Thanksgiving roundup: WCA first Waterbury public school to make postseason

Going into the final week of the high school football regular season, a few area teams were in contention for playoff sports.

In the end, two punched tickets while one missed out in the big-school league gauntlet that is Class LL. WCA (6-4) was one of the last teams to get in, doing so in Class S after some chaos ensued among other teams. The Spartans beat Wilby, 62-14, on Monday at Municipal Stadium’s Ray Snyder Sr. Field, then found out Thursday that they made the postseason. Holy Cross (7-3) also made the playoffs, though its fate was decided well before WCA’s was. WCA is the first Waterbury public school to reach the postseason, and it leads off the Thanksgiving week roundup.

WCA 62, WILBY 14

Freshman Ethan Blaize surpassed 1,000 passing yards for the season in his team’s convincing victory at Snyder Field.

Blaize finished 7 of 9 for 103 yards and a touchdown. WCA led, 40-8, at halftime. KaVaughn Candy went 2 of 2 for 46 yards and a touchdown. Dylan Rossi caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Blaize, and Julian Snead pulled in a 44-yard score from Canady.

D’Vonte Lane ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Jordan Rossi had an eight-yard touchdown run. Snead had a 76-yard kickoff return for a score. 

The defense got in on the scoring as well. David Rivera Jr. returned a fumble 14 yards for a touchdown, and Tracy Graves II brought one back six yards for another score. Dylan Rossi and Newman Reeves IV tied for the team lead in total tackles with 14 while Rivera added 12, including four for loss. All three players had two sacks apiece.

For Wilby (0-10), Dalan Gainer ran for a two-yard touchdown in the first half and threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Marcus Reynolds in the second half.

PLAYOFFS?! WCA is the 8-seed in Class S, and that means a Tuesday quarterfinal against top seed Ansonia at 6:30 p.m. at Nolan Field in Ansonia.


The Eagles took an 8-7 lead in the second quarter on Michael McCormack’s 15-yard touchdown run and conversion reception from Toby Chance, but the Crusaders put up 27 straight points for the win in the Joseph Lynch Memorial Trophy Game on Thanksgiving morning at Snyder Field.

Marques Campbell ran for touchdowns of 1, 3, 2 and 12 yards, and he was named the game’s MVP. Campbell also caught a two-point conversion pass from Drew Caouette. Caoutte threw a 12-yard touchdown to Ronald Florian-Moreta. Campbell (184) and Nathan Craft (116) combined for 300 yards rushing for the Crusaders.

Wolcott had some success recovering squib kicks and recovered several fumbles, but it still had trouble slowing down the Holy Cross offense. The Eagles finished their season at 1-9.

PLAYOFFS?! Holy Cross is the 6-seed in the Class M bracket and will be headed to Dillon Stadium (Trinity Health Stadium) on Tuesday for a quarterfinal game against the 3-seed SMSA Co-op at 6:30 p.m.


Daniel Rodriguez scored from 10 yards out with 1:12 to play to give the Eagles their margin of victory at Jimmy Lee Stadium in a terrific game.

Kennedy finished at 6-4, but wound up 11th in the Class LL playoff standings. Julius Caban ran for touchdowns of 27, 42 and 5 yards for the Eagles. After a slow first half in which it trailed Crosby, 14-6, Kennedy got going behind its big offensive line. Caban broke free for a 42-yard touchdown run down the Eagle sideline, and when Rodriguez improvised on a trick play two-point conversion and hit secondary target Brendell Kelly with a pass, it was 14-14 in the third quarter.

Crosby held a 20-14 lead in the fourth quarter when Caban powered in from five yards out to tie the game. The Eagles pushed their way downfield in the game’s final minutes, and Rodriguez broke several tackles, then dragged Bulldog defenders with him to the end zone on his 10-yard touchdown run. Caban (154) and Rodriguez (109) combined for 263 yards rushing.

Crosby (3-7) had the ball in the final minute, but a sack of Jeremiah Febus on fourth down ended any thoughts of a comeback. Febus ran for a two-yard touchdown for the game’s opening score in the first quarter, then threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Damien Kesaran to give the Bulldogs their 20-14 lead in the third quarter.


In the 64th edition of the Battle for the Bell, the Rams not only secured a .500 season (5-5), but took away any chance the Lancers (6-4) had of a playoff bid with their victory at Muzzy Field.

Central’s Donovan Rodriguez threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Lawson on fourth down for what turned out to be the lone score of the first half. Rodriguez snuck in for a touchdown late in the third quarter, and the Rams went ahead, 14-0.

Kamden Laprise breathed life into Eastern and its faithful with a 53-yard burst for a touchdown. Following the extra point, the Lancers trailed, 14-7, with 6:10 left in the game. It was as close as Eastern got as Central won its eighth straight Bell game. The Rams now lead the series, 39-23-2.

Rodriguez and Laprise were the most valuable players on offense for their respective teams. Central’s Jack Jones and Eastern’s Adam Zavacz were chosen as the most valuable players on defense.

Eastern finished 12th in the Class MM playoff standings.


Kaynor’s Logan Stone, a Naugatuck native, accounted for four of his team’s five touchdowns as his team finished with a .500 record (5-5).

Stone ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. He finished 3 of 5 passing for 96 yards and two more touchdowns. 

Xavion Saucier added 51 yards on nine carries while Patrick Lachance chipped in a rushing touchdown. Uzziah Nelson had a team-high 10 tackles while Lachance added nine. Alex Lowery caused a fumble and Robert Vazquez recovered one.

GNH 35, ST. PAUL 0

The Falcons were able to move the ball at points against the Yellowjackets on a cold Tuesday evening that featured mixed precipitation, but they couldn’t find the end zone.

St. Paul finished its season at 1-9.