By Connor Fortier
West Haven High’s Tim McCarthy hurried his offensive line to the ball and was ready to take the snap when all of a sudden everything went black. It didn’t go black for just McCarthy, it went black for the entire stadium.
A blackout of Jim Bruno Field at Hamden High School occurred 5:16 into the first quarter in the game between the Hamden Green Dragons (1-7) and the West Haven Blue Devils (6-2).
“I just told them to stay focused, we were hoping the lights would come back on so I told them to keep loose and stretch out,” said Hamden head coach Tom Dowty.
But, the unexpected break did not slow down the Blue Devils’ offense as four plays later, Anthony Godfrey ran it in two yards to cap a 17-play, eight-minute drive – that actually lasted 25 minutes due to the delay -- to put the Blue Devils up 7-0.
After waiting on the sidelines for close to 20 minutes, the Green Dragons offense took the field.
On the second play of the drive, junior quarterback Stanley Arrington, Jr. bobbled the snap and tried handing it off to running back Angelo Dimonaco, but was forced to keep the ball himself. Arrington stuck with the broken play and reversed directions on West Haven, running the ball 54 yards to the end zone.
“After losing the snap, he had to pull it down and take it himself and luckily we were able to get some blockers up field and he took advantage of it,” Dowty said.
After a missed extra point, the score was 7-6 and the Green Dragons were in a good position heading into the second quarter against the sixth-ranked team in the state.
That good positioning did not last long. (I got rid of the “in the second quarter” because – let’s face it, they never got back in a good position.)
West Haven scored 29 straight points in the second quarter and went into the half holding the Green Dragons to just 99 yards on offense. They led 36-6.
The biggest part of the Blue Devils success in the first half was their running game, -- more specifically -- the runs to the outside.
“In practice, we were taught to come hard on the ball on those sweeps and come up field but we weren’t where we were supposed to be and we were undisciplined,” said senior captain Kwadir Delgado-Mcintyre.
In the second half, the Green Dragons found themselves with a different problem against the Blue Devils and, this time, it was through the air.
McCarthy opened the second half with a commanding drive down the field going 3-for-3 for 49 yards and a touchdown to put the Blue Devils up 43-6 after an extra point.
The prolific offense came as no surprise to the Green Dragons.
“They’ve been running the same offense for the past 30 years… they work on it a lot and they are very crisp at it,” Dowty said.
After the opening touchdown neither team found the end zone again and the final was 43-6.
Despite the loss, Delgado-Mcintyre knows how to keep his teams’ heads high.
“It’s hard, but we need to find something to play for and keep going. We have to stay motivated,” he said.
Co-captain Angelo Dimonaco wants his team to focus on one thing after the loss.
“Do your job. If people keep to their assignments and do what they’re supposed to do, we will be fine,” he said.
It is not lights-out yet on the Green Dragons season as they travel to Shelton next week to take on the top-ranked team in the state.
By Austin Bruno
The West Haven High School Blue Devils scorched the Hamden Green Dragons in Hamden Friday night in a 43-6 offensive onslaught.
Before the 7 p.m. game could start, the lights went out and the field went dark. A mistake in the lights’ timer disabled them three hours early at 7:15, Hamden athletic director Tom Dyer said.
Head coach Todd Dowty said that the blackout didn’t shock his Green Dragons (1-7).
“We had trouble with the lights here the past two years… It wasn’t a total surprise, and the kids just went with it,” he said.
However, what the Blue Devils did after the delay may have been a little shocking.
Even the marching band, cheerleaders and fans of the visiting West Haven (7-2) squad dwarfed the Hamden crowd by nearly outnumbering the home team’s attendees.
West Haven running back Anthony Godfrey scored his first of four touchdowns of the night in a drive lasting nearly eight minutes toward the end of the first quarter.
Upon gaining possession, a resilient Hamden immediately retaliated with a 46 yard-run that brought them right up to the goal line, scoring the next play.
Those six points were the only ones Hamden scored Friday night.
During the point-after attempt, Angelo Dimonaco received a botched snap that never made it to the kicker’s foot. This misfortune was a portent of Hamden's efforts for the night.
In spite of this, “Nothing surprised us… we prepped our team accordingly, and they just got the better of us,” Dowty said.
West Haven quarterback Tim McCarthy was on his mark. By the end of the first half, he had completed 88 percent of his throws. He helped set the pace for the Blue Devils’ smooth victory.
Early in the second quarter, Godfrey received five straight carries for yardages that led another six points for West Haven.
After a turnover on downs, West Haven capitalized where Hamden didn’t. This time, McCarthy passed instead of Godfrey carrying, a 37-yard long endeavor. The Blue Devils led 21-6 after the extra point.
Godfrey passed the scoring duties to Chris Chance for a 43-yard rushing touchdown. Godfrey punched in the two-point conversion, piling the rubble onto a disheartened Hamden team before the first half had even ended.
One of several Hamden fumbles set Godfrey up for yet another scoring success.
The annihilation lessened as the fourth quarter began, with West Haven leaving the damage at 43-6.
The immediate response from the Green Dragons was to identify a moral cause of the loss.
“Discipline’s our key factor. We let it slip away when they scored. That’s our problem…. It’s all discipline. It’s not talent,” senior co-captain Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre said after the game.
Another co-captain stressed the need keep spirits high in the face of adversity.
“It’s kind of hard to come every day motivated when you walk into practice at 1-7… you need to make sure everyone’s up and the energy’s up,” Angelo Dimonaco said.
Optimistic outlook aside, there was an inability to keep their momentum going past the first quarter.
“We need to maintain our focus throughout the whole game. I think we started the game off really well. We were moving the ball, we were driving it, and we were in pretty good shape,” Dowty said.
Hamden faces an undefeated Shelton team next Friday for their penultimate game of the season.
By Alec Turner
HAMDEN - The three-headed rushing attack of West Haven High’s Chris Chance, Jakai Manning and Anthony Godfrey was too much for the Hamden Green Dragons Friday night, as the Blue Devils won 43-6.
Hamden (1-7, 0-3 in Southern Connecticut Conference) allowed over 250 yards on the ground to the high-powered attack of West Haven (6-2, 4-1 in SCC).
Hamden’s head coach Tom Dowty believes that the Green Dragons need to work on their performance for the full four quarters.
“I think we need to realize we need to maintain our focus the entire game,” Dowty said. “At the beginning we were playing real well, we just lost that focus.”
Hamden’s senior captain Kwadir Delgado-McIntyre agreed with coach about the team’s consistency.
“We need to keep our discipline, we play good in the first five minutes then just lose it,” Delgado-McIntyre said. “It’s the discipline, not a lack of talent.”
After a stop on defense to start the game, West Haven went to its ground impound and marched the field on a 17-play, 70-yard drive that lasted almost eight minutes. Godfrey capped off the drive with a 2-yard jet sweep on fourth-and-goal for a touchdown.
In the middle of the drive, a 17-minute blackout interrupted the game. With 5:16 left in the first quarter, all the lights at the new Joseph Bruno Field went out.
According to Hamden athletic director Tom Dyer, the lights went out due to a malfunction in the lights' automatic timer.
For the players, they were just trying to stay active.
“I just started jogging and dancing around to keep my energy up,” Delgado-McIntyre said.
Hamden came immediately back on the next drive to score on the second play of the drive on a 54-yard run by junior quarterback Stanley Arrington, Jr. After a muffed snap, Arrington rolled left to break two tackles to bring it to the end zone.
After the Arrington touchdown, it was all Blue Devils from there.
Chance started the next drive with a 35-yard run and Godfrey scored his second touchdown of the night. After three more scores, including two from Godfrey, the Blue Devils went into the half with a 36-6 lead.
Dowty was not surprised with the performance, or style of West Haven’s offense, it was just a lack of execution on the defensive side of the ball by Hamden, he said.
“You know what you’re getting with West Haven because they run the same offense every year,” Dowty said. “They work hard at our offense and they are crisp at it.”
The Blue Devils defense, led by junior defensive tackle Byron Dickens, held the Green Dragons to just 99 total yard on offense in the first half. Senior captain running back Angelo Dimonaco could only produce one yard on six rushes in the first 24 minutes of play.
The final score of the game came on the first drive of the half for West Haven. Quarterback Tim McCarthy went 3-for-3 with 49 yards on the drive which was capped off by 14-yard touchdown reception by Sheilan Velazquez.
The senior leaders of the team will look to keep the team up after another difficult loss for the struggling Green Dragons.
“We’re going to find ways to stay motivated and keep working hard,” Delgado-McIntrye said. “It’s football.”
With two games left in the regular season, the Green Dragons travel to Shelton next week to face the undefeated Gaels before their annual Green Bowl against Notre Dame High School on Thanksgiving.
Students in Quinnipiac University's JRN361: Sports Reporting course cover local high school sports competitions. Their work is showcased here.
Banner photo courtesy
Dana Jensen/The Day (2003)