Although there wasn’t much down-to-the-wire excitement in Week 7, we saw plenty of noteworthy performances and the shaping of playoff picture for several NVL teams.
In Wolcott, Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome tied the state record he already shares by posting his third straight 300-yard rushing game in the Chargers’ 62-27 win over the Eagles. Newsome went for 321 yards and four touchdowns on 34 attempts, and he added his first punt-return touchdown of the season on a 79-yarder. Jai’Quan McKnight accounted for three other touchdowns, including a gorgeous pass to Witold Gul in double coverage just before the half.
The Chargers’ defensive backfield looked a bit vulnerable for a lot of the night. Wolcott’s Vincent Gambino finished 19-of-37 for 282 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions, and the Eagles’ Adam Santopietro owned the middle of the field all night with 10 catches for 133 yards. Wolcott’s wide receivers won a number of one-on-one battles with Ansonia’s cornerbacks (including a few against Newsome and McKnight) until the Chargers finally got a little more aggressive later in the third quarter.
The game basically clinched the NVL Brass Division title for Ansonia (to be fair, it won’t officially clinch until likely Week 9 against Seymour), which of course is pretty low on the totem pole for what the Chargers want to do by the end of the season. Wolcott, on the other hand, will likely need to win out to make the postseason — even then, it’s not a sure bet.
The other noteworthy game of the week was Seymour’s 49-26 win (upset?) over Derby. Coming off a loss to Oxford in which the Wildcats’ offense did nothing, they racked up more than 400 yards of offense against the Red Raiders and dominated the second half. Junior quarterback Frank Marcucio, who was the subject of most of last week’s chatter here on the blog, came through with three touchdown passes (he also threw a pick-six), including two to Christian Thurmond. Joey Salemme also got back on track with 220 yards and a pair of scores. The Wildcats are basically out of the running in Class S, but they can still clinch their first winning season under Tom Lennon with a good finish. Derby lost its third in a row and is also likely out of Class S contention (it has to win out for a chance).
Three other NVL squads chasing the postseason all posted victories. Woodland cruised to a 54-6 win over Sacred Heart as Tanner Kingsley passed for five touchdowns to give him 95 for his career. Naugatuck blasted St. Paul, 59-31, as Jason Bradley threw for 323 yards and six touchdowns (don’t worry; Naugy’s first-string defense only allowed two touchdowns). Holy Cross struggled for a while with Torrington before the Crusaders pulled out a 41-21 win, although Cross starting running back Drew Bialoglowy was injured on the first series.
Kennedy also earned its first win in a 33-15 victory over Watertown, as Elijah Benjamin ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Wilby also knocked off Crosby, 32-22.
Who Did It
Top Passers: Logan Marchi (SP): 26-49, 382 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT; Jason Bradley (NHS): 17-33, 323 yards, 6 TD, INT; Vincent Gambino (WOL): 19-37, 282 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT; Connor Finn (THS): 19-36, 271 yards, 2 TD, INT; Tanner Kingsley (WRHS): 11-15, 256 yards, 5 TD; Mike Marshall (CHS): 13-35, 234 yards, 3 TD; Joe Kalosky (HC): 7-16, 179 yards, 2 TD, rush TD; Frank Marcucio (SEY): 6-12, 55 yards, 3 TD, INT
Top Rushers: Arkeel Newsome (AHS): 34 rush, 321 yards, 5 total TD; Joey Salemme (SEY): 26 rush, 220 yards, 2 TD; Elijah Benjamin (KHS): 13 rush, 215 yards, 2 TD; Jacob Thomas (WIL): 17 rush, 154 yards, 2 TD; Joe Lynch (WOL): 10 rush, 119 yards, TD; Tom Douty (NHS): 10 rush, 91 yards; 2 total TD; Jai’Quan McKnight (AHS): 7 rush, 84 yards, 2 TD; Jacob Gonzalez (KHS): 7 rush, 65 yards, 2 TD; Gerron Pendarvis (HC): 9 rush, 42 yards, 2 TD
Top Receivers: Trai Weaver (HC): 6 rec, 142 yards, TD; Adam Santopietro (WOL): 10 rec, 133 yards; Sean McAllen (WRHS): 3 rec, 119 yards, 2 total TD; Reid Morin (SP): 10 rec, 117 yards; Austin Morin (SP): 5 rec, 116 yards, TD; Nate Bresson (THS): 5 rec, 104 yards, TD; Desmond Langs (THS): 8 rec, 103 yards; Nate Franklin (NHS): 3 rec, 95 yards, 2 TD; Ryne Griesenauer (NHS): 5 rec, 88 yards, TD; Daija Fitzpatrick (SP): 5 rec, 82 yards, TD; Bryan Coney (NHS): 2 rec, 55 yards, 2 TD; Jay Pelletier (WOL): 3 rec, 48 yards, 2 TD; Mike Kenney (WRHS): 3 rec, 34 yards, 2 TD; Christian Thurmond (SEY): 2 rec, 27 yards, 3 total TD
(Qualifications: 150 yards and/or 3 TD passing, 100 yards and/or 2 TD rushing, 75 yards and/or 2 TD receiving. Performances only include those posted to MaxPreps and/or reported by local media.)
How to See and Read It
Holy Cross-Torrington: Rep-Am, GameTime CT (photos)
Seymour-Derby: Rep-Am (video), WFSB
Wilby-Crosby: Rep-Am (photos)
Kennedy-Watertown: Rep-Am (photos)
Woodland-Sacred Heart: Rep-Am
Naugatuck-St. Paul: Rep-Am, Bristol Press (video)
Where It Takes Us
Our headline game in Week 8 will be the Woodland-Holy Cross showdown at Municipal Stadium. The Hawks can clinch the NVL Copper Division championship with a victory over the Crusaders. Cross would not only gain the inside track to the division title with an upset, but it would also be a major stepping stone toward the Class S postseason push (the Crusaders also have Naugatuck and Wolcott remaining, so it won’t be easy). Naugatuck is also a big fan of Holy Cross in this game, because a Crusaders upset is the only way Naugy can get back in the Copper chase.
The other important game next week is the Wolcott-Derby game at DeFilippo Field. Both teams enter on losing streaks (the Eagles have lost two in a row, the Red Raiders three) and the loser of this game will likely be eliminated from postseason contention with four losses.
Other games include St. Paul at Sacred Heart, Watertown at Ansonia, Crosby at Seymour, Kennedy at Torrington and Wilby at Naugatuck.
NVL Fantasy Football Update
Once some more official stats come in, we’ll be able to post the results from Week 7. Newsome’s big game made it awfully tough on Kyle to climb out of a hole to Remmy.
Here are our active lineups entering Week 8. Things may change before kickoff.
Team Kyle: QB Logan Marchi (St. Paul), QB Tanner Kingsley (Woodland), RB Drew Bialoglowy (Holy Cross), RB Jacob Thomas (Wilby), RB Joey Salemme (Seymour), WR Jayson Matos (Wolcott), WR Mike Kenney (Woodland), WR Jay Pelletier (Wolcott), Naugatuck defense
Team Remmy: QB Jason Bradley (Naugatuck), QB Vincent Gambino (Wolcott), RB Arkeel Newsome (Ansonia), RB Joe Lynch (Wolcott), RB Sean McAllen (Woodland), WR Reid Morin (St. Paul), WR Ryne Griesenauer (Naugatuck), WR Adam Santopietro (Wolcott), Ansonia defense