ANSONIA — Derby got the ball to start Friday night’s NVL football game at Jarvis Stadium after No. 8 Ansonia deferred the choice. The kickoff went to the Derby 21. The returner got a few yards upfield before the Chargers’ Troy Sanders met him with a thump that got the crowd’s attention.
It was that kind of night for Ansonia, a 42-6 winner over the neighbors. The Chargers scored touchdowns on their first five drives as well as the first drive of the second half, needing just 26 plays to do all their scoring.
“There were some real good hits out there, guys running to the football,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. “We had a lot of different guys contribute on offense.”
Nine Chargers carried the ball (five of them after the first string departed), and three others caught passes from Sheldon Schuler, who was 7-for-11 for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) October 26, 2019
Nothing seemed to go wrong for Ansonia; when Noah Wagnblas’ fifth point-after kick was deflected at the line, it tipped up and straight through the uprights.
Derby, meanwhile, lost quarterback Bryce Cotter to injury in the second half, just the latest addition to a growing injured list.
“We’ve got to find ourselves. Right now we’re beat up,” Derby coach George French said. “We lost another kid tonight. We’ve got about 12 kids out.”
They include Zerion Montgomery, who ran for almost 1,500 yards and was an all-state defensive back as a sophomore, but who’s out for the year this season with a leg injury suffered early in the season.
But the litany goes on. Then linebacker/receiver Mike Rijo appeared to pull up lame in the first half Friday; turns out he’s been banged up all year.
“So is (receiver/safety Julian Delarosa),” French said. “They’re playing hard.”
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Ansonia didn’t run a third-down play until it had a 28-0 lead. And that pass to Jadin Blackwell set up Kevin Dobbs’ 2-yard touchdown run.
Schuler threw a screen pass to Blackwell for a 53-yard score 3:28 into the game.
“We do that a lot in practice,” Schuler said. “We’re just trying to perfect it every day.”
He connected with Wagnblas for a 24-yard score 6:52 in.
Shykeem Harmon had touchdown runs of 45 and 35 yards, going for 126 yards in all on eight carries.
Tyler Cafaro also ran for an Ansonia touchdown.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Sheldon Schuler threw for the game’s first two touchdowns, throwing for 114 yards in the first half and another 19 on the first drive of the second.
The Chargers honored longtime public address announcer Bob Barth before the game. Barth has stepped aside for health reasons.
ON THE BOARD
Derby junior Jeff Polis led the Red Raiders with 118 yards on 10 carries. He got 98 of those yards on two carries, one a 41-yard run late in the first half, another a 57-yard touchdown run, breaking a tackle at the line and dashing down the left side in the third quarter.
I thought we played real well. I thought it was a real, real good first half. I thought Derby played hard, and I thought our kids executed.” —Ansonia coach Tom Brockett