Scores and highlights of West Hartford Youth Football championship games.
Submitted by the West Hartford Youth Football League
The West Hartford Youth Football League (WHYFL) concluded their 2016 season in championship form, securing two of the three division titles in the Nutmeg Youth Football League Sunday, Nov. 20 at Conard High School. The Park Tavern Chargers won the A Division title, while the Beachland Tavern Jets won the C Division title.
For schedules, results, and more game information, log onto www.whyfl.com.
#6 seed Park Tavern Chargers 20, #2 seed Brewer Paving Eagles 0 – Despite finishing the regular season 2-5, the Park Tavern Chargers made an unbelievable playoff run, capped by a 20-0 upset victory over the top seeded Brewer Paving Eagles Sunday afternoon, Nov. 20, at Conard High School.
On the frozen tundra of Conard High School, two classic and very gritty football teams clashed this past Sunday for the Nutmeg Youth Football League A Division championship. Faces were frozen and hands bitter cold as the wind swept across the field and early November snowflakes fell. Fans stood shoulder to shoulder to shield themselves from the elements. The opening kickoff by the Chargers’ Mateo Moran was beautifully covered up by the Eagle frontline.
Despite spectacular blocking by the Eagles offensive line, and strong running by both Robert Parrotta and Myles Sierra, the Charger defense remained stingy. As the Eagles were able to grind yard by yard, the Charger defense, led by interior linemen Mason Chabot, Mateo Moran, and Marcus Ramsey, and inside linebacker Isaac Levine, would bend but not break. The Eagles would then turn the ball over on downs on one of many fourth down stands on the afternoon. However, the stalemate continued as the Charger staff went deep into their playbook and a tough Eagle defense refused to yield.
The Charger kicking game helped force the Eagles deep into their own territory on each possession. Finally in the second quarter, Colum Flaherty broke for a long and acrobatic run off a screen pass aided by great blocking from John Schultz, Mason Chabot and Kevin Tiernan, pushing the Chargers to the Eagles five yard line. From there, hopes faded as the Eagle D held strong until Jack Kennedy found Isaac Levine on a 4th down short pass for the game’s first score. The extra point was denied and the teams entered the half with the Chargers leading 6-0.
The third quarter was marked by more tough defense by both teams. For the Chargers, Max Rodman and Brooks McConnell played tough at the corners, giving up little as the Eagles went to the air. Robert Parrotta did come up with a big reception to get the Eagles soaring but it was the defense again that stood strong – frustrating the Eagles with outside containment by Aiden Guzman, Kevin Tiernan and Chris Dowd. On change of possession, the kicking game again helped the Chargers push the Eagles deep in their own territory. Following an Eagle fumble, halfback Josiah Rivers running left caught the corner and tight-roped down the sideline for the Charger’s second score, pushing their lead to 12-0. Colum Flaherty then hauled down Kennedy’s extra point toss off a defender’s helmet giving the Chargers a 14-0 lead. A second fourth quarter score came when Kennedy, aided by perfect spiral shotgun snaps from Sean Stegmaier, found Isaac Levine on a deep route. Levine demonstrated his great basketball-like athleticism by leaping and trapping the icy ball between his fingers. The Eagles denied the extra point conversion, and the Chargers lead stood at 20-0.
Although there was no further scoring on the afternoon, fullback Kent Goener rambled up the middle as the final seconds elapsed. In the spirit of good sportsmanship both teams congratulated each other on a game well played. Also contributing, although injured, were Jack Gustafson, DJ Romano, Jaden Vasquez, Charles Dowd and Jackson McDonald. Also outstanding on defense was Alton Lee. Finally, lion hearted Jack Brown cheered for his team from afar.
The Chargers finish their 2016 season 5-5 while the Eagles finish 7-3.
Pee Wee/B Level
#1 seed Southington Panthers 45, #2 seed Farmington Blue 19 – The Southington Panthers won their eighth straight game and captured the B Division crown with a 45-19 victory over Farmington Blue Saturday, Nov. 19, at Southington Recreation Park. The #1 seed Southington Panthers finish their 2016 season 9-1 while the #2 seed Farmington Blue finishes 7-3.
Mighty Mite/C Level
#1 seed Beachland Tavern Jets 25, #3 seed Southington Lions 6 – The Beachland Tavern Jets were on a mission all season, and they concluded that mission in dramatic form, capturing the C Division championship with a 25-6 victory over the Southington Lions Sunday afternoon, Nov. 20, at Conard High School.
The Jets had prepared to take to the air for the championship game, but the weather did not cooperate – so they turned to their strong stable of backs, led by Austin Bourgoin, Isaac Ramsey, Maurice King and Anthony McKeown.
The Jets entered the game allowing a league-low 6.5 points per game, and their defense stepped up on the first defensive series, as Isaac Ramsey forced a fumble and Bourgoin recovered it on the Lions first play from scrimmage.
The Jets jumped out to a quick lead, as Isaac Ramsey scored on the Jets’ first play from scrimmage behind great perimeter blocking by Aiden Baily, Maurice “Steven” King, Ray Ray Ruiz, and Anthony McKeown. Bourgoin added the conversion on a bootleg and the Jets led 7-0.
Southington fought back on their next drive as quarterback Blake Forest was cool in the pocket and overcame several fourth downs to lead his team downfield. Fullback Jeffery Savage punched it in for the Lions and narrowed the lead to 7-6. Blocking by Dave Collado was key as he was in a heated battle with the Jets’ defensive guard Mia Ficaro all afternoon.
The Jets extended their lead to 13-6 before the half as Isaac Ramsey reached the end zone for a second time, following great lead blocking by Khalil Shazel, Mia Ficaro and Caleb Ramsey.
Special team’s kicker Peter McGoldrick was great once again, as he consistently pinned the Lions deep in their own territory.
The Jets received the second half kickoff and continued where they left off, leveraging the strong running attack of Bourgoin, Ramsey, King, and McKeown. The offensive line play of Mia Ficaro, Caleb Ramsey, Aiden Baily, Luke Boucher, Khalil Shazel, Griffen Keating and Ray Ruiz proved to be the difference on the afternoon. Isaac Ramsey took a handoff from Bourgoin off tackle left behind his lead blockers Maurice “Steven” King and McKoewn and went untouched for a long run to the Lions 5 yard line. Key blocks at the point of attack were provided by Luc Abbatemarco, and Mia Ficaro.
Ramsey tested the middle again but was met by a wall of Lions. On the next play Bourgoin faked to Ramsey up the middle and bootlegged right to follow McKeown where he found an opening and the end zone to extend the Jets lead to 19-6.
Unable to advance the ball, the Lions turned the ball over on downs early in the fourth quarter. Bourgoin set the offense in spread right, but faked left and optioned to Ramsey who ran down the left sideline for this third score of the day. The Jets missed the extra point, and the lead stood at 25-6 in the Jets’ favor.
To end the game the jets would rely on their defense which was terrific once again. Maurice King, Luke Boucher and Anthony McKeown displayed tremendous linebacker play which lead to several gang tackles. Maurice King batted down a perfectly placed pass to prevent a score. The bookends Ramsey and Bourgoin backed up by corner backs Griffin Keating, Aiden Bailey and Jordan Lawson shut down the perimeter of the field. The big story on the Jets defense was their defensive line, led by Mia Ficaro, Ashton Garcia, Ray Ray Ruiz, Khalil Shazel, Aaron Zappone, and Davih Travares. Mia Ficaro dominated the line with two sacks and multiple tackles for a loss.
The Jets finish their 2016 season 9-1 while the Lions finish 7-4.