The 2012 season of the West Hartford Youth Football League (WHYFL) continued Sunday, Oct. 28, with a full slate of games at the Mighty Mite (7-8 year olds), Pee Wee (9,10, and 11 year olds), Midget (12 year olds), and Pony (13 year olds) divisions at Sterling Field.
MIGHTY MITE DIVISION
Center Orthodontics Browns 33 - Spine & Sports Medicine Associates Steelers 25
Week 8 of the West Hartford Youth Football League was packed with drama as The Center Orthodontics Browns faced off against the Spine and Sports Medicine Associates Steelers in the last regular season game. The Browns held on to win by a score of 33-25.
On the first play from scrimmage, Dajuan Brown burst 32 yards for his first touchdown of the day. Patrick Schwab punched in the extra point to give the Browns a 7-0 lead.
The Steelers responded with a 22-yard touchdown pass to from Drew Taylor to Ethan Porrino to pull the score within a point at 7-6.
The Browns answered quickly on a 15-yard touchdown run by Matt Farber. Dajuan Banks slid in for the extra point to make the score 14-6 Browns. The Browns scored again on a 40-yard run by fullback Patrick Schwab. The conversion was no good, and the score stood at 20-6 Browns.
The Steelers regained focus, and methodically marched down the field - scoring on a Drew Taylor QB bootleg, and then converting the extra point to pull within 20-13.
Again the Browns answered. Farber ran left and picked up 25 yards, and on the next play Schwab fought for 20 yards and crossed the goal line for his second touchdown to extend the Browns’ lead to 26-13 at the end of the first half.
In the second half, the Steelers moved the ball up the field scoring on a run up the middle by Dylan Swift to pull the score within 26-19.
The Steelers took possession again and scored on 30-yard Drew Taylor quarterback keeper, bringing the Steelers within one point of the Browns at 26 – 25.
The Browns were not ready to give up. Determined to hold on, the Browns meticulously moved the ball down the field, capping off the drive with a touchdown by Farber. The extra point to Dajuan Banks made the final score 33 – 25.
The #3 Seed Browns will open the semifinals next week against the #2 Seed Jets, while the #4 Seed Steelers will face the #1 Seed Cowboys in the other semifinal.
Macca Plumbing Cowboys 14 – Kenneth Namnoum Jets 7
The Cowboys faced the Jets in a defensive battle to close the regular season. The Cowboy defense was able to hold off the Jets on the final drive of the game to secure a hard fought 14-7 victory Sunday afternoon at Sterling field.
Jack Kennedy rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cowboys and Nick Urso added two extra points.
The Jets were led by D.J. Romano, who rushed for a touchdown, Wyatt Reid, who converted on the rushing extra point, Tommy LaSpada, who rushed for 60 yards on a series of hard carries, Aidan Dorian, who had 30 yards rushing, and Ben Brockway, whose arm carried the team to the 10-yard line before time ran out
The defenses dug in early – as each team was forced to punt or turned the ball over on downs on consecutive drives before Kennedy’s first score – a 27-yard sprint followed by an Urso extra point. The defenses continued their strong play until late in the second quarter where the Jets had the Cowboys pinned deep before Kennedy scored again on a long zig zag run to make the score 14-0 at the half.
The Jets kicked off to start the second half and Dorian recovered a fumble for the Jets go give his team favorable field position. The Jets methodically marched down the field on a nine play drive, converting several 4th down conversions, and eventually punching it in at the goal line on a quarterback sneak by DJ Romano. Reid converted the extra point to pull the Jets within 14-7.
The game continued to go back and forth as the defenses were able to shut down the opposing team’s offense.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Jets made a courageous effort as they drove inside the five attempting to tie the score, but on fourth down LaSpada was stopped at the 2-yard line by a swarm of Cowboys and the Jets turned the ball over on downs.
The Jets defense held strong, led by big stops by Romano, LaSpada, cornerback Jonny Robinson, Brockway, and Charles Dowd - the Cowboys were quickly forced to punt again – giving the Jets one final drive from the Cowboy 24 yard line.
The Jets went hurry up and took to the air on the final drive - as Brockway rolled and connected with LaSpada on two consecutive plays to pull the Jets to the 10-yard line before time expired.
Both teams should be commended for a well played defensive game.
Cowboy standouts were Correia, Disque, Kennedy, Langevin, Mascolo, McCann, Urso, and Woerlin.
The Jets received outstanding play from Romano, LaSpada, Reid, Robinson, Brockway, and Dorian.
The #1 Seed Cowboys will open the semifinals next week against the #4 Seed Steelers, while the #2 Seed Jets will face the #3 Seed Browns in the other semifinal.
PEE WEE DIVISION (2012 PLAYOFFS - QUARTERFINALS)
(#2 Seed) Brewer Paving Packers 24 – (#7 Seed) Deakin, Edwards & Clark Colts 14
Under cloudy conditions, and with a hurricane developing, the Brewer Paving Packers and Deakin, Edwards & Clark Colts faced off in the Pee Wee Divisions first playoff game of 2012. Forgetting regular season games and team records, the Packers and Colts treated the Field A crowd to a talented and hard fought game by two talented teams.
The Colts started off the game quickly with a long, 25-yard pass from Dean Edwards to a streaking Valentino West, setting up the Colts inside the Packers 10-yard line. Within 4 plays the Colts found the end zone with Edwards once again hooking up with West through the air on a well-placed slant pass (2-point conversion failed), giving the Colts a 6-0 lead with very little time run off the clock.
The Packers looked to regroup in their first offensive series, and while they put together a strong drive behind runs by Nolan Tibball and Peter Steinle, as well as a long pass from Zack Cohen to Hugh Wells, the Packers were stopped by a surging Colts defense lead by Thomas Sullivan, Emmet Coco, Sean James, Edwards and West inside their own 10-yard line.
The Packers then turned to their defense for a strong stance, and got it, giving back the ball with good field position. The Packers worked the field and reached the end zone with a long throw and catch from Cohen to Wells (point after failed) to tie the Colts 6-6. Not to be outdone by their offense, the Packer defense got stingy and stopped the Colts on their next defensive stance, allowing the offense to explode, capped off by an impressive, diving touchdown run by Tibball (point after failed).
The Packers took a 12-6 lead into half time, proving that during the playoffs in the WHYFL records should be thrown out the window.
The second half saw the Packers take control offensively after a short Colt kick off. It didn’t take them long to find pay dirt with a long, 30-yard Tibball run (point after failed) behind the strong blocking of Wells, Jack Ledwith, Jack McHale, Julian DeCampos, Devonte Deleone, Pearce Cannon and Steinle.
With the Colts down by two touchdowns, they took to the air with short passes by Edwards to Andrew Lagoy, and runs by James and Edwards.
The Packers defense stood tall and turned the ball back over to their offense with a slick fumble recovery by Myles Sierra.
The offense went to work with powerful runs by Steinle, Rowan Sierra, Cannon and Carl Nicklas. The ground game was wearing the Colts down, allowing Tibball to find the end zone two more times in the second half for his season’s best 3-touchdown game.
The Colts finished the day with a long offensive drive and short touchdown run by Edwards. While the game ended with a Packer victory, both teams played great.
The Colts should be proud of their efforts and the way they finished their season.
The #2 seed Packers will advance to play the #3 Seed Vikings next Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
(#3 Seed) Venora Electric Vikings 25 – (#6 Seed) Edward Connors Insurance Patriots 8
Under cloudy skies the Vikings and Patriots met for the second time this season in the first round of the Pee Wee division playoffs at Sterling Field. The Vikings welcomed back questionable starters Ryan Venora, Matt Langevin and Sean Clifford and held off the Patriots 25-8 to advance to next week’s semifinal.
On the first possession of the game, the Vikings offensive line of AJ Guevara, Tim Cotter, Griffin Van Rye, Mike Pollack, Neil Gustafson, Brock Pizzoferrato, and Ryan Venora provided excellent blocking and allowed the Vikings to move the ball downfield. Alex Dobbins, behind this great blocking of the offensive line, put the first points on the board. The Patriots denied the point after attempt and kept the score at 6-0.
The Patriots offense took to the field and moved the ball to midfield against the Vikings. The Vikings defense stood strong and forced a turnover on downs with a sack by Neil Gustafson.
The Vikings offense took to the field again and in a repeat performance found themselves ahead 12-0 following Dobbins second touchdown of the day. The Patriots sacked Dobbins to again prevent the conversion, and the score stood at 12-0 Vikings.
After another fantastic kickoff by Sean Guevara, the determined Patriots offense took to the field at their own 15 yard line. The Patriots took just 4 plays to find their mark and shocked the Vikings with a 35-yard scoring dash by Dillon Bent. After a successful two point conversion pass, the Vikings clung to a narrow 12-8 lead in the second quarter.
The Vikings John Doar recovered the ball on the ensuing kickoff and the Vikings begin their next drive at their own 18 yard line. A nine play offensive drive against a tough Patriot defense finally gave way when Matt Langevin scored a touchdown. The successful conversion extended the Vikings’ lead to 19-8.
To start the third quarter, the Patriots recovered their kickoff and took possession on the Vikings 24-yard line. The rejuvenated Patriots moved the ball downfield but were stopped eight plays later on fourth down with an open field tackle from Cornerback Christian St. Juste.
The Vikings next put together an impressive 47 yard drive led with excellent blocking by Doar and Ravenberg, capped with a touchdown run by Sean Clifford for the final score of the game. After a failed conversion the Vikings were up 25-8.
The Patriots started their next drive at their own 27-yard line and marched to the Vikings 4-yard line. The Vikings defense stood tall and pushed the Patriots back to the 10. Venora, fresh off the injured reserve, came up large with a fumble recovery at the Vikings 10-yard line.
The Vikings offense took to the field again. Now in the 4th quarter, the Patriots defense stopped the drive and the Vikings were forced to punt. The Patriots took possession at the Vikings 26 yard line and threatened but were denied on fourth down.
The Vikings offense took to the field and it was Drew Currier and Luke Wilson who got the call and moved the ball against a tough Patriot defense. Max Rodman and Dan Loftus proved versatile, played fantastic and closed out the game for the Vikings.
Excellent sportsmanship was exhibited by all in another great day at Sterling Field.
The #3 seed Vikings will advance to play the #2 Seed Packers next Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
(#4 Seed) Wealth Management Group of North America, LLC Titans 25 – (#5 Seed) JT Ghamo 49ers 12
The Pee Wee Titans and 49ers faced off Sunday on a cold, windy and overcast day in their first round of the playoffs. The Titans used a leveraged offensive attack to defeat the 49ers 25-12 and advance to the next round of the playoffs.
After winning the coin toss, the Titans elected to receive the ball. Using a hurry up style offense, the Titans scored on their third play of the game with a 25-yard run by Joey Lemieux to put the Titans up 6-0. The 49ers denied the extra point attempt.
On their first possession, the 49ers were stopped by a tough Titan defense and were forced to punt. With the Titans back on offence, they quickly scored again with a run by Cameron Wilson to extend their lead to 12-0.
The Titans extended their lead to 18-0 on a quarterback sneak by Max Leyland and once again the 49er's denied the conversion. The half time score was 18-0 Titans.
The second half started with the 49er's getting the ball but the Titan defense was able to hold back the attack of quarterback Todd Cravedi and Thomas (Zeus) Woods. With the Titans back on offense, Cameron Wilson scored again and was able to convert the extra point with a quick run to the outside to push the lead to 25-0
The 49ers would not relent and responded with 12 unanswered points. Derek O’Connor scored first and Todd Cravedi connected with Gabe Solomons on a pass play although no conversion allowed.
Other outstanding plays worth mentioning were made by Joey Lemieux with an interception and multiple key tackles, James Sabia also had an interception of his own, and Matt Schwab made a great tackle in the backfield. The success of the Titans offense fell squarely on the execution of their offensive line led by James Cheverier, Zander Boehm, Dario Laraia, Dom Bavaro, and Aidan Guzman.
The 49er's dug in their heels and did not quit. A quote from Head Coach Dick Vermeil, “Character is tested when you’re up against it". The whole 49ers team showed true character.
The #4 seed Titans will advance to play the #1 Seed Giants in the semifinals next Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Sinatro Agency One Wildcats 31 - West Hartford Rotary Club Raiders 0
The Wildcats and Raiders met for the final game of the regular season as both teams prepared for the playoffs. The Cats dominated their two prior meetings and this game continued that trend and they emerged victorious 31-0 over the Raiders.
Max Main and Griffin Smith each ran for two touchdowns following some excellent ball handling from QB Michael Farley. Cornerback Chris Chukwura had a standout game on defense with two interceptions - one of which he returned for a touchdown. Leading the Cats in tackles was Mohammed Codjoe, who had seven tackles.
The Raiders had some gallant play from Spencer Witter, Kevin Manning and Pierce Smyth - but it was not enough to inspire the Raiders squad as they were unable to stop the Wildcats attack.
The teams will face each other next week in the semifinals, as the #1 Seed Wildcats will face the #4 Seed Raiders at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
West Hartford Firefighters Association Eagles 28 - Eastern Rehabilitation Network Chargers 26
The Eagles and Chargers midgets hooked up for their third game of the season and the Eagles broke through with an exciting 28-26 victory.
Dominic Niman led the offensive attack for the Eagles, scoring three touchdowns. The Eagles offense stayed on the ground and pounded the right side of the Chargers defensive line and played a grinding ball control game.
The difference in the game were two Charger turnovers – one at the start of the game and the other to start of the second half - and an extra two point conversion by the Eagles
Dominic Niman and Justin Searles carried the offensive load for the Eagles behind terrific blocking by Aiden Stabnick and Matt Marino.
The teams will face each other next week in the semifinals, as the #2 Seed Chargers will face the #3 Seed Eagles at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Universal Connectivity Raiders 42 - Sinatro Agency One Wildcats 14
The Raiders completed their regular season undefeated (8-0) after turning back the Wildcats 42-14. The Raiders will be the #1 seed in the Pony Division playoffs.
Jaeshaw Wilson scored 14 points in the first quarter to put the Raiders in an early deficit. Wilson had two breakaway runs and an extra point catch against a solid Raider defense. Kevin Vaughan ended the first quarter with a hard tackle to spark the Raiders defense for the remainder of the game.
Vaughan opened the Raiders scoring in the second quarter with Joseph Morrissey catching the extra point pass. Vaughan struck again - catching a bomb from Declan Flaherty with Morrissey once again catching the extra point pass to give the Raiders a 16-14 halftime lead.
After halftime, the Raiders stayed aggressive on defense to force a Wildcat punt. Silas Rivers returned a short punt for a touchdown after making a juggling catch. Vaughan scored again on another Flaherty pass with Jonathan Logoy finishing with the extra point run.
On the next Wildcat possession, Lagoy returned an interception 50 yards and Sean Keating added the extra point run. The Raiders ended the third quarter with a 36-14 lead. Jacob Ryor and Jordan Baker were key defensive players in the third.
Alex Haggerty danced into the end zone on a beautiful 25-yard run to finish the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Both teams played the game with exceptional sportsmanship.
Henry Fisher, Michael Mathews, and Kyron Bridges all had highlight plays on defense for the Wildcats along with Wilson.
The teams will face each other next week in the semifinals, as the #1 Seed Raiders will face the #4 Seed Wildcats at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
West Hartford Police Association Eagles 6 - Wiremold Legrand Chargers 6
The Eagles and Chargers played to a 6-6 tie Sunday afternoon at Sterling Field.
The teams will face each other next week in the semifinals, as the #2 Seed Eagles will face the #3 Seed Chargers at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.