The 2012 season of the West Hartford Youth Football League (WHYFL) continued Sunday, Oct. 21, 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.
The remainder of the season will include:
Oct. 28 - Playoffs (pee wee semifinals)
Nov. 4 - Playoffs (semifinals)
Nov. 11 - Championships
Nov. 18 - All Star game vs. Southington @ Conard
MIGHTY MITE DIVISION
Macca Plumbing Cowboys 37 - Center Orthodontics Browns 32
The Cowboys mounted a goal line stand and stopped the Browns at the three yard line on the final play of the game to hold on to a hard fought 37-32 victory Sunday afternoon at Sterling Field.
Both teams marched up and down the field throughout the day, with neither defense able to make stops. The Browns received the ball to start the game and finished off the opening drive with a Dejuan Banks touchdown run. The Cowboys quickly responded with a handful of strong runs by tailback Nick Urso who eventually found pay dirt.
The Browns then struck again with long run down the sidelines by Banks – his second score of the game. The Cowboys then countered with another Urso touchdown and pulled within 14-12.
Before the half ended, both teams scored once more – the Browns on a Jack Brown quarterback sneak, and the Cowboys on a Jack Kennedy run. The teams entered the half with the Browns leading 21-19.
The Cowboys received the second half kickoff and marched down the field and capped off the drive with a Kennedy touchdown run putting the Cowboys up 25-21.
The Browns countered on a nice drive capped off by another Brown touchdown to make the score 27-25 Browns. The Cowboys then scored 12 unanswered points on two more Touchdowns by Kennedy.
The Browns showed no quit and quickly punched in another touchdown on a sweeping run by Banks - his third of the game. The Browns later recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff.
With two minutes to go, the Browns drove down the field to inside the 10-yard line. The game ended in dramatic fashion as the Cowboys defense stepped up and stopped the Browns strong offense from scoring on four tries - eventually stopping the Browns at the 3-yard line as time expired.
It was a see saw battle that both teams deserve praise for their effort.
Standouts for the Browns were Offensive: Banks (3 touchdowns), Brown (2 touchdowns), Defensive: Livingston, Farber and Schwab. The Cowboys standouts were Urso (2 touchdowns), Kennedy (4 touchdowns), Tanis, Langevin, and Vest.
Next week the Cowboys will matchup with the Jets and the Browns will face the Steelers.
Kenneth Namnoum Jets 32 – Spine & Sports Medicine Associates Steelers 15
Youth football fans were treated to a great matchup Sunday afternoon, as the Jets and Steelers put forth their best efforts in an entertaining game. After falling behind early, the Jets responded and earned a hard fought 32-15 team victory over the Steelers at Sterling Field.
The Jet ground game was propelled by a stable of rushers. Tommy LaSpada rushed for three scores. Aidan Dorian had several big carries and also scored a touchdown. Ben Brockway scored his first touchdown of the season and also added an extra point, and Wyatt Reid and D.J. Romano contributed big runs though a stingy Steelers defense.
Drew Taylor and Dylan Swift stood out for the Steelers. Each scored a touchdown, and Taylor also added a two-point conversion pass and rushing conversion.
The first quarter was dominated by defense as each team traded offensive jabs.
The Steelers received the opening kickoff and marched the ball up field before the Jets defense forced turnover on downs as Romano and LaSpada tackled Taylor on a key third down stop. The Jets took possession and started their own march up the field, before falling just short on fourth down to return possession to the Steelers.
The Steelers finally broke through as Taylor completed a great run through several Jet defenders for a touchdown. Taylor connected with Ethan Porrino in the corner of the end zone for the two point conversion to put the Steelers up 8-0.
The Jets immediately responded with a methodical march up the field, capped by a 6-dard Dorian scoring dash behind the strong blocking of offensive lineman Troy Griffith, Nathan Gallo, Ged Gengras, Charles Dowd, Sam Rosa, Ben Brockway, Clayton Gengras, and Jonny Robinson. The Steelers stopped the extra point and held a slim 8-6 lead.
Following a Steelers punt, the Jets once again marched up the field, this time capped by a 28-yard scoring dash by LaSpada. Reid converted the extra point, and the Jets took the lead 13-8.
The Jets nearly scored on their final offensive possession of the first half, but Xavier Burgos and Kevin Kirklin, along with a host of Steelers defenders, held Jets running back Reid out of the end zone. The score at the half was 13-8 Jets.
The Jets received the opening kickoff of the second half and scored on their first offensive play, as LaSpada followed a Reid lead block and dashed 35 yards for the score to put the Jets up 19-8. The Jet lead was extended to 26-8 following LaSpada’s third score and a Brockway extra point before the Steelers mounted a scoring drive of their own.
Taylor and Swift exchanged runs capped by a Swift touchdown and a Taylor extra point pulled the Steelers within 26-15 early in the fourth quarter. The Jets moved the ball down the field, but eventually punted, after Taylor stopped Romano inches short of the first down. The Steelers took possession, and after good defensive pressure by the Jets, faced a key fourth down and 11 of their own to keep the drive alive. Swift swept left behind a Porrino lead block but was tackled short of the first down marker by Brockway, linebacker Joe Sabia, Spencer Schwartz, and cornerback Robinson to give the ball back to the Jets.
Brockway later punched in a touchdown run from six yards out to cap the scoring for the Jets and make the score 32-15.
The Jets received strong contributions from Sam “Tebow” Rosa, who made a big kickoff return, Troy Griffith on special teams, Marcus Bjarke, who made several tackles on special teams, and Nathan Gallo – who recorded his second sack of the season and played well on defense all day. Sam Lumelsky also recorded several tackles.
The Steelers received big contributions from Taylor, Swift, Porrino, Burgos, David Deitrich, Kirklin, and Lemieux.
Next week the Jets will conclude their regular season as they play the Cowboys. The Steelers will move on to face the Browns.
PEE WEE DIVISION
Walter Hussey Giants 54 - Edward Connors Insurance Patriots 26
The Giants remained perfect by defeating the Patriots 54-26. Otis Donaldson scored five touchdowns for the Giants. Jeff LaRosa tallied two touchdowns and CJ Denson scored the final touchdown for the Giants.
Venora Electric Vikings 29 - Deakin, Edwards & Clark Colts 28
On Sunday’s soggy Sterling Field, the Deakin, Edwards & Clark LLP Colts engaged in a back and forth match with the Venora Electric Vikings - with the Vikings holding on for a 29-28 decision.
In the first quarter, the Colts Dean Edwards on sides kick was recovered by the Vikings at the 29-yard line to start the day. Sean Clifford had several key runs on the opening drive, bringing the ball down to the Colts 9 yard line. The Vikings got on the board with a pass from Alex Dobbins to Tim Cotter for the touchdown. The Vikings converted the two point conversion on a pass from Dobbins to Cooper Silver to make the score 8-0.
The Colts responded by taking the ensuing kickoff and returning it to midfield. On the third play of the series, the Colts Sean James broke free from the line of scrimmage for a 24-yard touchdown run with a key block provided by Tom Cullen. Colts converted on the two-point conversion on a pass from Edwards to Valentino West to tie the score at 8-8.
On the following kick off, Cotter returned the kick to the Colts 27-yard line. The Vikings moved the ball down to the Colts five yard line on key runs by Clifford with solid blocks by Brock Pizzoferrato, Neil Gustafson and Griffin Van Rye. On the next play, the Vikings attempted a half back option pass, the Colts Edwards stepped in front of the intended receiver for a key interception which he returned for a touchdown. Converting the extract point pass conversion, the Colts took a 16 – 8 lead into the second quarter.
Both teams defense took over until midway through the second quarter. After the teams exchanged possessions, the Vikings moved the ball to the Colts nine yard line. Matt Langevin scored on a right end sweep. The extra point attempt was denied on a key tackle by Will Cullen and the score stood at 16-15 Colts.
On the kick off before the half, the Colts James took the ensuing kickoff the length of the field for a Colts Score. At the half, the score was 22-14 Colts.
Starting the second half, the Vikings kicked off to the Colts. The Vikings defense held the Colts offense and forced them to punt. Van Rye broke through the line of scrimmage to block the punt which was recovered by the Vikings John Doar who attempted to scoop and score, however was tackled by the Colts Colum Flaherty.
The Vikings started their first offensive series of the second half at the Colts 20-yard line. After a Dobbins run, Clifford broke free for a 9-yard touchdown run. On the following extra point conversion, Dobbins hit Silver for a diving catch in the end zone to tie the game 22-22.
On the kickoff, Sean Guevara’s onside kick created a Colts Vikings scramble with Doar coming up from the bottom of the pile with the ball for the Vikings. After a Clifford run, Langevin broke free around the left end for a Vikings touchdown. Dobbins then scampered into the end zone for the extra point, giving the Vikings a 29-22 lead.
On the Colts second possession of the fourth quarter, Edwards connected with West for a 25-yard pass play bringing the ball down to the Vikings five yard line. James then ran a bootleg around the left end for the Colts score. The extra point was intercepted by Langevin in the end zone to leave the score at 29-28 Vikings.
With three minutes remaining, the game was far from over. With the ensuing onsides kickoff, the Colts Kyle Bridgman recovered the kick at the Vikings 28-yard line. Edwards threw a strike to West bringing the ball down to the Vikings 10 yard line. After two time outs, the Vikings defense, led by a Dobbins sack, a Cotter pass block and an AJ Guevara sack, moved the Colts back to the Vikings 29 and a turnover on downs. The Vikings offense then ran out the clock for the Win.
Both teams move onto the playoffs October 28th. The Colts face the Packers for the 1 p.m. game. The Vikings take on the Patriots for the 3 p.m. game.
Brewer Paving Packers 16 – JT Ghamo 49ers 13
Youth football fans saw a gridiron classic Sunday autumn afternoon as the Packers earned a hard fought 16-13 victory of the 49ers.
The Packers put the first points on the scoreboard with a shattering 30-yard run by Peter Steinle for a touchdown followed by a 2-point conversion pass from Zack Cohen to Jack Ledwith.
The Niners immediately answered with a textbook offensive series; driving the length of the field and scoring on a pass reception by Todd Cravedi and extra point by Derek O'Connor.
In the second quarter, the Packers tried pounding it down the field with several strong runs by Rowan Sierra - but the Niners defense held their ground and forced the ball over on downs. The Niners continued their excellent offensive play but the Packers' Hugh Wells was able to strip the ball loose, causing a Niners fumble that was recovered by Myles Sierra. However, the Niners' resilient defense answered with their own fumble recovery by Charlie Luipold.
The Niners put together a gorgeous offensive drive late in the second quarter, only to be stopped a few yards shy of the end zone by an impressive Packers goal line stand. Goal line defensive standouts included Gabe Hernandez, Julian DeCampos, Myles Sierra, Larry Womack, Jack McHale, and Devonte DeLeon.
With little time remaining in the first half, the Packers aired it out with a 20-yard pass to Hugh Wells from Zack Cohen. Going for the deep pass again, the Packers were intercepted by the Niners, denying any chance for a last second score before halftime.
The second half had the Packers trying to gain yards on the ground, with Nolan Tibball doing battle against a Niners defense that simply would not quit. Much like ancient Greek mythology, the Niners' Zues Woods was bringing defensive thunder and lightning down from the linebacker corps, stopping the Packers in their tracks.
The Niners then lit it up on offense with over 30 yards of passing, concluding with a touchdown reception by Gabe Solomons. The Niners extra point pass attempt was stopped with a solid open field tackle by the Packers' Peter Steinle, but the Pack found themselves trailing for the first time in the game. The Niners defense continued their relentless play, stopping a late third quarter Packers offensive drive with a fumble recovery by Leo Mulready.
The fourth quarter was anyone's game; and the Packers showed strong resolve against the Niners passing attack, forcing a punt and getting the ball back on offense. The Packers were finally able to break through with the perseverance of their offensive line and backfield including hard earned runs by Nolan Tibball, Peter Steinle, Pearce Cannon, and Carl Nicklas. The game changing play for the Packers came from a 20-yard bullet from Zack Cohen to Hugh Wells, who sprinted down field and dove across the goal line with a pile of Niners' defenders and the go ahead touchdown. Cohen and Wells followed it up with a two-point pass conversion.
As was to be expected in this classic battle, the Niners made a valiant comeback effort but were intercepted by the Packers' Jack Ledwith on a 4th down pass attempt. The Packers were able to grind down the clock on offense, leaving with a hard earned 16 to 13 victory against an impressive Niners team. Great sportsmanship was on display and everyone on both sidelines should feel proud of their efforts as they enter into the playoff season.
Sinatro Agency One Wildcats 46 – West Hartford Firefighters Association Eagles 14
The Wildcats used a balanced offensive and defensive attack to down the Eagles 46-14 Sunday afternoon at Sterling Field.
The week 7 matchup between the Wildcats and the Eagles was anticipated to be a tightly contested game. Their last contest, in week 3, came to a draw and both teams were looking for a strong outing as only two games remain in the regular season
The Eagles received the opening kick but their offense sputtered on the opening drive and they were forced to punt. The Wildcats immediately went on the offensive with an aggressive ground attack. The Cats drove down field and capitalized on a Ryan Orlowski 20-yard run for the first Wildcat score. George Stoughton fielded the ensuing kick and ran all the way to the end zone for another Eagle score. Not to be outdone - Wildcats quarterback Max Main took control and drove his team down field. Main then ran for a touchdown converting on a run from center.
Back came the Eagles, with their running game sputtering, the Eagles took to the air as Andrew Nicholas hit Thomas Cravedi on a 25-yard pass for a second Eagle score.
Not to be outdone, Mohammed Codjoe fielded the Eagle kick and sprinted 55 yards into the end zone. The score at the end of the action packed first quarter was Eagles 14 Wildcats 13.
The Wildcats got their offense rolling in the second quarter as linemen Carter Horton, Dominic Mongillo and Elijah Bryan Henriques paved the way for Griffin Smith who scored on a 27-yard run. The score at the half was Wildcats 19 Eagles 14.
The second half was dominated by the Wildcats. Defensive ends Cullen McCaffery and John Kirklin contained the Eagle running backs. Safety Michael Farley also made touchdown saving stops. Cornerbacks Davis Torres and Chris Chukwura had interceptions, one of which Torres returned for a touchdown. Main, Codjoe and Smith each found the end zone one more time.
It was an exciting game as both teams played hard.
Eastern Rehabilitation Network Chargers 34 - West Hartford Rotary Club Raiders 18
The midget Chargers came from behind to defeat the Raiders 34 – 18 Sunday afternoon to move their season record to 5 -2.
Spencer Witter opened the scoring for the Raiders when he deflected a back pass into the Charger end zone, where one of his teammates fell on the ball for a Raiders 6-0 lead.
On the Chargers next play from scrimmage, the Raiders recovered a fumble on the Chargers 18-yard line and pushed the ball over to extend their lead to 12-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Chargers took the kickoff and marched down field with A J Fair scoring on a 30-yard reverse to make the score 12-8 Raiders.
The Chargers defense held and they almost scored to end the half when A.J. Fair caught a Spencer Merkel pass for 35 yards, but was tackled on the Raider 10-yard line as time expired.
The Chargers received the opening kickoff of the second half and scored on a 50 yard run by Valentino West to make the score 14-12 Chargers.
The Raiders came right back and put together a long drive that ended with a 35-yard touchdown run by Spencer Witter to make the score 18-14 Raiders to end the third quarter.
Spencer Merkel opened the fourth quarter with a 60-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put the Chargers ahead for good 22-18. The Chargers defense held and the Chargers quickly scored again on a beautiful Grant O'Conner to Spencer Merkel pass for 30 yards and the touchdown to extend the Chargers lead to 28-18.
The Raiders were unable to move the ball on their next possession and were forced to punt. The snap went over Spencer Witter's head and the Chargers recovered on the Raider six yard line.
Grant O'Conner went over for the touchdown two plays later to make the final score 34 - 18 Chargers.
The Raiders showed a new offense that moved the ball well and caused many problems for the Chargers. The Chargers defense bent but did not break and Abi Cole and Colby Tyler had their best games of the season on defense.
The Chargers play the Eagles next Sunday and the Raiders will face the Wildcats.
Universal Connectivity Raiders 27 - Wiremold Legrand Chargers 0
On yet another unseasonably warm fall day, the West Hartford Pony Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-0 in week number seven to maintain their unbeaten record.
The mighty Raider defense notched its second shutout in as many weeks led by the impenetrable four man front of Evan Duzan, Jordan Baker, Jacob Ryor and Jake Conran and solid secondary play by Silas Rivers who netted two interceptions on the day. Despite this, the Chargers were able to pound through on gritty runs by Theo Blanshinski and Brendan Connors.
The first quarter was mostly a defensive spar as the two teams sized each other up. Neither team could advance on their first possession but the Raiders took over on the second possession and moved down the field for score number one with Alex Haggerty plunging off-tackle. The Raiders then took to the air as Declan Flaherty connected with Kevin Vaughan for a 45-yard touchdown score. The Raiders led 12-0 at the half.
Adjustments were made at halftime and both teams came out strong with no scoring in the third quarter. Finally, with the Raiders held, a decision was made to keep the ball on fourth down. Despite starting as a broken play, Flaherty was able to scramble but finding no receivers, took the ball forward and rushed for a crucial first down.
Shortly after, halfbacks Jonathan Lagoy and Alex Haggerty made strong runs and Haggerty capped the drive with an off-tackle touchdown run. Fulback Sean Keating then pounded through the middle for the extra points. On the ensuing kickoff, Jacob Herz executed a perfect squib kick which was recovered by Lagoy.
Kevin Vaughan capped the scoring for the day as he hauled in a pass and took it 50 yards to the house. Joseph Morrissey added the extra points.
Signal caller Ryan Cova threw with surgical precision and Owen Hendricks played extremely well on both sides of the ball for the Chargers. Also contributing for the Raiders were Spencer Goulet and Dillon Fortsberg who were both coming back from the disabled list.
West Hartford Police Association Eagles 34 - Sinatro Agency One Wildcats 26
The Eagles used a balanced offensive attack to defeat the Wildcats 34-26 Sunday afternoon at Sterling Field.
Burke Martindale led the Eagle attack with three touchdown passes. Tariq Allah also had a strong game, and scored on an 80-yd touchdown run, Sam Lefante, who caught a pass from Burke Martindale for a touchdown, and also caught two two-point conversion passes from Martindale, played well, and Nathan Brucelius caught two touchdown passes and also had a 15 yd touchdown run.
On defense, playing well was Tanner Kriedel, Cade Cannon, LJ Luba, and Jake Larosa.