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.
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)