First it doubled the number of coaches on its sidelines, and then O’Brien Tech doubled its number of football victories Saturday.
New coach Tim Nixon started the year alone for the Condors. Assistant coach Robert Hayes recently got his CIAC certification, so he joined the team as its defensive coordinator.
“With two (coaches) and 50 kids, it still makes it tough,” said Nixon, most recently an assistant coach at West Haven before taking over the Condors. “(Hayes) coaches the defense, I coach the offense, and we’re actually two-platoon. It’s tough to practice like that, but for me it’s been so much fun to be able to teach the whole offense.
“I tell all my friends back at West Haven how much fun it is coaching here and to see the growth of the kids, to see them executing, to see that developing right before our eyes has been a privilege and an honor.”
And the Condors have themselves a winning streak, beating Wilcox Tech 44-8 on the road on Oct. 5 and topping MCW United 44-0 at home on Saturday, after an 0-3 start.
“(Hayes) is doing a great job,” Nixon said. “It was really tough doing it on my own, but when you coach good kids, it makes it a lot easier for me. It was certainly a challenge, but it was something that we looked to overcome.”
On a sunny Saturday in Ansonia, freshman tight end Ryan Bergen, making his first start, and the line opened holes for the Condors’ backs. They ran for 285 yards, led by Xavier Velleco’s 118. Jamesyn Brothers ran for three touchdowns and threw one to Elijah Moore, who caught two other passes from Ozzie Priar and had 100 receiving yards on those three catches.
Priar, Nixon said, “he is a great offensive manager. He knows what to do, puts guys in motion, reads the defense.
“You know me, I’d rather run the ball 48 times and throw maybe once, but we like to open it up. We really believe in our receiver, Elijah Moore. He’s tremendous when you put the ball up to him. Either he’s going to come down with it or no one’s going to come down with it.”
O’Brien Tech visits Prince Tech on Saturday with games against some of the league’s top teams, including ATI and Bullard-Havens at home, still to come. The Condors also host Platt Tech the day before Thanksgiving.
“We’ve got a long ways to go, but it’s been an exciting year. Having an assistant definitely helps, 100 percent,” Nixon said. “Hopefully I can get two more for next week. That would be real nice.”
Daron Bryden broke his second significant Bloomfield passing record in three weeks on Friday. Revised figures on MaxPreps on Monday give him 401 yards in a 68-0 win over Rocky Hill and 5,521 for his career, a school record.
blessed to say i am now bloomfield’s all time passing yards leader with 5,508 yards ! all because of my guys
— Daron Bryden 2 (@DaronQB) October 19, 2019
According to the 2013 Connecticut High School Football Record Book, Keenen Orie threw for 5,156 yards for the Warhawks through 2007.
Bryden, a junior, now has 75 touchdown passes; he broke Jason Manson’s school record of 65 in Bloomfield’s previous game, a 47-0 win at Plainville on Oct. 4.
The state records, according to this year’s record book: 10,767 passing yards, Casey Cochran, New London and Masuk; 113 touchdowns, Tanner Kingsley, Woodland.
Hartford Public coach Harry Bellucci and Berlin coach Joe Aresimowicz will receive the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Coalition Crusader Award next month in Hartford.
Congratulations to our Head Coach @coachbellucci! The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence will honor him with the Coalition Crusader award for his work in championing the Coaching Boys Into Men program, which educates student athletes in healthy relationship skills.
— HPHSFootball (@HPHSFootball) October 17, 2019
Hall raised $2,000 with a car wash for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
— Paul McConnell (@PMcConnellLaw) October 17, 2019
We promise this will be an irregular feature, but four unbeaten teams in the playoff race fell from the ranks this past weekend, leaving 17. Two more are guaranteed to take their first losses this week in the two big FCIAC showdowns, No. 2 St. Joseph vs. No. 7 Ridgefield, and No. 3 Greenwich vs. No. 4 Darien.
There are still 22 teams without a win, though the good news is that number will drop by at least four this coming weekend. There are enough other head-to-head meetings between teams winless to this point that no more than 13 teams can finish that way.