Canton rolls past Granby for 10th victory and ticket to Class S playoffs

The Canton High football celebrates after beating Granby Tuesday, 43-13 for a school-record 10th win and a berth in the Class S playoffs.

The Canton High football celebrates after beating Granby Tuesday, 43-13 for a school-record 10th win and a berth in the Class S playoffs.

CANTON, Nov. 25 – Seven years ago, the Canton High football resumed varsity play after a 43-year absence. Four years ago, the Warriors didn’t win a game –going 0-10. 

On Tuesday, Canton completed one of the greatest regular seasons in school history. With a dominating 42-13 win over Granby, they won a school record 10th game. Canton went undefeated in the Pequot Conference Uncas Division winning all nine games and claiming its first league championship since 1958. And they clinched their first-ever berth in the CIAC Class S football playoffs. 

“We’re so excited to be 10-1,” Delos said. “It’s just awesome. Our freshman year, we were 0-10 but we’ve continued to build up the program.” 

Coach Paul Philippon, now in his third year, usually has a razor focus on next week’s opponent. He seldom acknowledges the big picture with the media. “I think I will enjoy this for the first time tonight to be honest,” he said. “There is a certainly finality with the final regular season game. I’ll enjoy this a bit.” 

Canton (10-1, 9-0 Uncas Division) will play in the Class S Small Division playoffs on Saturday, Dec. 6. They’ll have some time to heal some injuries and get ready for the state semifinals. Continue Reading

Falcons finish season, stint in Pequot Conference with big win over Gilbert/NWR

Avon's Teddy Allemendinger (34) scored two TDs and ran for 148 yards in Tuesday night's win over Gilbert/Northwestern under the lights at Avon High.

Avon’s Teddy Allemendinger (34) scored two TDs and ran for over 100 yards in Tuesday night’s win over Gilbert/Northwestern under the lights at Avon High.

By Ted Glanzer

AVON, Nov. 25 — The Avon High football team ended its season and its membership in the Pequot Conference in style on Tuesday evening with a 48-7 thrashing of longtime rival Gilbert/Northwestern. 

A predicted snowstorm for Wednesday and Thursday coupled with a few more losses than expected meant that it wasn’t quite the Thanksgiving Day matchup that both teams had hoped. 

“Record-wise, it wasn’t where we wanted to be,” Falcons head coach Jim Caouette said. “But I’m so proud of these kids because they fight and they fight hard, every single game for 48 minutes.” 

Avon High (7-4, 7-2 Pequot Uncas) came out of the locker room fired up, scoring on its first five possessions, racing out to a 34-0 lead with 6:47 left in the first half. The lead swelled to 48-0 before the Yellowjackets (4-7, 4-5 Pequot Uncas) scored on Avon’s reserves with 1:44 left in the game. 

“They came out ready and we protected the football,” Caouette said of his players. “That’s kind of been our Achilles heel all year. If we had protected the football a little more, we probably would be getting ready for a playoff game next week.” Continue Reading

Thanksgiving previews: Canton looks to punch ticket to playoffs; Avon plays first-ever Turkey Day game

Canton's Sebby Gumbs and the Warriors are looking for a record 10th win and a ticket to the Class S playoffs with a win on Thanksgiving over Granby.

Canton’s Sebby Gumbs and the Warriors are looking for a record 10th win and a ticket to the Class S playoffs with a win on Thanksgiving over Granby.

Five of the Farmington Valley’s six football teams will be in action this week as the regular season comes to an end. It was supposed to be on Thanksgiving but the weather threw a monkey wrench into thise plans.

Canton (9-1), which captured the Pequot Conference’s Uncas Division title on Nov. 15 with an exciting overtime win over Avon, can earn its first-ever CIAC playoff berth with over Granby (7-3). Avon (6-4) planned to play on Thanksgiving for the first time in school history against Gilbert/Northwestern while Farmington (2-8) and Lewis Mills (2-8) will be looking to finish the season with a victory. 

Simsbury (4-7) closed out its regular season on Saturday with a 55-14 loss to Glastonbury. Elijah Barrows scored two touchdowns and ran for 150 yards on 16 carries in the loss. The Trojans played a handful of Turkey Day contests against Windsor in the early 1980s and faced Glastonbury on Thanksgiving Eve in 2011. But the Trojans haven’t made Thanksgiving football a tradition. 

Continue for preview capsules of all four games. Continue Reading

UConn stickers claim 2nd straight national title

The UConn field hockey celebrates after winning their second straight NCAA national championship with a 1-0 win over Syracuse Sunday. (Keith Long photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

The UConn field hockey celebrates after winning their second straight NCAA national championship with a 1-0 win over Syracuse Sunday. (Keith Long photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Connecticut’s field hockey team wasn’t a big-time scoring machine in the NCAA Division I tournament. That’s OK, because they can play defense. 

The Huskies (20-3) won their second straight national championship Sunday with a 1-0 win over Syracuse. UConn scored on its first shot of the game and only put two shots on net. But it was enough. Goalie Nina Klein made four saves for the Huskies, who captured their fourth NCAA title. 

The Huskies finished the season with 14 consecutive victories, including a 1-0 decision over Albany in the semifinals on Friday. 

“We pitched two no-hitters and against such stout defenses like Syracuse and Albany you’re not going to score that many goals,” UConn coach Nancy Stevens said. “We are thrilled beyond measure.” Continue Reading

Huskies can’t erase three-goal deficit in loss to No. 3 BU

UConn senior Cody Sharib scored in the third period but it wasn't enough at No. 3 BU outlasted the Huskies in Hartford, 5-2 on Saturday. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

UConn senior Cody Sharib scored in the third period but it wasn’t enough at No. 3 BU outlasted the Huskies in Hartford, 5-2 on Saturday. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

HARTFORD, Nov. 22 – Trailing by three goals, the UConn men’s hockey team had scored two goals in less than a minute with about 11 minutes left in the game. The crowd of more than 7,000 fans in the XL Center was rocking. The energy was pulsating through the building. 

But No. 3 Boston University didn’t panic. Head coach David Marsh called a timeout. The Terriers regrouped and gave up just two shots in the final 10 minutes and scored two late goals to beat the Huskies, 5-2 on Saturday.

BU (8-1-1, 6-1-1 Hockey East) led 3-0 in the third period. But Connecticut scored twice in 57 seconds on goals by senior Cody Sharib and freshman Corey Ronan to the lead to one goal. 

“I didn’t think the game was over by any stretch of the imagination,” Marsh said. “They were relentless. The crowd was into it and (UConn) was feeding off their energy.” Continue Reading

UConn hockey team beats another top 20 squad for third win

UConn freshman Spencer Naas (8) scored for the Huskies in their 2-1 win over No. 11 Vermont in Hartford Friday night. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

UConn freshman Spencer Naas (8) scored for the Huskies in their 2-1 win over No. 11 Vermont in Hartford Friday night. (Stephen Slade photo courtesy of UConn Sports Information)

HARTFORD – The University of Connecticut ice hockey team isn’t fazed by top 20 opponents – especially at home in the XL Center. The Huskies earned their third win of the season over the nationally ranked opponent with a 2-1 win over No. 11 Vermont Friday night in a Hockey East contest before 5,072 fans in Hartford.

Quinnipiac was ranked No. 15 when UConn earned a 4-1 win in October and Boston College was ranked No. 3 in the country when the Huskies prevailed in their home opener in Hartford about two weeks ago.

“I’m really proud of our club,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “We had a good first period and we were rewarded with a goal and a 1-0 lead. In the second period, they came out and took it to us. But we responded well. We didn’t give up a lot of second chances in front of the net. We stayed on our toes and responded well.”

UConn (3-5-4, 2-2-1 Hockey East) gave up just two shots in the final nine minutes and just five total in the third period as the Huskies beat the first place team in Hockey East.Continue Reading

Defending champion Huskies going back to the NCAA championship game

The Huskies celebrate after scoring in their 1-0 semifinal win over Albany Friday at the Final Four.

The Huskies celebrate after scoring in their 1-0 semifinal win over Albany Friday at the Final Four.

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Nov. 21 – The Huskies are going back to the NCAA field hockey championship game. No. 3 Connecticut scored less than four minutes into the game and didn’t look back in a 1-0 win over Albany at the Final Four at the University of Maryland Friday night.

UConn (19-2) will play old Big East foe Syracuse for the national championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. The defending NCAA champion Huskies will playing in the final for the sixth time. UConn won last year and 1981 and 1985. The game will be televised live on NCAA.com.Continue Reading

ADs confirm that Avon, Granby share NCCC championship in field hockey

Granby's Abigail Phillips, right, breaks up a pass from Avon's Emily Stross in Tuesday's NCCC game in Avon.

Granby’s Abigail Phillips, right, breaks up a pass from Avon’s Emily Stross in a NCCC contest in Avon during September.

A week after the regular season was completed, athletic directors from the North Central Connecticut Conference confirmed in a meeting that Avon and Granby are league co-champions in field hockey and established the criteria for determining the league title.

Granby beat Avon, 2-1 in September and the Falcons beat Granby, 3-2 in overtime on October 23. Granby tied the game with no time left on the clock forcing it into overtime where Avon scored 1:30 into the extra session to earn the victory.

There was confusion on how the NCCC was awarding points to determine the league champion. Teams earn two points for a win and one point for a tie.

However, the CIAC has a slight twist in how they award points to schools attempting to qualify for the state tournament. Teams get two points for a win, one point for a tie and one point for losing a game in overtime.

Was the NCCC awarding points for just for victories and ties or would a team get a point for an overtime loss? And why was this important?Continue Reading

Canton beats Avon in OT thriller to win Uncas Division title

Canton's Dan Delos (34) celebrates with his teammates after the Warriors  beat Avon in overtime, 27-24 to win a record ninth game and the Uncas Division title.

Canton’s Dan Delos (34) celebrates with his teammates after the Warriors beat Avon in overtime, 27-24 to win a record ninth game and the Uncas Division title.

CANTON, Nov. 15 – When their back was to the wall, the Canton High football team stood firm. Twice, Avon took a seven-point lead in Saturday’s Pequot Conference Uncas Division showdown. 

“There may have been a small piece of doubt in some of them but their belief in each other was larger than that and they kept on going,” Canton coach Paul Philippon said. 

“We trust our teammates. We trust our coaches and they trust us,” Canton senior Cam Daley said. 

The Warriors forced three Avon turnovers. They missed a potential game-winning field goal with 21 seconds remaining in regulation but made two big defensive stops in overtime. And then, Canton won it in OT when Dan Delos scored on a five-yard run for a thrilling 27-21 victory. 

The victory gives Canton (9-1, 8-0) the Pequot Uncas Division title – its first league championship since 1958 and keeps the Warriors in the hunt for their first-ever CIAC playoff berth. “This game meant everything to us,” Delos said. “Everything was on the line for us.” A loss would have jeopardized the Uncas Division title and playoff berth. 

Avon (6-4, 6-2 Pequot Uncas) saw their Class M playoff hopes all but vanish. Continue Reading

Avon boys share state championship with Branford

The ball draws a crowd of Branford and Avon players in Saturday's Class L championship game in Middletown. (New Haven Register photo by Peter Paguaga)

The ball draws a crowd of Branford and Avon players in Saturday’s Class L championship game in Middletown. (New Haven Register photo by Peter Paguaga)

MIDDLETOWN, Nov. 15 – For the Avon High boys soccer team, the ending of Saturday’s Class L championship game wasn’t quite what they had in mind. 

The Falcons were looking for a state championship – their first since 2000. They outshot Branford High by a 28-2 margin. Falcon goalie Dan Magrini didn’t make a save. Junior Riley Strassner scored his team-leading 33rd goal of the season. 

Yet, when the game was complete, No. 11 Avon and No. 17 Branford stood together as co-champions after the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie in double overtime. There are no penalty kicks  in the championship game after the two 10-minute overtime periods. 

“Coming off the field, they were crushed,” Avon coach Dave Zlatin told the New Haven Register. “But I was trying to be positive with them, that it’s still a state title. By the time they were posing for the pictures, I think it had begun to sink in.” Continue Reading

Immaculate rallies with pair of second half goals to beat Avon girls for state title

Soccer graphic CPWEST HAVEN, Nov. 15 – Throughout the season, the Avon High girls soccer team found a way to win games. On Saturday in the Class L championship, Immaculate-Danbury found the way. The Mustangs converted on a pair of corner kicks in the second half to erase a one-goal deficit and win the Class L title with a 2-1 decision. 

Paige Davis scored twice, including her second goal with 9:32 left in the game to lead the Mustangs. Immaculate won its ninth state championship and first in Class L. The Mustangs won a share of eight Class S titles before moving up to Class L last fall. Meghan McKenna had a first half goal for the Falcons. 

“I thought we played even with them for most of the game,” Avon coach Jim Murray told the New Haven Register. “In the second half, with the wind, they put a lot of pressure on us. They did a good job and finished their opportunities. Those two corners, you know, what are you going to do? It happens.” 

Click here to read more on the game from GameTIme CT.Continue Reading

A perfect season for Mills field hockey concludes with state championship win

Sadie Robinson (14), Kelly Winterbottom (24), Andrah Stone (8) and Alicia Jackson (2) celebrate after Lewis Mills won the Class S title with a 3-0 win over Granby. (Photo by Pete Paguaga, New Haven Register

Sadie Robinson (14), Kelly Winterbottom (24), Andrah Stone (8) and Alicia Jackson (2) celebrate after Lewis Mills won the Class S title with a 3-0 win over Granby. (Photo by Pete Paguaga, New Haven Register

WETHERSFIELD, Nov. 15 – It turns out that the Canton field hockey team was eliminated from the state tournament earlier this month by the eventual state champion – Lewis Mills. 

The Spartans completed an undefeated season (19-0) with a dominating 3-0 win over Granby to win the Class S championship Saturday at Wethersfield High. Mills didn’t give up a goal in four state tournament victories and allowed just four goals all year. Mills goalie Jilian Mazon stopped 10 shots. 

“Defense wins championships and that’s what gave us this opportunity to win a championship,” Mills Katie Neuhausser said. “We played our hearts out against a very strong Granby team.” Click on the following link to read more on the game from GameTIme CT. For Lewis Mills, it was their second state championship in field hockey but the first title they won outright. They shared the 2005 Class S title with Haddam-Killingworth. 

League titles, playoff berths on the line when Canton hosts Avon on Saturday

Brock Steinfeldt (44), Dan Delos (34), Cam Daley (3) and Caiden Permenter (59) gang up on Windsor Locks' Khamri Thomas in Saturday's 37-13 Pequot Uncas victory.

Canton’s defense has allowed 97 points in nine games this year. Above, Brock Steinfeldt (44), Dan Delos (34), Cam Daley (3) and Caiden Permenter (59) gang up on Windsor Locks’ Khamri Thomas earlier this year.

Opportunities that never existed for decades of Canton High athletes stand today in front of the Canton High football team. 

With two games remaining in the regular season, Canton (8-1, 7-0 Pequot Uncas) has an opportunity to win its first league championship since 1958. The Warriors can also earn a berth in the CIAC state playoffs with victories in their final two games. 

They need to beat Avon, a team that has won five Pequot Uncas Division titles in the last seven years and has earned three playoff berths in the last six years. Avon (6-2, 6-1 Pequot Uncas) is hoping to keep their own flickering playoff hopes alive with victories in their two last games. 

With so much on the line for both teams, Avon and Canton will meet for the tenth and final time on the football field Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Canton. Both teams have games remaining on Thanksgiving morning but this week’s game looms as a season-defining contest for both schools. 

The Warriors can clinch the Pequot Uncas Division title with a win over Avon. It would be Canton’s first pennant since claiming the 1958 North Central League title. And it would move Canton one step closer to a berth in the CIAC Class S tournament. Continue Reading

Roots of the Canton, Avon rivalry in football date back to 1930s

In white, the Canton football team was a running team in 1954. The Warriors were made up of players from Canton, Avon and Burlington through the end of the 1950s.

In white, the Canton football team was a running team in 1954. Through the end of the 1950s, the Warriors were made up of players from Canton, Avon and Burlington.

They play for the final time on Saturday. Canton and Avon, whose football roots are intertwined with each other, hit the field on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Canton High.

With a victory, the Warriors can win their first league championship since 1958 when they captured the North Central League title with victories over Gilbert, Housatonic, Berlin, Simsbury and Farmington. Canton (8-1, 7-0 Pequot Uncas) can also take a giant step toward a possible spot in the CIAC Class S tournament with a win.

Avon (6-3, 6-1 Pequot Uncas) is looking to keep their Class L playoff hopes alive along with the potential of claiming a share of the Uncas Division title for one last time. Next fall, Avon will join the Central Connecticut Conference and this rivalry will come to a close.

The two schools have a long tradition together in football. Most of it was playing as one team for nearly 30 years. Until 1958, most Avon and Burlington students went to school in Canton, which was the regional school at the time.Continue Reading

Marcus has two goals as Avon girls return to Class L championship game

The Avon High girls soccer team celebrates earning a spot in the state championship game for the 10th time after a 2-0 win over Mercy in the Class L semifinals Wednesday.

The Avon High girls soccer team celebrates earning a spot in the state championship game for the 10th time after a 2-0 win over Mercy in the Class L semifinals Wednesday.

MERIDEN, Nov. 12 – The Avon High girls soccer team is going back to the Class L state championship game. The Falcons clamped down on Mercy High in a 2-0 semifinal victory Wednesday night at Falcon Field, allowing just three shots on goal.

Avon’s leading scorer Michaela Marcus had two goals to lead the Falcons back to the state final for the fifth time in the last six years. No. 4 Avon (16-1-2) will play No. 6 Immaculate-Danbury (13-2-4) for the state championship on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at West Haven High School.

Marcus scored on Avon’s second shot of the game, connecting from 15 yards away with about 9:58 gone in the game. Marcus sprinted away from two Tiger defenders on the far sideline and before they could catch up with her, Marcus ripped a shot that got past Mercy goalie Alyssa Morrisey and inside the far post.

Avon spent much of the game controlling the ball. Mercy (12-5-3) didn’t get off a legitimate shot against Avon goalie Emma Carlone until the later stages of the second half and the Falcons had a two-goal lead.Continue Reading