At halftime of Saturday’s Governor’s Cup All-Star football game there were those who probably thought Connecticut’s eight-game winning streak against Rhode Island was in jeopardy. If so, those thoughts disappeared early in the second half.
Connecticut, which led by four points at halftime, scored three touchdowns in the first 7:18 of the third quarter and cruised to a 37-6 triumph over Rhode Island at Southington High School.
It was Connecticut’s 10th victory in the 13-year history of the event.
Things began to turn sour for Rhode Island when Montrell Dobbs (Ansonia) scored on a 77-yard run to help Connecticut increase its lead to 17-6.
Dobbs, who was held to two yards on five carries in the first half, finished the game with 96 yards on 10 carries. He was selected as Connecticut’s offensive MVP.
“At halftime we talked about taking care of business in our house, and that’s what we did in the second half,” Dobbs said.
Rhode Island fumbled the ball away on the next play from scrimmage. Two plays later Connecticut’s Max Delorenzo scored on a 15-yard run to help made it a 24-6 contest.
Jack DeBiase intercepted a pass on Rhode Island’s next possession, and Connecticut cashed in when Joe DellaVecchia tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Kelly.
Kelly also caught a 13-yard TD pass from Kyle Nolan. He had three receptions for 69 yards in the victory.
“We just had to fix some problems,” Kelly said. “Our coach [Masuk’s John Murphy] told us that if we fix our mistakes we’d win.”
Connecticut’s only TD in the first half came on a 59-yard TD catch by Temple-bound wide receiver Nainy Bah.
Matt Cassidy’s fourth point-after kick followed Kelly’s second TD reception and capped the scoring. Cassidy also made a 33-yard field goal in the first half.
The Connecticut defense set a Governor’s Cup record by holding Rhode Island to six points. It was also the first time a team didn’t score a touchdown in the contest. Rhode Island scored on two Chad Bacon field goals.
Defensive lineman Wille Maxen (Pomperaug) was named Connecticut’s defensive MVP. Maxen, who will play at Central Connecticut State next season, made three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Murphy said although his team had a slim lead at halftime, he had plenty of confidence entering the third quarter.
“I watched this defense for two weeks so I knew how good we were,” he said. “I knew they weren’t going to score a lot of points on that defense.”
Newtown senior John Wlasuk and Hillhouse sophomore Precious Holmes have been selected as the state’s Gatorade Track and Field Athletes of the Year.
Wlasuk, who will attend the University of Connecticut on a track scholarship, won the shot put at the Class LL (59-8), State Open (58-0) and New England (57-11) meets. He also won the discus throw in the Class LL (168-2), State Open (177-0) and New England (179-10) meets, and won the javelin at the SWC meet (189-7).
Holmes captured three individual state championships last spring and led Hillhouse to the State Open title. Holmes won the 100-meter dash (12.03 seconds), the 200 (24.58) and the 400 (53.16).
Her time in the 400 ranks third in the nation among girls high school athletes.
Holmes won the 100 (12.29) and the 400 (55.42) at the New England meet. She also helped Hillhouse place second in the sprint-medley relay earlier this month at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals. She placed second in the 400 (53.26) at that meet.
The Connecticut High School Coaches’ Association all-state baseball teams:
Tyler Barrett (Newington), Bryan Daniello (Brien McMahon), Connor David (Cheshire), Kyle Decker (Simsbury), Brian Fay (Pomperaug), Lou Iannoti (Xavier), Allen Nunez (New Britain), Greg Ostner (New Milford), Devin Over (Windsor), Brent Pallela (Pomperaug), Kyle Richards (Glastonbury), R.J. Roman (Newtown), Sal Romano (Southington), Mike Scott (Staples), Dom Severino (Cheshire), Vin Siena (Amity), Eric Stone (West Haven), T.J. Wyrebek (Bristol Central).
Austin Barnes (Berlin), Manny Cruz (Wilby), Dan Duffy (Sheehan), Santiago Edgard (New London), Alex Farina (New Canaan), Gary Flowers (Notre Dame-West Haven), Matt Greene (New London), Carson Helms (Farmington), Dan Lima (Cheney Tech), Chase Livingston (East Lyme), Will Matuszak (Berlin), Garrett Perusse (Torrington), Pat Rogers (Waterford), Kyle Schilling (RHAM), Jeff Stoddard (Branford), Brendan Telfer (Avon), Jon Testani (Masuk), Christian Trantalis (Bacon Academy), Eric Yavarone (North Haven).
Charlie Ameer (Weston), Dan Bouchard (Rocky Hill), Connor Buckley (Stonington), Jack DeBiase (Woodland), Dom Gambino (Wolcott), Zack Graves (Ellington), Vin Guglietti (East Haven), Quinn Irwin (St. Joseph), C.J. Monroe (Wolcott), Orlando Morales (Ansonia), Joe Perez (North Branford), Colin Sledzik (Haddam-Killingworth), Justin Thomas (Enfield), Corey Wilcox (Montville), Zach Wood (Griswold).
Jason Byers (East Granby), Ray Cohen (Coventry), Dwayne Ellis (Sacred Heart), Ted Gravel (Wamogo), Matt Harrison (Immaculate), Alex Iannone (East Hampton), Ray Kreiger (Derby), Zack LaFemina (Hale-Ray), Mike Mancuso (Cromwell), Alex Miller (Oxford), Mike Odenwaelder (Wamogo), John Olszyk (Career Magnet), Tucker Panciera (East Catholic), Reid Roberge (St. Paul), Steve Starr (Lyman Memorial).
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.