Everyone blew out everyone again in Week 5. We pretty much expected that, except for the big Copper Division game going on in Torrington. But once again our expectations surpassed what actually happened on the field.
Naugatuck posted the most dominant, non-Ansonia, big-game victory in the league this season with a statement-making win over Torrington to lift the Greyhounds to the top of the Copper standings. That’s where they sit with Woodland, who was also a big winner over St. Paul.
The usual suspects–Ansonia, Holy Cross, Wolcott and Derby–also coasted to wins while Sacred Heart got its second win in three weeks with the return of David Coggins and Co.
Now we get set for what should be the most exciting non-Thanksgiving week of the season, with huge matchups galore. But first we take a more detailed look back at the Week 5 that was.
We figured Naugatuck was going to score plenty of points (maybe not 54) in Torrington but we thought the Raiders would do a little better than the two varsity touchdowns they got in a 54-20 drubbing last Friday at the Robert H. Frost Complex.
Mick Pernell scored four more touchdowns (two long catches and two runs), giving him a league-leading 19 on the season. Jason Bradley threw four more touchdown passes (two to Pernell, one each to Ryne Griesenauer and Brandon Kuczenski). Naugy forced five turnovers. The game was pretty much over late in the second quarter.
The ‘Hounds do so many things well. Play designs are great; Naugy runs about as many different formations as I have seen from any team this year and runs them all well. Bradley is elusive in the pocket, extends plays and makes way more good throws than mistakes. Pernell may be the new Fastest Man in the NVL. And the Greyhounds’ front seven gets fantastic pressure.
It all adds up to a team that should be considered the Copper Division favorite at this point. The success of this team comes straight from the coaching staff, which has done as good a job as any in the league. From the mess in which they found themselves about two months ago to where they stand now, the Naugatuck coaches deserve a great deal of credit for what they do in practice and games.
Torrington, meanwhile, is probably out of the Copper and Class L playoff hunt unless chaos ensues in the next three weeks. Even though the Red Raiders had their fullest lineup they’ve had all season (minus the dinged-up ankle of Joan Toribio), they didn’t look all there against Naugy. Their win over Holy Cross now looks stranger than ever.
Speaking of the Crusaders, they got back on track with a 48-12 win over Kennedy last Thursday. It looks like Holy Cross’ offense might be falling back into order. Starting on about its third drive, Cross went to a spread look with Kristian Harmeling in the shotgun, Adrian Brown in the backfield and Isaiah Wright motioning across from the slot. That package gives the Crusaders far more dimensions than the Wright-run wildcat and had much more success (albeit against Kennedy). I would look for them to build upon that over the next few important weeks.
Cross trails Naugatuck and Woodland, who became the latest team to hammer St. Paul in the first half only to see the margin of victory slip away with a meaningless second half. The Hawks led 48-7 at the half of their 54-28 win. Tanner Kingsley threw four more touchdown passes, giving him 14 in Woodland’s three wins, and continued to spread the ball around very well. Anthony Scirpo scored three touchdowns in three different ways and the Hawks’ varsity defense has allowed only seven points in three victories (taking that with a grain of salt). Woodland doesn’t have an easy game left, with the Torrington-Naugatuck-Holy Cross-Wolcott-Seymour string to close the season.
Wolcott and Derby both kept up their momentum headed into a huge Week 6 clash. The Eagles demolished Wilby 53-6 behind Mike Nicol’s five touchdown runs and a scoring pass. Nicol also rushed for 245 yards while Joe Lynch had nearly a hundred and a score. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders scored in all sorts of ways in a 47-19 victory over Watertown. Michael Kreiger threw two touchdown passes and caught one from Dillon McMahon, who also scored in two other ways.
These two teams’ meeting in Wolcott next week is massive, not as much for the Brass Division as it is for the playoffs. Both teams have a great shot to get in this year with a win over the other in Week 6. More coming on that soon.
Ansonia, while resting Arkeel Newsome to hopefully rid that ankle injury for good, beat Seymour 47-0. From all accounts of the game, it sounded even uglier than that. The Chargers roll on with their next big game coming in Week 8 against Wolcott, while the Wildcats get a short reprieve from a tough stretch.
Finally, Sacred Heart earned a 33-14 win over Crosby in the returns of David Coggins, Javon Martin and Xavier Woods. Coggins made the statement he was hoping for, catching two touchdown passes, returning a kickoff for a score and picking off a pass. Martin also had a solid game with nearly 200 yards passing. The Hearts have a real shot to finish .500 or better with these guys back in the lineup.
Who Did It
Top Passers: Jason Bradley (NHS): 6-10, 235 yds, 4 TD, INT; Logan Marchi (SP): 19-43, 233 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT; Javon Martin (SH): 8-13, 191 yds, 2 TD; Tanner Kingsley (WRHS): 11-15, 159 yds, 4 TD; Michael Kreiger (DHS): 7-10, 75 yds, 2 TD, rec TD
Top Rushers: Mike Nicol (WOL): 14 rush, 245 yds, 5 TD, pass TD; Roshawn Gainey (CHS): 21 rush, 135 yds, TD; Jaquan Overbey (SH): 19 rush, 126 yds, 2 TD; Mike DiMaria (HC): 16 rush, 120 yds, TD; Devone Thomas (THS): 23 rush, 106 yds, 2 total TD; Joe Fancher (WRHS): 6 rush, 109 yds, TD; Saiheed Sanders (AHS): 9 rush, 107 yds, 3 TD; Mick Pernell (NHS): 17 rush, 97 yds, 2 TD; Adrian Brown (HC): 6 rush, 96 yds, 2 TD; Joe Lynch (WOL): 10 rush, 96 yds, TD; Rocco Guerrera (WAT): 17 rush, 94 yds, 3 TD; Davon Humbles (KHS): 10 rush, 94 yds, TD; Andrew Matos (AHS): 4 rush, 89 yds, return TD; Dillon McMahon (DHS): 5 rush, 57 yds, TD, return TD, pass TD; Isaiah Wright (HC): 5 rush, 51 yds, TD, return TD
Top Receivers: Mick Pernell (NHS): 3 rec, 128 yds, 2 TD; David Coggins (SH): 3 rec, 101 yds, 2 TD, return TD; Brendan Carroll (SP): 5 rec, 81 yds, TD; Brian Reis (WRHS): 4 rec, 64 yds, 2 TD; Anthony Scirpo (WRHS): 2 rec, 22 yds, TD, 2 return TD
Week 6 will be the most important week of this season to date. We will have three hugely important matchups, including Holy Cross at Naugatuck, Derby at Wolcott and Woodland at Torrington. All three carry major divisional and playoff implications. We’ll have full coverage and previews of these games all week long.
The Holy Cross-Naugatuck game is probably another elimination game for the Crusaders (in terms of both the division and the playoffs) while Naugy can basically assure it will play for the division title the following week against Woodland with a win. That game will be the WATR Game of the Week on Friday starting at 6:50 p.m.
Playoff chances are the major prizes at stake in the Derby-Wolcott game, where Remmy will be Friday night. The Red Raiders have a shot at their best season in more than 15 years and a win over the Eagles would bring them one step closer to an appearance in the Class S playoffs. Wolcott, meanwhile, would be one step closer to clinching a Class M berth with a victory.
Woodland has more on the line when it heads to Torrington on Friday. The Hawks have won three cupcakes but they have no easy games remaining. The Red Raiders, coming off a disappointing performance, might have a little extra in the tank this week. That game will be broadcast on WAPJ.
Seymour has a chance to get back on track against Crosby, while Wilby hosts St. Paul and Sacred Heart looks to even its record against Kennedy. Ansonia will play another yawner against Watertown.
Wolcott’s Mike Nicol is up for the WFSB Friday Night Football Player of the Week. Click here to vote. … The Predictions Tracker is updated through Week 5. … Our weekly predictions thread will be up Tuesday. We’ll be posting a midway recap later today with some of our surprises, disappointments, midseason awards and second-half predictions. … Plenty of new stuff will be going up in the Rep-Am Red Zone and Red Zone blog throughout the week, too, and we’ll post links accordingly. … For those interested, the replay of Hand-Xavier will be on CPTV Sports on Monday at 7 p.m. and Thursday at noon.
Week 5 Fantasy Football- Kyle def. Remmy, 146-119
- Team Kyle: QB Mike Nicol 62, RB Arkeel Newsome 0, RB Mick Pernell 46, WR Anthony Scirpo 20, WR Rahmi Rountree 9, TE Levi Fancher 4, Ansonia defense 5
- Team Remmy: QB Tanner Kingsley 31, RB Joe Lynch 15, RB Isaiah Wright 17, WR Andrew Matos 17, WR Dillon McMahon 23, TE Brandon Kuczenski 9, Holy Cross defense 7