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New edition of Connecticut football record book has been released

Bloomfield High quarterback Rayshawn Phillips runs in the 2015 Class S championship game against Ansonia.

The Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance is pleased to release the 2016 Connecticut high school football record book. 

This is the 17th edition of the record book, a compilation of records and historical information from newspapers, team statisticians, coach’s records and individual research. Some of the new information in this year’s record book includes:

  • Career, single season and single game records for two-point conversion
  • An update of year-end state coaches and sportswriters polls with voting for each season.
  • Additional history for some of the state’s co-op football programs.
  • Single season and single game sack records for individual teams.

Several athletes established or tied new state records in 2015.

New Canaan quarterback Michael Collins set a new single season record with 54 touchdown passes, breaking the old record of 51 set by Woodland’s Tanner Kingsley in 2012. Collins tied a state record with nine TD passes in a win over Trumbull on November 6. That matched the record set by Bloomfield’s Jason Manson 16 years ago in 2000.

Darien’s Mark Evanchick, the state player of the year, set a new career record for the most sacks. He finished his career with the Blue Wave with 66½, exceeding the mark set by former Bloomfield High star Dwight Freeney, who had 60 sacks from 1994-97. Evanchick will be playing lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania in the spring.

Brookfield’s Dane Borges and New Canaan’s Peter Swindell each finished with 20 career field goals to establish a new state record, eclipsing the previous record of 18.

North Haven kicker Sabrina Fronte set several new state records for girls with most points in a game (12 vs. Lyman Hall, Nov. 6), most points in a single season (86) and most points in a career (122).

Fronte’s senior season was pretty impressive. She had 86 points thanks to 77 PATs and three field goals. That is the fifth highest single season total for a kicker – boy or girl – in state history.

Foran-Milford took down an old record. Foran averaged 517.2 yards per game (passing and rushing) last fall in 10 games. That beat the previous mark of 512.6 yards per game by West Haven in 1968.

The book recognizes several remarkable accomplishments in 2015.

Sheehan’s Zack Davis became just the fourth player in state history to score at least 50 points in a single game with a 50-point performance on Thanksgiving against cross-town rival Lyman Hall. Davis had eight touchdowns and a two point conversion.

Weaver’s John Weaver, who played for Avon High for two seasons, scored 50 for the Beavers against Darien in 1999. Torrington’s Raymond “Ducky” Pond scored 51 points against Simsbury in 1917 while Torrington’s Brenden Lytton scored 59 points for the Raiders against Wilby in 2010.

With its state championship and an eighth undefeated season, Southington moves into the No. 2 spot for most undefeated seasons with New Britain and Hand. Ansonia holds the state record with 18 undefeated seasons.

One of the oldest individual record in the record book belongs to New Canaan’s Pete Demmerle, who caught a state record 102 passes in 1970. Only three players in state history have made 90 or more receptions in a single season.

The oldest individual record belongs to Stamford’s Earl Gillespie and Stamford’s Gaynor Brennan who each kicked 12 extra points in a single game. Gillespie did it in 1913 against Paterson, N.J., while Brennan did it against St. Francis Prep from Brooklyn in 1920. As recently as 2003, New Britain’s Chris Roberts was 11-of-13 on PATs in a win over Maloney.

Our local teams from the Farmington Valley are well represented in the record book, too.

Farmington’s Brandon Williard is No. 3 on the single game rushing record board with 508 yards on 37 carries against Plainville in 2002. Farmington’s Greg Balicki holds the state record for most tackles in a single season (212), set in 1996.

Avon’s Colin Moore is ranked in the top 10 for career rushing yards with 5,217 yards on 682 carries from 2009-12. He rushed for at least 100 yards in 21 consecutive games in 2011-12, good enough for No. 2 on the all-time list.

Moore’s 19 two-point conversion runs in 2011 is No. 2 on the single season list for most two-point conversions. Only Rockville’s Joe Calaci had more (22) in 1969.

Avon’s 707-yard rushing performance in a win over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby in 2014 is the second-highest rushing effort by a team in a single game. Only Torrington in 2012 ran for more with 853 yards against Sacred Heart.

Simsbury’s Phil Pope shares the state record with Bobby Valentine of Rippowam-Stamford for most interception returns for a touchdown in a career. Both have returned five interceptions for TDs. Pope played at Simsbury from 1966-68 while Valentine, who managed the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox, played at the now-closed Rippowam from 1965-67.

Farmington holds the state record for most fumble recoveries in a single game with nine against Avon in 1974. Canton is No. 2 on that list with eight fumble recoveries in a 1952 win over Gilbert.

Granby running back Connor Field is tied for fifth on the list for most consecutive games rushing for at least 100 yards. Field ran for 100 yards on 16 consecutive occasions from 2014-15. The state record is held by Bristol Central’s Tim Washington with 25 games in a row from 1999 to 2001.

Click on the following link for the 2016 Connecticut High School Football Record Book.

If you have some additional information for the record book, please email co-editor Robert Barton at [email protected] or Gerry deSimas, Jr., at [email protected].

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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