We’re not quite sure if it was the rain, the wind or a combination of rain and wind and the misery that followed, but Week 4 wasn’t all too exciting save for the wild, back-and forth showdown between Southington and Glastonbury.
As such, we didn’t get a whole lot of submissions from players and teams this week, sadly. Even the games we shot live, there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot going on. Have we already hit the midseason malaise?
Perhaps not. We scanned the box scores and scanned through your public Hudl postings, made some phone calls to find some of the state’s best plays and moments from Week 4.
We think we’ve found a good sampling, if not all, of the best stuff, including some highlight packages from two of the week’s most dominant performances. There were a few out there we knew about but couldn’t find or get. If you think yours could have topped any of these, get your submissions in next time. You can’t win if you don’t play.
Speaking of plays, onto them…
Update: We forgot we had the West Haven-Hillhouse play, which was a staff favorite. And, as such, we’ve added it taken the rankings off. They’re all in order.
Parker Tregoning Can’t Lose
The Scene — Coginchaug took on Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby hoping to even its record after a 0-2 start under new coach Nick D’Angelo.
The Play(s) — Parker Tregoning had a field day running through the Windsor Lock defense. According to our statistics, he had 410 yards rushing and scored six touchdowns in a school-record day. One of his scores, an 80-yard run, was called back due to holding. No matter. He had scoring runs from 72 and 71 yards out.
The Result — Coginchaug is 2-2 with the 46-14 victory. They have a bye before taking on Morgan in Clinton on Oct. 17.
The Scene — The penultimate game of Week 4 at Muzzy Field featured two of the better teams in CCC Division II. Wethersfield, which features a new quarterback this season in Devon Smith, was looking to stay unbeaten.
The Play(s) — Smith had a breakout game for the Eagles. He amassed 475 yards of offense and accounted for six touchdowns, five passing and one rushing. Like Tregoning above, there isn’t one play here. Just one great performance.
The Result — Wethersfield roared past Bristol Central 42-26 to stay unbeaten and made its debut in the GameTimeCT / Register Top 10 poll at No. 10.
Nate the Great
The Scene — Naugatuck had just taken an 8-7 victory over Wolcott in this showdown of the NVL’s better teams. Naugatuck, as is its preference, likes to squib a majority of its kickoffs, partially to prevent teams returning them for touchdowns (the other reason is to hopefully cause the opponent to fumble it back to them). But it didn’t do so this time.
The Play — Wolcott’s Nate Filippone was happy to make Naugy pay. The kick bounced straight to him and he bolted through Naugatuck’s return team for a 75-yard touchdown to give the Eagles the lead for good, 14-8.
The Result — Wolcott went on to beat Naugatuck 34-8, with Filippone scoring twice and intercepting a pass. The team is 4-0 heading into a game vs. Kennedy. Unbeaten Torrington looms in Week 6.
Anything you can do…
The Scene — Staples led Fairfield Warde 28-0 in after three quarter thanks to several bruising runs by Ethan Burger and Connor Adrian. The game wasn’t in much doubt as the teams head to the fourth quarter. But this next series stood out.
The Play(s) — Fairfield Warde finally got on the board with a nifty, 80-yard touchdown run by Bryan Azarian to pull Warde within 28-8. But on the ensuing kickoff, Staples’ Sam Arciola bolted 80 yards the other way to put Staples up 35-8.
The Result — Staples went on to win 35-15 and improved to 3-0 heading to McMahon. Warde fell to 0-3.
Mar’quess de Sade
The Scene — Stratford was looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 2007 when it faced winless Pomperaug at Penders Field Saturday.
The Play(s) — Mar’quess Daniels, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound monster end, had a field day as Stratford built a 21-3 halftime lead. After a weaving touchdown run, in which he cut across the grain to score Stratford’s first touchdown, he caught an 83-yard touchdown pass toward the end of the first half to give the Red Devils a comfortable 21-3 halftime lead.
On that play, he took a pass from Connor Anstis over the middle. His size alone was too much for the Pomperaug defender, who bounced away to give Daniels a clear path to the end zone and the 83-yard touchdown.
To emphasize the point, we show Daniels making like a brick wall to stop 6-1, 235-pound James Christiano on a run.
The Result — Stratford improved to 4-0 and heads to 3-1 Brookfield for its biggest game in years.
The Scene — New Fairfield, which had already lost to Brookfield, arrived at soggy Benedict Field in Monroe desperately needing a victory to stay afloat in the state playoff race. Problem was, the Rebels hadn’t beaten Masuk in 20 years. History was not on their side.
The Play(s) — History be damned. Determined to run the ball in the adverse weather conditions Rebels got into a “jumbo” formation and began to pound away. Just when Masuk began to cheat up and overcommit at the line, New Fairfield would hit it with a perfectly-timed pass to its tight ends. In this case, all five of its passes went for touchdowns. Long ones at that.
The best of the bunch were Mike Farrell’s two long scores, one on a halfback option pass from Zach Tripodi, and Greg Radovic’s 87-yard catch and run as everybody struggles to keep their footing in the mud.
The Result — New Fairfield routed Masuk 41-13 for their first victory over the Panthers since 1994. They’re 3-1 and looking every bit the SWC and state playoff contender predicted in the preseason.
The Scene — Griswold headed to Norwich Free Academy hoping to pull off the upset for the second-consecutive year. NFA was looking for vengeance for last year’s regular season blemish on the way to the Class LL-Large state final. The Wildcats were leading 13-0 toward the end of the half and Griswold was backed up in its own end.
The Play(s) — It’s every trailing team’s worst nightmare. You have precious little time left. You’re looking to get a score to give yourself momentum before halftime. Instead, the winning team takes a turnover back to the house to make your position even worse in the second half.
Griswold quarterback Cole Mileski throws a bomb down the right-hand side, but the pass is short and into double coverage. NFA’s Miles Joyner picks it off easily, weaves and bobs through some tackles and, after nearly losing the ball at one point, scores a 51-yard touchdown return.
The Result — Instead of a 13-0 halftime lead, NFA goes up 20-0 and the rest is history. The Wildcats go on to win 34-6 to stay unbeaten.
Who needs offense?
The Scene — Berlin faced rebuilding Northwest Catholic at Sage Park looking to state unbeaten.
The Play(s) — The Redcoats scored on the game’s first three possessions… the Northwest Catholic first possessions. Garrett Guite returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Jake Loiselle returned an interception for a touchdown (not shown) and on a safety. Though the Loiselle TD isn’t shown, the fumble recovery by Guite is impressive enough. He reaches into a scrum and pulls the ball away and raced 55 yards the other way.
The Result — Berlin scored 36 points in the first quarter en route to a 50-6 victory and remained unbeaten at 4-0.
Marquis de Sade (and Kyle Godfrey, too)
The Scene — West Haven was playing Hillhouse for the first time in 18 years and, much like the last meeting all those years ago, this one was all West Haven. The Westies were already in firm control, up 41-8 late in the third quarter, when the following play happened.
The Play — Hillhouse lined up to punt in the ball but lost a handle on the snap in the rain and wind at Ken Strong Stadium. West Haven’s Marquis Lockhart was there almost immediately as House tried to recover. He jarred the ball loose and it bounded to Kyle Godfrey — who was already having a day on offense — and he gladly took the scoop-and-score for a 48-8 Westie lead after three quarters.
The Result — Hillhouse added a few cosmetic touchdowns, but that was the finishing touch on a 55-22 West Haven victory. The Westies are 3-1 as they prepare to face Shelton Friday. Hillhouse suffered its first loss of the season and fell to 3-1.
TILT! TILT! TILT!
The Scene — No. 1 Southington at No. 9 Glastonbury. The CCC showdown at Tomahawk Field
The Play(s) — You’ve seen them all before, so there was no point making one specific video. This is a repost. The teams combined for 102 points, the majority of which were by Glastonbury’s Keyion Dixon and Jake Madnick, Southington’s Jay Rose, Vance Upham and Alessio Diana. Southington scored 27 points in the fourth quarter over a gassed Glastonbury squad to pull away for the 61-41 victory. We couldn’t pick just one. The whole game was a pinball machine, which TILTed when Jay Rose scampered for a long touchdown with a minute remaining.
The Result — Southington remained unbeaten and No. 1 in the state polls. Glastonbury, interestingly enough, wasn’t penalized for the loss. In fact, they took a step up in the GameTimeCT / New Haven Register poll.
The Pick-Six Million Dollar Man
The Scene — Shelton had this game circled on its calendar all offseason. After three relatively easy opening victories, the suddenly-healthy Gaels headed to Veterans Field to take on wounded Notre Dame-West Haven, which was playing without QB Christian Lupoli.
The Play — Chris Kanios, who we like to joke is like Lee Majors from the Six Million Dollar Man (he’s returned from injury twice, sometimes better than he was before), picked off a short pass and took it 65 yards the other way for a touchdown and a 14-0 Shelton lead just before halftime.
The Result — Shelton, which was all but contained offensively by Notre Dame’s defense, needed the insurance score and eventually won, 17-7 heading into another huge game vs. West Haven. For the second-consecutive week, Notre Dame, now staggering at 2-2, was forced to lick its wounds and reassess its season. The Green Knights really can’t afford another loss.
Give ‘im a Hand
The Scene — Hand was quietly unbeaten heading into a battle with winless Branford at the Surf Club. That kind of matchup didn’t exactly inspire confidence in a close game. Yet the Hornets were hanging around just before halftime, down only 7-0, in the rain and wind on Long Island Sound. Branford punted the ball back to Hand with under a minute left.
The Play — Hand ran on its first play, taking precious time off the clock. But it didn’t matter. Taking a bubble screen pass, Tristan Dowd did what so many of his predecessors have done at Hand: He followed his blockers, danced out of some tackles and raced 57 yards for a crushing touchdown on the final play of the half to put Hand up 14-0.
The Result — The Tigers turned on the jets in the second half, winning 33-6 to stay unbeaten. Branford fell to 0-4.
For Mr. King
The Scene — Two days after George King, one of the last captains of the Old Lyme football team, died at the age of 92, his son Tim’s Valley Regional/Old Lyme football team was down to North Branford 14-0 in the first half.
The Warriors rallied to tie it, however and we went to overtime. The first overtime settled nothing. But in the second, Valley Regional/Old Lyme went ahead on a touchdown run by Matt Sapere, his second of the game. But the extra point was no good, meaning all North Branford needed was 10 yards and a kick to win the game.
The Play — On third and goal from the 9, North Branford quarterback Paul Pastet had all day to throw and even side-stepped a blitz from the outside corner. But his pass, intended for Nick Mancini, was picked off by a diving Dan Stecher to end the game.
The Result — Valley, which started the season 0-2, improved to 2-2 with the emotional, 27-21 victory. The game ball was laid to rest with George King on Tuesday.
Do you think you had a play that rivaled or trumped any of these? Well, we can guarantee you didn’t submit it to the GameTimeCT ‘Plays of the Week’ offices in time… or at all.
Don’t be modest. Don’t hesitate. We want to show off the best Connecticut football has to offer. And you can’t win if you don’t play.
So get those submissions in. Follow these instructions here. Send us your plays before 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
If it doesn’t make the Top 10 (or so), then it might make our honorable mention reel, which will be added to the bottom of this post on Wednesdays.
That’s all for this week. Let’s head to what’s looking like a rainy Week 4.
Thanks for joining us.