Happy Holidays

Kyle and myself would like to wish every one of our readers and blog members a very happy holiday season.
We've had an awesome time discussing NVL high school football this season. You guys have made the blog a great place to discuss local high school football. Thanks.

The All-Valley team will be announced in the coming weeks as well as our 1st-annual "NVL Football Blog Awards."

Already looking forward to next season.


CHSCA All-State Teams

The first of the all-state teams have been released with the CHSCA (coaches) all-state picks coming out this week. With the reduction in classes from six to four this year, the coaches decided to name all-state teams for each of the four classes as well as one overall all-state team. Here are the NVL representatives on each team.

First Team
Montrell Dobbs, RB, Ansonia
David Coggins, WR, Sacred Heart
Dean Tsopanides, OL, Torrington
Aaron Echevarria, OL, Naugatuck
Jack DeBiase, DB, Woodland

Class L
Brenden Lytton, RB, Torrington
Reuban Berger, DB, Naugatuck

Class M
CJ Monroe, OL, Wolcott
Zach Salazar, LB, Derby
Matt Quatrano, DB, Watertown

Class S
Ryan Peloquin, OL, St. Paul

Check out the full teams on SPB's blog. The New Haven Register and Hartford Courant all-state teams will be released before the end of the month.

Upcoming events

A couple of things on the horizon...

We are pleased to announce that an All-Valley team will be released really soon. The selections will be revealed soon. It will be comprised of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, and Woodland Regional student-athletes.

I am also working on the NVL Blog Awards, which will be posted just after the new year. So stay tuned for those, too.

All-NVL teams

Without further ado, the 2010 All-NVL teams:

All-NVL Offense
QB: Rohan Ifill, Sacred Heart; Erich Broadrick, Naugatuck
RB: Montrell Dobbs, Ansonia; Jack DeBiase, Woodland; Brenden Lytton, Torrington
WR: David Coggins, Sacred Heart; Jacob Tomczak, Derby
TE: Iman Farimani, Naugatuck
OL: Tyler Williams, Ansonia; C.J. Monroe, Wolcott; Joe Murphy, Wolcott; Dean Tsopanides, Torrington; Aaron Echevarria, Naugatuck
K: Tom Bochicchio, Wolcott

All-NVL Defense
DL: Ian Bures, Woodland; Myles Becker, Wolcott; Brian Overton, Kennedy; Walter Lewis, Torrington
LB: Zach Plourde, Woodland; Dave DiGiorgi, Holy Cross; Jake Yourison, Naugatuck; Zack Salazar, Derby
DB: Shane Ireland, Crosby; Matt Quatrano, Watertown; Tyler Conklin, Naugatuck; Reuban Berger, Naugatuck

All-Copper Offense
QB: Devon Petty, Kennedy
RB: Brandon DiClementi, Holy Cross; DeV'ante Gardner, St. Paul
WR: Dwayne Ellis, Sacred Heart; Marquan Williams, Naugatuck; Kairyn Boxton, Holy Cross; Justin Gonzalez, St. Paul
TE: Chris D'Esposito, Holy Cross
OL: Dominic Alfano, Torrington; Jamoire Gregory, Sacred Heart; Ryan Peloquin, St. Paul; Jeremy Clark, Woodland; Rob Colucci, Naugatuck
K: Devin Zeller, St. Paul

All-Copper Defense
DL: Lucas Rodriguez, Holy Cross; Mike Giugno, Naugatuck; James Carreeddu, Sacred Heart; Jeff Holder, Woodland
LB: Ryan Boland, Kennedy; Andrew Cirino, Naugatuck; Matt Zaccagnini, Woodland; Dominic Sansone, Torrington
DB: Travis Johnson, Kennedy; David Plaza, Sacred Heart; Shawn Freeney, Naugatuck; Jake Pinho, Woodland

All-Brass Offense
QB: Ray Kreiger, Derby; Dom Gambino, Wolcott
RB: James Ward, Wilby; DeVante Bonvillian, Wolcott
WR: Tony Simpson, Watertown; Mike Fraser, Seymour
TE: Nick Pastore, Wolcott
OL: Matt Hall, Ansonia; Joe Cianciolo, Watertown; James Tyer, Seymour; Dylan Sadick, Seymour; Jeremy Plourde, Watertown
K: Andrew Matos, Ansonia

All-Brass Defense
DL: DayQuon Byrd, Crosby; Jesse Gilbert, Derby; Cecil Bost, Derby; Andrew Duval, Wilby
LB: Tyrell Lane, Wilby; Matt Williams, Wolcott; Mike Flammia, Wolcott; Curtis Pomeroy, Watertown; Tyler Wood, Ansonia
DB: Robert Williams, Wilby; Rashawn Hendricks, Derby; Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia; Josh Alvarado, Crosby

All-City Offense
QB: Rohan Ifill, Sacred Heart; Devon Petty, Kennedy
RB: Brandon DiClementi, Holy Cross; James Ward, Wilby; Chad Acevedo, Crosby
WR: David Coggins, Sacred Heart; Dwayne Ellis, Sacred Heart
TE: Chris D'Esposito, Holy Cross; Gewan Coggins, Crosby
OL: Jamoire Gregory, Sacred Heart; Oswald Jean-Baptiste, Kennedy; Oscar Jean-Baptiste, Kennedy; Erick Bello, Kennedy; Jose Sanchez, Wilby; Mike Fazo, Holy Cross; Scott Stafford, Holy Cross; George Smith, Holy Cross

All-City Defense
DL: Brian Overton, Kennedy; Lucas Rodriguez, Holy Cross; Marcel Lugo, Crosby; James Carreddu, Sacred Heart; Andrew Duval, Wilby; DayQuon Byrd, Crosby; Anthony Jamele, Holy Cross
LB: Dave DiGiorgi, Holy Cross; Vincent Bernabucci, Crosby; Ryan Boland, Kennedy; Tyrell Lane, Wilby; Dariel Perez, Kennedy; Aaron Wengertsmen, Holy Cross
DB: Shane Ireland, Crosby; Robert Williams, Wilby; Travis Johnson, Kennedy; Jay'Len Mahan, Wilby; David Plaza, Sacred Heart; Josh Alvarado, Crosby

City Offensive Player of Year: Rohan Ifill, Sacred Heart
City Lineman of the Year: Brian Overton, Kennedy
Jimmy Lee Top Senior Award: Montrell Dobbs, Ansonia

Team Breakdowns:
Ansonia: 2 All-NVL, 4 All-Brass
Crosby: 1 All-NVL, 2 All-Brass, 7 All-City
Derby: 2 All-NVL, 4 All-Brass
Holy Cross: 1 All-NVL, 4 All-Copper, 9 All-City
Kennedy: 1 All-NVL, 3 All-Copper, 8 All-City
Naugatuck: 6 All-NVL, 5 All-Copper
Sacred Heart: 2 All-NVL, 4 All-Copper, 6 All-City
Seymour: 0 All-NVL, 3 All-Brass
St. Paul: 0 All-NVL, 4 All-Copper
Torrington: 3 All-NVL, 2 All-Copper
Watertown: 1 All-NVL, 4 All-Brass
Wilby: 0 All-NVL, 4 All-Brass, 6 All-City
Wolcott: 4 All-NVL, 5 All-Brass
Woodland: 3 All-NVL, 4 All-Copper


Russo to step down in January

The report is official: Wolcott coach Patrick Russo will step down from his position in early January, according to Mark Jaffee's story with the Republican-American.

Russo cites wanting to spend more time with his family as the major reason for his resigning, which will take effect next month. He will stay on as Wolcott's strength and conditioning coach.

Russo was 27-14 in his four seasons as the Eagles' leader and led the team to three-straight winning seasons for the first time in school history.

The report says the position has not been opened for applications yet.

I know at least one person who sources tell me wants to apply for the job, but I'll let the1voyce pick up on that discussion on his next visit to us.

On another note, Remmy and I will be posting the thread for the first NVL Blog Awards soon. Look for it within the next week or so.

St. Joseph beats Ansonia, 49-28, for 'S' title

Ansonia wasn't able to pull off the upset Saturday night in the Class S championship as St. Joseph won the title by beating the Chargers, 49-28.

I wasn't there but I was following along with the tweets of everyone there and it didn't seem like the final score was indicative of the competitiveness of the game.

Montrell Dobbs finished his career with another stupendous performance, rushing 52 times for 303 yards and 3 TDs. Elliot Chudwick was 8-of-15 for 73 yards, a TD, and 2 INT.

On the Cadets' side, Tyler Matakevich and LJ Hunt both rushed for over 100 yards and 2 TDs each. Matakevich also caught a pair of touchdowns from Joe Della Vecchia, who was 13-of-19 for 182 yards and 3 TDs.

Some interesting team stats from the game:

- Ansonia outgained St. Joseph in first downs, 20-18
- St. Joseph outgained Ansonia in total yards, 415-410
- Ansonia owned the time of possession, 28:44-19:16
- Ansonia was 5-of-14 on third downs; St. Joseph was 2-of-7
- Ansonia was 2-of-6 on fourth downs; St. Joseph was 1-of-2
- St. Joseph's average starting field position was its own 44; Ansonia's was its own 30

Congratulations to St. Joseph for winning its 10th state title and its second straight. Well done to Ansonia on an excellent, overachieving season, and to Montrell Dobbs, who was simply incredible this year.

By the way, Dobbs' final playoff numbers in three games: 111 rush for 1,002 yards and 14 TDs (official media stats; 113 rush for 1,047 yards and 14 TDs with Ansonia official stats). Wow.

Class S Championship Scoreboard

The Final Countdown

It's been sort of the calm before the storm over the past few days. The smack has decreased considerably. Nothing a little Rocky IV can't fix.

Post your final thoughts leading up to Saturday night's Ansonia-St. Joseph Class S championship. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoff at Rentschler Field.

Follow @NVLFOOTBALL and @AnsoniaFootball for Twitter updates throughout the game. Live stats and audio broadcasts are also available for all four state championship games

Class LL: Friday, 7 p.m. -- Stats/Audio
Class M: Saturday, 11 a.m. -- Stats/Audio
Class L: Saturday, 3 p.m. -- Stats/Audio
Class S: Saturday, 7 p.m. -- Stats/Audio

By the way, you guys have to remember that comments addressed to anyone (other bloggers, players, coaches, etc.) with personal attacks will be deleted without reference. It's really not that hard, guys.

Good luck to everyone. Hopefully the games are as good as they're being hyped up to be.

Coach Patrick Russo out at Wolcott

Yes, the initial rumor by one of our bloggers (Seeing Red aka Seeing Double) is in fact true.

I have been informed, by an extremely reliable source, that Coach Patrick Russo has voluntarily stepped down as the head coach at Wolcott.

Coach Russo has been with Wolcott for a total of five years and four as its head coach. He ended his stint at Wolcott with a .659 winning percentage (27-14) and zero playoff berths.

I will not get into too many details about this situation, but let me just reiterate that it was his decision.

We wish him the best of luck.

Class S Championship: Ansonia vs. St. Joseph

No. 4 St. Joseph vs. No. 3 Ansonia
Saturday, 7 p.m. at Rentschler Field

Congratulations to both Ansonia and St. Joseph for outstanding seasons. The two powerhouses will meet for the Class S title in the Saturday primetime game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
The St. Joseph Cadets (aka Hogs), winners of eight of their last nine, storm into this game as the favorite with the likes of QB Joe Della Vecchia. The Hogs come from the FCIAC which is arguably the most competitive conference in the state. In addition, the Hogs are arguably the FCIAC's best team, according to some of the league's fans. St. Joe's also has one of the top three QBs in the state, Joe Della Vechia, and a plethora of outstanding athletes at the skill positions--Mulligan, Burns, Irwin, etc.

St. Joe's has lost three games. It did not have its star RB/LB, Tyler Matakevich, in two of those losses--its first two league games of the season.

This is a team that lost to Darien (the FCIAC champions) by a score of 13-10 without Matakevich, a team that lost to Trumbull (who is playing for the Class LL state title this year) without Della Vecchia for part of the second half, and a team that beat New Canaan (who is playing for the Class L state title this year).

Ansonia rolls in to this game with a big semifinal victory over second-ranked Montville. The Chargers' defense allowed a little less than 300 total yards. Dobbs ran for over 360 yards himself. It's obvious that Ansonia needs Dobbs to get going if it has any chance at beating the FCIAC power. The bigger task at hand is limiting Della Vecchia from making big plays with his arm. Della Vecchia can run, too.

Kyle's keys: St. Joseph is the best team I've seen all year by leaps and bounds (I haven't seen teams like Masuk or New Canaan, but you get the picture). With all due respect to the NVL's best offenses in Naugatuck, Sacred Heart, and Ansonia, St. Joseph can outscore just about anyone in a number of ways. In the quarterfinals against Woodland, Joe Della Vecchia threw for 307 yards and five touchdowns while the Cadets ran for only around 100 yards. In the semifinals against Valley Regional, Della Vecchia threw for 193 yards and two scores while St. Joseph ran for over 200 yards and four touchdowns with Tyler Matakevich, LJ Hunt, and the very mobile Della Vecchia.

Ansonia can't fall behind because the Chargers don't play a catchup style of offense (or defense, most of the time) while St. Joseph will pull the trigger on a pass that will put you out of the game. The problem that the Cadets pose for opposing defenses is that if you key in on the run, the pass will kill you, but if you drop into a nickel or dime, they'll run all day. The one weakness I saw in St. Joseph was its run defense, which is a big plus for Ansonia. Jack DeBiase ran for almost 200 yards on the Cadets, mostly on runs up the middle, which is a good sign for Montrell Dobbs and the Chargers.

Remmy's keys: Simply put, the keys to this game will be Ansonia's pass defense and St. Joe's run defense. St. Joe's strength is its passing game out of the spread. The Chargers' defensive line play will be huge in this game. They need to get a rush on Della Vecchia and make him uncomfortable. If the Chargers can run the ball on St. Joe's effectively and take time off of the clock, they will win this game. The less time Della Vecchia has the ball in his hands, the better for Ansonia. Ansonia must limit Della Vecchia from torching its secondary with the pass. The Chargers go as far as Dobbs takes them. There are many other playmakers on this team that are capable of contributing big time. Ansonia needs someone other than Dobbs to step it up and come through in the clutch. I don't know too much about the St. Joe's run defense, but I do know they have seen nothing like Montrell Dobbs all year. The Ansonia O-line needs a big performance here and needs to manhandle the St. Joe's D-line in order to win this game.

Kyle's final thought: You guys can think whatever you want about me on what I've said about Ansonia's chances in the last week and a half but it doesn't take away from the respect I have for the program, which is playing for another state title in what was supposed to be a not-so-great year. The road ends here, though. The Chargers haven't played great defense all year (the Montville game was perhaps their best game, but the Indians lost their best player) and have shown absolutely no ability to defend the pass. That is going to kill them this week. Joe Della Vecchia is incredible and is the best pure passing quarterback I've seen since I saw Michael Croce at Holy Cross. I see no way for Ansonia to stop him, so the Chargers will have to outscore the Cadets. I don't think it's going to happen. Good luck to both teams.

Remmy's final thought: I can't speak for everyone in the Valley, but I do know that the entire city of Ansonia will be rooting for the Chargers to pull this one off. Dobbs is a gamer unlike any I have ever seen. He and his team fear no one and part of that has to do with how great of a leader he is. St. Joe's is obviously a football powerhouse coming from the top conference in the state. The Chargers were a huge underdog last week and come into this game an even bigger underdog. The majority of the state does not think the Chargers have even the slightest chance at a victory this week.

As long as No. 5 is in the backfield, I cannot and will not root against him or this team right now.

Kyle's pick: St. Joseph, 45-33.
Remmy's pick: Ansonia, 36-29.

VIDEO - Class S Semis - Ansonia 46 Montville 15

Game Video

Montville, better known as Montrellville, opened the game with a couple of long drives and a 7-0 lead over Ansonia.

The rest was history.

Ansonia's offensive and defensive lines deserve A LOT of credit here after today's performance.

Dobbs rushed 38 times for 395 yards and 5 TDs. (Some have reported 36 carries for 362 yards.) Montville's Girard-Floyd carried the ball once for one yard.

Class S Semis Live Scoreboard

Class S Semis: #3 Ansonia vs. #2 Montville

Class S Semifinal: No. 3 Ansonia (10-1) vs. No. 2 Montville (10-1): The Chargers bounced back from their Thanksgiving Day defeat to Naugatuck with a big win over Hyde in the Class S quarterfinals. Dobbs, who played his last game in an Ansonia uniform at Jarvis Stadium, had some breathing room and took advantage of it. The question is, will Ansonia's line be able to open up holes for Dobbs against a very tough Montville defense?

Montville has a stud RB of its own in Tyler Girard-Floyd. Girard-Floyd rushed for over 319 yards and 5 TDs in the Class S quarters in a 55-28 win over Cromwell. Their other playmaker, Skyler McNair (awesome name, by the way), rushed for 189 yards and 3 TDs on 13 carries. Montville averages 42 points per game. Ansonia averages close to 41 points per game. All year we've been saying that Ansonia's passing game has to click in order for them to win big games. Is this the game Chudwick and company suddenly break out?

Obviously, Ansonia must stop the Indians' rushing attack if it intends on playing for the Class S title. Both teams feature awesome ground games so the key will be: Whose defense will have to step up and get the win?

Who ya got?

Picks: Kyle- Montville, 40-27. Remmy- Ansonia, 27-22.