W—Anthony Godfrey 43 run (Jose Conde kick)
W—Chris Chance 70 pass from Tim McCarthy (Conde kick)
W—Kyle Godfrey 3 run (Conde kick)
C—Eric Angelone 77 pass from Will Graikoski (Ethan Bronson kick)
W—Kyle Godfrey 58 run (Conde kick)
C—Mike Millea 4 pass from Will Graikoski (Bronson kick)
W—Anthony Godfrey 49 run (Conde kick)
W—Anthony Godfrey 76 run (kick blocked)
Team records: West Haven 4-0; Cheshire 3-1