Ansonia Beats Derby, 33-32

What an absolutely amazing game.

I don't really know where to start with this one, but if you were there, you don't need me to retell anything that happened. For those who weren't, here's a little bit of a summary of what went down:

Derby went up, 20-7, by the end of the first quarter. A 62-yard screen pass by Ray Kreiger to Brian Dobek on the second play of the game set up a 1-yard touchdown run by RaRa Hendricks. Ansonia answered on a Tebow-like 20-yard touchdown pass by Montrell Dobbs to Jake LaRovera to go up, 7-6.

Hendricks returned the ensuing kickoff for a 75-yard touchdown and Ansonia botched a snap on a punt on its next series, giving Derby the ball at the Ansonia 20. A few plays later, Kreiger hooked up with Zach Salazar on a quick slant to give Derby a 20-7 lead with one second left in the first quarter.

Elliott Chudwick tossed his first touchdown pass of the night on the next drive, finding LaRovera on a 10-yard fade to pull within 20-13 midway through the second. After the teams traded a few possessions, Derby had the ball at its own 20 with 1:24 left in the half. On the first play of the drive, Kreiger threw a perfect go-route to Jacob Tomczak for an 80-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 26-13 halftime lead.

Ansonia scored on its first possession of the half as Dobbs found the end zone for the first time with a 5-yard run, making it 26-19 with 8:30 to go in the third. But Derby answered again as Kreiger kept a bootleg play alive for five or six seconds before hitting Tomczak in the back of the end zone for a 32-19 lead with 6:22 left in the third.

That was Derby's last score of the night. In the closing minutes of the third quarter, Chudwick threw his second touchdown pass when he connected with Arkeel Newsome in the left-side flat for a 20-yard score, making it 32-25.

The teams traded a few more possessions before the Chargers took over at their own 40 with 7:29 to go. Ansonia went on an 11-play drive lasting 5:11 where almost all of the yardage was gained by Dobbs, including the 3-yard touchdown run that saw him flip over the goal line to make it 32-31.

Then, the decision to go for two. Dobbs fairly easily ran into the end zone to give Ansonia its first lead since the 2:44 mark of the first quarter at 33-32.

Kreiger drove the Raiders down field, getting all the way to the Ansonia 22, but on the final three plays of the drive, he lost two yards on a failed scramble, threw incomplete to Tomczak in the end zone, and was intercepted by Newsome as time expired.

Final stat lines: Dobbs- 48 rush, 286 yards, 2 TD, 20-yard TD pass; Chudwick- 6-of-12, 82 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT; LaRovera- 3 rec, 45 yards, 2 TD; Kreiger- 13-of-25, 236 yards, 3 TD, INT; Hendricks- 8 rush, 64 yards, TD, 75-yard return TD; Tomczak- 4 rec, 122 yards, 2 TD

Here's a link to my Rep-Am article. What a game. Let me give Derby a ton of credit. I didn't think it would be that much of a game, nor did I think the Raiders could put together such an impressive offensive performance, especially in the first half. Derby would have probably won the game if not for a few crucial drops in the second half, but Ansonia is just too good and takes advantage of those mistakes. That's why the Chargers are now Brass Division champions.

In other news:
  • Torrington beat Wilby, 61-28. Brenden Lytton rushed for 332 yards on 42 carries with 8 touchdowns and returned an interception for a ninth score, breaking a state record. He also added seven PAT kicks and scored every one of the Raiders' 61 points.
  • Naugatuck beat Kennedy, 36-13. Erich Broadrick injured his knee at the end of the second quarter but played the entire second half. Rob Plasky says he has an MCL strain but should be ready to play against Woodland next week. The Hounds really buckled down and played well in the second half, which might provide a little momentum into next week's game.
  • Woodland beat St. Paul, 36-7. Jack DeBiase had his best game of the season with 231 rush yards and 4 rush TD along with 83 pass yards and a TD pass. In all, the Hawks ran for 445 yards and had over 500 yards of total offense. Woodland's defense played great again. The Hawks will have a shot at the Copper Division crown against Naugy next week. What might kill Woodland is its sudden inability to convert PATs. The Hawks missed all six opportunities against the Falcons.
  • Holy Cross beat Sacred Heart, 32-26. The Crusaders overcame a 20-7 halftime deficit thanks to a 286-yard, 2-TD performance by Brandon DiClementi, a go-ahead touchdown pass out of the wildcat by Kairyn Boxton, and a game-sealing interception by Dave DiGiorgi.
  • Watertown beat Wolcott, 21-14. No details on this one yet, but Wolcott's playoff hopes are all gone now. Who would have thought with the start the Eagles had they would now be 4-3 and in fifth place in the Brass?
  • Crosby beat Seymour, 39-27. It looks like Seymour will be 0-10 this season with games against Wolcott (4-3), Ansonia (7-0), and Woodland (5-2) left.

Game Day: NVL Week 7 Live Scoreboard

It's already Week 7. Many of this week's games look good on paper, including Seymour-Crosby--for what it is. Naugy at Kennedy could be interesting, as well as Watertown at Wolcott, Sacred Heart at Holy Cross, and St. Paul at Woodland. We'll be importing Tweets with scores from tonight's games. Enjoy whatever game you are attending.

Mid-Week Update

We're smack dab in the middle of this week and there are a couple of updates to be shared with you all.

First, the Naugatuck-Kennedy game has been officially changed from Saturday morning at 11 a.m. to Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. That game will be played at Municipal Stadium prior to the Sacred Heart-Holy Cross game. You can listen to WATR's broadcast of the Hearts-Crusaders matchup on 1320 AM or on its website. Our friends thevoyce and nvlstatman will be on the call.

Just an update on divisional scenarios: If Ansonia beats Derby this week, the Chargers are Brass Division champions and will play for the NVL title either Nov. 18 or on Thanksgiving, depending on the Copper Division champ. Assuming both Woodland and Naugatuck win this week, Nov. 5's game between the two is the most important game in terms of the Copper. If Naugatuck wins there, it wins the division. If Woodland wins, it needs to beat Sacred Heart Nov. 11 or have Naugy lose to Holy Cross Nov. 12 to win the Copper. As always, if the title matchup features two teams that play on Thanksgiving, the Turkey Day game will serve as the NVL championship.

Reports contributed by our bloggers say that St. Paul will be starting freshman quarterback Logan Marchi the rest of the way after he got the start in Saturday's 28-22 win over Kennedy. Marchi was 11 of 20 passing for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

We also have reports that Dom Gambino may be back in the lineup for Wolcott this week after missing last week's game against Derby with an ankle injury. We'll have to see if Gambino is able to return from the injury he suffered in the second half of the Eagles' loss to Ansonia. It certainly would help Wolcott try to get back on track after two tough losses.

There are also reports, mostly from our Derby bloggers, that some poor man named Ray Finkle missed a kick wide to the left. That man has suffered long enough simply for the fact that his last name is Finkle. No truth to the rumor he is related to former WWF ring announcer Howard Finkel.

For those new to the blog, feel free to add your comments at any time. We welcome your thoughts. Carry on as usual.

Game of the Week: Derby vs. Ansonia

Finally, a Derby-Ansonia game with a little something riding on it. If Ansonia wins, it's the Brass Division champion. If Derby wins, then one more win over Wilby or Crosby clinches the Brass crown. Ansonia leads the all-time series, 51-28-8. Let the smack begin.

What Remmy has seen:
Derby- Derby's pass offense is its bread and butter. Tomczak has given this team a big boost since he's come back. His absence didn't hurt the Raiders in the division race, as they are currently tied with Ansonia for the Brass division lead. This team has played the role of underdog in every game. Maybe that's what keeps them so loose and gives them the ability to shine.
Ansonia- Ansonia has surprised many by going undefeated into Week 7 with its young team. The only person able to stop Montrell Dobbs so far is Dobbs himself. Even when Dobbs is out, the underclassmen pick up the slack. Guys like Newsome (Fr.), Matos (So.) on offense and guys like O'Connor (So.), Wood (Jr.) and Vano (Jr.) on defense are doing the job. Chudwick throws a pretty ball, too. It's up to his receivers to make some plays for him this week to keep the train running.

What Kyle has seen:
Derby- Regrettably, I haven't been able to see Derby in person this season (actually, ever...). I can't give too much in the way of strong opinions, but it seems to me that Ray Kreiger and Jacob Tomczak are the keys to the offense. If they play well, Derby plays well. If not, the Raiders lose. That's a pretty simple formula. What I'd like to know a little more about is how Derby plays in the trenches and on defense. Judging by recent scores, the Raiders have been improving in both areas.
Ansonia- I've seen plenty of Ansonia this year. This is one of the few teams (along with Derby, Woodland, and maybe Naugatuck) that have improved with each game. Montrell Dobbs is incredible to watch. The line, while not one of Ansonia's traditional earth-movers, is very capable of getting the job done. The Chargers stop the run pretty well and their pass defense has buckled down when needed.

Remmy's keys to the game:
Derby- The Raiders must be able to do what they do best--pass the ball. Holding Dobbs to a sub-150-yard performance is also a must. Derby's D-line must dominate in order for it to have a chance this week.
Ansonia- Let Dobbs loose on the Raider defense. Dobbs is the fastest player on the field almost every week. His leadership and determination are what makes this team a force to be reckoned with. Chudwick may pop a few key passes to put this game out of contention. The Chargers just better be aware of big #37 in the Derby secondary, Jake "the Snake" Tomczak.

Kyle's keys to the game:
Derby- Derby's going to need a big game in the air from Kreiger and Tomczak. They'll need to have a game similar to the one they had last week at Wolcott to pull the upset. The Raiders will also have to find some way to slow down Dobbs. I don't know if it's possible to stop him, but keeping him relatively in check is a must. Derby can't make turnovers, probably needs to force some, and needs to either be even or plus in the field-position game.
Ansonia- Ansonia just needs to play its game. The Chargers need to stick with Dobbs and throw in the occasional play-action pass from Elliot Chudwick that keeps the defense off-guard. Unless Ansonia starts turning over the ball and giving Derby opportunities, the Chargers should end the night as the Brass Division champions.

Remmy's pick: Ansonia, 45-18
Kyle's pick: Ansonia, 34-21

Week 7 Predictions

Wow. I can't believe we're already on the home stretch of the 2010 season. Just a few months ago, we were all anticipating opening day.

Below are this week's match-ups. And remember, you bloggers may list your predictions in this thread, so we can count them toward your season totals! We'll have our Game of the Week thread coming later tonight, so we'll try to keep all of our Derby-Ansonia talk there, and the rest of the game talk here.

Derby (3-3) at Ansonia (6-0): Our Game of the Week. This game couldn't have come at a better time for Derby. The Raiders, winners of three straight, have been playing good football lately as they head to their neighbor's house, Jarvis Stadium, for battle. Ansonia has impressed many as their young team is still undefeated. Will the Raiders keep their momentum and trample over the Chargers?
Picks: Coming up in our Game of the Week thread!

Naugatuck (6-0) at Kennedy (2-4): Naugy doesn't want to get trapped in this game before its three most important games of the year coming up in the final weeks of the season. The Hounds had difficulty controlling Rohan Ifill and the Sacred Heart passing game last week but the offense was able to match the Hearts step for step. Obviously, Kennedy's offense isn't as potent as Sacred Heart's, and Naugatuck has a much better run defense than it does a pass defense. I don't think the Eagles can play the ball-control game here.
Picks: Kyle- Naugatuck, 41-15. Remmy- Naugatuck, 40-22.

Watertown (3-3) at Wolcott (4-2): Both squads come into Week 7 with a combined five straight losses. Before the season, some of us thought this might be the Brass Division title game. Now it's a game featuring two teams scrambling just to make the Class M playoffs. I overheard, at the Derby-Wolcott game, that Eagles' QB Dom Gambino will likely be back for this game against the Indians. Matt Quatrano has been playing very well for the Indians. Without him, they are toast. Who's going to end their losing streak this week? Wolcott's pass defense is suspect and Quatrano is setting himself up for a field day.
Picks: Kyle- Wolcott, 28-21. Remmy- Watertown, 26-18.

Sacred Heart (4-2) at Holy Cross (3-3): The Crusaders looked like contenders early on. Since then, they've looked like pretenders. Sacred Heart is also questionable, despite impressing most of us this season. We know the Hearts can light it up through the air, but can they stop the Crusaders' run attack?
Picks: Kyle- Sacred Heart, 33-28. Remmy- Sacred Heart, 39-26.

St. Paul (2-4) at Woodland (4-2): Woodland, like Naugatuck, can't be trapped in this game in order to preserve the Copper Division championship we have set up for next week. St. Paul's offense could pose a bit of a problem for the Hawks because Jude Kelly isn't afraid to throw the ball, which is the weakness of Woodland's defense. Still, the Falcons have become less effective on offense as the season as gone on and the Hawks don't allow much after the first half. This might be the best second-half team in the league.
Picks: Kyle- Woodland, 26-13. Remmy- Woodland, 37-19.

Wilby (1-5) at Torrington (4-2): Torrington is probably only playing for pride now after losing all hopes for the Copper Division and very possible for the Class L playoffs with last week's loss. Still, Dan Dunaj is one of the best coaches in the league and will have his Raiders ready to go for the final four games of the season. I'd be surprised if Torrington doesn't win out. Its running game was impressive against a good Woodland defense last week. Brenden Lytton and Jared Williams should have a field day against Wilby.
Picks: Kyle- Torrington, 35-14. Remmy- Torrington, 42-13.

Seymour (0-6) at Crosby (1-5): Cats vs. Dawgs. Both teams are having disappointing seasons (as expected?). The Cats are still searching for their first win. They couldn't get it vs. Wilby last week and this is their second shot in a row at realistically earning a win. A big question mark for Seymour is its quarterback, Luke Grabowski. He went down last week with a shoulder injury vs.Wilby and will likely be on the sidelines this week as a result. Bad news for the Cats, especially if Crosby's starters are available for this game and aren't sidelines due to suspensions, again.
Picks: Kyle- Crosby, 34-20. Remmy- Crosby 33-12.

Kyle's Appearance on CTSN

Kyle was a guest on this past week's episode of "GameTime" on the Connecticut Sports Network with John Holt and Joe Zone. He discussed Ansonia, Naugatuck, Wolcott, and the Torrington-Woodland game. This was filmed last Wednesday, so it's a little dated, but still something to amuse you all.

Friday/Saturday Night Reactions

Friday recaps

The upset of the night was Derby crushing Wolcott, 36-7. Remmy will have more on this, as our bloggers from Derby and Wolcott probably also will. How did it get so lopsided? (Stories on ValleyIndy and Rep-Am.)

Kyle was at Naugatuck-Sacred Heart and it really was a game the entire way. Naugy started off very well by running the ball effectively, and its offense was very good all night. Sacred Heart was able to stick around with some huge pass plays and a couple of long runs. In the end, Rohan Ifill's five interceptions were too much. The Hounds are now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Copper after the 46-34 win. (Story on Rep-Am.)

There are certainly some things Naugatuck has to improve, namely pass defense and extra points. The Hounds failed on four of its seven PAT opportunities on the night, and Ifill's stat line will be impressive when we see it later tonight (aside from the five picks). But Naugy's discipline (two penalties) has improved greatly. The defense was really the only letdown tonight, but that's to be expected to some extent against a great passing team in Sacred Heart.

The other score of the night was Wilby beating Seymour, 33-21. This game was 27-0 at one point. It looks like Seymour is going to go winless for the first time in a long time. (Stories on ValleyIndy and Rep-Am.)

Saturday recaps

In our Game of the Week, Woodland beat Torrington, 30-20. The Hawks' defense really came alive after the first quarter, including forcing two key turnovers in the fourth quarter. The first was a sack of quarterback Jared Williams which resulted in a fumble-return touchdown by Woodland's Eric Collodel; the second was the nail in the coffin on an interception by Jake Pinho.

Brenden Lytton rushed for just over 200 yards, about half of that coming in the first quarter. He busted two big runs (39 and 49 yards) and was sporadically effective after the first period. Woodland's defense did a pretty good job of clamping down after being pushed around early.

The Hawks tried to use the pass often in the first half, but a few drops by Woodland receivers stopped that game plan. Woodland ran the ball very well in the second and third quarters and ended up with over 250 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

Here's a link to Kyle's story from the Republican-American. Woodland has St. Paul next week followed by the potential Copper Division title game Nov. 5 in Naugatuck. Torrington is done in both the division and probably Class L.

In other news, St. Paul beat Kennedy, 28-22, and Holy Cross toppled Crosby, 26-0.

Montrell Dobbs featured on ESPN's High School Blog

This is a few weeks old but it is a good read. Check it out.

Click here for the article.

Week 6 Live Scoreboard

Folks, it's that time of the week.

If you will be Tweeting updates from any games this weekend, please list your Twitter username and I will add it to our scoring feed.

Updates will be coming from tonight's Derby-Wolcott match-up, as well as Naugatuck-Sacred Heart and tomorrow's Woodland-Torrington game. Other game scores will be posted as they come in. Enjoy ths weekend's games.

Game of the Week: Woodland at Torrington

By popular demand, Remmy and Kyle bring you their thoughts leading into Week 6's Game of the Week, when the Hawks head up north to face the Red Raiders in a pivotal Copper Division battle. This game will have a big effect not only on the Copper, but on both teams' chances at playoff berths.

What Remmy has seen:
Woodland- Woodland has been playing progressively better, especially on defense. The Hawks are still suspect on offense, in my opinion. The good thing for them is that with DeBiase handling the ball on every play, a score can occur at any time. Woodland has the more balanced attack of the two combatants in this game.
Torrington- Everyone knows the Raiders boast a powerful, hard-nosed running game. There have been questions regarding the starting quarterback's status. Some say he is out and a freshman will be starting at QB while others say this is just a rumor. Whoever it is, it will not matter too much because Torrington rarely throws the ball. But it could prove costly for the Raiders because of the freshman's lack of experience handling the ball in games.

What Kyle has seen:
Woodland- The Hawks weathered the toughest schedule of any NVL team over the first five weeks and the gauntlet continues this week in Torrington. Woodland's rush defense has steadily improved throughout the season, allowing well under 100 yards to good running teams in Watertown and Holy Cross. The offense is starting to shape up, too, with some emphasis coming off Jack DeBiase and shifting to wingbacks Craig Genz and Jake Pinho. DeBiase is also throwing the ball a little more lately, hooking up with Rahmi Rountree on a few big plays over the last few weeks.
Torrington- Torrington features one of the best running games in the league, led by Brenden Lytton. The passing game hasn't been too effective, but it really hasn't been needed much. The Raiders' defense has also become more effective with every game it’s played. Torrington can match physicality with most teams, including Woodland.

Remmy's keys to the game:
Woodland- Don't be afraid to throw the ball. Hit Torrington quickly through the air. The Raiders' weakness on defense is its secondary. The Torrington D-line is pretty good, especially big #74. The kid is a maniac--don't run his way. The Hawks have the speed, with DeBiase and Pinho, to get to the corner and get some big gains in this game. The Hawks' defense must slow down the Raiders run game. If the Hawks can limit Torrington to a sub 200-yard game on the ground, the Hawks go back to Beacon Falls with a win.
Torrington- Run the ball down Woody's throat. Torrington won't surprise anyone with its passing offense. However, it should, because the Woodland secondary itself has been suspect this year--giving up big pass plays in practically every contest.

Kyle's keys to the game:
Woodland- It's probably going to come down to stopping Torrington's running game. Woodland has shown the ability to slow down any team's running game after the first week against Ansonia, and all the practice they've gotten from stopping Matt Quatrano, Curtis Pomeroy, Brandon DiClementi, and Dave DiGiorgi will come in handy this week against Lytton and Jared Williams. The Hawks' offense normally plays to the flow of the game, so I wouldn't expect a ton of points unless it becomes an up-and-down game. Working the short passes could be important.
Torrington- The Raiders are going to have to break Woodland's rush defense in order to win. We're not clear on quarterback Jason Abbott's status for the game, but even if he plays, he's not a huge threat to throw. That will allow the Hawks to concentrate on stuffing the box and crashing the safeties. Woodland has been playing a lot of man defense, so we'll see if that continues. I'm interested to see what Torrington can do on defense. Perhaps unfairly, the last time I saw the Raiders, they gave up several big plays to Naugatuck. We know the key matchup will be Torrington's rush offense against Woodland's rush defense, but the Raiders' defense might be the X-factor.

Remmy's summary:
Torrington's backfield vs. Woodland's 8-, 9-, and 10-man fronts. Expect Woodland to stack the box on Saturday, especially if Torrington starts the freshman at QB. If DeBiase is the leading tackler for Woodland, the Hawks are going to be in trouble. Don't allow Lytton to get into the secondary or he's gone! Collectively, I have not seen a defense hit harder this season than that of the Hawks. I've seen Torrington in only one game, at Seymour, and the Wildcats didn't lay big licks on the Raiders. I'm interested to see how Torrington would respond after being hit hard in a very tight game. Woodland should take its chances with DeBiase rolling out and throwing the ball on the run. The benefit to having a QB and a hard-nosed player like DeBiase is he is never afraid of tucking and running. This could prove to be the difference in this game. Pick: Woodland, 27-26.

Kyle's summary:
It's no secret here: If Woodland stops Brenden Lytton and the Torrington running game, the Hawks will win. If not, the Woodland offense is going to need to pull out the offense that it showed against Ansonia to stay in it. Either way, this should be an excellent game and probably will be a one-possession contest come the fourth quarter. If it does come down to a game decided on the last few possessions, I would favor the Hawks' leadership to win out. I think there are just more things in favor of Woodland than Torrington, but I'm not going to be surprised if either team wins. Pick: Woodland, 21-14.

For a little extra to chew on before this week's games, check out Kyle's first examination of the state playoff picture in the latest post on the Red Zone blog.

Week 6 Predictions

We saw some surprises in Week 5, beginning with Wolcott's inability to beat Ansonia (if you call that a surprise). Derby picked up a big, big win over Watertown. I don't think anyone but Derby knew they'd win that game. On second thought, maybe they didn't even know they would.

Week 6 presents to us a premier match-up--Woodland at Torrington--along with many other interesting games.

Woodland (3-2) at Torrington (4-1): This one may as well be called the game of the week. The Hawks, winners of two straight, travel to Torrington on Saturday night to face the Red Raiders and their power-running game. Woodland has lost two games by a total of eight points. Its defense has been playing very well against the run lately. Torrington can pound the rock on the ground. It's the Raiders' run game vs. the Hawks' tough run defense: Which one will reign supreme?
Picks: Kyle- Woodland, 21-14. Remmy- Woodland, 27-26.

Ansonia (5-0) at Watertown (3-2): This very may well have been the game of the week if Watertown hadn't choked last week against Derby. The Indians are getting to that time of year where they always seem to fold under pressure and can't win a big game. But remember last year how they pulled the upset of Ansonia. Yeah, not happening this year. The Chargers are on fire.
Picks: Kyle- Ansonia, 34-14. Remmy- Ansonia, 39-16.

Naugatuck (5-0) at Sacred Heart (4-1): Don't be surprised if this is a game, at least for a half or so. Sacred Heart might be the one team in the league that can throw with Naugatuck and the Hearts have their share of athletes, too. This is really the start of the big part of the season for Naugy, because it's divisional play until Thanksgiving. We don't see the Hounds losing, but it could be a quiz on the way to later tests.
Picks: Kyle- Naugatuck, 42-20. Remmy- Naugatuck, 42-34.

Derby (2-3) at Wolcott (4-1): Can Derby pull out its second-consecutive upset of the season? Wolcott got manhandled in Ansonia last week and are a very furious bunch. Maybe a win over Derby would make everything better on Route 69. A big question mark for the Eagles is the status of quarterback Dom Gambino. He suffered an ankle injury after being upended early in the game vs. Ansonia and eventually left the game. Derby's Tomzcak came into his own last week and is making big plays for the Raiders.
Picks: Kyle- Wolcott, 21-7. Remmy- Wolcott, 41-20.

Crosby (1-4) at Holy Cross (2-3): The Crusaders come into this game losers of three straight, while Crosby earned its first win of the season last week against Wilby. If Crosby has all of its starters and can stop Holy Cross' backfield, the Dawgs have a shot at leaving the Stadium with a win.
Picks: Kyle- Holy Cross, 28-14. Remmy- Holy Cross, 25-20.

Kennedy (2-3) at St. Paul (1-4): Kennedy is playing pretty well despite its 2-3 record. The Eagles played with Torrington for just about the entire game last week and really play to their competition. St. Paul has looked good at times and awful at others. The Falcons are similar to Sacred Heart, and remember how Kennedy handled the Hearts.
Picks: Kyle- Kennedy, 37-20. Remmy- Kennedy, 34-13.

Wilby (0-5) at Seymour (0-5): This will be our final battle of the winless teams this season. Seymour got predictably trucked by New Canaan last week while Wilby didn't look good against formerly winless Crosby. If Seymour doesn't win this one, they may very well end up 0-10. Kyle never thought he would ever see that. (neither did Ribbs!)
Picks: Kyle- Seymour, 26-20. Remmy- Seymour, 34-21.

The Week 5 that was

What we saw after Week 5:

1) Derby beats a winning team.
2) Wolcott allows more than one score in a game.
3) Holy Cross loses three straight.
4) Woodland has a winning record.
5) Watertown starts off 3-0 and has now lost two straight.

One last look at Week 5 from Kyle on the Red Zone blog.

And we'll see winless teams go at it again for the third time this season--Derby at Seymour in Week 4, Crosby at Wilby in Week 5, and Wilby vs. Seymour this week.

Should make for some interesting football since we are now into the second half of the season.

Postgame: Wolcott vs. Ansonia

What a game.

Dobbs rushed for 286 yards with three touchdowns (close to 260 yards in the first half alone). 39-6 Ansonia at halftime. 39-20, final.

Wolcott picked up a score on a 5-yard fumble return just after halftime while shutting out Ansonia in the second-half.

Check out the game story from the Republican-American here. Also, a column about Ansonia's 1000th win here.

Kyle also recommends reading the story of Torrington's 22-8 win over Kennedy here. The story is awesome and hilarious.

Game Day - NVL Week 5 Scoreboard

Week 5 is here. The weather is looking promising here in Ansonia--blue skies and dry roads--which means the field should be in decent condition this evening.

Scores, updates, and news from tonight's games will be provided in the window below (click on it). If you will be using Twitter to provide updates, let me know and I will import your Twitter feed into the Live Scoreboard. So far, I have ribbs, gargano, Kyle, DZ1786, and myself on the feed. WATR 1320 AM will also be broadcasting the Ansonia-Wolcott on the air and online. WRHS Media will produce a live broadcast of the Woodland-Holy Cross game here.

Game of the Week: Wolcott at Ansonia

Week 5 presents to us two of the more formidable--not to mention undefeated--teams in the NVL taking to the gridiron at Jarvis Stadium. Remmy and Kyle will now make their individual team evaluations, from what they've seen, along with their picks for this game.

What Remmy has seen:
Wolcott- This Eagles come off as being a cocky bunch, but I think they're just a confident squad that knows they can beat anyone. That's a good mindset to have as a football team. It also helps being the most powerful squad in the NVL. They love to pound the ball between the tackles and take pride in being able to out-last its opponents. Wolcott had a tough time running against Woodland.
Ansonia- Young, yet dangerous. Dobbs can take over a game. Newsome is coming into his own. And Chudwick has been throwing some nice balls lately. The defense plays with a lot of intensity. Despite Ansonia's success as a program, this year's squad is a very hungry one.

What Kyle has seen:
Wolcott- The Eagles definitely take after the personality of head coach Patrick Russo. I don't think Wolcott will be intimidated at all in this game. I saw the Eagles just once in the game against Woodland and wasn't particularly blown away, but I was impressed with how fundamentally sound they were on both sides of the ball. They play with a lot of intensity and are very tough. The Hawks did a good job limiting the run, but Wolcott just keeps pounding away. Even though they have the potential to score every possession, I think the Eagles are very confident in their defense, which has allowed 28 points in four games. They don't allow much.
Ansonia- I've seen the Chargers twice and they looked almost like a different team from when they played Woodland to when they smoked Holy Cross. Ansonia has more speed than Wolcott with running backs Montrell Dobbs and Arkeel Newsome. Though it's not a typical big Ansonia line, it's still formidable and can pave the way for solid rushing yards. This will be the biggest offensive threat posed to Wolcott so far. For the first time in a long time, the Chargers aren't afraid to throw the ball, either, which could definitely play a role in this game as long as the weather allows.

Remmy's keys to the game:
Wolcott- Stop Dobbs. If the Eagles can hold Dobbs under to a sub-100 yard performance on the ground, their chances at leaving Jarvis Stadium as victors are very high. Murphy is a man-child on the O- and D-lines. And their DB, Christiano, is lightning-fast and hits like a Mack truck--seriously.
Ansonia- Limit Bonvillian from doing damage on the ground. If the Chargers' defense can stuff the Wolcott line and contain Bonvillian, Ansonia will have a good shot at the win. Hit Bonvillian hard, early, and fluster him. The Eagles may take flight behind Gambino's arm. While not being the most fundamentally-sound quarterback (he lacks proper mechanics), he's still a tough kid and very dangerous with the ball.

Kyle's keys to the game:
Wolcott- I think Wolcott can win a lower-scoring battle. I'm not as confident that the Eagles would be able to score with Ansonia if it came down to a shootout. Wolcott needs to put together a few sustained drives with heavy doses of DeVante Bonvillian and Mike Flammia. This might be the game that Dom Gambino finally breaks through. Winning the time of possession will be key. The Eagles will also have to win the line of scrimmage. On defense, Wolcott must be intense and swarm to the ball. Sure tackling is a must.
Ansonia- I think the magic number for Ansonia to win will be 20 points. If the Chargers hit 20, I think they win. If not, I think the advantage goes to Wolcott. Big plays have helped out Ansonia a lot this season and it could definitely use at least one of those in this game. The health of Montrell Dobbs will be perhaps the most important part of the game. If he's feeling good enough to be close to himself, it's a tough matchup for Wolcott. If not, the offense will come down to young Arkeel Newsome and a hot-and-cold passing game with Elliot Chudwick.

Remmy's summary:
The Eagles have established themselves as a powerhouse of sorts, but considering they haven't beaten the Chargers, I can't choose them. I thought they would be able to get the job done last season and Ansonia came from behind to win the game on the road. Being the weightlifting champs for many years may work to Wolcott's advantage. However, winning weightlifting titles doesn't mean it will automatically win the NVL football championship. With that said. I can't go against the hometown Chargers. Pick: Ansonia, 28-19.

Kyle's summary:
I've heard plenty of the Wolcott's-never-won-a-big-game talk leading up to this game. That might be true, but I'm not a big believer in the past having much of an impact on games like these. Ansonia is playing beyond its years right now and I'm wondering if inexperience will catch up to the Chargers at any point. I don't think youth will be the problem for Ansonia--I think it's going to be Wolcott's intensity and physicality. The Eagles know this game means everything to them and I can't see them losing it. Pick: Wolcott, 14-10.

Is Derby Football DONE?

Looks like football in Derby is in jeopardy of coming to a dead stop next season.

Here is an article released by the NH Register regarding the Derby Football program.

Game of the Week. Let's do it. Click here to VOTE.

Week 5 Predictions

First off, Remmy and Kyle decided it was time for an overhaul of the blog, so we hope you like the new look. It was time to make this thing look nice for a change. As always, we accept all your suggestions for anything you'd like to see here. Now to football matters:

It's division play almost exclusively for the rest of the season and we've got huge match-ups in both the Brass and Copper Divisions this week. Of course, the feature game will be Wolcott-Ansonia, with the winner having the inside track at the Brass title. Woodland-Holy Cross is important for the Copper Division race. Naugatuck and Seymour both head out of league this week.

Wolcott (4-0) at Ansonia (4-0): As expected, there was no letdown in Week 4 for either of these teams to set up the most important match-up in the first half of the NVL season. Wolcott has allowed just 28 points in four games while Ansonia's defense is playing much better of late. The Eagles have plenty of offensive weapons from DeVante Bonvillian to Mike Flammia to Dom Gambino, but the Chargers have Montrell Dobbs and quickly emerging freshman Arkeel Newsome with an underrated passing game. This could be the most physical game the Valley sees this season. It's hard to see the winner here not playing for the NVL championship.
Picks: Kyle- Wolcott, 14-10. Remmy- Ansonia, 28-19.

Holy Cross (2-2) at Woodland (2-2): Holy Cross played two games in five days last week. Will they rebound on the road against the Hawks? No. We think the Crusaders will be cruising into Beacon Falls for their third-consecutive loss. Woodland is the best two-loss team in the league.
Picks: Kyle- Woodland, 28-14. Remmy- Woodland, 21-13.

Torrington (3-1) at Kennedy (2-2): This one might be an under-the-radar game, but it could be important in the Copper. Torrington can't avoid another slip-up if it wants to stay in the division race but Kennedy is a team coming into this one with confidence after dominating Sacred Heart. The ball might not be thrown all night as both teams love to pound the ball on the ground. Kennedy has gone away from a lot of its old gimmicky stuff, but Chris Sarlo must have something up his sleeve.
Picks: Kyle- Torrington, 27-19. Remmy- Torrington, 32-20.

Naugatuck (4-0) at Killingly (0-4): Naugatuck keeps on doing its thing, scoring at least 40 points last week against St. Paul for the fourth-straight week. This should be another tune-up for the Hounds before getting back to the divisional schedule next week against Sacred Heart. The schedule only gets tougher from here on out for Naugy.
Picks: Kyle- Naugatuck, 48-6. Remmy- Naugatuck, 50-7.

Seymour (0-4) at New Canaan (4-0): The 'Cats travel into Fairfield County to take on one of the premier FCIAC squads of the decade. The Wildcats have no momentum whatsoever. This game wasn't competitive last year. More of the same this year. Ugly. That just about sums it up.
Picks: Kyle- New Canaan, 49-0. Remmy- New Canaan, 42-3.

Sacred Heart (3-1) at St. Paul (1-3): The secret on how to beat Sacred Heart is out--run the ball all over its defense. Kennedy held the ball for more than three-quarters of the game and limited the Hearts' offensive chances. Kyle thought he would be a little more impressed with Rohan Ifill. Having said that, it's tough to believe that Ifill will have two tough weeks in a row, especially against a bad Falcons defense.
Picks: Kyle- Sacred Heart, 41-28. Remmy- Sacred Heart, 39-19.

Watertown (3-1) at Derby (1-3): Quarterback Matt Quatrano and company hit a bump in the road at Woodland in Week 4. But don't expect the Indians to miss a beat this week in Derby. It was a good week in Derby after their first win. Enjoy that one, Raiders, because we don't expect it to last very long.
Picks: Kyle- Watertown, 34-27. Remmy- Watertown, 28-16.

Crosby (0-4) at Wilby (0-4): Wilby hung tough with Ansonia for a quarter. Then it went downhill from there. If Crosby doesn't suspend/bench players this week, it should win this contest. Progress reports will be released next week, so everyone should be safe here. The Dawgs will get their first win.
Picks: Kyle- Crosby, 20-13. Remmy- Crosby, 27-19.

Watertown vs. Woodland

I recorded some footage of the Watertown-Woodland match-up last Friday. This was a great game. Lead changes, big plays, and a late run by Watertown to try and tie-it-up...but as you will see, time ran out on the Indians.

Week 4 Results

With one game left on the schedule for Week 4, we'll have a quick take on last night's action.

Derby. You earned your first win of the season. Happy 500th. Seymour is still trying to figure out what it takes to get a W.

Torrington had a 21-14 lead against visiting Holy Cross at halftime. The Raiders added two more scores to give the Crusaders their second-consecutive loss.

Watertown and Woodland played a tough game. Woodland scored late and its defense made a big stand as time ran out to give the Hawks the much-needed victory.

Naugy made quick work of St. Paul. No one we know was at this game, so let us know how the Hounds looked last night. Is St. Paul really this down?

Crosby played without 7 of its starters. Wolcott took full advantage by holding Crosby to one TD on the night. The Eagles can now focus on Week 5's clash-of-the-titans in Ansonia.

What I would call the shocker of the week - Kennedy downs Sacred Heart. Ifill had an usually bad game for the Hearts. It proved to be costly as Kennedy took full advantage of SH's mistakes, turning them into scores. Kennedy was up early by two scores and the Hearts never seemed to respond.

Game Day: Week 4

Week 4 is here and we're about to start hitting an important stretch of divisional games, started this week by Holy Cross-Torrington and extending to several key matchups next week.

You can contribute to the live scoreboard in a couple of ways. If you have a Twitter account, feel free to send your updates to @NVLFOOTBALL, and Rem will retweet them to the board. In addition, you can send your e-mail address to and you will be allowed to post directly in the scoreboard window. Otherwise, your comments won't be included in the chat because we can't sit and moderate them (since we're at the games).

So, where are you gonna be this week? Kyle will be at Sacred Heart-Kennedy for the Rep-Am while Remmy should be at Woodland-Watertown. That game is also being broadcast on 1320 WATR and WRHS Media. We should also have updates coming from Seymour-Derby and Wolcott-Crosby. Hopefully we can get some help on the Holy Cross-Torrington game.

Week 4 Predictions

Week 4 is here. Almost at the midway point.

Remmy and Kyle are tied in picks through Week 3. A couple of good games on the slate this week beginning with Watertown at Woodland.

Watertown (3-0) at Woodland (1-2): Both of these teams looked good last week, even though the Hawks' performance was in a loss to Wolcott. Watertown's defense isn't as good as Wolcott's was, so we think Woodland's offense should be able to get back on track. The Indians might be a pretty similar team to Wolcott with the powerful running game. The Hawks stopped it last week--can they do it again?
Picks: Kyle- Woodland, 28-17. Remmy- Woodland, 34-19.

Holy Cross (2-1) at Torrington (2-1): The Red Raiders looked impressive shutting out Seymour in Week 3. They can really run the rock. Holy Cross is coming off of a beat-down in Ansonia. One team is looking for its second straight shutout on defense, while the other is looking forward to getting on the scoreboard this week.
Picks: Kyle- Torrington, 28-24. Remmy- Torrington, 25-13.

St. Paul (1-2) at Naugatuck (3-0): Another long ride to the Valley for the Falcons. Is this the week Naugatuck gets derailed? Trap game, perhaps? (Kyle says no way--field day for Naugy.)
Picks: Kyle- Naugatuck, 62-13. Remmy-Naugatuck, 39-15.

Derby (0-3) at Seymour (0-3): A Valley battle gone wild. One of these squads will pick up its first win. Will Derby celebrate at Roseland's after this one or will the Cats spoil the party?
Picks: Kyle- Seymour, 21-13. Remmy- Derby, 27-18.

Sacred Heart (3-0) at Kennedy (1-2): The Hearts have been playing solid ball behind the arm of Mr. Everything, Rohan Ifill. Kennedy won the City Jamboree, but does that really mean anything? The Hearts are looking to remain undefeated.
Picks: Kyle- Sacred Heart, 35-19. Remmy- Sacred Heart, 41-27.

Wolcott (3-0) at Crosby (0-3): This week only gets tougher for the Bulldogs. But if they have any reason to be motivated, it should be because the undefeated Eagles fly into town. Wolcott can't afford to trip this week before heading into Ansonia for its showdown in Week 5.
Picks: Kyle- Wolcott, 35-7. Remmy- Wolcott, 34-20.

Ansonia (3-0) at Wilby (0-3): Ansonia may have looked the best of any team in Week 3, on both sides of the ball. The Chargers put up 31 points without Montrell Dobbs scoring at all and their defense gave up just 130 yards to Holy Cross, a team which features two backs who normally rush for 130 yards each. Don't expect any letdown here.
Picks: Kyle- Ansonia, 49-6. Remmy- Ansonia, 27-8.

MNF: Holy Cross vs. Ansonia

31-0 Chargers. Dobbs had 173 yards on the ground and no touchdowns.

Holy Cross was 1 for 14 for 0 yards passing and three interceptions (one pick-six).

I thought the HC running backs would have a field day. But Ansonia's defense wasn't having it tonight. It's the best I've seen them play so far this season.

Didn't Holy Cross put up 62 on St. Paul last week? Hopefully someone here, who went to the game, can give us some kind of idea on how that happened. I wasn't there.

The Ansonia youngsters did work tonight. Dobbs did his thing. He had one TD called back due to holding by the o-line.

HC looked awful tonight, mainly on offense. It's safe to say HC had less than 150yds total offense (Kyle says he had them for 130 total yds). The deepest HC would get into Ansonia territory was at the Charger 15-yard line. Defense was huge.

Live Scoreboard

If anyone here wants to post comments to our Live Scoreboard on the blog during games, please send your e-mail address to:

Doing so will assure you can post as you please to the chat without having your comments moderated. Otherwise, your comments will not be seen.


And here's the Derby guy going at it with Coach Plasky.

Monday Night Football

Are you ready for some football?

With one Week 3 NVL game yet to be played, we'll have the Crusaders (2-0) facing the Chargers (2-0) at 6
p.m., Monday, at Jarvis Stadium in Ansonia.

I saw some good football this weekend beginning with Woodland at Wolcott, Naugy at Derby, and Torrington at Seymour.
Wolcott is a tough squad but again, I was shocked at how Woodland stopped them during the first half. They took it to Wolcott early...just couldn't finish the Eagles off.

I wasn't too surprised by the outcome of Naugy and Derby. Same thing for Torrington-Seymour. Torrington is a talented squad being able to pound the ball on the ground over and over again. I think the sloppy conditions at DeBarber limited the Raiders from scoring 40+. If I'm being honest, they didn't look like an NVL championship-caliber team. Maybe it really was the conditions. I just feel they are very one-dimensional and if a very physical squad stops their running attack, it could get ugly. T-town plays Holy Cross next week at home...should be a good one there.
Seymour has some work to do. That's for sure. I thought they hung tough early. It was evident the Torrington defense was too much for the Cats, as Seymour had plenty of three-and-outs throughout the contest.

So it's the Crusaders and the Chargers - who ya got?

Friday night roundup

Just some brief thoughts after our Friday night games, with less than half of the NVL's Week 3 games in the books.

The Wolcott-Woodland contest was an excellent football game. Woodland blew me away with the caliber of defense it played, making key stops when it needed to. It had two moments of major weakness--the long kickoff return to start the game which led to a field goal and the drive ending in the score by DeVante Bonvillian. Otherwise, very aggressive and intense defense by Woodland.

Wolcott didn't look quite as good as I was expecting, so I'm trying to determine whether I overestimated the Eagles or whether I should give more credit to Woodland's defense. Regardless, Wolcott's defense looked very good, as well, and the running game came through in the end. Like Pat Russo told me, they think being within striking distance in the second half is a good spot to be with how well conditioned his players are. It definitely showed. (More on this game here.)

Not sure of any details on Watertown-St. Paul or Sacred Heart-Crosby, but it looks like the Falcons and Bulldogs hung around for a while. I know both games were neck-and-neck at the half. I wasn't surprised to see the Indians let St. Paul hang around, but I was expecting the Hearts to put up bigger numbers.

Anyway, onto the next three games of the weekend. Can't wait for Ansonia-Holy Cross at Jarvis on Monday night.

Here are some in-game video clips that were uploaded to Twitter during the game:

Wolcott returns the opening kickoff deep into Woodland territory

DeBiase pass intercepted but late hit on Wolcott gives Woodland possession again

Woodland's Rob Johnson 16-yard TD reception. Woodland 7, Wolcott 3

Wolcott's Gambino stopped

Wolcott's Bonvillian flips into the end zone to put the Eagles up 10-7 over the Hawks. 1:39 3rd qtr

Woodland's Plourde lays a VICIOUS hit on Wolcott QB Gambino

Wolcott's Christiano puts a nice hit on Woodland's Pinho

Wolcott stuffs Woodland QB DeBiase on 4th and 1 with 3 min remaining

Week 3 LIVE Scoreboard - TONIGHT!

ATTENTION: Please check the right sidebar for the most current game dates and times. There have been many postponements.

Can't make it out to a game tonight? No problem. We will have a live scoreboard this evening. The scoreboard will go live beginning at 5 p.m. for NVL contests. We will have in-game photos, in-game video, and scoring updates for you.

If you elect to post in tonight's chat window, please don't. Post as you normally would using the blog comment form. I will not be moderating the live chat below and have no way of automatically allowing comments to come through. In the future, you may give me your e-mail and I can allow your comments to go unmoderated.