North Haven grinds past Brook­field

Bob­cats handed their first loss

The News-Times - - SPORTS - By Scott Eric­son

BROOK­FIELD — North Haven is used to watch­ing teams try to de­fend its run-heavy ap­proach, what it is not used to is hav­ing to de­fend it them­selves.

That is ex­actly the spot the Indians found them­selves in Fri­day night com­ing to Brook­field to take on a team with a sim­i­lar run-first of­fense.

Com­ing into the game, the two teams com­bined for 344 rush­ing at­tempts and just 30 pass­ing at­tempts.

What­ever you call it, ground and pound, smash-mouth, old-school,

4-yards and a cloud of dust, foot­ball was the name of the game and it was North

Haven com­ing out of the scrum with a 17-7 win on the road in a SCC-SWC cross­over game.

The win moves North

Haven to 5-0 while giv­ing Brook­field its first loss, drop­ping them to

4-1.

North Haven coach An­thony Sag­nella said his team is used to be­ing the ones pound­ing teams with the, run but de­fend­ing it pre­sented all new chal­lenges.

“It was a chal­lenge be­cause you get used to de­fend­ing spread teams and teams that don’t want to punch you in the mouth. It was as much of a chal­lenge for us to pre­pare for them as it was for them to pre­pare for us,” Sag­nella said. “In the sec­ond half, we had to make a cou­ple block­ing ad­just­ments, and we did. Then we had to block them. They were well pre­pared for us and tonight was a bat­tle. A line-of-scrim­mage tug-of-war and we won it in the end.”

Af­ter a score­less first quar­ter, Brook­field would be the first to break through.

Tak­ing over near mid­field af­ter a muffed punt by North Haven, Brook­field would get in the end zone on a 5-yard run by Nick Hen­der­son and would go into the break up 7-0.

In the sec­ond half, ad­just­ments to block­ing schemes on the of­fen­sive line pro­pelled the Indians to a touch­down on the open­ing drive of the sec­ond half. Nick Dodge fin­ished the drive off with a 28-yard touch­down run, ty­ing the game.

Brook­field knew at some point, North Haven would start shift­ing line­men, but stop­ping it was an­other story.

“Our de­fense played a very good first half. Some of their shift­ing and

run­ning to their bench worked in the sec­ond half. We stopped them, but we didn’t stop them as many times as we would like to,” Brook­field coach Rich An­garano said. “We had a big turnover down deep which could have made a dif­fer­ence in the game and of­fen­sively, we were 0-9 on third down con­ver­sions. That says it all on the game.”

The big fum­ble for Brook­field came with them driv­ing late in the third quar­ter turn­ing the ball over to North Haven in­side the 10-yard line.

North Haven would fi­nally take the lead with 6:25 left to play in the game when Dodge pushed his way in from 2-yards out, putting the Indians up 14-7.

North Haven would add a 38-yard field goal by Chase DiCarlo with a minute to play for the fi­nal mar­gin.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Nick Dodge, North Haven. Dodge ran hard all game, find­ing the end zone twice.

QUOTABLE

“We knew we were both hard run­ning teams and we pride our­selves on tough­ness. We both played hard but we came out on top,” Dodge said. “We changed our block­ing scheme a lit­tle bit (in the sec­ond half) and made ad­just­ments to what they were do­ing on de­fense. We knew we were go­ing to have to have long drives. 13-14 play drives that chew up clock and it worked out for us.”

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Brook­field’s Jack Mix (18) is caught by North Haven’s Al­bert Hooks (2) as he goes around the cor­ner Fri­day night at Brook­field High School.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Brook­field’s Nick Hen­der­son is bought down by North Haven’s Al­bert Hooks (top) and De­van Brock­amer (32) in North Haven’s 17-7 vic­tory Fri­day night at Brook­field High.

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