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Westies top Hamden in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
(September 9, 2016) - West Haven senior running back Anthony Godfrey and his teammates waited nine long months to play for real on the football field. With a postseason loss to Shelton as motivation throughout the off season, the first step in going back to the postseason took place Friday evening in Hamden.
Behind three touchdowns by Godfrey, West Haven opened the season with a 42-0 victory over Hamden at Hamden High Friday evening in the season opener for both teams.
Leading by seven points after one quarter, West Haven poured it on in the second quarter, scoring 28 points to take a 35-0 lead. The West Haven defense did the rest, stifling the Green Dragons in posting the shutout to start the season.
"We were sloppy at times, which is expected in the first game of the season, but we played hard," West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. "Our defense played well."
Tyrese Cowes (9) makes the tackle as West Haven's defense shut out Hamden in the season opener, September 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Junior Mike Charlton got West Haven on the scoreboard just seconds into the first quarter when he returned a fumble 15 yards for the score. Jose Conde nailed the first of his six extra points to give West Haven a 7-0 lead.
The Westies then put the game away in the second quarter with four more touchdowns.
Anthony Godfrey scored the first of his three touchdowns just seven seconds into the second quarter on a touchdown pass from Tim McCarthy, before Sheilan Velazquez scored on a reverse from 49 yards out for a 21-0 lead 2:43 into the second.
Anthony Godfrey scores one of his three touchdowns against Hamden, September 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Velazquez then scored from seven yards out off a pass from McCarthy 1:21 later for a 28-0 advantage, before Godfrey scored from 19 yards out with 2:50 left in the second quarter.
Sheilan Velazquez scores for West Haven against Hamden, September 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Godfrey and the Westies put the game away 1:37 into the third quarter when he raced in from 55 yards out for the 42-0 final.
See highlights of the game courtesy of WTNH SportzEdge here.
Westies top Xavier
Big plays key to second straight win
By MIKE MADERA
(September 16, 2016) - Before the 2016 regular season began, West Haven head coach Rich Boshea stated his team had "deep in the playoff talent."
Through two games, Boshea has to like what he has seen. Riding another stellar defensive effort, West Haven topped Xavier 27-18 at Palmer Field in Middletown Friday evening.
Anthony Godfrey scores against Xavier, September 16, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With its second consecutive road victory, West Haven improved to 2-0 on the season.
Trailing 6-0 in the first quarter, West Haven took the lead for good with the final 14 points of the quarter and the next 21 overall.
Sheilan Velazquez got things going with a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown, before Anthony Godfrey scored off a 31-yard pass from Tim McCarthy.
West Haven's defense came up big against Xavier, September 16, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
McCarthy helped increase the lead to 21-6 when he connected with Chris Chance on a 25-yard touchdown strike for the lone score of the second quarter.
Up 21-12 in the fourth quarter, Anthony Godfrey scored from 2 yards out to increase the margin to 27-12.
Jose Conde (11) celebrates during West Haven's win against Xavier, September 16, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Read about West Haven's victory at GameTimeCt here.
Westies roll past Creed 55-6
By MIKE MADERA
(September 23, 2016) - If West Haven football coach Rich Boshea was worried about his team having a letdown following a big win over Xavier a week earlier, those concerns were answered rather quickly.
Scoring 20 points in the first quarter and riding the legs of Anthony Godfrey and arm of quarterback Tim McCarthy, the Westies cruised to a 55-6 win over Creed/Career/Whitney Friday evening in the home opener at Ken Strong Stadium.
West Haven used a smothering defense in a win against Creed/Career/Whitney, September 23, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The win was West Haven's third in a row to start the season, setting up Friday's home meeting with Cheshire.
Godfrey continued his torrid start to the season by scoring three more toucdowns on the ground and another in the air, and McCarthy guided tthe team with a pair of touchdown strikes.
The Westies struck quickly in the contest as Godfrey scored on a 19-yard run just 3 minutes, nine seconds into the game.
After the Westies recovered a Creed fumble, the offense responded when McCarthy hit Godfrey for a 13-0 lead with 8:38 to go in the quarter as the conversion failed.
The dominance in the first quarter continued when Chris Chance ran in from three yards out with 1:20 to go in the opening quarter for a 20-0 advantage.
Following a block from Kyle Godfrey (7), Anthony Godfrey (6) picks up big yardage against Creed/Career/Whitney, September 23, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Godfrey did not slow down as he gave West Haven a 27-0 lead with 6:23 to go in the half on a 2-yard touchdown run. The lead remained at 27 points as the West Haven defense did not let Creed get going.
When McCarthy hit Jose Conde with an 8-yard scoring strike with 16 seconds to go in the half, the Westies took a 34-0 lead to the break.
Godfrey's third touchdoown run of the game just 2:18 into the third quarter had West Haven on top 41-0, before Tony Muse scored from nine yards out for a 49-0 lead with 5:18 left in the third.
Tyquan King capped the West Haven scoring with 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
Westies pound Cheshire
Godfrey and company too quick in 41-14 win
By MIKE MADERA
(September 30, 2016) - Heading into Friday evening's showdown with Cheshire, West Haven knew its speed would be the key to the game. The Westies showed just how quick they are.
Led by the rushing of Anthony and Kyle Godfrey, and Chris Chance, the Westies rolled to a 41-14 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over the Rams at Ken Strong Stadium.
Anthony Godfrey was the catalyst in the contest as he ran for 288 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. Kyle Godfrey ran for 152 yards and a pair of scores, and Chance added eight carries for 64 yards and also caught a touchdown pass from Tim McCarthy.
"Our offensive line did a really nice job," West Haven coach Rich Boshea said after his team improved to 4-0. "Once we get our backs into the secondary, teams have a tough time stopping them. Anthony Godfrey is getting up to (former Westie star) Ervin Philips numbers Anthony played great tonight."
When all was said and done, West Haven accumulated 614 yards of total offense, including 312 in the first half.
The West Haven defense was just as good, holding the Rams to just 45 yards of total offense in the first half, including just 11 yards in the first quarter alone.
"Our defensive plan was excellent tonight," Boshea said. "We had a great plan. We played hard all night."
West Haven took control of the game in the opening half, taking a 21-0 lead to the half. Boshea and company set the tone of the contest, converting a fourth down at West Haven's own 30-yard line less than five minutes into the game.
Anthony Godfrey converted the first down with a 2-yard run, and capped the drive two plays later with a 43-yard touchdown run.
After holding the Rams on their next drive, West Haven needed just six plays to take a 14-0 lead, capped by McCarthy's 70-yard scoring connection with Chris Chance in the final three minutes of the opening quarter.
When Kyle Godfrey capped a 10-play, 84-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring run, West Haven had a 21-0 lead.
The Westies out gained Cheshire in total yards 312-45 in the first 24 minutes and saw Cheshire turn to its second quarterback when starter Jack Raba was injured.
Will Graikoski answered the bell for Cheshire as led the Rams on a 3-play 80-yard drive to start the second half, getting the Rams within 21-7 on a 77 -yard connection with Eric Angelone.
Graikoski may have gotten Cheshire closer, but Kyle Godfrey pushed the Rams back when he raced in from 58 yards out to give West Haven a 28-7 lead with 1:30 gone by in the tthird quarter.
"We just wanted to play hard and play smart," Boshea said. "We told them not to let the weather bother them. We played a great game."
Graikoski, who finished the evening throwing for 241 yards and a pair of scores, found Mike Millea with a 5-yard scoring strike to get Cheshire within 28-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Again, the Westies responded. Needing just one play after the Cheshire score, Anthony Godfrey sealed West Haven's fourth straight victory as he raced 49 yards for the score.
Anthony Godfrey's third touchdown of the night came with 6:43 remaining as he raced 76 yards for the final score of the evening.
McCarthy threw for 102 yards and a score in the win.
Kyle Godfrey with a 3-yard touchdown run against Cheshire, September 30, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Anthony Godfrey with a monster block against Cheshire, September 30, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey 58-yard touchdown run against Cheshire, September 30, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Read about West Haven's win and see additional video action at GameTimeCT here.
See video highlights at WTNH SportzEdge here.
Westies win fifth straight in thumping of Amity
By MIKE MADERA
(October 7, 2016) - The West Haven football team is well aware of how brutal the final five games on the regular season schedule are. That is why the Westies felt it was so imperative to start the season with five wins.
Scoring early and often, West Haven improved to 5-0 with a 50-7 thumping of Amity Friday evening at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven.
Kyle Godfrey makes a play against Amity, October 7, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies came out firing on all cylinders as they scored the game's first 42 points and led 27-0 at the half.
Anthony Godfrey scored two more touchdowns to increase his team lead to 14, including 11 on the ground, and Tim McCarthy threw two more touchdown passes, giving him nine on the season.
Godfrey got things going for the Westies as he scored the team's first three touchdowns. The senior's first touchdown run came from seven yards out and put the Westies on top 7-0 with 2 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
Godfrey then increased the lead to 14-0 with a 66-yard score with 18 seconds left in the quarter, before his 52-yard run with 8:25 left in the half increased the margin to 21-0.
The Westies also scored in the air as McCarthy found Kyle Godfrey for a 23-yard scoring strike with 1:41 remaining in the first half and a 38-yard score late in the third quarter. When Anthony Godfrey ran in the conversion following the third quarter touchdown, West Haven led 35-0.
Chris Chance capped the third quarter scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds left in the quarter for a 42-0 advantage.
After Amity got on the board in the middle of the fourth quarter, West Haven closed the scoring with Tyquan King's 13-yard score and conversion run late in the contest.
West Haven's offensive line opens a hole against Amity, October 7, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
See highlights of the game from WTNH SportzEdge here.
West Haven's defense make a play against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Tim McCarthy to Chris Chance 37-yard touchdown pass against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey (7) 1-yard touchdown against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Best of the West
Westies top Notre Dame 36-13
By MIKE MADERA
(October 21, 2016) WEST HAVEN – With a brutal final five games of the regular season beginning, the West Haven football team had to settle the battle of West Haven in the process.
Behind an opportunistic defense and five combined touchdown from Anthony and Kyle Godfrey, West Haven defeated cross-town rival Notre Dame 36-13 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I contest at Veterans Field in West Haven.
Kyle Godfrey (7) opens a hole for Anthony Godfrey (6) against Notre Dame, October 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I am very proud of these guys,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said after his team improved to 6-0 and took claim of the Soderman Bowl trophy once again. “They worked hard the last two weeks. We are 6-0. You can’t do any better than that. We have a lot more to work on, but this is a nice win for us.”
West Haven entered the game ranked fifth in the Class LL standings and kept control of its own destiny for the postseason. The Green Knights came into the contest ninth in Class L and took a big hit as far as the postseason goes.
The two teams combined for 702 yards of offense, but it was a huge defensive play made by Anthony Godfrey and Tyrese Cowes which turned the game around.
With West Haven leading 21-13 and Notre Dame inside the West Haven 15 late in the third quarter, a Notre Dame fumble was swatted away by Anthony Godfrey into the hands of Cowes, who returned the turnover 68 yards to the Notre Dame 2. Kyle Godfrey scored on the next play, giving West Haven a 28-13 lead with 2:28 left in the third quarter.
“That was a really big play for us,” Cowes said. “I have to give him (Godfrey) credit. He knocked that ball over to me and we were able to score after that.”
To that point, the contest was anyone’s game as the two teams went back and forth in the first half, before West Haven capped the game on a 22-0 run.
Anthony Godfrey gave West Haven a 21-13 lead with a 78-yard touchdown run just 56 seconds into the third quarter and Notre Dame looked as if it had an answer on its initial drive of the second half.
That drive was snuffed by the West Haven defense at the Westies’ 8-yard line, before the Green Knights fumbled on their next possession, setting up the long run by Cowes.
“They had that long run in the second half and then we fumbled,” Notre Dame coach TomMarcucci said after his team fell to 3-3. “That hurt us bad. We could not come back from that. They are a very good team. They have some strong, explosive players.”
With a 28-13 lead, West Haven, ranked fourth in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, came up with another big play on defense as Jose Conde intercepted Notre Dame quarterback Chris Elias. Anthony Godfrey capped the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to go.
Tim McCarthy (2) and Kyle Godfrey (7) celebrate an interception by Jose Conde (11) against Notre Dame, October 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Our defense played great and my offensive line opened some big holes for me,” Anthony Godfrey said after he ran for 174 yards and two scores. “This is a big win for us. We needed to get that trophy (Soderman) back here.”
The first half was a tale of two quarters as the Green Knights and Westies each owned one quarter. Unfortunately for Notre Dame, West Haven made one more extra point to take a 14-13 halftime lead.
Notre Dame opned the contest quickly, holding a 101-23 advantage in yards and a 6-0 lead on the scoreboard. The Green Knights struck first in the game when Josh Witkowsky scored from five yards out with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but the extra point sailed wide.
The Westies responded with a 14-play, 79-yard drive, all on the ground. Kyle Godfrey capped the long drive when he scampered in from five yards out with 6:25 left in the first half.
“I thought we played well,” Boshea said. “I thought the key was our special teams. We held Nico Ragaini, who may be the best player around, in check. I thought that was the key.”
The lead did not hold up for West Haven as Notre Dame and Elias needed just two plays to go 80 yards. After Eliad hit Nico Ragaini for 26 yards, he found Justin Morehead on a screen and Morehead raced 5 yards for the score and a 13-7 Notre Dame lead with 5:55 to go in the second quarter.
The points would keep coming as West Haven, which accumulated 202 yards of offense in the second quarter alone and 371 in the game, scored on its ensuing drive, making it four consecutive drives both teams had put points on the board.
This time, the Westies needed nine plays to go 68 yards and capped the drive when quarterback Tim McCarthy waited long enough to find Anthony Godfrey wide open in the endzone for a 16-yard score and 14-13 West Haven lead with 1:58 left in the first half.
Elias finished 16-of-32 for 249 yards in the air. Kyle Godfrey ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries for the Westies.
See highlights of the game at WTNH SportzEdge here
See highlights of the game courtesy of WFSB-3 here
Kyle Godfrey (7) scores from 5 yards out against Notre Dame, October 21, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Westies use strong second half to defeat North Haven
By MIKE MADERA
(October 28, 2016) WEST HAVEN – With 835 total yards of combined offense, it would come as no surprise to the West Haven football team that its defense made the two biggest plays of the game.
Those plays, a fumble recovery by Jakai Manning and a stop of a conversion run by Sheilan Velazquez in the fourth quarter, propelled the Westies to a 35-26 victory over North Haven in a Tier 1 contest at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Friday evening.
Chris Chance (1) and Tim McCarthy (r.) celebrate a touchdown run by Kyle Godfrey (7) against North Haven, October 28, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“We played better in the second half,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said after his team improved to 7-0. “We told the kids North Haven is a very good team. We made some big plays. I thought the biggest play was the fumble recovery (Manning).”
Trailing for a majority of the first half and into the fourth quarter, West Haven awakened in the final 12 minutes to outscore the Indians 21-6 in the final quarter. While Anthony Godfrey added a pair of scores and Kyle Godfrey added another in the quarter, it was Manning’s play which turned the game around.
With the Westies on top 21-20 following a 10-yard score by Kyle Godfrey, and North Haven driving, a poor snap was recovered by Manning, who won a foot race with Jamorea Hooks, at the North Haven 19.
Three plays later, Anthony Godfrey scampered in from 13 yards out for a 28-20 lead with 7:41 remaining in the game.
Anthony Godfrey (6) ran for three touchdowns against North Haven, October 28, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“We keep feeding him the ball and he keeps delivering,” Boshea said of Anthony Godfrey. “Chris Chance is a great third weapon for us. Teams will try to stop Anthony Godfrey and Kyle Godfrey, then we have Chris Chance.”
Velazquez would then come up with West Haven’s second big play of the quarter. After North Haven’s Max Sullivan scored from nine yards out to cap a 9-play, 80-yard drive, North Haven trailed by two with 3:53 remaining.
Mark Montano carried the ball and looked as if he had the edge to get the tying points. But, Velazquez made a great open field tackle to stop the conversion and keep West Haven on top 28-26.
“Our coaches kept telling us what we had to do,” Velazquez said. “They told us to be ready all game long. We were able to make some big plays. We just came up with a big play there to stop them. They are a tough team, but we were able to make the stop.”
Anthony Godfrey then ended any hopes of a North Haven comeback with a 20-yard score in the final minute to give West Haven a 35-26 lead.
“We came out flat in the first half,” Anthony Godfrey said after finishing with 236 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. “We had to get in the right mind in the second half. We got the job done. The offensive line did its job. All the hard work they put in showed tonight. They opened the holes for me.”
The fourth quarter run by the Westies overshadowed a strong first half performance by the Indians in which they controlled play and gave a glimpse of how tough it was going to be for the Westies.
“They woke up,” North Haven coach Anthony Sagnella said after his team fell to 3-4. “That did not surprise me. They have some great backs. They are on a championship mission.”
The first half belonged to the Indians in just about every offensive category. The Indians held a 216-198 advantage in yards, 36-19 advantage in plays, and held the ball for all but 1:51 of the first quarter.
North Haven set the tone of the opening quarter on the game’s first drive, holding the ball for 5:17 and marching 12 plays and 80 yards on the ground. Sullivan capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:43 left in the opening quarter.
The Westies, ranked fourth in the Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, quickly answered in one play as Anthony Godfrey broke around the left edge and raced 65 yards untouched for a score to even the game at seven just 14 seconds later.
The Indians mixed things up on their second drive, throwing twice in a 7-play, 73-yard drive. The two passes would prove big as the first was for eight yards and the second from Montano to Kyle Melillo was 20 yards to the West Haven 17.
Just one play later, the Indians again had the lead as Montano raced in from 17 yards out to give North Haven a 13-7 advantage with 3:19 left in the opening quarter.
The Westies tightened up defensively, forcing a pair of North Haven punts, but the Indians turned to their defense to keep West Haven off the board and increase North Haven’s lead to 20-7. After a Montano interception stopped one West Haven drive, he scooped up a West Haven fumble and raced 20 yards for a 20-7 lead with 3:36 to go in the first half.
The Westies needed just four plays to respond as Anthony Godfrey used a 70-yard run to open the drive and Kyle Godfrey ran in from two yards out three plays later to get the Westies within 20-14 with 2:12 left in the half.Kyle Godfrey ran for 64 yards and two scores, while Chance ran for 74 yards on 10 carries in the win. Tom Dodge led North Haven with 131 yards on 24 carries.
Kyle Godfrey (7) with a 2-yard touchdown run against North Haven, October 28, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Anthony Godfrey with a 70-yard run against North Haven, October 28, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey with a 10-yard touchdown run against North Haven, October 28, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
See highlights of the game courtesy of WTNH-SportzEdge here.
See highlights of the game courtesy of WFSB-3 here
Westies top Tigers to move to 8-0
By MIKE MADERA
(November 4, 2016) – It could have been a trap game. In the end, Anthony Godfrey and the Westies made sure they were still standing with an unblemished record heading into next week's showdown with Shelton.
Behind three touchdowns rushing and one receiving from Godfrey, West Haven, ranked fourth in the Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, defeated Hand 33-23 at the Surf Club in Madison Friday evening.
With the win, West Haven improves to 8-0 and heads down Route 34 next week to take on Shelton, which suffered its first loss of the season Friday evening against Fairfield Prep.
Anthony Godfrey (6) scored four times against Hand, November 4, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Godfrey continued his stellar season with touchdown runs of 37, 53 and 63 yards and a touchdown reception of 66 yards.
Trailing 3-0, Godfrey gave West Haven a 6-3 lead with a 53-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the opening quarter.
Hand took a 10-6 lead with 7:32 left in the second when Joe Ciotti hit Kevin Hughes with a 3-yard scoring pass.
Just over one minute later, the Westies were back on top again as Godfrey scored from 63 yards out with 6:23 left in the half for a 12-10 West Haven lead.
Sheilan Velazquez (14) makes a tackle against Hand, November 4, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies never looked back. Tim McCarthy hit Godfrey with a screen and Godfrey raced 66 yards for a 19-10 lead with 2:38 left in the half.
Godfrey increased the lead to 26-10 with a 37-yard score, before Kyle Godfrey's 7-yard score with 6:07 left in the third had West Haven on top 33-10.
“Hand is a proud program that always fights hard,” West haven coach Rich Boshea said. “Our coaches and kids knew we had a tough game ahead and I thought we played hard. I’m going to miss (retiring Hand coach) Steve Filippone.”
The Tigers made West Haven work for the victory as Brett Bilcheck scored from 54 yards out with 5:45 to go in the third, and Bilcheck hit Ken Ciotti with a 20-yard scoring strike with 5:34 left.
See highlights of the game courtesy of WTNH SportzEdge here
Westies run past Gaels
Late score propels WH in classic
By MIKE MADERA
(November 11, 2016) – It was built up as the game of the year. When all was said and done, it lived up to the hype.
Kyle Godfrey's one-yard plunge with 8.7 seconds remaining in regulation lifted the Westies to a thrilling 59-52 victory over the Gaels in a classic at Finn Stadium in Shelton Friday evening.
West Haven celebrates its win against Shelton, November 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the win, West Haven, ranked third in the GameTimeCT/Register Top 10 poll, clinched the Southern Connecticut Conference Division I title and improved to 9-0. The win also sealed a quarterfinal home contest for the Westies in the Class LL state tournament.
For Shelton, the loss was its second in a row after winning 29 straight games. The Gaels and Westies could possibly meet once again in the early round of the tournament.
Kyle Godfrey (7) scores the winning touchdown against Shelton, November 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Behind four touchdowns from Anthony Godfrey and three more from his brother Kyle, the Westies won the road shootout in exciting fashion. Despite the seven combined scores from the Godfrey brothers, the contest was not decided until Kyle Godfrey's leap in the final seconds.
Read about the contest at GameTimeCT here
Read about the contest from the Connecticut Post here
See highlights of the game at WTNH SportzEdge here
Westies squeak by Jesuits
Conde, Velazquez keep Westies perfect with 28-21 win
By MIKE MADERA
(November 24, 2016) – Playing without the services of star running back Anthony Godfrey, and watching as fellow seniors Jakai Manning and Bobby Hawkins joined the walking wounded during the game, West Haven needed to turn to others to make big plays.
Seniors Jose Conde and Sheilan Velazquez were there to lead the way.
Behind a 93-yard kickoff return from Velazquez to start the game, and a key interception by Conde to turn the tide of the contest in the second half, West Haven, the third-ranked team in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, defeated Fairfield Prep 28-21 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Tier I contest at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Thursday morning.
Sheilan Velazquez (14) return the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown against Fairfield Prep, November 24, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“The kickoff was all about the blocking,” Velazquez said after also catching four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. “I was able to see the hole and hit it. We came out in the second half knowing we were not going to give up. We were just going to keep fighting.”
With the victory, West Haven improved to 10-0 in the regular season and clinched the second seed in Class LL. The Westies will host seventh-seeded Ridgefield Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Class LL quarterfinals in West Haven.
The Jesuits, who came into the contest needing just a victory to qualify for the postseason, fell to 6-4 with the loss and were eliminated from postseason play.
“To not have Anthony Godfrey and to lose Jakai Manning right away, I can’t say enough about this team,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said after his team held the Jesuits to just 33 yards of offense in the fourth quarter. “Then, we have another of our captains, Bobby Hawkins get hurt on the last play of the first half and had to fill his position. A lot of guys stepped up today.”
Conde and Velazquez made sure the perfect season continued. While Velazquez made two impact plays in the first minute of the contest to give West Haven a 14-0 advantage, it was an interception by Conde with 7 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the game which turned the contest around.
With the game even at 21 and the Jesuits driving deep into West Haven territory after outgaining the Westies 110-12 in the third quarter, Conde stepped in front of a Patrick Conte pass at the West Haven 26 and turned the ball over to the Westies.
West Haven celebrates an interception by Jose Conde (11) against Fairfield Prep, November 24, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Coach called a cover three,” Conde said. “I saw the tight end coming and just jumped it. Big time players make big time plays.”
Five plays later, West Haven took the lead for good. Kyle Godfrey found a hole in the line, then cut in, before racing 53 yards for the eventual winning score with 6:17 left in the fourth quarter.
The score by Godfrey erased what was a brilliant comeback by the Jesuits as they trailed 14-0 less than a minute into the contest. After the long kickoff return by Velazquez, West Haven recovered a Prep fumble two plays later, and quarterback Tim McCarthy hit Velazquez for a 34-yard touchdown strike and a 14-0 lead just 39 seconds into the game.
“That was exactly what we didn’t want to happen,” Fairfield Prep coach Keith Hellstern said of the game’s opening minute. “I’m watching the kickoff return slowly playing itself out and their first play was a fade pass. We showed a lot of resiliency in the second half, but that hole was the deciding factor.”
Trailing 14-0, the Jesuits used an 8-play, 48-yard drive to get within 14-7 on a 1-yard run by Conte on the opening play of the second quarter.
West Haven responded immediately, taking advantage of two personal fouls by the Jesuits, to march 74 yards in 10 plays. The drive was capped when Godfrey plowed through from two yards out for a 21-7 lead.
The Jesuits started to steal the momentum of the game with 30 seconds remaining in the first half, inching within 21-14 when Douglas Harrison scored from four yards out. Harrison finished the game with 196 yards on 36 carries.
“We battled,” Conte said after finishing with 99 yards in the air. “That’s a very god team over there. They are state championship worthy. They have shown that the first ten games. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead just 40 seconds into the game, but we battled them the rest of the game. We came up a little short at the end. That’s a credit to West Haven. They are a great team. They are doing great things this year.”
The Jesuits, who held a 281-132 yard advantage through three quarters and 314-222 advantage for the game, evened the game at 21 with 2:34 left in the third quarter when Conte capped an 8-play 49-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge.
McCarthy finished 5-of-9 for 76 yards and a touchdown in the win for West Haven, while Kyle Godfrey added 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 15 carries.
Westies fall to Ridgefield in Class LL quarterfinals
By MIKE MADERA
(November 29, 2016) WEST HAVEN – Shane Palmer and his Ridgefield teammates have seen their share of adversity this season. So, when a blocked punt by Ridgefield worked against the Tigers, it was just another opportunity for the Tigers to overcome an unexpected challenge.
The Tigers responded in emphatic fashion. Scoring 21 unanswered points, including the only 14 points of the second half, seventh-seeded Ridgefield upset previously undefeated and second-seeded West Haven 28-21 in a CIAC Class LL quarterfinal contest at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Tuesday evening.
Chris Chance (1) scores against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“We knew they were undefeated and were a great team,” Palmer said after rushing for 81 yards on 18 carries. “We studied film like it was any other game. We made a lot of plays out there. We came ready to play tonight.”
The Tigers will advance to play at No. 6 Shelton, a 55-21 winner over Newtown, in the Class LL semifinals Monday evening at 6:30 p.m.
“To knock off an undefeated team is pretty exciting,” Ridgefield coach Kevin Callahan said after his team improved to 9-2. “They play in a great league and we play in a great league. Week in and week out, there are tough games. We just battled out there.”
Trailing 21-7, the Tigers scored in the final two minutes of the second quarter and also stole the momentum of the game. Ridgefield’s defense held West Haven’s star running back Anthony Godfrey to just 63 yards on the ground in the game, and allowed West Haven just three second half possessions as the Tigers used time-consuming drives.
The Tigers took 6:49 off the clock to start the second half and marched 67 yards in 12 plays. Quarterback Drew Fowler connected on four passes for 57 yards in a drive which ended when Palmer scored from two yards out to even the game at 21.
“We went in at the half and Coach (Callahan) said a little stuff to us,” Palmer said. “We worked with our offense and defense and just said we have played together since the second grade and we had to get this done. We settled down and played our game.”
West Haven took off the remaining time in the third quarter, but was unable to put any points on the board as the Ridgefield defense sacked quarterback Tim McCarthy on the final play of the quarter.
Anthony Godfrey (6) runs past the block of Bob Hawkins (50) against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“They (Ridgefield) played very well,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said after his team ended the year at 10-1. “They made the plays tonight. The momentum changed right at the half and we didn’t score in the second half.”
On its ensuing possession, Ridgefield essentially won the game, taking another 6:09 off the clock, using 10 plays to march 58 yards. The final dagger on the drive came when Fowler hit Collin Lowe for a 7-yard scoring strike and a 28-21 lead with 5:40 remaining.
“It was nice to see us take six minutes off the clock,” Callahan said. “We were able to take the lead. We were able to settle down and just play ball.”
The Westies looked as if they had a comeback in them as they marched all the way to the Ridgefield 28-yard line with just over two minutes remaining. That comeback ended on a fourth-and-3 as Godfrey was held to just one yard.
Ridgefield ran the clock until less than a minute remained and punted, but West Haven’s last play fell incomplete deep in Ridgefield territory.
“It’s just awful,” Boshea said. “I feel sorry for the kids. Ridgefield earned it tonight. They made the plays.”
While the first half saw 35 points combined from the two teams, it was the special teams of West Haven which got things going.
Forced to punt in its own territory, West Haven had a punt blocked by Ridgefield, but the ball landed in the hands of West Haven’s Jose Conde, who raced 41 yards to the Ridgefield 9-yard line. Two plays later, Kyle Godfrey was in from one yard out for a 7-0 lead with 5:09 left in the opening quarter.
Ridgefield responded with an 8-play, 63-yard drive, capped when Fowler found Christopher Longo for a 27-yard scoring strike on fourth down to even the game at seven with 2:19 left in the quarter.
If Ridgefield thought it had an answer, West Haven had its own. The Westies needed just three plays to go 80 yards, capped by a 20-yard run by Anthony Godfrey for a 14-7 West Haven advantage.
Following fumbles by each team, West Haven had its own fourth down conversion for a score in the second quarter as McCarthy lofted a perfect fourth down pass to Chris Chance for 37 yards and a 21-7 West Haven lead just 3:31 into the second quarter.
The Tigers got back into the game with 1:51 left in the first half, setting up the thrilling second half when Patrick Lang scored from two yards out to get Ridgefield within 21-14. Fowler finished the contest 17-of-22 for 210 yards and a pair of touchdown passes for the Tigers.
See highlights of the game at WTNH SportzEdge here
State Champions - 1968 (Ranked No. 1 in Ct, No. 4 in the country, 9-0), 1972 (No. 1 in Ct., 10-0), 1986, 1987, 1989, 2002 (No. 1 in Ct., 12-0)
Retired numbers - Bert Siclari (Class of 1969) #71; Jerry Gambardella (Class of 2000) #21
All-State Players - Joe Gianotti '32; Bill Irons '39; Harry “Red” Bailey '39; Frank Cole '40; Jack McWeeney '42; Ken Provost '44; Gerry Apuzzo '46, '47; Jim McNulty '47; Fred Robinson '48; John Anquillare '59; John Poe '61, '62; Vin Sgro '67; Ted Williams '68; Mel Labelle '71; Don Herzog '72; Gene Staehly '72; Dave Rettig '73; Brian Nugent '74; John Verderame '75, '76; Mike Keyes '77; Bob McMillan '79; Ron Conyers '83; Rob Thompson '84; Dan Montesi '86; Chuck Bradley '87; Eric Thimas '89; Darian Colman '90; Rob Farnen '93; Craig Dicks '96; Gene Segaline '97; Ulish Booker '97; Jashawn Brown Robinson '01; Rob Jackson '02; Tommy DeMorro '02; Desmond Lymon '03; Jim Fitzpatrick '05; James Alford '06; Erik Matos '06; Dave Cinti '13; Ervin Philips '13; Zatrell Lyons '14; Byron Dickens '15; Anthony Godfrey '15; Anthony Godfrey '16; Byron Dickens '16
West Haven coaching staff against Fairfield Prep, November 24, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
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Westies looking to take next step
By MIKE MADERA
(August 15, 2016) - The West Haven football team has some unfinished business to take care of. After falling in the quarterfinals of the state tournament last season, 2016 is about taking the next step.
With senior quarterback Tim McCarthy at the helm and an offense which features juniors Chris Chance and Kyle Godfrey, and seniors Anthony Godfrey, Jakai Manning and Sheilan Velazquez, opposing teams will have trouble stopping what could be a high-powered attack.
Anthony Godfrey ran for 1,064 yards and 17 touchdowns a season ago, while Kyle Godfrey scampered for 891 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Velazquez proved to be a weapon through the air as he racked up 541 receiving yards and one touchdown to spread the offense.
Anthony Godfrey, seen here scoring against Fairfield Prep in 2015, and the Westies will look to play in the postseason once again in 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
There is plenty of talent for second-year coach Rich Boshea to work with. Boshea is well aware talent only means so much as it comes down to performing on the field.
"For us, it will come down to can we be disciplined enough,?" Boshea said of his squad. "We have a lot of good players, but we are not a good team yet. The kids have to buy into what we are saying. We are not there yet. We have won every scrimmage and we were dominant at the Yale Camp. It will be interesting to see."
While the Westies are expected to be quiick on the ground and ride the arm of McCarthy, it always comes down to the offensive line.
That line suffered a huge loss with the transfer of James McCarthy to Choate. For now, plenty of work is being done to be sure the Godfrey brothers and company have holes to run through.
"It is still a work in progress," Boshea said of the offensive line. "We took a fullback and moved him to guard. We are still moving people around. We have a lot of moving pieces."
One stabilizing force on the line is senior Byron Dickens, an All-State selection last season, who will play at the tackle position. Another senior, Bobby Hawkins, will play guard.
Senior Tevar Dixon will also be expected to play a part in the offense from his tight end position, while senior Jose Conde will see plenty of time at the receiver position, giving McCarthy other options.
With Anthony Godfrey and Chance as the halfbacks, Kyle Godfrey as the fullback, Dixon as the tight end and Velazquez and Conde in the receiver slots, opposing defenses will have to stretch the field to cover all the weapons the Westies will roll on to the field.
"We look really good on offense," Boshea said. "Kyle and Anthony (Godfrey) gave us nearly 2,000 yards and 40 touchdowns last season. They are back. Tim McCarthy and Sheilan Velazquez have looked really good. Sheilan is a really good receiver."
Conde, Velazquez and Chance will also play important roles on special teams as Conde will do the kicking and punting, while Velazquez and Chance will be threats as the return men.
In the second year of assistant coach Scott Benoit's defense, the Westies look to be making decisions quicker, relying on their play-making abilities instead of thinking of the assignments as the play is happening.
"I like the fact the defense seems to know what to do better," Boshea said. "They look better after playing in Scott Benoit's defense last year. They know their assignments. Our defense has to play well this year."
Dickens will be a force on the defensive side from his nose guard position, while Hawkins, Anthony Godfrey and Dixon will anchor the middle of the field at the linebacker position.
Kyle Godfrey and Chance will anchor the top of the defense as cornerbacks, while Velazquez, Conde and McCarthy will see time at the safety spot.
Although the Westies fell to Shelton in the postseason a year ago, Boshea feels that loss can be used as a learning experience to help the team in 2016.
"I thought us making the playoffs last year was so vital to this team," Boshea said. "Just to get that playoff experience was big for us. We want to go deep in the playoffs. We have deep in the playoff talent. We will see if we have deep in the playoff discipline."
West Haven opens the 2016 season Friday, September 9, 2016 at Hamden at 7 p.m.
The Westies will play their first home game Friday, September 23 against Creed/Career/Whitney at 7 p.m.
See the 2016 West Haven preview courtesy of WTNH SportzEdge here.
West Haven defense against Fairfield Prep, November 24, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven poses with the Soderman Bowl trophy after its win against Notre Dame, October 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Quarterback Tim McCarthy and the West Haven offense against Fairfield Prep, November 24, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Tim McCarthy (2) with an interception against Shelton, November 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Tim McCarthy (2) and the Westies fell against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Chris Chance (1) celebrates a touchdown by Kyle Godfrey (7) against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Anthony Godfrey (6) 20-yard touchdown run against Ridgefield, November 29, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey 2-yard touchdown run against Fairfield Prep, November 24, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Tim McCarhy to Sheilan Velazquez 34-yard TD vs. Fairfield Prep, Nov. 24, 2016. Video courtesy Mike Madera.