Rolling Right Along

Hand dom­i­nates en route to 16th con­sec­u­tive vic­tory

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - SPORTS - By Mike Madera

MADI­SON — The traf­fic head­ing into the Surf Club in Madi­son sug­gested a big con­test was on the hori­zon. The play on the field stated oth­er­wise.

Be­hind the play of the Hand of­fen­sive line, the Tigers had plenty of room to run and more time to pass. The end re­sult was a 47-6 Hand vic­tory over West Haven in a South­ern Con­necti­cut Con­fer­ence in­ter­di­vi­sion con­test Fri­day evening.

The win, which came in rel­a­tively easy fash­ion for the Tigers, was Hand’s 16th straight since los­ing to Shel­ton in the sec­ond week of the sea­son last year.

“One of the com­pli­ments we re­ceived last year was we got bet­ter as the sea­son went on,” Hand coach Dave Mas­troianni said. “We are just look­ing to do that again this year. We are look­ing to im­prove next week and ev­ery week af­ter that.”

The Tigers, in a game many called a state­ment con­test, showed they were

ready from the start, scor­ing ev­ery way pos­si­ble, tak­ing a 17-0 lead af­ter one quar­ter and a 40-0 ad­van­tage at the half.

Hand quar­ter­back Phoenix Billings ran for 95 yards in the first 24 min­utes and com­pleted 9-of-11 passes for 164 yards and two touch­down passes. Billings fin­ished the game with 205 yards in the air and 107 yards on the ground.”

“My of­fen­sive line is so good,” Billings said. “They give us room to run and time to throw. I am ex­tremely con­fi­dent play­ing be­hind our line.”

The Tigers (5-0) were so dom­i­nant in the field in the first half, the score­baord was not the only place to jus­tify this. Hand out­gained the Westies 355-1 in what may be their most im­pres­sive half of foot­ball five games into the sea­son.

“I am ex­tremely proud of how we played tonight,” Billings said. “We are just play­ing the teams in front of us. It is nice to beat a

Tier I team like we did.”

Be­fore the Hand of­fense could get go­ing, it was the spe­cial teams which helped pro­duce the first points of the game. Af­ter West Haven re­cov­ered a Hand fum­ble deep in Hand ter­ri­tory on the open­ing pos­ses­sion of the game, a rushed punt failed to get out of the end­zone, re­sult­ing in a Hand safety and a 2-0 lead 4 min­utes, 26 sec­onds into the con­test.

“They beat us in all facets of the game, spe­cial teams, of­fense and de­fense,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “They just crushed us.”

The Hand of­fense then took over. Colin Mc­Cabe

raced in from three yards out for a 10-0 lead 1:30 later, and Billings capped a 5play, 70-yard drive with a 47-yard run in which he went vir­tu­ally un­touched for the score and a 17-0 lead with 1:32 left in the open­ing quar­ter.

“We got beat by a great Hand team,” Boshea said. “This has been a long, sto­ried ri­valry game. This year, they are a great team. My hat’s off to them.”

West Haven (3-2) had neg­a­tive yards in the open­ing quar­ter, and only two of its nine of­fen­sive plays went for positve yardage. By the time West Haven had more than a three-play drive, Hand led by 25 points af­ter Billings con­nected with Ian But­ler on a 24yard scor­ing strike with

1:34 gone by in the sec­ond quar­ter.

“West Haven al­ways scares you with their speed,” Mas­troianni said. “We did not al­low them to get go­ing. We did not al­low any big plays and I think they had only one first down in the first half. We have a legacy of great de­fen­sive teams here. To play de­fense here, you have to be able to run.”

If there was any ques­tion, the Tigers put the game away with two more touch­downs in the fi­nal

4:49 of the open­ing half.

Billings hit Ethan Haber­man with a 21-yard scor­ing strike, and Mc­Cabe capped the first half scor­ing with a 10-yard run with 2:13 to go.

Hand held West Haven to just one drive of more than three plays in West Haven’s first eight drives of the game, with West Haven fi­nally scor­ing with 5:42 re­main­ing in the game on a Jor­dan Ber­rios to Shane Clarke 5-yard pass.

John Vana­core / For Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Hand’s Ju­lian Ban­erji goes high to try and block a pass by West Haven’s Jor­dan Ber­rios on Fri­day at the Surf Club in Madi­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.