Just about everyone who needed to hold serve in Week 7 did it–and some in record-breaking fashion.
Wins by Woodland, Holy Cross, Ansonia and Wolcott set up a pair of divisional championship games for us in Week 8, although it’s anybody’s guess as to when exactly these games will be played (Sandy and her ensuing power outages are going to have a lot to say about that). More on that later.
Woodland quarterback Tanner Kingsley set NVL single-game records for passing yards (502, also seventh in state history) and passing touchdowns (eight, second in state history) in the Hawks’ 56-30 win over Naugatuck. He was superb, misfiring just 13 times on 40 attempts and not throwing any interceptions. Kingsley had all sorts of time all night, not taking any sacks by the strong Naugatuck defensive front thanks in large part to Woodland’s offensive line.
Although the game saw 86 points, it really came down to a pair of Woodland (5-1, 5-0 Copper) defensive stops that sandwiched halftime. With the Hawks leading 24-22 with about two minutes remaining in the second quarter, Naugatuck (4-3, 3-2) quarterback Jason Bradley led his team downfield before throwing an interception to Rahmi Rountree. Two plays later, Kingsley hooked up with Rountree for a long touchdown pass and a 30-22 halftime lead.
The Greyhounds drove again at the start of the second half but the Hawks’ defense stopped Naugy four times from inside the 5-yard line, including a fourth-and-goal from the 1, to get a turnover on downs. Kingsley then led Woodland on a six-minute, 98-yard drive for another touchdown and a 38-22 lead. The Hawks cruised after that.
(Watch this week’s video in HD by switching settings in the gearbox.)
Naugatuck tried just about every defense in its playbook but Kingsley found a way through them all. Anthony Scirpo had three touchdowns, Rountree and Brian Zaccagnini each had two and Brian Reis caught one. Not everything turned out great for Woodland, though, as running back Joe Fancher went down with a knee injury that will likely end his senior season.
The Hawks definitely have some holes in their offense, even though they played their second game without Levi Fancher, who might be their best linebacker. He may return for the Holy Cross game but Woodland had some trouble stopping the straight-ahead running game by Jerome Love, who rushed for 192 yards and a score.
For Naugy, the loss puts to bed any remaining chance at the Copper Division title and the Class LL playoffs. Still, its chances at a winning season are alive and that would probably be considered a successful year after everything that’s happened this year.
Woodland didn’t clinch the division title last week because Holy Cross won its third in a row, pulling away from Sacred Heart for a 52-20 win. The Hearts (3-4, 1-3) closed the Crusaders’ (5-2, 3-1) lead to 31-20 in the third quarter before touchdown runs of 30 and 40 yards by Adrian Brown stopped the comeback. Brown finished with a season-high 262 rush yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries while Gerron Pendarvis and Kristian Harmeling also rushed for more than 100 yards.
The big story of the week for the Crusaders, though, was the apparent suspension of Isaiah Wright for an in-school incident during the week. From what we’ve heard, it sounds like the incident was severe enough to warrant either a multiple-game suspension or possible expulsion. A check of the Holy Cross football website Sunday indicates Wright has been removed from the roster. At this point it seems very unlikely that Wright will be playing either this week at Woodland or the rest of the season.
In other action, Wolcott and Ansonia both earned victories to move to 7-0 and set up a Brass Division championship game in Week 8 at Jarvis Stadium. The Eagles (7-0, 5-0) struggled with Watertown (1-6, 1-4) before pulling away on a late interception-return touchdown by Jim Nelson to earn a 28-14 win. Mike Nicol failed to rush for a touchdown for the first time this season and threw two interceptions but Wolcott did enough to get the victory. Ansonia (7-0, 4-0) also cruised to a 61-20 win over Crosby (1-6, 0-4) as Arkeel Newsome and Saiheed Sanders both rushed for two touchdowns while the Chargers’ defense scored twice.
The upset of the week came in Derby as Torrington pulled off a surprising, 52-44 win. Torrington raced out to a 39-0 lead in the second quarter and although Derby rallied it could never pull even. Devone Thomas had four rushing touchdowns for Torrington while Phil Bresson threw three touchdown passes, two of which went to Desmond Langs. Mike Kreiger was 17-of-28 for 328 yards and six touchdowns (all career highs) while Dillon McMahon caught 10 passes for 238 yards and four scores in defeat. The loss effectively knocks Derby out of Class S playoff contention.
Seymour held off Wilby in a not-so-pretty, 23-14 game to keep its slim Class S playoff hopes alive. St. Paul also broke its long NVL losing streak by pummeling Kennedy 41-0. We’re not sure which stat was more surprising: Logan Marchi’s 10 pass attempts or Kennedy’s zero points.
Who Did It
Top Passers: Tanner Kingsley (WRHS): 27-40, 502 yds, 8 TD; Mike Kreiger (DHS): 17-28, 328 yds, 6 TD; Javon Martin (SH): 13-25, 208 yds, 2 TD; Jason Bradley (NHS): 12-21, 172 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT; Mike Nicol (WOL): 8-21, 150 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT; Logan Marchi (SP): 9-10, 108 yds, 2 TD; Phil Bresson (THS): 3 TD; Jai’Quan McKnight (AHS): 2 TD
Top Rushers: Adrian Brown (HC): 23 rush, 262 yds, 3 TD; Jerome Love (NHS): 19 rush, 192 yds, TD; Arkeel Newsome (AHS): 7 rush, 146 yds, 2 TD; Eli Parks (SP): 8 rush, 120 yds, TD; Brandon Sierra (WIL): 23 rush, 118 yds, TD; Gerron Pendarvis (HC): 5 rush, 112 yds, TD; Kristian Harmeling (HC): 9 rush, 107 yds; Saiheed Sanders (AHS): 91 yds, 2 TD; Joe Masulli (WRHS): 19 rush, 85 yds, TD; Mike Conlan (SEY): 8 rush, 67 yds, 2 TD, pass TD; Andrew Bialoglowy (HC): 3 rush, 32 yds, 2 TD; Devone Thomas (THS): 4 TD
Top Receivers: Dillon McMahon (DHS): 10 rec, 238 yds, 4 TD; Brian Zaccagnini (WRHS): 6 rec, 150 yds, 2 TD; Anthony Scirpo (WRHS): 6 rec, 126 yds, 3 TD; Jon Mitchell (WAT): 8 rec, 121 yds, TD; Rahmi Rountree (WRHS): 5 rec, 104 yds, 2 TD; Shyquan Thompson (SH): 3 rec, 101 yds, TD; Mick Pernell (NHS): 6 rec, 90 yds, TD; Brian Reis (WRHS): 6 rec, 85 yds, TD; Jordan LaRue (DHS): 5 rec, 73 yds, TD; Desmond Langs (THS): 2 TD
The Brass Division title will be on the line (with no strings attached) at Jarvis Stadium in Week 8 when undefeated Wolcott faces undefeated Ansonia. The Eagles will enter off a sluggish win over Watertown while the Chargers haven’t had a competitive game since Week 4 against Holy Cross. A win by either team will all but assure a playoff berth (and it may, we’ll be checking on scenarios later this week) while the loser will be on the ropes in terms of the postseason.
The Copper Division championship will also be at stake (with one string attacked) in Beacon Falls when Woodland hosts Holy Cross. If the Hawks win they’ll capture their first division title since 2007, the inaugural season of the current divisional format. If the Crusaders earn a victory, they will have to beat St. Paul in Week 9 to lock up the championship. The game may also be a Class S playoff elimination game.
Seymour and Derby will meet at DeBarber Field with the Wildcats clinging to faint hopes of a Class S playoff berth. The Red Raiders were likely eliminated with their loss to Torrington so we won’t have as much on the line in this Valley rivalry.
In other action, Crosby takes on Wilby while Torrington faces Kennedy.
We already have one game moved due to Hurricane Sandy (Sacred Heart at St. Paul, Saturday at 5 p.m.) and it’s very likely that we will see more games pushed to Saturday or later. Many NVL schools have already closed for Monday and Tuesday, so making the optimistic assumption that schools will be open Wednesday, that would really only give one day of full-contact practice before Friday games. We’ll have all the scheduling updates here.
Tanner Kingsley and Mike Kreiger are both up for the WFSB Friday Night Football Player of the Week. You can vote here. … Photos and videos, where available, can be accessed by clicking on the game story links in this post. … The Predictions Tracker will be updated through Week 7 shortly. … Kyle will have another update on how NVL teams’ playoff chances are a little later this week. Ansonia (No. 2 in S), Wolcott (No. 1 in M) and Woodland (No. 6 in S) are all currently in qualifying position while Holy Cross (No. 10 in S) and Seymour (No. 11 in S) are still alive in Class S. Check the full standings here. … The New Haven Register’s Mike Wollschlager had some great thoughts about the 50-point rule in his “Sunday Gravy” column this weekend. We encourage you to check it out.
Week 7 Fantasy Football- Remmy def. Kyle, 154-126
- Team Kyle: QB Mike Nicol 17, RB Arkeel Newsome 26, RB Mick Pernell 15, WR Anthony Scirpo 30, WR Rahmi Rountree 22, TE Levi Fancher 0, Ansonia defense 16
- Team Remmy: QB Tanner Kingsley 69, RB Joe Lynch 9, RB Jaquan Overbey 14, WR Andrew Matos 9, WR Dillon McMahon 47, TE Raeshaun Finney 6, Holy Cross defense 0
Stay safe this week, folks.