WEST HAVEN >> After recording victories over two sub-par opponents to open this season, Cheshire made quite the statement in dominating eighth-ranked West Haven on Friday night.
Andrew Yamin almost single-handedly helped the Rams prove they will be a force in the Southern Connecticut Conference.
Yamin rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns before halftime as Cheshire passed its first major test of the season with a 42-28 SCC Division I East victory at Ken Strong Stadium.
Despite being hampered by leg cramps in the second half, Yamin finished with 230 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries to lead the Rams’ punishing rushing attack.
“Nothing against Ridgefield (and) Lyman Hall, but I think (West Haven) was a very good football team that we needed to prepare for,” Yamin said. “I think the way we played, the way we dominated this game, was a result of us preparing for the week. It was a big win for the program.”
Yamin’s 9-yard touchdown run capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive to open the contest. Yamin added touchdown runs of 59, 34 and 61 yards as Cheshire (3-0) built a 28-14 halftime lead.
But as effective as Yamin was, it was the Rams’ line on both sides that eventually proved to be the difference.
“Our line just got beat up, on both sides. Badly,” West Haven coach Ed McCarthy said. “But we’re young. We’re going to get better, we’re getting better every day. We might have taken a step back today, but we’re going to win some games.”
After Yamin’s first touchdown, West Haven responded when Marshont Little erupted for a 59-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7. But Yamin scored three straight touchdowns, including one after Colin Thorne picked off West Haven quarterback Tim McCarthy.
West Haven, though, crept to within 28-14 just before halftime on Brandon Sebastian’s 2-yard touchdown run.
The Westies (2-1) then constructed a nice-looking drive to open the second half, but coughed up the ball on a fumble at the Rams’ 29. Chris Hillburn recovered, and although Cheshire punted on the ensuing possession, the momentum swung back to Cheshire.
“(The fumble) was a big one,” Ed McCarthy said. “We were marching. It was 2nd-and-5, and I really couldn’t see what happened. I don’t know if he got stripped, or he didn’t wrap it up, but he got hit pretty hard. But, yes, that was a big one. If we go in then, we think we could take them to the wire.”
Colin Thorne (four carries, 81 yards) scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 45 yards in the second quarter for Cheshire.
Zatrell Lyons caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from McCarthy in the third quarter, while Lyons tossed an 82-yard touchdown to Sebastian (six catches, 128 yards) in the fourth on a trick play.
Cheshire’s Jack Cunningham rushed 11 times for 110 yards in his second game back since suffering a torn ACL in May. The Rams did not attempt a pass in the second half.
Hillburn had two sacks for Cheshire while Tony Marcucilli, Matt Covel and Tyler D’Errico had one each.
“We definitely came out and showed what we can do tonight,” Hillburn said.
|Cheshire 42, WH 28||1||2||3||4||F|
|NO. 8 WEST HAVEN||7||7||0||14||—||28|
C–Andrew Yamin 9 run (Matt D’Andrea kick)
WH–Marshont Little 59 run (Tayvon Gibbs kick)
C–Yamin 65 run (D’Andrea kick)
C–Yamin 45 run (D’Andrea kick)
C–Yamin 60 run (D’Andrea kick)
WH–Brandon Sebastian 2 run (Gibbs kick)
C–Colin Thorne 1 run (D’Andrea kick)
C–Thorne 45 run (D’Andrea kick)
WH–Zatrell Lyons 10 pass from Tim McCarthy (pass failed)
WH–Sebastian 82 pass from Lyons (Lyons pass from McCarthy)
Team records: Cheshire 3-0, West Haven 2-1