Tag Archives: Julian Dunn

Julian Dunn leads undefeated Newtown past Masuk 28-7

Julian Dunn crosses the goal line into the Connecticut state record book with his 48th touchdown reception

Julian Dunn crosses the goal line into the Connecticut state record book with his 48th touchdown reception

Julian Dunn gets his 49th touchdown reception

Julian Dunn gets his 49th touchdown reception

(Newtown CT) “Julian Dunn has done some amazing things for Newtown football,” said Nighthawks coach Steve George on Tuesday night after the game.

It’s probably a line that the NHS coach has used regularly when asked about the talented senior.

Julian was key to the Newtown victory over Masuk, 28-7, in the rescheduled Thanksgiving Eve game.

In the midst of a terrific catching/kicking/defending performance, Julian slipped into the Connecticut high school record book.  He entered the game tied with Aaron Hernandez (Bristol/Florida/Patriots) on the all-time list of touchdown catches with 47 but by game’s end had added two more to his total.  With at least one more game left, and possibly two, his totals could increase.

Julian Dunn picks off pass intended for Joe Capodagli

Julian Dunn picks off pass intended for Joe Capodagli

The final score in this game was very misleading.  At first glance you’d suspect that undefeated Newtown dominated 7-4 Masuk.  You would be wrong……….at least during the first half.  The second half?  All Newtown.

Because Newtown was in the South-West Conference championship game on Saturday, they only had a few days to get ready for Masuk.  The Panthers, on the other hand, had over a week.

“Joe Lato (Masuk head coach) is one of the best coaches in the state,” said Coach George.  “We knew he was going to have some funky stuff going on.”

Nick Dellapiano (7) sweeps right for 7-yard TD

Nick Dellapiano (7) sweeps right for 7-yard TD

And sure enough he did.  It seemed to me that Newtown spent most of the first half trying to figure out where to line up defensively against a variety of formations.  Underdog Masuk was not only able to move the ball but also overwhelmed the Nighthawks defensively with an assortment of blitzes.

Things got so bad that after one lengthy first-half Masuk drive, their fans began to chant, “Over-rated, Over-rated.”

Jacob Burden leaves at halftime with trainer

Jacob Burden leaves at halftime with trainer

In that dismal first half, Newtown QB Jacob Burden was sacked and injured.  Sophomore Justin Dunn came on and his first pass bounced off of the normally reliable hands of his brother Julian.  Things were that bad!

Masuk threatened to score in the first quarter but the drive petered out at the Newtown 19.

In the second quarter the Panthers took the lead.  A fake punt by Newtown failed and the visitors from Monroe had a short field to work with. The big play in the scoring drive was a nifty 25-yarder by quarterback Zach Kaufman.  Zach started left and then cut back across the middle of the field. Sophomore Nick Dellapiano finished the job for Masuk running a reverse to the right from seven yards out at 8:16.

Masuk coach Joe Lato

Masuk coach Joe Lato

The second half was a whole new ballgame!  Masuk’s 7-0 halftime lead vanished on Newtown’s first possession and the Nighthawks had answers for the Panthers “funky” formations thereafter.

Julian Dunn jumped ahead of Aaron Hernandez in TD receptions on that first series.  Julian lined up on the right and slanted into the middle.  His brother Justin’s pass hit him in full stride.  Julian (6-3/230) bounced off safety Bryan Acevedo for the 16-yard record-setting tally and the score was tied after the extra point.

With the score now tied, Masuk took a huge chance on 4th down deep in their own territory.  Coach Lato said afterwards that, “he saw the momentum changing and wanted to stop it.”  Keeping a drive alive at the Masuk 34 on a 4th-and-one seemed do-able after a great first half, but after a timeout, an inside run was stopped cold.

Newtown quickly capitalized on the field-position gift with a nice run by sophomore Hunter Cobb setting up the Nighthawks at the Masuk 10.  It wasn’t hard to figure out what would happen next: Julian Dunn slant over the middle.  Newtown was now up 14-7 with 6:32 remaining in the second quarter.

Nick Rubino (34) gets 13th touchdown

Nick Rubino (34) gets 13th touchdown

Masuk had bad field position most of the second half.  A short punt early in the final quarter, followed by a long Hunter Cobb run, had the Panthers on the Masuk doorstep.  Two straight runs by Nick Rubino got him into the end zone for his 13th TD of the season.

Worse field position set up another punt for Masuk on their next possession.  Senior Ethan Carpenter collected Bryan Acevedo’s punt at the Masuk 39 and shot straight up the wide-open middle.  He was instantly alone and ended up with two blockers nearby, with no one to block, as he streaked across the goal line.

Ethan’s TD was at 7:29 and put the Newtown at the final score of 28-7.

Running back Jaret DeVellis was in uniform for Newtown but didn’t play.  “Jaret could have played but we wanted to do the right thing with him and give his ankle more time to heal,” said Coach George.  I watched Jaret in pregame and, despite his best efforts, he still wasn’t running without limping.

QB Jacob Burden didn’t return after his injury to his non-throwing left shoulder in the second quarter.  “Jacob could have come back,” added Coach George.

Julian Dunn and Zach Kaufman after the game

Julian Dunn and Zach Kaufman after the game

Good to see the players from both teams interacting pleasantly after the game.

Coach George downplayed Julian’s record breaking by saying that, “the type of person he is is even more important as far as I’m concerned.”

Weather was cold but with no wind.

The impending snowstorm led to the game date change.  Coach George broke the news to his team afterwards that there wouldn’t be any school Wednesday.

I continue to be very impressed with the performances of the Newtown dance team and cheerleaders.  Their state-wide recognition is well deserved.

(This blog is easily corrected.  Let me know.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Touchdown signaled

Touchdown signaled

halftime show

halftime show

Bryan Acevedo (3) and Ethan Carpenter (1) sky for a pass

Bryan Acevedo (3) and Ethan Carpenter (1) sky for a pass

Nick DeLorenzo (34) breaks free early

Nick DeLorenzo (34) breaks free early

Chris Lindquist

Chris Lindquist

Coach Steve George and Ethan Carpenter

Coach Steve George and Ethan Carpenter

Ethan Carpenter finishes a punt-return touchdown

Ethan Carpenter finishes a punt-return touchdown

jump ball

jump ball

Tim Krapf and Jake Lambert lower the boom on QB Zach Kaufman

Tim Krapf and Jake Lambert lower the boom on QB Zach Kaufman

Hunter Cobb (30) finds daylight

Hunter Cobb (30) finds daylight

Newtown defense makes crucial stop

Newtown defense makes crucial stop

 

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Undefeated Newtown knocks off Brookfield 21-14 in South-West Conference football

Action in the trenches at the Newtown-Brookfield SWC game

Action in the trenches at the Newtown-Brookfield SWC game

Julian Dunn hauls in what turned out to be the game winner

Julian Dunn hauls in what turned out to be the game winner

(Newtown CT) Losing the first one is always tough.

Two Friday nights in a row highly regarded, undefeated teams have squared off against Newtown at Blue and Gold Stadium.  Both teams (Ansonia and Brookfield) left the stadium unhappy and no longer undefeated.

On this night it was Brookfield’s turn.  The Bobcats (6-1) certainly made things interesting but fell short, 21-14, to the undefeated (7-0) Newtown Nighthawks on a cool Friday night.

With numerous reasons to be happy afterwards including; control of the South-West Conference, winning 28th straight regular season game, and winning 29 of last 31 games, NHS coach Steve George was under-happy afterwards.  Why?  In the closing minute, with Newtown in possession and Brookfield out of timeouts, a skirmish broke out after a play in front of the Newtown bench.  According to reporters closer to the action, Newtown’s Jared Pearson was ejected and there was some pushing and shoving between the teams.

(Just before the controversial roughing the passer call late in the game.

(Just before the controversial roughing the passer call late in the game.

“What happened at the end was not characteristic of my team,” said Coach George.  “I’m a little upset with them now.”

Meanwhile back at the game I was intending to describe!  Newtown scored three straight touchdowns after Brookfield converted a fumble into an early score. Newtown had what I thought was a commanding 21-7 halftime lead.  Brookfield, however, had the only score in the second half (8:56 of the 4th quarter) but never had a real threat for more, thereafter.

Both teams benefited from opponent miscues in getting their first TDs.  Ethan Carpenter tried to return a punt in heavy Brookfield traffic and ended up fumbling.  Matt Biondi recovered for the Bobcats.

Bobby Drysdale (9) gets into the Newtown secondary

Bobby Drysdale (9) gets into the Newtown secondary

Later, Bobby Drysdale (118 yards/1 TD) reached the Newtown end zone from five yards out for his 13th touchdown of the season at 8:14 of the first quarter.

Consecutive turnovers led to the first Newtown score.  First Hafeez Yussuf intercepted a Jacob Burden pass intended for Julian Dunn at the Brookfield 16.  Bobby Drysdale, however, fumbled the ball back to Newtown (Ryan Shaw) on the next play setting the Hawks up in terrific field position.

Less than a minute later (5:02) Nick Rubino rolled left untouched for a 4-yard TD.  Bryce Mather added the kick to tie the score.

Jaret DeVillis scores

Jaret DeVellis scores

Early in the second quarter (11:14) Jaret DeVellis (7th TD) finished a long Newtown drive bouncing off Austin Reich to score from 3 yards out.  The kick gave Newtown a 14-7 advantage.

Because Newtown was content to run the ball, and did often, fake handoffs gave QB Jacob Burden plenty of time to throw.  Ethan Carpenter and Julian Dunn were spread wide to either side most of the game.  Julian (6’3″) was being covered one-on-one by Hafeez Yussuf (5’9″).

Early in the game Julian’s passing route was straight down the right sideline.  On Newtown’s 3rd TD drive, Julian ran an up-and-in and was wide open for a long gain.  Later in the same drive, Julian had the time to add an “out” to the pattern and ended up alone in the right side of the end zone from 17 yards out at 5:27 of the second quarter.  The completion to Julian was Jacob Burden’s 10th touchdown pass in 2014. The kick put Newtown further in front, 21-7.

Johnny Roscigno finds the end zone

Johnny Roscigno finds the end zone

Punting dominated the early going in the second half.  I thought at the time that Newtown had the horses to get a few more scores and also could keep the visitors off the board the rest of the way.

The Brookfield defense, however, surprised me.  It gave up yards and first downs but came up big when they needed to.  Certainly Newtown penalties helped put the Nighthawks in bad field position in the second half.

One Newtown penalty (Jake Lambert – roughing the passer), was key in Brookfield’s fourth quarter TD drive.  A heavy dose of Bobby Drysdale moved Brookfield to the Newtown 15.  From there, QB Johnny Roscigno faked a handoff to Bobby going right and instead rolled left.  There was a still a Hawks defender in the left side of the secondary but Johnny faked outside and then cut inside for a free lane to the end zone at 8:56 of the final quarter.

The Bobcats would get the ball back but there wasn’t time to grind with Bobby Drysdale and there also wasn’t enough time for QB Johnny Roscigno to find receivers.

BHS coach Rich Angarano questions the roughing the kicker call

BHS coach Rich Angarano questions the roughing the kicker call

The Bobcats burned timeouts late and would have gotten the ball back one last time with a minute left but Andrew Collins collided with punter Julian Dunn.  The penalty gave the ball back to Newtown for the rest of the game.

Brookfield has now lost five straight times to Newtown.  The talk afterwards by BHS coach Rich Angarano to his team was that, “We can play with this team,” and “We could face them again in the SWC championship game.”

Newtown defeated the Bobcats, 28-7, in last year’s title game.  Julian Dunn caught two TDs in that one while Bobby Drysdale was limited to 43 yards.

Brookfield had only allowed 53 points in their first six games.

Bobby Drysdale (1 TD - 118 yards)

Bobby Drysdale (1 TD – 118 yards)

Bobby Drysdale (6’1″ – 200) is obviously the key to any team’s defensive schemes versus Brookfield.  He had 27 touchdowns in 2013 and rushed for 2,096 yards.  Gang tackling Bobby is essential as he added extra yards several times when in the grasp of one tackler.  Bobby’s presence also set up the second Brookfield TD because the Newtown defense followed him and gave QB Johnny Roscigno plenty of room the other way.

I’ve seen Newtown twice now and can see why it is so hard to prepare for their offense.  They are very content to take what a defense allows.  NHS coach Steve George said afterwards that the play calling (many runs) may have looked conservative but, “It was just too tempting to run the ball.”

Ethan Carpenter was the blocker near punter Julian Dunn.  His block on Andrew Collins may have had something to do with Andrew’s running into the kicker.  Julian did a pretty good job of selling the hit.

Excellent Homecoming crowd as well as the usual spectacular halftime show.

(I can edit this blog so if there is an error please let me know so that I can correct it.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Julian Dunn makes a reception

Julian Dunn makes a reception

Peter Manesis

Peter Manesis

pumpkin wager

pumpkin wager

Jaret DeVillas (1 TD - 21 carries - 109 yards)

Jaret DeVellis (1 TD – 21 carries – 109 yards)

 

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Newtown holds off Joel Barlow 58-56 in South-West Conference action

Mike Davis (14 points) converts a rebound to give Newtown the lead for good.

Mike Davis (14 points) converts a rebound to give Newtown the lead for good.

Julian Dunn (22 points) shoots over Bryce Fey

Julian Dunn (22 points) shoots over Bryce Fey

(Newtown CT)  There was a tie and three lead changes in the last two minutes but at the end it was Newtown (8-5) hanging on to a 58-56 win over Joel Barlow (6-8) on Friday night in South-West Conference action.

The Falcons carried a 56-55 lead into the final 1:24 but had a missed shot, two turnovers, and a desperation heave at the very end to show for the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, the Nighthawks were able to take the lead when Mike Davis (14 points) put back his own missed shot.  After a JB miss, Julian Dunn (22 points) made one of two free throws with fifty-five seconds left.  That resulting two-point bulge (58-56) turned out to be enough despite Newtown failing to ice the game by missing four free throws in a row after Julian’s made free throw.

Both teams had their moments before the exciting finish.

Newtown jumped ahead 14-7 in the first six minutes riding two 3’s by senior Brian Leblanc.

Will Menapace (15 points) launches a three

Will Menapace (15 points) launches a three

Then it was Joel Barlow’s turn to get carried from long range as Will Menapace (15 points) connected four times before halftime.  The outside accuracy was part of a 25-11 Falcons’ run that put the visitors from Redding in front 34-25 at the half.

The Nighthawks rallied early in the second half to get within four (37-33).  You had to think that Newtown’s luck might have changed for the better when the last three points were off a 3-pointer off the backboard by Troy Frangione.

However this was a game where the direction you thought it was heading could quickly change.  Instead of wilting under the Newtown charge, the Falcons put nine unanswered points together.  Meanwhile, the Nighthawks put a string of turnovers together (four) and trailed 46-33 with 1:43 left in the third quarter.

Newtown certainly looked to be in trouble but over the next 4+ minutes of playing time, stretching into the final quarter, it was their turn to be in control.  The Nighthawks constructed a 16-4 segment, led by two 3’s (Brian Leblanc) and eight points on the inside by Julian Dunn.

When that dust cleared, Newtown had taken the lead, 49-48, with 4:25 to go in the game.

Will Bracken

Will Bracken

But credit Joel Barlow.  Before you knew it the momentum had changed and they were back in front, 56-55, with 1:24 left after three-point plays by Will Bracken and Will Menapace.

That set up the exciting finish.

Key to the win was the blanket defense Troy Frangione put on first-half shooting star Will Menapace in the second half.  Will had trouble getting the ball never mind shooting it.  He did, however, make a huge three that gave JB it’s last lead.

A key basket in Newtown’s second-half, 16-4, burst came after a wild 3-point attempt by Brian Leblanc ended up in the layup-producing hands of teammate Julian Dunn.  Trust me, there was no assist involved.

Junior John Tucker had eleven points for Joel Barlow.

Jake Ball only scored four points for Newtown but both layups came in the final three minutes of the game.

Newtown has now won eight of their last nine games after an 0-4 start.

Troy Frangione double-teamed

Troy Frangione double-teamed

Joel Barlow had now lost four of their last five games.

JB will host Weston on February 4th (Tuesday 7PM) while Newtown visits New Milford on the same day and at the same time.

Joel Barlow was 7-13 last year missing the Class M tournament by one game.

I tell people that they need to come to a Newtown home basketball game just to see what their cheerleaders and dance teams can do.  Tonight was no different although I suspect both squads were hedging their bets in this game because of serious competitions tomorrow.

Is there a good reason why programs aren’t produced?

Mike Davis and Julian Dunn ran some excellent give-and-goes for Newtown.

Newtown box

Joel Barlow box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Julian Dunn and Zach Pompea

Julian Dunn and Zach Pompea

Adam Koubeck in heavy Newtown traffic

Adam Koubeck in heavy Newtown traffic

Brian Leblanc (12 points)

Brian Leblanc (12 points)

Mike Davis

Mike Davis

Zach Pompea breaks ahead

Zach Pompea breaks ahead

Newtown performers

Newtown performers

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Newtown stuns Masuk 21-14 to take SWC football championship

Cooper Gold of Newtown scores the eventual game-winner through the tackle of Fabio Romano (23).

Cooper Gold (222 yards) holds his MVP plaque.

(Newtown) It would have taken a pretty significant dose of optimism to favor Newtown in a football game with powerhouse Masuk.

But there was Newtown (10-0) defeating the Panthers, 21-14, before a huge crowd (3000) at Blue and Gold Stadium on Wednesday night.  The victory gave the Hawks the SWC championship.

Newtown pulled this off with Dan Hebert (arguably the Hawks best player) on the sidelines out of uniform wearing a cast.

I’ll admit I was leery of Newtown’s chances after absorbing some of the Newtown hype before last year’s 46-7 blowout.

But this time around the Hawks (9-1) weren’t the defensive sieves Masuk, led by QB Casey Cochran, made them look like in 2011.  In fact, they shut out the Panthers (#1 in the state in total offense) in a second half in which they would rally from a 14-7 halftime deficit and get two touchdowns of their own. Masuk averaged 49 points per game during their first nine games.

Game MVP Cooper Gold (222 yards) ran around and over people all night and tallied two touchdowns including the game winner early in the final quarter.

Hawk QB Drew Tarantino tossed his 20th touchdown pass of the season (to Julian Dunn) and had no interceptions.

Thomas Milone (22) follows blocker Frank Bacarella for a thirty yard touchdown late in the first half.

Thomas Milone (165 yards) surely scared the Newtown faithful half to death every time the ball was in his hands.  The talented senior raced in for two first-half scores and was a threat to do almost anything when he lined up to punt.

Thomas has committed to Uconn for a baseball scholarship.

I was impressed with the execution of Newtown on the touchdown pass to Julian Dunn.  The Hawks had run the play earlier with the pass going high.  On the one that connected, the ball was in the air from QB Drew Tarantino long before Julian reached the end zone.  Julian made a leaping catch over Kyle Fontneau and landed on his back.

Masuk QB Malik Cunnings suffered two interceptions in the second half.  He had only two interceptions during the first nine games.

This was a battle for the SWC title.

Terrific field with wonderful lighting.  That still doesn’t explain why there were no programs available but maybe everybody knows everybody?

The halftime show put on by Newtown was simply awesome.

This was the first time Newtown entered the final game of the season undefeated since 1996.

Both football teams are in the playoffs and should be hosting quarterfinal games.

(The pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Dan Hebert

Chris Devaney (3) goes high for a pass

loose ball

Julian Dunn still has the ball in the end zone after colliding with Kyle Fontneau (21)

Jack Kearney (31) prepares to intercept a pass intended for Thomas Milone (22).

Justin Devellis of Newtown closes out Masuk with this interception in the last minute.

Bryan Monaco

Newtown QB Drew Tarantino chases a bad snap.

Thomas Milone (22) plows in for the first Masuk touchdown.

Cooper Gold gets outside Masuk defender Brad Swain on his way to a 9-yard touchdown run

Cooper Gold runs free

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Filed under Masuk, Newtown