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A look at high school football throughout the state

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shelton 34, Amity 28

Sophomore Mark Piccirillo connected with Kyle Drost on an 11-yard touchdown pass and then Piccirillo hit Will Karcher with the successful 2-point conversion pass with 5:34 left in the fourth quarter as host Shelton hung on in this SCC Division I West contest Saturday at Finn Stadium.

Piccirillo completed 16-of-25 passes for 218 yards. He threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ed Kochiss and also scored on a 9-yard run. Piccirillo rushed 14 times for 60 yards.

Jason Thompson (12 carries, 52 yards) scored on a 1-yard run and Ed Groth kicked field goals of 34 and 41 yards for the Gaels (2-1).

David Attolino rushed 22 times for 135 yards and three scores for the Spartans (1-2).

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Week 3: Friday's Highlights

WEST HAVEN — The West Haven football team has had plenty of time to think about its last visit to Veterans Stadium. The contest, which resulted in a West Haven loss, was one of the reasons the Westies failed to qualify for the postseason last year.

Fast forward to Friday night and the Westies have new — and better — memories. Behind a powerful running game which accumulated 330 rushing yards, the Westies defeated Notre Dame-West Haven 34-13 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I East game.

“This is a real big win for us,” West Haven’s Ervin Philips said. “We worked hard in practice all week. We wanted to get a win here. We knew we needed a good showing on offense. We are just taking it a week at a time.”

No. 3 Hand cruises past Cheshire

By Dave Phillips, Special to the Register

MADISON — Steve Filippone called it a one-time only deal. But maybe the way Hand played Friday night, he ought to reconsider.

With the Tigers’ usual home at the Surf Club under water from the afternoon heavy rain, third-ranked Hand played for the first time at its high school turf field and was extremely impressive, dominating Cheshire, 35-7.

“I didn’t like it at all,” said a soaked Filippone after Hand upped its record to 3-0. “There’s nothing like the Surf Club, but we got this done tonight. We’re never going to play on this field again. This will be retired undefeated with Hand football.”

Hand, which runs out of the spread offense, rushed for over 280 yards a week ago in a 37-19 victory at Hillhouse. On Friday, the Tigers did most of their damage on the ground again.


Harold Cooper ran for four touchdowns and JaVaughn Moore ran for a 63-yard score as Hillhouse downed Branford 32-18 in Branford on Friday.

Cooper had touchdown runs of 78, 27, 27 and 13 in the win for the Academics (2-1).

Alex Borkowski had two rushing touchdowns and 116 rushing yards for the Hornets (1-2).

Hillhouse's Harold Cooper and Notre Dame's Cameran Tucker have been nominated for FRIDAY'S STAR

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Schedule, Postponements

Here is Friday's schedule, with postponement information as of 4:22 p.m.

Fermi at Wethersfield, 7 p.m.
Bristol Eastern at Windsor, ppd. to Saturday, 7 p.m.
Farmington at Bristol Central, ppd. to Saturday, noon
Maloney at Middletown, 7 p.m.
Plainville at Platt, 6:30 p.m.
Rocky Hill at East Catholic, 7 p.m.
Weaver at Rockville, 6:30 p.m.
East Hartford at New Britain, ppd. to Saturday, 1 p.m.
Manchester at Simsbury, 7 p.m.
Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech at Platt Tech, ppd. to Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
Bacon Academy at Montville, 6:30 p.m.
Ledyard at Windham, 6:30 p.m.
Griswold at St. Bernard/Norwich Tech, 6:30 p.m.
Plainfield at Waterford, ppd. to Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
Woodstock Academy at Stonington, 6:30 p.m.
Stamford at Ridgefield, 7 p.m.
Wilton at Bassick, ppd. to Saturday, noon at Wilton
Danbury at Bridgeport Central, ppd. to Saturday, 11 a.m.
McMahon at Staples, 7 p.m.
Fairfield Ludlowe at Trumbull, ppd. to  Saturday, 10 a.m.
Wolcott at Crosby, ppd. to Saturday, 3 p.m.
Holy Cross at Torrington, ppd. to Saturday, 10 a.m.
St. Paul at Naugatuck, ppd. to Saturday, 7 p.m.
Haddam-Killingworth at Cromwell, ppd. to Saturday, 1:45 p.m.
Morgan at North Branford, ppd. to Saturday, noon
Avon at SMSA/University, ppd. to  Monday, 5:30 p.m.
Enfield at Stafford/East Windsor, 6:30 p.m.
Canton at Housatonic/Wamogo, ppd. to Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
Cheshire at Hand, 7 p.m. ON BUT MOVED TO HAND HIGH
West Haven at Notre Dame-West Haven, 7 p.m.
Amity at Shelton, ppd. to Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Fairfield Prep at Xavier, ppd. to Saturday, 7 p.m.
Foran at Sheehan, 7 p.m.
Hillhouse at Branford, 7 p.m.
Lyman Hall at Guilford, 7 p.m.
Law at Hamden, ppd. to Saturday, Noon
Bunnell at New Fairfield, ppd. to Monday, 6 p.m.
Immaculate at Masuk, ppd. to Saturday, 7 p.m.
Newtown at Stratford, ppd. to Saturday, 10 a.m.
Oxford at Bethel, ppd. to Saturday, 7 p.m.
Weston at Pomperaug, 7 p.m.
Notre Dame-Fairfield at Barlow, ppd. to Saturday, 4 p.m.
Whitney Tech at Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ansonia 48, Derby 6

Senior Andrew Matos rushed seven times for 102 yards and two scores and added a 42-yard touchdown reception from Jai'Quan McKnight in this NVL Brass Division contest, the 90th meeting between these rivals.

No. 4 Ansonia (3-0) leads the series 54-28-8.

McKnight (4-of-6 passing for 116 yards) also threw a 14-yard touchdown to Raeshaun Finney for the Chargers, who led 41-0 at halftime. McKnight also rushed for a 8-yard touchdown run, while Arkeel Newsome scored on a 2-yard run.

Newsome, though, missed much of the game aside from the first quarter due to an ankle injury. He carried six times for 34 yards.

Tyrae Small scored on a 77-yard run for the Red Raiders (2-1).

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Week 3: Thursday's Predictions

When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Nolan Field, Ansonia
Team records: Derby 2-0; Ansonia 2-0
Players to watch: Derby — Dillon McMahon, Sr., WR/DB; Tyrae Small, Jr., RB/LB; Duane Jones, Sr., OL/DL; Ansonia — Arkeel Newsome, Jr., RB/DB; Andrew Matos, Sr., WR/LB; Jh’Mel Trammell, Sr., OL/DL.
You should know: This game marks the 90th meeting between these two storied programs. Ansonia holds a 53-28-8 series lead. The Chargers have won the last five meetings (2002-2003, 2009-2011). The teams did not play from 2004-2008. Derby’s last win was a 14-12 victory in 2001. The last time the Red Raiders won the first two games in a season was in 1999. This contest is the first Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division title of the season for each team. Derby earned a hard-fought 21-20 victory over Naugatuck last week. Naugatuck scored late in the fourth quarter but Small blocked the extra point attempt and the Red Raiders survived. Derby’s defense was stingy, allowing just two touchdowns. The Greyhounds scored on a kickoff return on the game’s opening play. The Red Raiders will need to play nearly flawlessly to pull the upset here. Emotions should be high, and in a rivalry game, anything can happen. Ansonia, though, might be too skilled for Derby to contain for four quarters and is favored here.
Register’s pick: Ansonia.

Prince Tech at O'Brien Tech, 7:00 p.m. Pick: Prince Tech

Watertown at Wilby, 6:00 p.m. Pick: Watertown

East Haven at North Haven, 7:00 p.m. Pick: North Haven

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Athlete of the Week: Shelton's Mark Piccirillo

The sophomore quarterback completed 14 of 28 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 154 yards in a 31-8 win over Foran.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ansonia's McKnight leading the charge under center

Ansonia sophomore Jai'Quan McKnight was expected to be the second option in the backfield behind Arkeel Newsome this season.

But when Tyler Lester broke his leg over the summer,  McKnight was thrust into the starting quarterback position. Through two games,  McKnight has responded. McKnight has completed 12-of-17 passes for 356 yards and five touchdowns. He's also rushed for two more scores.

"He's been great," Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. "He's so coachable, which makes a big difference. He's night and day from where he was from even when we came out here the first day in the fall. We didn't lose Tyler until the summer, so right through the spring Tyler was getting the majority of the reps as the quarterback. He (McKnight) is a lot further ahead from what we thought he would be."

McKnight says there was an adjustment period, but it didn't take very long for him to adapt to his new role.

"It was kind of hard in the beginning just getting to know my receivers and how they run their routes," McKnight said. "But everything is about timing. We go out here before practice and get our timing together. I know my receivers, and they know me, like the back of my hand."

McKnight's top target is senior Andrew Matos, who has caught nine passes, including three touchdowns.

"Jai'Quan, he's doing well," Matos said. "He makes the right reads. I can't ask for a better quarterback right now. He's doing great."

Tight end Raeshaun Finney has also contributed.

"Andrew has speed and Finney has the height," McKnight said. "Both are big men; both are physical. If I put the ball anywhere close to them, I know they're going to go up and get it."

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Ansonia, Derby to meet for the 90th time

It's a rivalry that dates back to 1902 and was once considered one of the greatest in the state: Ansonia vs. Derby.

The two storied programs will meet for the 90th time on Thursday (6:30 p.m. at Nolan Field, Ansonia). Ansonia holds a 53-28-8 series lead.

The Chargers have won the last five meetings (2002-2003, 2009-2011). The teams did not play from 2004-2008. Derby’s last win was a 14-12 victory in 2001.

Ansonia coach Tom Brockett, a Wallingford native who attended Lyman Hall,  was fully aware of the game's history when he was growing up.

"You always heard about the Ansonia-Derby game," Brockett said. "If you're into Connecticut high school football, and have a heartbeat, you've heard about the Ansonia-Derby game. Thank God we're back playing it. The kids are excited, both towns are excited, it's great. It's what high school football should be every week."

Despite the potential of playing in an NVL or state championship game later this season, Ansonia senior Andrew Matos summed up the rivalry this way:

"To be honest, it's my biggest game of the year. A lot of us are cool with the Derby guys, but when we get on the field it's different. We go at each other at full speed and do whatever we can to win this game."

Derby joined the NVL from the SCC in 2009 and the rivalry was resurrected. In 2010, Derby led 26-13 at halftime before the Chargers rallied for a 33-32 victory.

"That game two years ago really added to it (the rivalry)," Brockett said. "(Derby) coach (George) French is going a great job with Derby and he's really helped build it back up. They (Derby) have a lot of pride. Those kids want to win. It's real important to them, just like it's real important to us."

1902 — Ansonia 48, Derby 0
1904 — Ansonia 21, Derby 0
1906 — Ansonia 0, Derby 0
1908 — Derby 6, Ansonia 2
1909 — Ansonia 6, Derby 0
1917 — Ansonia 6, Derby 6
1919 — Ansonia 0, Derby 0
1920 — Ansonia 26, Derby 12
1928 — Derby 6, Ansonia 0
1929 — Ansonia 0, Derby 0
1930 — Derby 6, Ansonia 0
1931 — Ansonia 6, Derby 0
1932 — Derby 6, Ansonia 0
1933 — Derby 6, Ansonia 0
1934 — Ansonia 12, Derby 0
1935 — Ansonia 6, Derby 0
1936 — Ansonia 13, Derby 7
1937 — Ansonia 6, Derby 6
1938 — Ansonia 0, Derby 0
1939 — Ansonia 7, Derby 0
1940 — Derby 7, Ansonia 3
1941 — Ansonia 42, Derby 0
1942 — Ansonia 19, Derby 0
1943 — Ansonia 49, Derby 0
1944 — Ansonia 30, Derby 7
1945 — Ansonia 6, Derby 0
1946 — Ansonia 50, Derby 13
1947 — Ansonia 6, Derby 0
1948 — Ansonia 27, Derby 0
1949 — Derby 14, Ansonia 12
1950 — Derby 13, Ansonia 12
1951 — Ansonia 38, Derby 0
1952 — Ansonia 33, Derby 6
1953 — Ansonia 18, Derby 0
1954 — Ansonia 32, Derby 0
1955 — Ansonia 34, Derby 12
1956 — Ansonia 40, Derby 0
1957 — Ansonia 6, Derby 0
1958 — Ansonia 12, Derby 6
1959 — Derby 14, Ansonia 12
1960 — Derby 12, Ansonia 6
1961 — Ansonia 6, Derby 6
1962 — Derby 22, Ansonia 8
1963 — Derby 6, Ansonia 0
1964 — Derby 30, Ansonia 26
1965 — Ansonia 14, Derby 8
1966 — Derby 33, Ansonia 0
1967 — Ansonia 7, Derby 7
1968 — Derby 34, Ansonia 14
1969 — Derby 40, Ansonia 12
1970 — Derby 22, Ansonia 14
1971 — Derby 36, Ansonia 15
1972 — Derby 40, Ansonia 21
1973 — Derby 17, Ansonia 13
1974 — Derby 14, Ansonia 0
1975 — Derby 41, Ansonia 20
1976 — Ansonia 22, Derby 20
*1976 — Ansonia 6, Derby 0
1977 — Ansonia 40, Derby 0
1978 — Ansonia 34, Derby 6
1979 — Ansonia 21, Derby 7
1980 — Ansonia 14, Derby 12
1981 — Ansonia 46, Derby 30
1982 — Ansonia 21, Derby 0
*1982 — Ansonia 14, Derby 0
1983 — Ansonia 19, Derby 13
1984 — Ansonia 35, Derby 0
1985 — Derby 7, Ansonia 6
1986 — Derby 15, Ansonia 8
1987 — Ansonia 21, Derby 13
1988 — Derby 10, Ansonia 7
1989 — Ansonia 28, Derby 7
1990 — Derby 19, Ansonia 15
1991 — Ansonia 33, Derby 7
1992 — Ansonia 8, Derby 0
1993 — Ansonia 41, Derby 8
1994 — Ansonia 50, Derby 6
1995 — Ansonia 33, Derby 0
1996 — Derby 13, Ansonia 7
1997 — Ansonia 50, Derby 7
1998 — Ansonia 17, Derby 7
1999 — Ansonia 49, Derby 12
2000 —Ansonia 13, Derby 0
2001 —Derby 14, Ansonia 12
2002 —Ansonia 34, Derby 7
2003 —Ansonia 48, Derby 0
2009 —Ansonia 44, Derby/O’Brien Tech 14
2010—Ansonia 33, Derby/O’Brien Tech 32
2011—Ansonia 55, Derby 19
*CIAC Class S championship

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Derby at Ansonia

has been moved to THURSDAY AT 6:30 P.M.

The teams will meet for the 90th time. Ansonia holds a 53-28-8 series lead.

The change was originally scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. Likely moved because of the predicted inclement weather for Friday.


Tom Dyer said in an e-mail sent to him by my request that he will not miss any games after he received a two-day suspension for his alleged involvement in the grade and credit tampering at Hillhouse High.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Notre Dame to honor unbeaten 1962 team

The 50th anniversary of Notre Dame-West Haven's undefeated 1962 football team will be honored at halftime of Notre Dame's football game Friday night at Veterans Stadium against West Haven.

Almost 20 members of that team, which finished No. 1 in the final New Haven Register Top 10 poll, will be on hand to celebrate the anniversary.

The 1962 Notre Dame team, coached by Ray Tellier, went 8-0, scoring 171 points and allowing only 38. Only once all year did a team score two touchdowns in the same game. The Green Knights beat teams from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York before completing the season by beating Hamden in the Green Bowl.

Both head coaches in Friday's game, West Haven's Ed McCarthy (1964) and Notre Dame’s Tom Marcucci (1966) were both members of that program. McCarthy was a junior backup center and linebacker while Marcucci was a member of the freshman football team.

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Week 2 Recap

Law, Westhill snap losing skids

Despite falling short in a Week 1 loss to Sheehan, Law had reason to be optimistic.

The Lawmen’s attitude was different than in past seasons. More importantly, maybe, the players were buying into what Mark Robinson and his coaching staff was teaching despite being mired in a 12-game losing streak.

So it wasn’t really surprising that Law emerged victorious this past week. It seemed like it was bound to happen sooner or later.

The Lawmen earned a 28-12 victory over Wilbur Cross at home for Law’s first win since defeating Prince Tech on Nov. 18, 2010. The Lawmen lost a seesaw battle to Sheehan, 45-42, in Week 1.

Read more of Tuesday's NOTEBOOK

XAVIER remains No. 1 in Top 10 POLL



Avon Sr. RB Colin Moore: Carried 25 times for 293 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-15 win over Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton on Saturday.

Brookfield Jr. QB Brad Westmark: Completed 25-of-35 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-18 win over Bunnell on Friday.


Hyde Sr. DL William Burroughs: Made eight tackles and two sacks in a 41-10 win over Morgan on Saturday.

Valley Regional/Old Lyme So. DB Dan Figuenick: Returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown in a 49-0 win over Nonnewaug on Friday.


Glastonbury Sr. Ben Berey: Set a school record with a 99-yard kickoff return in a 63-28 victory over Newington on Friday. Berey also had a touchdown reception and an interception.

Hartford Public Sr. Kwame Kitson: Kicked field goals of 32 and 36 yards and three extra points in a 39-6 win over RHAM on Saturday.

Bulkeley: Joshua Hudson had two sacks, blocked a punt and forced a fumble in a 22-6 win over Fermi on Friday.


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Monday, September 24, 2012

High School Heisman nominations close next Tuesday


For the 19th year, Wendy’s is now accepting applications for the 2012 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, a program in conjunction with Heisman Memorial Trust that honors outstanding high school student-athletes for their commitment to academic achievement, community service involvement, and athletic prowess. 

The six female and six male national finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to attend the Wendy’s High School Heisman Awards Ceremony with their families in December. There’s just one more week left for eligible seniors to submit an application online at Applications close October 2, 2012. 

Each year, nearly 50,000 young male and female scholar-athletes from across the country who embody leadership, academic excellence and athletic skill in their schools and volunteerism in their communities apply for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award. 

These applicants are then narrowed down in four phases:
· School Winners Phase – One senior male and one senior female from every school will be selected as a “School Winner”
· State Finalists Phase – 20 finalists—10 senior males and 10 senior females—from every state and the District of Columbia will advance to “State Finalists”
· State Winners Phase – One senior male and one senior female from each state and the District of Columbia will be selected as “State Winners”
· National Finalist Phase – A judging panel will select “12 National Finalists” from the 102 State Winners

The one male and one female Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winners will earn $10,000 for their high school and a $500 Wendy’s gift card. They will also be highlighted during ESPN’s live national broadcast of the college Heisman Memorial Trophy Ceremony in early December 2012.

About WHSH
The WHSH is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Memorial Trust, host of the College Heisman Memorial Trophy. The 2011 winners were Garrett Gosse of Las Vegas, NV, who plans to continue his athletic career and academic pursuits at college this fall; and Selena Pasadyn of Brunswick, OH, who plans to run cross country and track at Harvard University in the fall, majoring in biology or biochemistry on a pre-med track.
A complete list of past WHSH finalists and winners can be found by visiting

Eligible high school seniors, slated to graduate in 2013, may submit an application online through Oct. 2, 2012. The first 25,000 students with completed applications will receive a Wendy’s gift card valued at $10. From the completed applications, one male and one female winner will be chosen to receive the WHSH Award.

For more information, students can visit, call (800) 205-6367 or contact their local high school principal, guidance counselor or athletic director. Participants can also “like” Wendy’s Heisman on Facebook at for additional program details.

My Top 10 Ballot

Here is the ballot I submitted for the New Haven Register Top 10 football poll after Week 2. Voters are asked to vote for 15 teams. Points on tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.

The poll should be up later tonight on the Register's website and will appear in Tuesday's print editions.

Two teams from my previous ballot lost (Hillhouse and New Canaan), so I dropped them out and added two new teams.

1. Xavier
2. Staples
3. Hand
4. Windsor
5. Ansonia
6. Greenwich
7. Newtown
8. Darien
9. West Haven
10. Ledyard
11. Masuk
12. Berlin
13. Southington
14. Glastonbury
15. New London

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 2: Saturday's Highlights

Elijah Nixon scored three touchdowns on a 50-yard pass from Kevin Jones, a 63-yard touchdown run and a 74-yard interception return to lead the Hyde football team to a 41-10 Pequot Sassacus Division win over Morgan Saturday in New Haven.

Ezekial Nixon rushed for 113 yards on seven carries, including a 63-yard touchdown run, and Jones completed 7-of-12 passes for 123 yards for the Howling Wolves (2-0). Defensively for Hyde, William Burroughs had eight tackles and a sack and Donery Evans added six tackles and a sack.

Jake Ward scored the lone touchdown for Huskies (1-1) on a 5-yard run.


VOTE for Elijah Nixon for Saturday's STAR of the DAY!




 Mistakes cost Hopkins in loss to St. Luke's



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