Now, I know everyone is dying to hear what happened.
But let’s not get crazy with this result (this means you Ansonia fans) because…
A: It was only a scrimmage.
B: It was a scrimmage with coaches on the field, who weren’t exactly calling plays like they meant it.
C: Yes, I know they were selling hot dogs and fries, but they weren’t charging admission.
…but, as we all know, no Ansonia argument for No. 1 has ever omitted a scrimmage victory over West Haven. And former Chargers fans and former players from all generations were pushing for the No. 1 spot in the preseason polls. “Ansonia is No. 1, don’t even think about Greenwich,” said one.
[Sigh] Welcome back to football season.
SO, anyway, what did we learn from this annual, unofficial clash of titans? Short and sweet:
West Haven is going to be just fine, thank you. They’re big on the lines, especially tough on defense, and are well coached. Mike Brockenberry is a playmaker. They could use one or two more, but it’s early.
Ansonia looked absolutely great defensively, between Erik Kuraczea, Rashaad Bass, Mike Flynn, Lorenzo Pittman et al. They gave up a few big pass plays in the first half, and were pushed around by West Haven’s run game early.
Offensively, the Chargers, who must replace almost all of their skill players, were slow to get going. West Haven stuffed the run, forced a few three and outs. And then…
Brockenberry’s interception of new Ansonia QB Ron Bilodeau, set the Westies up inside Ansonia territory. They eventually moved inside the 5, converted a fourth and inches at the goal line, and then scored on a sneak by QB Dan Lawrence from inches away. (I have the score on video, but it wasn’t very exciting).
West Haven led 6-0 at halftime. But, then Pittman recovered a Brockenberry fumble and rumbled 25 or so yards to put Ansonia ahead for good. Dan DeGennaro scored on another fumble recovery TD for a 13-6 lead.
It was all Ansonia after that led by this man, Alex Thomas. Stuffed for most of the first half, the region’s leading rusher last year helped set up one touchdowns with his typical fare, then added this dandy on a draw. third and 9 at around midfield:
It did seem like Ansonia wore out the Westies as time went on. Thomas finished with approximately 80 yards or so, with most of them coming in the second half.
Again, not a huge huge deal. But Ansonia has its small ace in the hole should it face off with a Class LL team in the final polls.
Then again, the Chargers have a lot to do before we even get to that point. They have to win the NVL, finish undefeated and win a Class S state title, and do it all convincingly.
“Probably the worst half of football I’ve ever seen us play,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said afterward. “That’s a good football team. …We’ll be fine.”
Lotsa luck, Ansonia.
See everyone at the Saturday shows.