No Looking Back
Westies looking for another shot at the postseason
By MIKE MADERA
(September 4, 2017) - It was ten wins without a loss, then just like that, the season was over. Such was the story for the 2016 West Haven football team, experiencing a gut-wrenching loss to Ridgefield in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs last year.
What was supposed to be a run to the championship turned into a long walk back to the locker room of West Haven High after the second-seeded Westies watched as seventh-seeded Ridgefield scored 21 unanswered points, including 14 in the second half, to upset the Westies in last season’s quarterfinals at Ken Strong Stadium.
Ten months have passed and time sometimes has a way of healing wounds. Whether that is the case for the 2017 Westies remains to be seen.
Rich Boshea (c.) and the entire West Haven coaching staff are ready for the 2017 season. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Sure, it is motivation,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said of last season’s early ouster. “We want to get to the playoffs this year. In all honesty, they gave me everything they had last year. We were just worn out towards the end of the season last year. It was unfortunate the way it ended. That’s the story of the league. Two years earlier, Shelton had a great team and they suffered four broken legs. We put so much emotion into Thanksgiving Day. I have no complaints. Last year, they fought and did everything we asked them to do.”
The Westies, who won the Southern Connecticut Conference Division I title last season, have plenty to look forward to, but if they are to make a run at another postseason bid, they will need big performances in key places. Replacing graduated quarterback Tim McCarthy, running back Anthony Godfrey, lineman Byron Dickens, receiver Sheilan Velazquez and kicker Jose Conde, to name a few, will be difficult.
Dickens, an All-Area and All-State selection, anchored a line which accumulated 4,092 total yards, including 3,316 on the ground. Last year’s West Haven offense rushed for 43 touchdowns.
Anthony Godfrey, another All-Area and All-State selection, rushed for 1,712 yards and 22 touchdowns, while pulling in five touchdown receptions. Godfrey finished his senior campaign with 1,945 total yards.
Leading the way for the 2017 Westies will be senior tri-captains Mekhi Geter, Kyle Godfrey, and Mike Charlton. Each will play on both sides of the ball as Geter is an offensive tackle and defensive end, Godfrey will lead the rushing attack as the featured running back, and Charlton is a fullback and linebacker.
Kyle Godfrey and the Westies will look to get back to the postseason in 2017. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I have liked the way the defense has improved,” Boshea said. “I also like the way Kyle (Godfrey) has run the ball. Chris Chance is also running well.”
Seniors Chris Chance, Jimmy Lanziero and A.J. Williams will all play key roles as well as Chance will line up at running back and linebacker, Lanziero is an offensive guard and nose guard, and Williams is an offensive tackle and defensive end.
“We need to get our offense going,” Boshea said. “We have to be able to run the ball well and play good defense. That sounds like simple terms, but that is exactly what we need to do.”
The Westies will get an added boost as they look to replace the graduated McCarthy behind center. Senior Jake Conlan returns from a stint at prep school to start as the team’s quarterback. Conlan will also replace the steady Conde as the team’s kicker.
Junior Zach Conlan will play running back and linebacker, senior Doug Johnson will be a key player at linebacker, while senior Latrell Best is a running back and safety. Senior Jordan Wetmore will wear plenty of hats as he is a wide receiver, linebacker and punter.
West Haven opens the season Friday evening at North Haven at 7 p.m.
Westies force 5 turnovers in 33-27 win over North Haven
By MIKE MADERA
(September 8, 2017) - NORTH HAVEN - West Haven coach Rich Boshea was worried about his team as the season opener approached. Facing a talented North Haven team, Boshea knew his defense would have to be the key if the Westies were going to come away with a victory.
Boshea got his wish.
Forcing five turnovers, and using four of those turnovers to lead to scores, West Haven topped North Haven 33-27 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I contest at Vanacore Field in North Haven Friday evening.
“It has been a long time since we can say the West Haven defense won us a game,” Boshea said. “We can say that tonight. Coach (Tom) Unger put together a great game plan. They (North Haven) have a very good offense. We work on a lot of turnover drills and they paid off tonight.”
The Westies forced five fumbles and also picked off a pair of North Haven passes, with Joe Steinman returning an interception 37 yards for a score, and Douglas Johnson scooping up a fumble and racing 50 yards for another score.
Joe Steinman (13) returns an interception for a touchdown against North Haven, September 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“Our defense played excellent tonight,” Kyle Godfrey said after finishing with a fumble recovery, interception, touchdown run, and two-point conversion. “We knew if we were going to win this game, we were going to have to step up our defense. We practiced that offense for three weeks. We knew if everyone read their keys, we would be okay. We did a great job of that.”
Leading 19-7 to start the third quarter, West Haven saw Godfrey strip a ball loose from North Haven, then turned the turnover into a 3-yard touchdown run by Godfrey for a 25-7 lead four minutes into the second half.
After Zack Orth scored to get the Indians within 25-13, North Haven had momentum and was driving again. Johnson turned the game around when he took advantage of a poor North Haven exchange and picked up a loose ball for a 50-yard fumble recovery and touchdown.
“You can’t make that many mistakes against a good football team like that,” North Haven coach Tony Sagnella said after his team held a 293-153 advantage in yards. “One of our goals tonight with an inexperienced team was to see them play hard all night. I thought we did that. We just made too many mistakes.”
The Indians used a 57-yard touchdown run by Mark Montano, and a 10-yard touchdown pass from Shamus Meehan to Montano in the final minute, but it was not enough.
“I thought our defense played exceptional tonight, but the score does not show that,” Sagnella said. “We can repair those mistakes.”
After a slow start to the contest, which saw the Indians score on their first possession of the game when Montano hit Korbin Pecora with a 26-yard touchdown pass, the Westies rolled off the next 19 points in the opening half.
Needing a spark, the Westies turned to some familiar faces and its defense to turn the tide of the contest. On his first carry of the game, senior Chris Chance dodged a tackle, then scampered 30 yards for the game-tying touchdown with 57 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Chris Chance scores on a 30-yard touchdown run against North Haven, September 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The West Haven defense did the rest in the next 13 minutes. The Indians, who gained 62 yards on their opening drive, were held to just 12 yards of total offense the rest of the opening half.
In the process, West Haven turned two interceptions and a fumble recovery into 12 more points and a 19-7 lead in the final five minutes of the half.
Godfrey intercepted Montano and returned the pick inside the Indians five-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Jake Conlan found Nikolas Camara for a 4-yard touchdown and a 13-7 lead on fourth down as the extra point was blocked.
“We told the kids, no matter what, we needed to come out of here 1-0,” Boshea said. “We did that. I don’t care how it was done, we were able to come out of here with the win.”
After stopping the Indians with a fumble recovery, West Haven capitalized again in the final two minutes when Steinman picked off Montano at the North Haven 37-yard line. Following his blocks, Steinman raced for the score and a 19-7 advantage with 59 seconds left in the opening half.
Chris Chance (1) 30-yard touchdown run against North Haven, September 8, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Jake Conlan 4-yard touchdown pass to Nikolas Camara against North Haven, September 8, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey 3-yard touchdown run against North Haven, September 8, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Chance, Godfrey lead Westies past Cross
By MIKE MADERA
(September 15, 2017) - NEW HAVEN - West Haven running backs Kyle Godfrey and Chris Chance never got going offensively in the season opener against North Haven last week. It took both less than a quarter to show how dynamic they can be.
Combining for six touchdowns and 331 yards on the ground, Chance and Godfrey led the Westies to a 47-20 victory over Wilbur Cross in a Southern Connecticut Conference contest at Barbarito/Marone Field at the Wilbur Cross Athletic Complex in New Haven Friday afternoon.
“We had some very good practices this week,” Chance said after rushing for 201 yards and three touchdowns. “We did not feel out offense was good last week. We had to make a statement today.”
Chris Chance (1) scores against Wilbur Cross, September 15, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the game a one-score contest entering the third quarter, West Haven pulled away with a dominant third quater, outgaining the Governors 179-20, and scoring three times in the process.
Godfrey gave the Westies a 28-14 lead when he scampered in from 43 yards out just 2 minutes, 29 seconds into the second half. Chance scored the next two touchdowns, from two yards out on fourth down, and his third of the day from 57 yards away for a 41-14 advantage with 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“Obviously, we ran better than last week,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “Last week, our offense did not do what it wanted to do. We have to continue to work to get better offensively. Cross is a good team. They have some great players. We played well.”
The first half saw 308 total yards of offense, with the Westies using a late score to take a 21-14 advantage. West Haven finished with a 466-201 advantage in yards in the game.
The game was even at 14 after Sal Barnabei hit Kwane Taylor with a 5-yard scoring pass with 1:06 to go in the half for the Governors. Cross, which used 16 plays and took 8:08 off the clock on the drive, looked as if it would go to the half on a high note.
Instead, West Haven (2-0), which had run just three offensive plays in the second quarter to that point, needed just four more to take the lead with four seconds to go in the second quarter.
The big play came with eight seconds to go as Chance hit Jordan Wetmore in stride for a 49-yard halfback option pass to the Cross 1-yard line. Zach Conlan ran in on the next play to put the Westies ahead at the half.
Kyle Godfrey (7) against Wilbur Cross, September 15, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“That was a momentum changer,” Cross coach John Acquavita said. “We don’t have the bodies to sustain playing both ways against a school like that. They are tough. Our guys didn’t come off the field and they were able to wear us down. We were able to stay with them until the third quarter. After that, you can tell we were gassed.”
The game had all the makings of a high-scoring affair as 21 points were scored just 6:20 into the game. West Haven, which had 185 yards of offense in the opening half, opened the scoring five plays into the contest when Chance, (56 yards on the initial drive), scored from 3 yards out.
West Haven missed the extra point and Cross (1-1) took the lead on its first offensive play from scimmage as Jasiah Barnes raced around the edge and scored from 80 yards out for a 7-6 Cross advantage.
The Westies responded 10 plays later to cap a 62-yard drive when Godfrey ran in fom one yard out, then Conlan ran in the conversion for a 14-7 advantage. The Westies ran for 136 yards in the opening half, including 86 by Chance.
“That pass play before the half was huge,” Boshea said. “Chris Chance made a great throw to Jordan Wetmore and he made a good catch. We needed a lift before the half and we were able to get it. After that, I think we were able to wear them down in the second half.”
West Haven did a good job on Barnes, limiting him to just 27 yards on the ground after his long touchdown to start the game for the Governors. Barnes finished with 107 yards on 14 carries. Barnabei passed for 127 yards and two scores in the loss for Wilbur Cross.
Chris Chance 3-yard touchdown run against Wilbur Cross, September 15, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey 1 -yard touchdown run against Wilbur Cross, September 15, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Zach Conlan 1-yard touchdown run against Wilbur Cross, September 15, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Chris Chance 2-yard touchdown run against Wilbur Cross, September 15, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Green with Envy
Chance, Godfrey lead Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(September 22, 2017) - The West Haven football team knew the traps of playing a winless Notre Dame team Friday evening. With the Green Knights entering the annual city game with no wins in their first two games, this game had all the markings of Notre Dame coming in desperate to win.
West Haven took notice, jumped out to an early lead, and never look back in a 34–14 win at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Friday evening to capture the annual Soderman Bowl.
West Haven celebrates its win against Notre Dame, September 22, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The duo of Kyle Godfrey and Chris Chance was at it again as each scored twice in the contest, with Godfrey using an early touchdown run then a key kickoff return for a touchdown to swing the momentum to West Haven's favor.
Chance again was equally impressive as he scored on a pair of 65-yard touchdown runs, the first giving West Haven a 14–0 lead, and the second putting the game out of reach in the third quarter, with West Haven up 28-7.
Zach Conlan scored late in the contest as West Haven improved 3–0 on the season.
Godfrey got things going for West Haven when he scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with four minutes, 23 seconds left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. The lead remained at seven until the second quarter when Chance scored on the first of his 65 yard touchdown runs just 1:51 into the quarter.
Kye Godfrey (7) and Chris Chance (1) each scored twice against Notre Dame, September 22, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Notre Dame made it a close game with 2:54 left in the first half when Chris Elias hooked up with Justin Shanley on a 37-yard touchdown pass to get the Green Knights within 14-7.
Any momentum Notre Dame had would end just 16 seconds later when Godfrey returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a score and a 20-7 West Haven lead at the half.
The Westies put the game out of reach early in the third quarter when Chance ran in from 65 yards out again for a 28-7 lead after Conlan's run on the two point conversion.
Notre Dame got within 28-14 late in the third quarter, but Conlan put the game out of reach with a 13-yard touchdown run with 6:28 left in the game.
Westies pound Bassick
By MIKE MADERA
(September 29, 2017) - The West Haven football team was looking to avoid a letdown before its big contest with Cheshire next week. Latrell Best made sure that never happened.
Best recovered a fumble on the game’s first play and returned it for a touchdown just 16 seconds in, giving West Haven the lead it never relinquished in a 48-0 win over Bassick Friday evening at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven.
With the win, West Haven improved to 4-0, setting up Friday night’s showdown in Cheshire against the Rams.
The West Haven defense was solid against Bassick, September 29, 2017. Photo courtesy Mike Madera.
Best’s touchdown held up for the first quarter, before West Haven got going with three more touchdowns in the second quarter for a 29–0 lead at the half.
Tyquan King gave West Haven a 15–0 lead when he scored on a 34-yard touchdown run, coupled with a run on the conversion by Jordan Berrios just 47 seconds into the second quarter.
Leading 22-0, Jake Conlan found Zach Conlan for a 26-yard touchdown pass and a 29–0 lead.
West Haven celebrates a touchdown against Bassick, September 29, 2017. Photo courtesy Mike Madera.
Chris Chance ran in from one yard out just two minutes, 46 seconds into the third quarter for a 36-0 lead, Demerick Blackford ran in from 49 yards out early in the fourth quarter for a 42–0 lead.
Westies blank Cheshire
Balanced attack keys 27-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
(October 6, 2017) - It has been quite some time since the West Haven football team can say it has a defense which can decide games. That wait is now over.
Behind two interceptions from Kyle Godfrey, and a fumble recovery and interception by Jordan Wetmore, West Haven blanked Cheshire 27-0 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I contest at the Maclary Complex in Cheshire Friday evening.
“We keep hearing our defensive backs are inexperienced,” West Haven’s Zach Conlan said. “We are out to prove people wrong.”
Jordan Wetmore (6) had an interception and fumble recovery against Cheshire, October 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
If the West Haven defense was not enough, the offense of West Haven just wore down the Rams. West Haven had three different runners gain over 100 yards and the Westies outgained Cheshire 435-147 in the contest.
“We are getting better on offense all the time,’ West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “We were able to run the ball against a very good defensive team. We broke a big one from the endzone and I think that was a big turning point of the game.”
The Westies dominated time of possession and yardage (195-51) in the opening half, but could only take a 7-0 lead to the half.
That touchdown came on a drive of 99 yards in 12 plays. Conlan had the biggest run of the drive as he raced 59 yards on third-and-6 to the Cheshire 36. After a 28-yard run by Latrell Best, Jake Conlan pushed his way in from one yard out with 1 minute,17 seconds left in the opening half for a 7-0 lead.
“This was a big game for us,” Godfrey said after rushing for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. “A lot of people are doubting us. We know what we have to do. It all started with a great week of practice.”
Kyle Godfrey (7) scores against Cheshire, October 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven (5-0), which has won 15 consecutive regular season games over the last two seasons, had another opportunity to extend the lead as Godfrey picked off a Will Graikoski pass at the West Haven 33, and returned the pick to the Rams’ 14 with six seconds left in the half. Jake Conlan then hit Godfrey with a swing pass, but the Cheshire defense stopped Godfrey at the two-yard line as time expired.
The Rams (3-2) only ran 20 plays in the opening half, and had the ball for just 3:12 of the first quarter.
“Our defense was on the field a long time tonight,” Cheshire coach Don Drust said. “When you make big plays, you have to capitalize. We did not do that. At the end of the day, I think we played hard, but West Haven just made the big plays and we didn’t.”
Jake Conlan (2) scores from one yard out against Cheshire, October 6, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
After a third quarter which saw West Haven take a 15-0 lead on a 23-yard run by Godfrey and a Chris Chance to Wetmore conversion with 7:19 to go, the Westies continued to make a stand.
West Haven held Cheshire to just 22 yards of total offense in the quarter, and Cheshire could not capitalize on a West Haven turnover as Godfrey picked off his second pass of the game. Ten plays and 57 yards later, West Haven led 21-0 lead as Godfrey scored on a 15-yard run with 6:26 to go.
Kyle Godfrey (7) scores from one yard out against Cheshire, October 6, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
“I kept telling our guys all week, if we kept our alignments and our assignments, we would win the game,” Boshea said. “Coach (Tom) Unger and Coach (Mark) Ecke put a great game plan in place and we followed it. We were able to stop what they were trying to do.”
After Wetmore recorded West Haven’s third interception, the Westies capped the game two plays later when Chance raced in from 65 yards out with 2:27 left in the game.
Chance finished the game with 164 yards rushing on 20 carries, while Zach Conlan ran for 117 yards on 15 carries.
Graikoski finished 16-of-33 for 106 yards with three interceptions for the Rams.
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Westies roll past NFA
Zach Conlan leads the way in 42-19 win
By MIKE MADERA
(October 14, 2017) - WEST HAVEN - The balance of the West Haven football team has been evident from the start of the season. Each week has been someone different as the Westies have found a variety of ways to an undefeated start.
Zach Conlan was the next man up Saturday evening as the Westies defeated Norwich Free Academy 42-19 in a non-conference game at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven.
Conlan scored twice on offense, made several big tackles on defense, and capped his stellar performance with an interception to set up a score as the Westies improved to 6-0 with the win.
“Zach (Conlan) is a little overshadowed by the other two right now,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “He is a very good running back. Kyle (Godfrey) and Chris (Chance) are good, but by no means is Zach the third option. He’s a tough, hard-nosed kid who doesn’t care if he gets the ball or not. He plays hard on both sides of the ball.”
The Westies, who gained 521 yards of offense in the game, were in control from the start and were rewarded in the second half when Shane Clarke blocked a Norwich Free Academy punt, scooped up the ball at the 4-yard line, and ran in for the score and a 42-7 West Haven lead. The touchdown with 2 minutes, 55 seconds gone by in the second half gave the Westies a 35-point lead, setting up a running clock until 4:19 remained in the game.
Shane Clarke (15) blocks a punt and recovers for a touchdown against Norwich Free Academy, October 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
In what was expected to be a battle of West Haven’s talented running game against a high-octane passing attack of Norwich Free Academy, the Westies set the tone in the first half, accumulating 372 yards of offense alone in the first 24 minutes.
While the Wildcats had 202 yards of their own in the opening half, the Westies took control by scoring on all but one possession in the opening half.
Conlan was the difference-maker in the opening half as he ran for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and also intercepted a pass by Norwich Free Academy’s Shea McManaway.
“I just keep using all the criticism to keep me going,” Conlan said. “I come out here and do exactly what I do. This feels great. It feels great to be with all my friends.”
Conlan gave the Westies a 7-0 lead with a 48-yard touchdown run on West Haven’s second offensive play of the game, then helped the Westies increase the lead to 15-0 with a 60-yard touchdown run with 5:51 to go in the opening quarter.
Jordan Wetmore (6) scores against Norwich Free Academy, October 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After Conlan intercepted a McManaway pass and returned the pick to the Wildcats’ 34, Chris Chance ran in from four yards out six plays later for a 22-0 lead with 47 seconds to go in the opening quarter.
“I am just focused,” Conlan said. “I just have tunnel vision the entire time. We are trying to go all the way.”
The Wildcats (2-3) finally got on the scoreboard with 1:08 gone by in the second quarter as a 7-play, 60-yard drive was capped with a McManaway to Kevin Pomroy 17-yard scoring strike.
“They all are playing well,” Boshea said. “We have a good secondary. They all know their coverages. All the guys know where they are supposed to be. We work hard on studying film with the kids. They’re put in the right spot and they stay in the right spot and make the plays when we need them.”
West Haven, which scored on five of its six first half possessions, took a 29-7 lead when Kyle Godfrey raced in from 78 yards out on third down with 2:43 left in the first half. The Westies recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Chance hit Jordan Wetmore with a 12-yard scoring strike with 1:31 to go in the half for a 36-7 West Haven lead.
Zach Conlan (4) 48-yard touchdown run against Norwich Free Academy, October 14, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Zach Conlan (4) 60-yard touchdown run against Norwich Free Academy, October 14, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Chris Chance (1) 4-yard touchdown run against Norwich Free Academy, October 14, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
The Wildcats, who amassed 359 yards of offense in the loss, got on the board late in the game when McManaway hit Nolan Molkenthin with a 24-yard scoring strike with 4:19 left in the game.
Conlan finished with 163 yards rushing, while Godfrey ran for 105 yards. McManaway was 19-of-32 for 267 yards in the loss for the Wildcats.
Westies fall to Gaels
Shelton blanks WH in second half of 38-28 win
By MIKE MADERA
(October 27, 2017) - WEST HAVEN - The West Haven football team had two to recover from various injuries and to prepare for a surging Shelton team. In a battle of top ten teams, the Westies took the lead early, but could not maintain in the second half.
Outscored and blanked in the final 24 minutes, the third-ranked Westies fell to No. 10 Shelton 38-28 at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Friday evening, falling to 6-1 on the season.
Read the article from Sean Patrick Bowley and GameTimeCT here
Zach Conlan (4) and the Westies fell against Shelton, October 27, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies fell against Shelton, October 27, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Zach Conlan (4) 23-yard touchdown run against Shelton, October 27, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey (7) 11-yard touchdown run against Shelton, October 27, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey (7) 1-yard touchdown run against Shelton, October 27, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Westies to Hillhouse to move to 7-1
By MIKE MADERA
(November 3, 2017) - The West Haven football team was coming off as tough a defeat as it has suffered in the regular season over the last two seasons. Friday night was a must-win contest, not only for the mind set of the team, but also to keep its state title hopes alive.
West Haven was able to get back on track, posting a 29-15 victory over Hillhouse Friday evening at Bowen Field in New Haven.
Read the article from Dave Phillips and GameTimeCT here
Jordan Wetmore (6) and Latrell Best (3) make the tackle against Hillhouse, November 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The West Haven defense makes the play against Hillhouse, November 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Running to the Postseason
Westies top Xavier 45-7
By MIKE MADERA
(November 10, 2017) - WEST HAVEN - Chris Chance and the West Haven football team are well aware of what is at stake over the last two regular season games. The Westies were looking to clinch a bid in the postseason before its showdown at Fairfield Prep Thanksgiving morning. Chance, who is recovering from an ankle injury, made sure that happened. Rushing for 190 yards, including 174 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone, Chance led the Westies to a 45-7 victory over Xavier in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division I contest at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Friday evening.
With the victory, West Haven inched closer to the postseason, entering the Thanksgiving Day showdown in Fairfield.
Chris Chance and the Westies topped Xavier 45-7, November 10, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I thought we played a good game,” Chance said. “We needed this win. The offensive line blocked great. They did a great job for us. I am just getting back (ankle injury). It feels great. We have two weeks to get ready for Fairfield Prep."
West Haven dominated on the ground, scoring all seven of its touchdowns by way of the running game. Along with Chance’s three scores, Kyle Godfrey and Zach Conlan each also ran for a pair of scores. “You see what a difference a healthy Chris Chance makes,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “We are not making any excuses with the way we have played. But, he is a terrific player. He adds to our offense.”
The Westies (8-1), who forced three turnovers in the contest, set the tone of the game right from the start as Douglas Johnson recovered a fumble by the Falcons on the initial drive of the game. Just two plays later, Chance scored the first of his three first half touchdowns from 28 yards out, giving West Haven an 8-0 lead after Chance hit Conlan on the conversion attempt 2 minutes, 23 seconds into the contest.
Latrell Best (3) and the Westies topped Xavier 45-7, November 10, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After Xavier was stopped on fourth down at the West Haven 11 on its next drive, Chance raced around the edge for an 83-yard score and a 15-0 lead with 2:46 left in the opening quarter.
“Our defense played great tonight,” Boshea said. “(Coach) Mark Manes did a great job with the defense tonight.”
Xavier, which continued its pattern of alternating wins and losses this season, saw Tyrone Abrahams run for 97 yards in the first half, but another promising drive by the Falcons ended with a sack of quarterback Will Levis at the West Haven 41. Six plays later, Chance ran in from 31 yards out for a 21-0 advantage 2:59 into the second quarter.
Xavier (4-5) finally finished a drive with 8 minutes left in the first half as Abrahams ran for 36 yards, and the Falcons were aided by a pass interference penalty on West Haven. Abrahams capped the drive when he ran in from 12 yards out to get the Falcons within 21-7.
Any momentum the Falcons had disappeared when West Haven took 7:51 off the clock, using 16 plays to travel 77 yards. Godfrey ran for 85 yards in the game and capped a dominant first half in which West Haven held a 276-157 yard advantage, with a 1-yard plunge with nine seconds left in the half for a 27-7 West Haven lead.
“They are an outstanding team,” Xavier coach Andy Guyon said. “Their record is not indicative of how good they are. Their backs are outstanding and their offensive line does what it is supposed to do. They do their jobs well. They are a well-coached team.”
West Haven, which gained 412 yards in the game, never let off the gas in the second half, using a pair of Conlan touchdown runs to take a 45-7 lead. Conlan, who ran in from 13 and 29 yards to start the third quarter scoring, finished with 108 yards on nine carries in the game.
Chris Chance (1) 28-yard touchdown run against Xavier, November 10, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Chris Chance (1) 31-yard touchdown run against Xavier, November 10, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Kyle Godfrey (7) 1-yard touchdown run against Xavier, November 10, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Levis finished 6-of-14 for 79 yards and two interceptions in the loss for Xavier. Abrahams ran for 129 yards on 26 carries.
Prep dumps Westies
Loss sends WH to Shelton for state quarterfinals
By MIKE MADERA
(November 23, 2017) - Just one month ago, everything seemed to be headed in the right direction for the West Haven football. team as it had started the season with an undefeated record. Then came the Shelton Gaels and their powerful offense.
A victory by the visiting Gaels sent the Westies back to work with the hopes they would somehow get a chance to avenge the loss. That chance has come.
With a loss to Fairfield Prep in Fairfield on Thanksgiving morning, the Westies fell to the seventh seed in Class LL and will travel to play second-seeded Shelton Tuesday evening at Finn Stadium for the right to advance to the state semifinals.
For the Westies, the shot at redemption comes a little quicker than they would have liked as a win over the Jesuits just about assured the Westies a home sport for the quarterfinals.
When Kyle Godfrey capped a smooth flowing opening drive with a touchdown, all looked well for the Westies. That was not the case.
Read about West Haven loss to Fairfield Prep at GameTimeCT.
Chris Chance (1) and the Westies fell to Fairfield Prep, November 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Latrell Best (3) and the Westies fell to Fairfield Prep, November 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Kyle Godfrey scores from 1 yard out against Fairfield Prep, November 23, 2017. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Westies pummel Gaels
WH posts 46-7 win in state quarterfinals
By MIKE MADERA
(November 28, 2017) - It has been nearly a month to the day since the West Haven football team felt it let a game get away against Shelton. The Westies waited for the right time to get that game back.
Scoring 46 unanswered points and riding a stellar defensive effort, the seventh-seeded Westies defeated No. 2 Shelton 46-7 in the Class LL quarterfinals at Finn Stadium in Shelton Tuesday evening.
West Haven head coach Rich Boshea gets water bucket dumped on him following team's win against Shelton, November 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the win, West Haven (9-2) travels to play third-seeded Darien in the Class LL semifinals Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in Darien.
Kyle Godfrey (7) runs 98 yards for a score against Shelton, November 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Read about the West Haven victory over Shelton at GameTimeCT here.
Westies fall to Darien
Deep run ends in semifinals
By MIKE MADERA
(December 3, 2017) - Looking to advance to its first state championship game since 2003 and win its first title since 2002, the West Haven football team knew it was going to be a tough chore.
Not only would the Westies have to knock off second-seeded Shelton in the quarterfinals on the road, they would have to travel to play perennial power and third-seeded Darien on Sunday.
Kyle Godfrey (7) scores against Darien, December 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
While the Westies hung around to the end, they did not have enough in a 27-13 Class LL semifinal loss at Darien. With the loss, West Haven ends its season at 9-3.
Doug Johnson (44) makes a tackle against Darien, December 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Read about the semifinal loss at GameTimeCT here.