The West Haven football team hosted the Xavier Falcons on Friday night in Ken Strong Stadium. After paying tribute to their seniors, the Blue Devils went out and dominated the Falcons, 45-7, to clinch a spot in the CIAC playoffs.
The Westies took advantage of a Falcons’ fumble on their first possession of the game at their own 35-yardline. Two plays later, Chris Chance took a handoff and raced 28 yards for the first of his three touchdowns on the game. The Westies tacked on a two-point conversion on a wild, bad snap that was corralled by Latrell Best, who scrambled around, pitched the ball to Chance, who then found Zach Conlan with pass in the end zone for the 8-0 lead just 2:23 into the game.
Xavier then drove deep into West Haven territory but was stopped on fourth down at the Blue Devils’ 10-yardline. Chris Chance then found an opening and bolted 83 yards to increase the lead to 15-0 with 2:46 left in the first quarter.
The West Haven defense came up with another, huge stop on fourth down, when it sacked the Falcons’ quarterback and put the Westies back in business. It was Chris Chance again, this time on a run of 31 yards to make it a 21-0 West Haven lead with 9:01 left in the half.
After the Falcons were able to get on the board with a touchdown, the Blue Devils chewed up yards and clock with a drive that was capped by a leaping Kyle Godfrey from one yard out with nine seconds left in the half to make it 27-7.
The Blue Devils picked up right where they left off in the second half when Kyle Godfrey rushed for a touchdown 1:24 into the third quarter to increase the lead to 33-7. Joe Steinman then came up with one of his two interceptions to set up the Westies again. Zach Conlan rushed for a 13-yard touchdown with 7:32 left in the third quarter and then for a 28-yard touchdown with 3:46 left in the quarter to solidify the West Haven lead at 45-7.
That was more than enough and the Blue Devils coasted the rest of the way. Chris Chance finished with 190 yards on the ground and three touchdowns while Zach Conlan had 108 yards and two touchdowns and Kyle Godfrey had 85 yards and two touchdowns for the Westies.
With a postseason berth clinched, the Blue Devils will be looking to improve their position and grab a home, playoff game when they visit the Fairfield Prep Jesuits on Thanksgiving Day at 10.
The girls soccer team traveled to battle the Trumbull Eagles in the first round of the CIAC playoffs in a driving rain on Tuesday night. Just 4:05 into the contest, Kelsey Gilmore split two Trumbull defenders and drilled a shot over the Eagles’ goalkeeper and into the top, left corner for an early 1-0 lead. Trumbull was able to respond 5:18 later to knot the score at 1-1. The Eagles continued to put the pressure on the Blue Devils but a couple of saves by Betsy Magana and a great play by Erin Smith in the box kept the score tied.
Trumbull converted an opportunity with 9:14 left in the first half to take a 2-1 lead and looked to increase its lead with 2:58 left in the half but, Magana came up with a brilliant save to keep the Westies in striking position. The Blue Devils had a couple of chances in the second half including one by a speedy Taylor Nowak, who was denied by the sliding Trumbull keeper in a violent collision with 26:17 left in the game. The resulting injury to the Eagles’ goalkeeper delayed the game for about a half hour as the rain continued to pelt McDougal Stadium. Trumbull added an insurance goal with 7:50 left in the game after a turnover at midfield for the 3-1 final. Betsy Magana finished with eight saves in goal for West Haven, who finish the season with a 6-6-5 record.