BLOOMFIELD vs. HADDAM-KILLING­WORTH

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - SPORTS -

WHERE/WHEN: Vet­er­ans Sta­dium, New Bri­tain, 10 a.m. TICK­ETS: $10 ev­ery­one ON THE AIR/WEB: NFHS Net­work (Sub­scrip­tion re­quired) SEEDS/RECORDS: No. 7 Haddam-Killing­worth 11-1; No. 4 Bloomfield 11-1

COACHES: Haddam-Killing­worth: Mike Bak­lik, 7th year (3539); Bloomfield: Ty Out­law (9th year, 75-25).

CHAM­PI­ONSHIP HIS­TORY

Haddam-Killing­worth (0-1): 1994-S lost to Put­nam 20-14.

Bloomfield: (8-5): 2015-S def. An­so­nia 31-20; 2006-SS lost to An­so­nia 34-12; 2003-SS def. Brook­field 34-14; 2001-S def. North Bran­ford 40-7; 2000-M def. New Canaan 55-6; 1999-S def. An­so­nia 56-0; 1998-S def. An­so­nia 40-7; 1997-S def. Darien 39-21; 1996-S lost to Darien 21-16; 1995-S lost to An­so­nia 7-0; 1994-SS lost to An­so­nia 54-14; 1993-SS lost to Sey­mour 40-12; 1982-MM def. Pen­ney 12-6.

PLAY­ERS TO WATCH

Haddam-Killing­worth: Sr. QB/LB Tobey Cal­len­der; Sr. RB/ WR/FS Dal­ton Modehn; Sr. RB/LB Zach Kauff­man; T/DE Ai­den Ma­her (6-5, 235); Jr. DL/OL Trey Cal­len­der; Sr. FS/P/K Jor­dan Cal­la­han.

Bloomfield: Sr. RB/LB Ky’Juon But­ler, Jr. DL/OL Kyle Bar­low (6-1, 190), Jr. OL/DL Kyle Davis (6-4, 215), Soph. QB Daron Bry­den, Jr. DL Kyle Davis, Fresh. WR Jayvon Massey, Fresh. LB Aaron Jones.

STO­RY­LINES

Pre­or­dained as a Class S fa­vorite in the pre­sea­son, Bloomfield and its col­lec­tion of all-star tal­ent, led by se­nior four-year starter Ky’Juon But­ler, have lived up to ex­pec­ta­tions. Set­ting aside a per­plex­ing 30-0 loss to Ber­lin at home, the Warhawks have oth­er­wise rolled through their com­pe­ti­tion to reach their 14th state cham­pi­onship game in his­tory. They’re look­ing for their ninth ti­tle over­all and first since they de­feated An­so­nia 31-20 in 2015’s Class S fi­nal, coach Ty Out­law’s first as head coach.

They run into a Haddam-Killing­worth team no­body ex­pected would be here. Yet the Cougars, be­hind a me­thod­i­cal run game, have amassed the most wins in school his­tory (11) and upset fa­vored Stafford/Somers/East Wind­sor 21-14 in over­time to reach their sec­ond state cham­pi­onship game.

The Warhawks are, of course, led by But­ler, who has amassed 2,197 yards and 22 touch­downs at tail­back run­ning out of the team’s spread. He’s com­ple­mented by a vast and tal­ented re­ceiv­ing corps, di­rected by sopho­more quar­ter­back Daron Bry­den, who has thrown for 2,110 yards and 34 touch­downs. The ma­jor­ity of TDs have gone to fresh­man re­ceiver Jayvon Massey (14), but the Warhawks also boast tal­ents in se­niors David Robin­son, An­thony Simp­son, Mike Raiford and Myles Davis.

But­ler leads the Warhawks’ de­fense at line­backer with 65 tack­les and 21 for a loss. Bloomfield also boasts an ag­gres­sive de­fen­sive line, star­ring ju­nior end Kyle Bar­row, who leads the team with 84 tack­les and 10 sacks, Kyle Davis (52 tack­les, 7 1/2 sacks) and fresh­man LB Aaron Jones. Bloomfield, which loves to strike fast and fu­ri­ously, has outscored op­po­nents by an av­er­age of 40-8.

On the flip-side is a much more me­thod­i­cal Haddam-Killing­worth team that pun­ishes teams with its large of­fen­sive line, led by 6-foot-5, 235-pound tackle Ai­den Ma­her and Trey Cal­len­der, and a pair of thou­sand-yard rush­ers in Tobey Cal­len­der (1,462 yards, 20 TDs) and Dal­ton Modehn (1,244 yards, 21 TDs). The Cougars also fea­ture full­back Zach Kauff­man (678 yards, 9 TDs) and fig­ure to be bol­stered by the re­turn of se­nior Dal­ton Brown (303 yards, 7 TDs) from in­jury. The Cougars have run for 3,798 yards this year.

De­fen­sively, Tobey Cal­len­der leads the Cougars at MLB with 80 tack­les and 5 in­ter­cep­tions, while his ju­nior brother Trey an­chors the de­fen­sive line with 20 tack­les for a loss and seven sacks. Brown, a de­fen­sive back, is tied as the team leader with 5 in­ter­cep­tions in only seven games. Modehn, an­other DB, has made four picks.

H-K also has a weapon in se­nior Jor­dan Cal­la­han, a free safety who dou­bles as team kicker. He’s made 37-of-38 PATs, has kicked three field goals and av­er­ages 35.5 yards a punt. The Cougars have outscored op­po­nents by an av­er­age of 40-14. Their only loss was 47-19 to Cromwell/Port­land on Sept. 29.

This is coach Mike Bak­lik’s first state cham­pi­onship game as head coach. He was a part of long­time coach Den­nis O’Rourke’s last play­off team of 2011.

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Haddam-Killing­worth QB Tobey Cal­len­der.

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