Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ansonia Outlasts South in Shootout

Ansonia outlasted South in a contest where offense was king. Neither teams defense could stop the others and it came down to which team would make the final score before time ran out. Ansonia under coach Hoying has been known for years for a ball control/run first offense. This year South’s offense features a spread attack and they would air it out – scoring 5 of their TD’s with the pass. So it was a game that would contrast two different styles of offense, plenty of lead changes, and where the punters pretty much had a night off.

South fell behind early as Ansonia got the ball and marched it down the field, taking 6 minutes of clock to score. South moved the ball on their first possession getting two first downs, but a penalty stopped their first drive and caused them to punt. And for the game South would punt twice, once in the first half and once in the second half. Ansonia then did another machinelike clock eating drive and ended it with another touchdown in the second quarter. Ansonia went for 2 points on their PAT’s and were successful twice. So the scoreboard was 16-0, it was not looking promising for the Panthers.

But although time of possession in the first half would favor Ansonia, South showed that they didn’t need much time to score. They scored not 1, not 2, but 3 unanswered touchdowns in quick succession. Suddenly it was TVS in the lead with a 21-16 lead. But South just would not be able to stop Ansonia on Friday night and they scored just before the half ended to regain the lead 24-21.

Now the game became a seesaw with Ansonia and South exchanging leads several times. But Ansonia was able to extend their lead. And late in the game South was facing a 40-28 deficit. But with 5:11 left, they scored to make it 40-34 and then did a squib kick which South recovered. It was a big momentum shift. And South made use of that momentum to drive the ball in and score. But
Ansonia was not out for the count – they made a big special teams play and blocked the TVS kick for the point after and now the score was knotted 40 all. But Ansonia had one more drive left in them and scored with 11 seconds to go for the win 48-40. And every fan in that stadium got their money’s worth that night.

“I was proud of the team, twice we were down by 2 touchdowns and twice they responded and came back, said Lance Engleka after the game. I was most pleased that we didn’t get down and kept coming at them. But ball control was a problem, we gave up 474 of rushing offense – and you can’t win games giving up that kind of yardage. Also Ansonia converted on 3rd and 4th downs 12 of 17 times. We can’t allow teams to have that kind of success again us.”

He went on to point that that Cole Cottingim had a great game rushing 24 times for 149 yards and a touchdown and his passing was 12/19 for 210 yards and 5 td’s. Scoring 5 passing touchdowns is something that South has not done for quite some time. He also pointed out that Michael Burke had a good night at receiver 7 receptions for 131 yards and 2 TD’s. Finally safety Zane Cottingim had 8 tackles with 4 assists and defensive back Wes Cole had 2 solo tackles and 8 assists. But when asked about this he admitted, “Our leading tacklers should not be in the defensively secondary, we need more from the rest of the defense. “