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Thursday, September 22, 2011

DeSandre, Lyman Hall set to face Hand

In a 50-21 loss to Brookfield in the Class M state quarterfinals last season, Lyman Hall running back Joe DeSandre broke the school's rushing record.

After running for 96 yards in a Week 1 win over Wilby this year, DeSandre has tallied 2,823 career yards. DeSandre surpassed the 2,723 yards gained by former Trojans standout Vincent Poggio, who played in the mid-1980s and helped lead Lyman Hall to its only state title in 1985.

DeSandre is expected to be one the Trojans' top options on offense against Hand (1-0), ranked No. 5 in the Register Top 10 Poll. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Fitzgerald Field in Wallingford on Friday.

"He's a great athlete and he just has great vision, too," Lyman Hall coach Chip McKeehan said. "Take away the fact that he's a great runner, he's probably the best receiver on the team, too. As far as all-around athletic ability, he's one of the best to come out of here."

As a sophomore, DeSandre rushed 196 times for 1,191 and 12 touchdowns. Last season, DeSandre carried 164 times for 1,346 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Despite being known for operating under the I-formation under McKeehan, the Trojans have went to a more spread look this year.

"We graduated most of our (offensive) line and those were our big guys," McKeehan said. "We have a kid (senior quarterback Kyle Upton) that can throw the football. We're working on angles, trap-blocking and pulling, and what we're trying to do with Joe right now is to get him into open space and let him create."

With DeSandre, Upton, junior running back Devin Diaz and senior tight end Will Woznicki on offense, Lyman Hall feels they can make another postseason appearance.

"We made it to the playoffs last year so I have big expectations for this year," DeSandre said. "I think we can make it to the playoffs again if we work hard."

Read more about DeSandre and Lyman Hall in Friday's Register, both in print and on-line (

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