The Class M Championship Game Preview: Ansonia vs. Ledyard

Class M Championship

No. 1 Ansonia vs. No. 3 Ledyard

WHEN — Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
COACHES — Ledyard:
Jim Buonocore (4th year, 35-10); Ansonia: Tom Brockett (6th year, 70-7)
RECORDS – Ledyard 11-1;
Ansonia 13-0
def. No. 6 Waterford 26-0; def. No. 7 Wolcott 35-0; Ansonia: def. No. 8 Bethel 35-6; def. No. 4 Berlin 48-14
STATE TITLES — Ledyard (4):
1986-MII, 1991-MM, 1993-MM 2007-M; Ansonia (16): 1976-S, 1977-S, 1979-M, 1981-SII, 1982-SII, 1983-SII, 1984-SII, 1987-S, 1988-S, 1989-S, 1994-SS, 1995-S, 2002-S, 2003-S, 2006-S, 2007-S.
TOP PLAYERS — Ledyard:
Sr. RB/DB Alex Manwaring (2,257 yards, 18 TDs rushing); Jr. QB John Rainey (5 TDs passing); Sr. RB/LB Matt Daggett (12 tackles/gm; 6 sacks); Sr. TE/LB Dallas Smith (4 sacks). Sr. WR Slade Backsley. Ansonia: Soph. RB/DB Arkeel Newsome (3,399 yards, 56 TDs rushing); Sr. TE/DE Jake LaRovera; Sr. LB Tyler Wood; Sr. OL/DL Dylan Vano (6-5, 265); Sr. OL/DL Tyler Williams (6-2, 255); Sr. OL/DL Hakeem Martin (5-10, 263); Sr. WR/DB Andrew Matos; Sr. FB Dennis Danley; Sr. QB Elliot Chudwick; Jr. RB/DB Tyler Lester; Sr. TE/DE Sean Rowley (5-10, 181)
Ansionia is the top rushing team in the state with 4,746 yards. …Newsome is the Connecticut’s leading rusher and the No. 4 leading rusher in the United States. …he is 281 off the national leader and 198 away from breaking Alex Thomas’ single-season state rushing record of 3,596 in 2007 at Ansonia. …Newsome has run for over 100 yards in all but one game; he’s run for over 300 yards six times, including both playoff games. …Manwearing recently set the school record for rushing yards in a season and broke Tim Allen’s ECC rushing record on Thanksgiving. …Ledyard has four shutouts this year, including both postseason wins. …Ledyard’s only loss was to Class L participant New London, 33-14. …This will be Ansonia’s 25th state championship appearance. Ansonia lost last year’s Class S final to St. Joseph 49-28. Ansonia’s last title was 35-0 over New London in 2007. …A win will make Ansonia the first 14-win team in state history.
With junior-laden team, Ansonia lost in last year’s Class S championship game to St. Joseph. As seniors, they haven’t lost yet, winning 13 straight games by an average score of 45-12. They’re determined group anxious to erase the bitter memories from a year ago and win Ansonia’s 17th state championship and first since 2007. It all starts with Newsome, the 5-foot-7 sophomore who, with 59 total touchdowns this season, is elusive and a threat to score every time he touches the ball thanks to a big and physical offensive line. Holding him down is next to impossible, but so is scoring against Ansonia’s physical defense led by Wood, Martin and LaRovera. Even the best first-team units Ansonia has faced this season have had trouble scoring anything more than a touchdown. This is Ledyard’s challenge. The Colonels are patient and disciplined. They run power mixed with selective passing from Rainey and are tough on defense. They must somehow get first downs, control the clock and limit Newsome’s touches severely. Getting turnovers, a rare occurrence at Ansonia, is of utmost importance. Ledyard is determined, but Ansonia has it all. This game looks like a climb up Mount Everest even for a group as tough as Ledyard.
OUR PICK — Ansonia 42-14

Related Links:

A rebuttal from Ledyard (UPDATED!)

It’s not quite the Class M championship shuffle, but someone on YouTube, username SeanLedyard, wrote a rap song to accompany the Ledyard football team to Rentschler Field. The user says he spent four hours writing and recording this diddy, no doubt to pump up the underdog Colonels.

“Ledyard’s getting hungry, ’cause Ansonia’s a good meal.”


“Think they got a title but wait til you rob it.”

Ha! Good stuff. Well played, SeanLedyard. Well played.

Update: The Rap has been expanded to include more lyrics and a chorus. Just awesome.

Where’s the Xavier Class LL Championship Shuffle?

Sean Patrick Bowley