Kelly wins 200th career game
BRISTOL, Oct. 9, 2009 – For 22 seasons, Jude Kelly has been roaming the sidelines as a high school football coach here in Connecticut. On Friday night, he was actively leading St. Paul’s co-op football team playing just its second-ever night game at the school against Naugatuck High.
Scampering along the wet, muddy sideline, he instructed his players, praised them after making a good play and debated strategy with his coaching staff. For a few instances, he was 10 yards onto the field to celebrate a big play with his Falcon players. In the end, his Falcon Football shirt was soaked with perspiration and he had a big smile on his face.
His co-op team of players from St. Paul, Goodwin Tech in New Britain and Lewis Mills in Burlington outhit the Greyhounds for a 28-18 victory Friday night. It was an important victory over an established program in the Naugatuck Valley League, a league that the Falcons joined this fall after the Nutmeg League vanished when six of its eight teams joined the Central Connecticut Conference.
St. Paul is 3-1 and 1-1 in the Copper Division, a great start in a league that some critics questioned if the Falcons could be competitive in. It was also Kelly’s 200th career victory as a coach.
“It’s a great tribute to all the players and coaches who played for me during those years,” he said. “They all contributed to this.” He began his career at East Catholic in 1978, took them to a Class M championship and the No. 1 ranking in the state in 1987. He coached at Southington High from 1988 through 2004, building a powerhouse, winning the Class LL title in 1998 and playing for the state title three times.
He came to St. Paul five years ago. After a pair of 2-8 campaigns in his first three years, he led the Falcons to a 9-3 record a year ago and now a 3-1 start in the NVL.
On Friday night, Kelly beamed. The joy of this victory over Naugatuck wasn’t due to his 200th career win – he doesn’t keep track of such things. His joy was from the growth and progress of his players.
“The one thing I knew coming into a new league was that were going to have to be much more physical,” Kelly said. “We’ve been showing it defensively. Now, we’re beginning to show it offensively.”
The Falcons took a 8-0 lead on a 32-yard run from Chris Bachand (12-88). The Greyhounds rallied with a pair of touchdowns but couldn’t convert on three attempts at a two-point conversion.
Early in the second quarter, the Hounds took a 12-8 lead with its second TD but St. Paul’s Bobby Romano made a great tackle on Naugatuck QB Erich Broderick at the 1-yard line to stop the two-point conversion.
The Falcons added two TDs in the third quarter to take a 22-12 lead. On the first drive of the half, they scored on a 21-yard pass from Tanner Bachand to Bryon Jones (5-83). After St. Paul’s Chris Bachand gobbled up a tipped Broderick pass for an interception, The Falcons marched 62 yards, scoring on Chris Bachand’s nine-yard run. Chris had a 25-yard scamper on the first play of the drive.
Naugatuck refused to buckle and scored due to some persistence and luck. Trailing by 10, the Hounds converted on a third down and five on the Falcon 44-yard line when Broderick scrambled for a 12-yard gain.
The Greyhounds moved to the Falcon 19 and Naugatuck handed the ball off to Jake Yourison, who was nearly tackled in the backfield by St. Paul for a loss. But Yourison was able to pitch the ball to Broderick, who scrambled 23 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to six, 22-18.
Interceptions by Byron Jones and DeVanti Gardner ended Naugatuck’s final two drives. St. Paul added an insurance touchdown with 1:58 remaining on Tanner Bachand’s three-yard run.
This was first published at St. Paul Football Online.
St. Paul 28, Naugatuck 18
Naugatuck 6 6 0 6 — 18
SP/GT/LM 8 0 14 6 — 28
SP: Chris Bachand 32 run (Travis Thomas run), 7:52
N: Jake Yourison 4 run (run fails), 0:32
N: Andrew Cirino 19 run (run fails), 7:02
SP: DeVanti Gardner 21 pass from Tanner Bachand (run fails), 7:24
SP: Chris Bachand 9 run (Justin Gonzalez pass from Thomas), 1:07
N: Erich Broadrick19 run (pass fails), 9:00
SP: Tanner Bachand 3 run (run fails), 1:58
RUSHING: St. Paul – Tanner Bachand 6-19, Bobby Romano 7-28, Chris Bachand 12-88, DeVanti Gardner 3-10; Naugatuck – Jake Vourison 4-6, Maquan Williams 1-1, Andrew Circcui 11-76, Dashawn Wingate 10-85
PASSING: St. Paul – Tanner Bachand 9-18-0, 111; Naugatuck – Erich Broadrick 8-19-3, 195
RECEIVING: St. Paul – Byron Jones 5-83, Travis Thomas 1-16, Chris Bachand 2-4, Justin Gonazlez 1-8