The West Hartford Youth Football League (WHYFL) kicked off its 57th season Sunday afternoon at Sterling Field, 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.
MIGHTY MITE DIVISION
Kenneth Namnoun Jets 18 – Spine & Sports Medicine Associates Steelers 13
D.J. Romano intercepted a Drew Taylor pass with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter as the Jets pulled out a tough fought 18-13 opening day victory over the Steelers.
Romano also rushed seven times for 90 yards and two touchdowns and Tommy LaSpada rushed five times for 30 yards and the go ahead score early in the third quarter.
Drew Taylor and Dylan Swift led the Steelers’ ground attack. Taylor rushed 13 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns, while Swift rushed five times for 15 hard fought yards.
The Steelers jumped out early, as Taylor scored on the first offensive play from scrimmage, dashing 46-yards down the left sideline behind excellent blocking from David Deitrick, Kevin Kirklin, and Andrew Hunter to put the Steelers up 6-0. Cornerback Johnny Robinson, defensive tackle Charles Dowd, and linebacker Aidan Dorian stopped Swift on the Steelers’ rushing conversion attempt.
The Jets rallied in the second quarter, as Romano followed the blocking of Sam Rosa, Aidan Dorian, Ben Brockway, LaSpada, and Jonny Robinson – and sprinted 46 yards for the score to tie the game 6-6. The Steelers steel curtain defense turned away the Jet conversion attempt.
The teams traded scores late in the first half. Taylor dropped back to pass and was pressured out of the pocket and scrambled 50-yards for a score. Taylor’s rushing conversion put the Steelers up 13-6. The Jets responded with Romano’s second score, a 27-yard scamper to draw the Jets within 13-12 entering the half. Jet running back Wyatt Reid was stopped just short of the goal line on the conversion attempt as David Deitrich and Taylor were able to make the tackle.
The Jets opened strong in the second half, as Robinson fielded the opening kick and returned the ball 15 yards to give the Jets favorable field position. The Jets scored three plays later as LaSpada followed the strong blocking of Rosa, Sam Lumelsky, Nathan Gallo, Brockway, and Aidan Dorian en route to a 15-yard score to put the Jets up for good 18-12.
The Jets’ defense stepped up in the fourth quarter as cornerback Wyatt Reid made a key tackle on fourth down to stop a six-play drive. The Steelers forced a turnover on the Jets’ next possession as Swift and David Deitrich stripped the Jet ball carrier to setup a late rally, but Romano intercepted Taylor’s pass on fourth down to seal the victory.
The Jets move on to face the Cowboys on Sunday, and the Steelers will matchup against the Browns.
Macca Plumbing Cowboys 26 – Center Orthodontics Browns 20
In one of the opening games of the 2012 WHYFL mites division the West Hartford Cowboys (defending champs) defeated the much improved West Hartford Browns 26-20 at Sterling Field.
The opening drive featured the Browns converting on two long third down conversions ultimately capped off by a 4 yard touchdown run by Dejaun Banks. The Cowboys quickly countered with a TD drive on their own with a 14-yard run by Nick Urso. The Browns scored again on their second possession on a 24 yard run, the 2nd of the day for Dejaun Banks. The Cowboys countered with a long TD run by QB jack Kennedy just before the half. Halftime score was 14-13 Browns.
The Cowboys received the opening kickoff of the second half but were eventually stopped close to the end zone on 4th down. The Browns then fumbled the ball back towards the end of the 3rd and the Cowboys retook the lead as the 4th quarter after another touchdown run by Jack Kennedy. The Browns controlled the ball for most of the 4th Quarter and capped their scoring as Patrick “the horse” Schwab scored on a bruising 9 yard run up the middle. The Cowboys stopped the extra point conversion leaving the game at a 20-20 tie with 1:08 remaining. The Cowboys then utilized their timeouts and drove the field capped off by a ten yard QB scramble for the game winning touchdown, the 3rd of the game by Jack Kennedy, as time expired.
Brown standout players include Dejuan Banks, Eli Salomons, Jack Brown, Matt Farber, and Patrick Schawb. Cowboys standouts included Jack Kennedy, Nick Urso, Walker Disque and Ethan Vest. The Cowboys are back in action on Sunday facing the West Hartford Jets. The Browns will face the Steelers.
PEE WEE DIVISION
Walter Hussey Giants 27 – Brewer Paving Packers 8
The Pee Wee Giants opened the 2012 season with a convincing 27-8 victory over the Brewer Paving Company Packers. The Giants hit pay dirt first on a short run by Jeff LaRosa. On the first play of the second quarter, LaRosa threw a beautiful bomb to a streaking Otis Donaldson for a 43 yard touchdown. The Giants scored again on a Donaldson rush to push the lead to 20-0 at the half.
On the first play of the third quarter, LaRosa took off down the right sideline on a beautiful 31 yard dash eluding several Packers. Joe Hussey made the point for a commanding 27-0. The Pack did not quit, as Peter Steinle weaved through the Giant defense for a Packer touchdown. Zach Cohen lofted a nice pass into the end zone for the two point conversion to make the final score 27-8.
Standing out for the Pack were Nolan Tiball and Hugh Wells who both played hard the entire game. Standouts for the Giants were Franklin Robinson, CJ Denson, Brian Namnoun and Skye Dolce who was immense on both sides of the ball.
Venora Electric Vikings 27 – Wealth Management Titans 13
The Venora Electric Vikings defeated the defending champion Wealth Management Titans 28-13 on opening day at Sterling Field.
The Titans took the early lead with Cameron Wilson's first score on a 10 yard touchdown run and were up 6-0. The Vikings battled back and scored on a touchdown pass from Alex Dobbins to Sean Guevara, and with a Matt Langevin conversion - the Vikings took the lead 7-6. In what later proved to be the deciding score of the game, Sean Clifford broke loose for a 30 yard touchdown run, and with Langevin's conversion - the Vikings extended their lead to 14-6. The Titans defense stepped up and provided their offense with excellent field position late in the first half. Titans QB Max Leyland soon led his offense within striking range. Titans Center Dario Laraia, Fullback Brian Renker and Right Guard Zander Boehm provided the means for Wilson's 2 yard scamper to the outside for his second touchdown of the game with 27 seconds left in the half. The Titans converted for an extra point and the teams broke for halftime with the Vikings grasping onto a 14-13 lead.
In the second half, the defensive line of Alex Dobbins, Tim Cotter, Brock Pizzoferato, Michael Pollack, Neil Gustafson and Ryan Venora shutdown the powerful Titan wishbone offense. The Vikings corners and safeties, Luke Wilson, Cooper Silver, Sean Guevara, and Drew Currier assisted by grounding the Titans passing game. The Vikings offense gained momentum and the tide turned with Tim Cotter reeling in a 20 yard pass putting the Vikings well within scoring position. Quarterback Alex Dobbins capitalized on this drive and another, scoring the Vikings final two touchdowns of the game. A 2 point conversion pass to Christian St. Juste gave the Vikings a well earned 28-13 victory over the Titans. John Doar, Macguire Mullins, Brennan Ravenberg and Max Rodman played outstanding in their first football game and added depth and versatility to the Vikings squad.
Both teams put forth an impressive effort and exhibited excellent sportsmanship throughout the game. The Vikings next opponent is the Packers and the Titans will battle the Giants.
JT Ghamo 49ers 29 – Deakin, Edwards & Clark Colts 14
The Pee Wee 49ers leveraged a balanced offensive and defensive attack en route to a 29-14 opening day victory over the Deakin, Edwards & Clark Colts Sunday at Sterling Field.
The two teams have been working for weeks to prepare for a run run for the Pee Wee Division championship. The opening drive by the Colts was stopped by some stout defensive play from the 49er starting defense led by Gabe Salomons. The 49ers took the ball on their opening offensive series and put up a touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Todd Cravedi. The Colts then got the ball back on their next possession and put together an impressive drive, but the 49ers were able to fight back and force the Colts to give up the possession. The 49ers were able to score their second touchdown on a drive capped off by strong play by Derek O'Connor and Zeus Woods. The 49ers were able to score their third touchdown before the half but not before Colts’ quarterback Sean James called his own number and took the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. The 49ers entered the half leading 18-7.
The 49er defense scored a safety off a Colt offensive miscue to open up the scoring of the second half. Strong defensive play by Jack Tousignant and Leo Mulready helped push the 49er lead to 20-7.
The Colts would not go down without a fight when quarterback Sean James again put up an exciting touchdown run slicing through the 49er defense to pull the Colts within a touchdown a 20-14. The relentless drive displayed by the Colts did not deter the 49ers to focus on trying to pull away on the scoreboard. The 49ers scored another touchdown by Gabe Salomons and then the 49er defense put up another safety to finish the scoring at 29-14.
The Colts got strong play all afternoon by Thomas Sullivan, Alexander Heath and Dean Edwards. The 49ers had huge contributions by Mack Phillips, Marcos Cruz and Carter Fredette. Both teams look forward to getting back on the field next week. The Colts look forward to taking on Edward Connors Insurance Agency Patriots Sunday September 16th at 1 p.m. while the 49ers have a bye next week.
Eastern Rehabilitation Network Chargers 49 – West Hartford Rotary Club Raiders 12
Universal Connectivity Raiders 19 – Wiremold Legrand Chargers 0
The pony Raiders started their season with a 18-0 victory over a very tough Charger opponent. Strong defensive efforts resulted in a scoreless first quarter. However, a sustained Raider march down the field in the 2nd culminated in a 3-yard thundering plunge up the middle by Sean Keating to break the scoreless tie.
The swift off-tackle run by John Lagoy yielded the point after. The stingy Raider defense led by Jordan Baker, Evan Duzan and Joe Morrissey held the Chargers scoreless for the remainder of the first half despite a barrage of successful short passes to the flats and over the middle. Also running hard for the Chargers were Theo Blaschinski and Brendan Connors.
In the second half, the Chargers were threatening again but were held short of a touchdown. On the next change of downs, a short over the middle pass was completed to Kevin Vaughan. Vaughan plucked the ball from the air and did the rest himself, shedding tacklers down the rest of the field on his way to a 60-yard touchdown. The point after was strung out by the aggressive Charger pursuit led by Owen Hendrick. The Raider runner was hauled down short of the end-zone.
On the ensuing possession, the Chargers were on the move again behind a strong quarterback performance but on a well-thrown ball it was the Raider Alex Haggerty who came down with possession. Taking over, the ball was handed off to Lagoy who sprinted down the field behind well-executed blocks.
Raider's quarterback Declan Flaherty did the rest by weaving his way to pay dirt off to the right. The "no surrender" Chargers again held-fast by keeping the extra points off the scoreboard. Overall it was a very strong effort by both squads providing much spine tingling excitement for the capacity crowd!