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Friday, December 9, 2011

Veteran offensive line hopes to lead Ansonia to Class M title

Ansonia's senior-dominated offensive line might be the most talented unit in the state. It's allowed the Chargers to rush for than 4,700 yards and 67 touchdowns heading into Saturday’s title game against third-seeded Ledyard (11-1). Kickoff is set for 10:30 a.m. at Rentschler Field.

Hakeem Martin, a 5-foot-10, 263 pound left guard, is one of four Ansonia captains. Surrounding him on the line is left tackle Dylan Vano (6-5, 265), tight tackle Tyler Williams (6-2, 255), right guard Matt Hall (6-0, 230) and center Arek Kaszuba (5-8, 205).

The line has allowed sophomore Arkeel Newsome to rush for 3,399 yards and 55 touchdowns. Newsome, who already holds state record for points (370) and touchdowns (59), needs 198 yards to break former Ansonia standout Alex Thomas’ state record for rushing yards in a season. Thomas gained 3,596 yards in 2007.

Last year, Montrell Dobbs rushed for 3,445 yards and 45 scores. Both Dobbs and Newsome ran behind fullback Dennis Danley, who’s deceptively strong despite being listed at 5-4, 162. Tight ends Jake LaRovera (6-5, 200) and Sean Rowley (5-10, 180) have also been outstanding blockers.

"I think compared to last year, we've matured a lot," Danley said. "We take a lot more pride in blocking. We love to block. Every play we hope it's a run play and we just get to drive block down the field. We love when Arkeel just breaks one and scores."

Top-seeded Ansonia (13-0) is seeking its 17th state title.

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