Tag Archives: South-West Conference

Ben Mason runs wild as Newtown routs Masuk 40-8

Ben Mason found plenty of daylight and the end zone five times in a career game on offense.

Ben Mason found plenty of daylight and the end zone five times in a career game on offense.

(Monroe CT) Remember Ben Mason the 6-3/240 pound defensive standout? Eighty-seven tackles and four interceptions.

On Thanksgiving Eve the Newtown coaching staff decided to feature Ben Mason on the offensive side of things against Masuk. Did he ever make an impression! Ben was a key piece in Newtown’s 40-8 thrashing of the Panthers on chilly Wednesday night at Masuk.

Ben’s stats? Fourteen carries. 120 yards. Five touchdowns.

Ben Mason with blockers aplenty and paydirt ahead

Ben Mason with blockers aplenty and paydirt ahead

Ben had played offense before (nine carries in 2015) but obviously in a limited fashion. Now the cat is out of the bag and down-the-road playoff opponents (selections announced Friday) will have another thing to consider defensively.

Ben Mason benefits from terrific interior blocking to score

Ben Mason benefits from terrific interior blocking to score

On this night it appeared that Masuk expected the Nighthawks to run inside and committed heavily to that assumption. Unfortunately, for the Panthers, Newtown opted to attack the outside edges from new formations with a new back. Five touchdowns in the first half spoke clearly of the rousing success of the Newtown approach.

Ben was able to get to the outside three different times with blockers looking in vain for Panthers to block on touchdown runs. Only the sideline official ran with Ben the final twenty yards. It was that kind of night.

Key moment? After the first Ben Mason TD, a penalty forced a longer than usual extra point attempt that was missed by Ryan Kost. Trailing just 6-0, you could envision Masuk evening the score and getting ahead with a PAT. What happened? Ryan Kost’s kickoff hit the ground and for some reason wasn’t picked up (fallen on) by any of the Panthers including nearby Collin Briganti. Aggressive Mike Doyle fell on the free ball setting Newtown up at the Masuk 21. So instead of having the ball and a chance to tie or go ahead, the home team was back on defense. Before you knew it, QB Justin Dunn connected with Ben on the right and the talented senior crossed the field to the left corner for his second score.

battle in the air

battle in the air

This turn of events started Masuk’s downhill slide that put Newtown in total command (34-0) by halftime. Many in the crowd chose the exits over another half of one-sided football.

Masuk finishes their season at 6-4. A promising 6-of-7 start turned into a season-closing three-game losing streak.

Seniors from Masuk were honored before the game.

No sign of Newtown’s Hunter Cobb or Jared Pearson in this one. Ethan Carpenter left the game early with a leg injury.

The Nighthawks (9-1) played without Hunter and Jared in the loss to Fairfield in their previous game. The setback ended a string of 40 straight wins for Newtown during the regular season in the South-West Conference.

Senior Mike Doyle had a memorable game……..158 yards, 10-yard TD, and fumble recovery.

The Nighthawks had two first-half interceptions including one on the goal-line.

For those of us easily confused, the program was a problem. There were two #5’s for Newtown as well as an unlisted #8. #8 turned out to be Nick Samuelson whose number was changed from 52 because he was getting some reps on offense.

Trying to keep Ben Mason out of the end zone

Trying to keep Ben Mason out of the end zone

 

Masuk’s Nick Dellapiano added to his impressive total yards (1415) getting a 45-yard score from QB Matt Hersch in the third period.

Newtown’s last state title was in 1992. I would like to think that a title in 2015 could happen.

The last Masuk win in their series with Newtown was in 2011. On that evening at Newtown the Nighthawks had no answers for Casey Cochran and the Panthers. It was a mismatch similar to the 2015 version.

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

Joey Capodagli and other Masuk seniors honored before the game

Joey Capodagli and other Masuk seniors honored before the game

Ryan Kost extra point

Ryan Kost extra point

Masuk pass attempt

Masuk pass attempt

Newtown interception

Newtown interception

Fake punt wrecked by Nick Samuelson

Fake punt wrecked by Nick Samuelson

Mike Doyle (on the ground with the ball) reaches the end zone in the first half

Mike Doyle (on the ground with the ball) reaches the end zone in the first half

Action on the line of scrimmage

Action on the line of scrimmage

Ben Mason with lots of room on the left sideline

Ben Mason with lots of room on the left sideline

Ben Mason congratulated in the end zone

Ben Mason congratulated in the end zone

Mike Doyle around left end

Mike Doyle around left end

Justin Dunn and Mark Hall celebrate with Ben Mason

Justin Dunn and Mark Hall celebrate with Ben Mason

 

 

 

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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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