NEW HAVEN — Corey Hooks didn’t play much in the first three games for North Haven after suffering a concussion in the season opener against West Haven.
He missed the second week of the season and played a little in the third week.
But after having a bye last week, Hooks returned to the backfield with a big night as the Indians scored 42 points in the final three quarters to break things open en route to a 49-14 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over Hillhouse Friday night at Bowen Field.
“One of the things we do have is quite an arsenal of running backs,” North Haven coach Tony Sagnella said. “They are all different, but Corey runs the power play really well. He read the blocks very well. He’s starting to finish the runs well.”
Hooks carried the ball 20 times for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first half as North Haven (4-0), needed eight minutes get on the scoreboard as the Hillhouse defense was able to keep the Indians from a big play.
Finally, after quarterback Shamus Meehan connected with Devan Brockamer on a 27-yard pass play to get the Indians down to the Academics’ 2-yard line, Hooks scooted into the end zone to open the scoring.
Hillhouse came right back on its very next possession with Demelle Turner, making his first start at quarterback for the Academics, scoring from two yards out to make it 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.
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“I have to credit Hillhouse,” Sagnella said. “They aren’t lying down and they were playing physical.”
But after that, it was all North Haven from there. The Indians received rushing touchdowns from Max Augustine (2 yards), Hooks (14 yards) and Nick Pastore (1 yard) to grab a 28-6 halftime edge.
“We just kept pounding the rock with 48 (the power dive),” Hooks said. “Just follow the fullback and sooner or later it’s going to bust open.”
North Haven tacked on touchdown runs by Nick Dodge (8 carries for 88 yards) and Meehan connected with Brockamer again for 37 yards, this time for a touchdown pass to make it 42-6 after three quarters. That invoked the CIAC 35-point running time rule on the clock.
North Haven tacked on its final score of the night with 1:17 to go when Augustine scored his second touchdown if the night on a 14-yard scamper.
Hillhouse closed out the scoring when All-State track hurdler Deshaun Poole took the ensuing kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown.
The Academics fell to 0-5 this season.
“We hung in there for a while, but we have a young team,” Hillhouse coach Reggie Lytle said. “Every day isn’t going to be like this. We’re taking our lumps and bruises, but we’ll be back.”
STAR OF THE GAME
North Haven’s Corey Hooks, who rushed 20 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had to, believe it not, elevate our game to their level of intensity. Once we did, we started to play the kind of football we’re capable of playing.”
— North Haven coach Tony Sagnella
North Haven 49, Hillhouse 14
North Haven: Corey Hooks 2 run (Chase DiCarlo kick)
Hillhouse: Demelle Turner 2 run (kick failed)
North Haven: Max Augustine 2 run (kick failed)
North Haven: Corey Hooks 14 run (Nicholas Dodge run)
North Haven: Noah Pastore 1 run (Chase DiCarlo kick)
North Haven: Nicholas Dodge 42 run (Chase DiCarlo kick)
North Haven: Devan Brockamer 37 pass from Shamus Meehan (Chase DiCarlo kick)
North Haven: Max Augustine 14 run (Chase DiCarlo kick)
Hillhouse: Deshaun Poole 92 kickoff return (Neal Eley run)
North Haven (4-0, 4-0); Hillhouse (0-5, 0-5)