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Ansonia rallies from another second half deficit to win Class S title

Bloomfield’s Jayden Johnson tries to get away from Ansonia’s Paul Palmer (11) and Preston Dziubina (2) in Saturday’s Class S championship game in New Britain.

NEW BRITAIN, Dec. 10, 2022 – Quarterback Chris Kaminski ran for three touchdowns including a pair of fourth quarter TDs in the final 9:08 to help top seed Ansonia beat No. 2 Bloomfield, 28-21 for the Class S state championship on Saturday at Arute Field on the campus of Central Connecticut State University.

The win gave the Chargers a state record 21st state championship and their first state title since 2016. Ansonia (13-0) finished the season undefeated  for the 20th time in the team’s history.

The Chargers led 14-0 early in the first quarter before Bloomfield rallied to take the lead with 21 unanswered points to take a seven-point lead at the half.

“I can’t say enough about their heart,” said Ansonia coach Tom Brocket. “There is something about a champion that rallies and they did it six times (this year) and on a no more bigger stage than today.”

Brockett said that his Chargers rallied from second half deficits to win six games this year.

Trailing by eight, Bloomfield (10-3) marched 85 yards in 59 seconds to tie the game at the end of the second half on a three-yard touchdown run from Damien Foster with no time left on the clock and a two-point conversion pass from Foster to Howard Simpson.

Ansonia took a 22-21 lead on a 19-yard run from Kaminski with 9:08 left in the game and a two-point conversion run from hard-running David Cassetti, who ran for a game-high 171 yards on 34 carries.

Bloomfield’s Davien Kerr (3) tries to create space during a touchdown run in Saturday’s Class S state championship game in New Britain.

The Chargers extended their lead to 28-21 with Kaminski’s fourth down run around the left side from the 21-yard line with 2:39 remaining. The conversion failed but the Chargers led by seven.

“There were just two people in the whole stadium that knew we were running it, just me and Chris,” Brockett said. “It was our little secret.”

Bloomfield, which struggled in the second half with 10 penalties for 65 yards, still had a chance to tie or take the lead.

Foster completed a 25-yard pass to Davien Kerr to the Ansonia 36-yard line with 2:20 remaining. Two runs from Ja’Den Jesurum pushed the ball to the Ansonia 22 with 54 seconds left. A 10-yard pass from Foster to Jose Feliciano moved the ball to the 10-yard line with 43 seconds remaining but that is as far as the Warhawks would get.

Kaminski’s one-yard run gave the Chargers a 7-0 lead before Cassetti completed a 12-yard halfback option pass to Paul Palmer to give Ansonia a 14-0 lead just 5:41 gone into the game.

Davien Kerr had a pair of touchdown runs of five and eight yards to help Bloomfield cut the lead to 14-13. Palmer blocked an extra point after the Warhawks’ second touchdown.

It was the seventh time the two teams met in the state finals with Ansonia holding a 4-3 edge in the championship game.

Ansonia celebrates another state championship on Saturday.

Ansonia 28, Bloomfield 21
At New Britain
Bloomfield (10-3)            7  14  0  0  — 21
Ansonia (13-0)                 14  0  0  8  — 28
First quarter
A: Chris Kaminski 1 run (Paul Palmer kick), 10:27
A: Palmer 12 pass from David Cassetti (Palmer kick), 6:19
B: Davien Kerr 5 run (Matthew Miller kick), 1:38
Second quarter
B: Davien Kerr 8 run (kick blocked), 9:35
B: Damien Foster 3 run (Howard Simpson pass from Foster), 0:00
Fourth quarter
A: Kaminski 19 run (Cassetti run), 9:08
A: Kaminski 21 run (run fails), 2:39
Individual leaders
RUSHING: Bloomfield – Ja’Den Jesurum 5-34, Davien Kerr 16-150, Darrien Foster 4-19; Ansonia – Chris Kaminski 5-42, Preston Dziubina 1-1, David Cassetti 34-171
PASSING: Bloomfield – Darrien Foster 9-28-1, 132; Ansonia – Chris Kaminski 1-5-1, 19, Cassetti 1-1, 12
RECEIVING: Bloomfield – Davion Kerr 2-17, Jayden Johnson 1-10, Jose Feliciano 3-40, Davien Kerr 3-65; Ansonia – Paul Palmer 1-12, Cassetti 1-19

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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