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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
New faces on field and sideline as 2018 season opens
By MIKE MADERA
(September 5, 2018) - When the West Haven football team stepped off the field for the last time against Darien last December, the pain of a season-ending loss officially verified there would be no state title for the Westies.
West Haven against St. John's Prep, September 1, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the goal of reaching the state title always the case at West Haven, the Westies will have to do so with new faces on the field and sidelines in 2018.
Read a preview about the West Haven football team courtesy of GameTimeCT and Sean Patrick Bowley here.
West Haven opens the 2018 season Friday evening at home at Ken Strong Stadium against North Haven at 7 p.m.
Goal line stand by NH dooms Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(September 7, 2018) - Heading into Friday evening’s Southern Connecticut Conference tilt, both the West Haven and North Haven football teams knew they would have to establish new identities with an abundance of stars graduated from both teams.
When all was said and done, the Indians had a few more big plays and one more defensive stand, topping the Westies 20-19 in a thriller at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven.
Trailing by one point in the final minutes, West Haven converted a fourth down to get inside the North Haven two-yard line, but four plays produced just one yard, including a goal-line stand on fourth down by the Indians to stop Jordan Berrios a foot short of the goal line with 3 minutes, six seconds left.
Justin Medina (3) runs for a big gain against North Haven September 7, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Our defense was amazing,” North Haven coach Anthony Sagnella said. “We are a young team and we were forced to grow up quickly tonight. We knew West Haven was going to be a tough team and they were. I am extremely happy with the effort we put in and with how we came up big at the end. We had to be tough today and we were.”
The Indians took a 20-19 lead with 9:32 left in the game, capping a 13-play 80-yarrd drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by Nicholas Dodge for the only points of the second half. After failing on their first two conversions of the game, the Indians turned to Dodge again and his run put the Indians on top for good.
“West Haven came out fast with the blocked punt, but we were able to fight back,” Dodge said. “We made the big plays when we had to.”
For the Westies, it was a heartbreaking end to what was a solid comeback, holding a 19-12 lead into the fourth quarter.
“North Haven made all the big plays,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “Give them credit. When we needed to make big plays, we could not get them. They held us at the goal line. When we had to make the big plays, we could not do it. But, I am happy with how we hung tough. We were down and went the length of the field.”
The West Haven defense makes a big play against North Haven September 7, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Despite being outgained by 87 yards in the opening quarter and 28-3 in plays to start the contest, West Haven held a 19-12 lead at the half with a pounding ground game and efficient passing.
The Westies opened the scoring just 1:43 into the game when Malachi Wright blocked a North Haven punt from six yards out, and scooped up the loose ball in the endzone for a 7-0 lead.
The Indians, looking for their own set of stars, responded in emphatic fashion, marching 96 yards in 16 plays to get on the scoreboard.
Dodge capped North Haven’s second drive with a 4-yard run, but the the extra point failed and the Westies hung on to a 7-6 lead with 1:59 left in the first quarter.
The Westies were held to just five yards in their only first quarter drive and punted to North Haven. The Indians then used nine plays, eight on the ground, and took a 12-7 lead when Dodge scored from one-yard out with 9:07 left in the first half.
The rest of the second quarter was all West Haven as the two teams reversed roles. West Haven outgained the Indians 126-7 for the remainder of the half, and more importantly, scored the final two touchdowns to take a seven-point lead at the half.
West Haven marched 82 yards in 10 plays, with runs of 17 yards by Justin Medina, 16 yards by Juan Gutierrez, and 20 yards by Berrios, before Berrios plowed in from one yard out with 4:51 left in the half for a 13-12 West Haven lead.
After the Indians were held on three plays, West Haven took advantage of a short field, going 38 yards on seven plays. The drive saw the Westies convert a fourth down one play before Berrios hit Demerick Blackford from 13 yards out with 28 seconds remaining in the half.
Jordan Berrios 1-yard touchdown run against North Haven, September 7, 2018. Video courtesy Mike Madera.
Jordan Berrios 13-yard touchdown pass to Demerick Blackford against North Haven, September 7, 2018. Video courtesy Mike Madera.
WH tops Hamden
Solid defense leads to first win
By MIKE MADERA
(September 14, 2018) WEST HAVEN - Three feet. That is all which separated West Haven from an opening day victory over North Haven. Don’t think the Westies forgot to use that as motivation all week.
Taking their frustrations out on Hamden, the Westies picked up their first win of the season with a 33-7 victory over the Green Dragons in a Southern Connecticut Conference contest at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Friday evening.
The West Haven defense makes a play against Hamden, September 14, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Our defense totally bailed us out today,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said after his team allowed just 113 total yards. “They played great. Hamden played hard. We made just enough plays to win this game.”
The story of this contest easily came on special teams where each team struggled on its punts. Hamden had the most glorious of the chances to capitalize, taking over three times inside the West Haven 30, but coming away without any points.
“I have to do a better job preparing the kids,” Hamden coach Tom Dyer said. “This is two weeks in a row where we have had turnovers in the red zone. As a coach, we are doing things that fall on me. I have to do a better job preparing these kids to be great.”
Leading 13-7 at the half, West Haven put the game away with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. Capitalizing on a short punt, the Westies raced 23 yards in six plays, capped by a 2-yard keeper by Jordan Berrios for a 19-7 lead with 6 minutes, 55 seconds to go in the third quarter.
West Haven celebrates a touchdown against Hamden, September 14, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After Hamden fumbled going in for a score, West Haven needed just six plays to go 80 yards for a 26-7 advantage. Justin Medina, who finished with 112 yards rushing, had the key run of 34 yards, before Jaden Grant scored from nine yards out with 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“We talked about that game,” Medina said of the opening loss. “We knew we had to do a better job. We were able to do so tonight.”
Grant finished with 92 yards on the ground and officially sealed West Haven’s initial win of the season three plays into the third quarter when he ran around the right edge and raced 37 yards for the score and a 33-7 lead.
“We need to work on our special teams and do a better job on offense,” Boshea said despite his team gaining 390 yards. “The defense making the stops after those punts was the story of the game. Coach (Tom) Unger had a great plan in place.”
The Green Dragons had two outstanding scoring opportunities in the opening half, twice taking possession inside the West Haven 15, but could not score. Only the second botched punt of the game by the Westies helped Hamden, which had just 59 yards of offense in the first half, get on the board.
That scoring opportunity was capitalized on quickly as Hamden quarterback Christopher Wallace hit Christopher Pigatt in stride for a 29-yard touchdown strike, getting Hamden within 26-7 with 2:58 remaining in the first half.
Aside from the defensive play by the Green Dragons in which they kept West Haven from building a bigger lead, Hamden could not get going.
West Haven capitalized on a pair of big runs as a 50-yard run by Medina set up a 1-yard plunge by Juan Gutierrez with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
The Westies then used a 51-yard burst by Tylen Jennette to set up Medina’s 4-yard scoring run with 7:49 left in the half for a 13-0 West Haven lead. The Westies finished the opening half with 192 total yards of offense.
Juan Gutierrez 1-yard touchdown run against Hamden, September 14, 2018. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Justin Medina 4-yard touchdown run against Hamden, September 14, 2018. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Westies run past ND
WH takes home 3rd straight Soderman Bowl
By MIKE MADERA
(September 22, 2018) — There is nothing like playing a pair of rivals to get back on track. After losing to North Haven to open the season, the West Haven football team has righted the ship with a pair of victories.
Behind three touchdown runs from Justin Medina, West Haven rolled to a 28-7 victory over the Green Knights at DellaCamera Stadium on the campus of the University of New Haven Friday evening.
Medina rushed for 103 yards on 14 carries and the three touchdowns to lead West Haven to a 2-1 record.
West Haven celebrates after its win against Notre Dame, September 21, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven scored the only points of the first half when Medina scored on a 4-yard run in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead. The score remained that way at the half, before West Haven scored three times in the final two quarters.
The Westies took a 14-0 lead in the third quarter when Juan Gutierrez ran in from one yard out and Jordan Berrios ran in the conversion.
Zackary Hochman scored the only touchdown for the Green Knights (1-2) in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run to get Notre Dame within 14-7, but the Westies had the final two scores.
Justin Medina (3) scores against against Notre Dame, September 21, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Medina ran in from five yards out for a 21-7 lead following the point after by Isaac Morales, and Medina's third touchdown of the night, this one from 41 yards out, gave the Westies a 28-7 lead.
Westies thump Bassick
WH opens with 3-1 start after 50-6 win
By MIKE MADERA
(September 22, 2018) — When the regular season comes to a close on Thanksgiving weekend, the West Haven football team may have two very different takes on the season opener against North Haven.
That loss where the Westies fell inches short of a win in the final seconds will either be one which propelled the Westies, or one which hurt its playoff chances.
Three games later, it appears as if West Haven is rallying around the defeat. Opening up the offense after a slow start, West Haven cruised to a 50-6 victory over Bassick in Bridgeport Friday evening, winning its third straight contest and improving to 3-1 on the season.
Tylen Jennette scores for West Haven against Bassick, September 28, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies did not get off to a good start in the contest as they turned the ball over twice to start the game, but both times the defense made the stand, holding Bassick inside the the 20-yard line.
Jordan Berrios then took advantage half way through the opening quarter. After the second West Haven stand, Berrios raced 78 yards for the score and a 6-0 lead. West Haven never looked back.
After holding Bassick to start the game, the defense then put up points. Tylen Jennette picked off a Bassick pass on the ensuing possession and returned the interception 28 yards for the score and a 13-0 lead with 5:39 to go in the opening quarter.
Jennette was just getting started. The senior then added a 35-yard touchdown run and the run on the conversion for a 21-0 lead less than two minutes later.
West Haven applied the pressure all night against Bassick, September 28, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Special teams then got into the act for the Westies as Bassick had trouble on the punt snap with under a minute to go in the quarter. When the snap sailed into the end zone, West Haven had a safety and a 23-0 advantage with 58 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
The Westies were not done.
With excellent field position to follow, Berrios scored his second touchdown of the evening, this time a 15-yard run with 9.6 seconds left in the first quarter for a 30-0 lead.
The West Haven defense took over from here. Senior Joe Rosemond had the next pick which allowed sophomore Troy Nelson to run in from five yards out for a 37-0 advantage in the second quarter.
Senior Demerick Blackford was next with an interception and that turnover set up sophomore Manny Haba's 8-yard touchdown run for a 44-0 lead with 1:25 remaining in the half.
Leading 44-6 after a long Bassick touchdown run, West Haven capped the scoring with 5:35 left in the third as Damian Torres scampered in from 31 yards out.
Hand thumps Westies
WH falls to 3-2 after 47-6 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(October 12, 2018) — The traffic heading into the Surf Club in Madison suggested a big contest was on the horizon. The play on the field stated otherwise.
Behind the play of the Hand offensive line, the Tigers had plenty of room to run and more time to pass. The end result was a 47-6 Hand victory over West Haven in a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision contest Friday evening.
West Haven against Hand, October 12, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The win, which came in relatively easy fashion for the Tigers, was Hand’s 16th straight since losing to Shelton in the second week of the season last year.
“One of the compliments we received last year was we got better as the season went on,” Hand coach Dave Mastroianni said. “We are just looking to do that again this year. We are looking to improve next week and every week after that.”
The Tigers, in a game many called a statement contest, showed they were ready from the start, scoring every way possible, taking a 17-0 lead after one quarter and a 40-0 advantage at the half.
Hand quarterback Phoenix Billings ran for 95 yards in the first 24 minutes and completed 9-of-11 passes for 164 yards and two touchdown passes. Billings finished the game with 205 yards in the air and 107 yards on the ground.”
“My offensive line is so good,” Billings said. “They give us room to run and time to throw. I am extremely confident playing behind our line.”
The Tigers (5-0) were so dominant in the field in the first half, the scoreboard was not the only place to justify this. Hand outgained the Westies 355-1 in what may be their most impressive half of football five games into the season.
West Haven against Hand, October 12, 2018. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I am extremely proud of how we played tonight,” Billings said. “We are just playing the teams in front of us. It is nice to beat a Tier I team like we did.”
Before the Hand offense could get going, it was the special teams which helped produce the first points of the game. After West Haven recovered a Hand fumble deep in Hand territory on the opening possession of the game, a rushed punt failed to get out of the endzone, resulting in a Hand safety and a 2-0 lead 4 minutes, 26 seconds into the contest.
“They beat us in all facets of the game, special teams, offense and defense,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “They just crushed us.”
The Hand offense then took over. Colin McCabe raced in from three yards out for a 10-0 lead 1:30 later, and Billings capped a 5-play, 70-yard drive with a 47-yard run in which he went virtually untouched for the score and a 17-0 lead with 1:32 left in the opening quarter.
“We got beat by a great Hand team,” Boshea said. “This has been a long, storied rivalry game. This year, they are a great team. My hat’s off to them.”
Jordan Berrios to Shane Clarke 5-yard touchdown pass at Hand, October 12, 2018. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
West Haven (3-2) had negative yards in the opening quarter, and only two of its nine offensive plays went for positive yardage. By the time West Haven had more than a three-play drive, Hand led by 25 points after Billings connected with Ian Butler on a 24-yard scoring strike with 1:34 gone by in the second quarter.
“West Haven always scares you with their speed,” Mastroianni said. “We did not allow them to get going. We did not allow any big plays and I think they had only one first down in the first half. We have a legacy of great defensive teams here. To play defense here, you have to be able to run.”
If there was any question, the Tigers put the game away with two more touchdowns in the final 4:49 of the opening half.
Billings hit Ethan Haberman with a 21-yard scoring strike, and McCabe capped the first half scoring with a 10-yard run with 2:13 to go.
Hand held West Haven to just one drive of more than three plays in West Haven’s first eight drives of the game, with West Haven finally scoring with 5:42 remaining in the game on a Jordan Berrios to Shane Clarke 5-yard pass.
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