Bloomfield Stops Ansonia For 1st Title Since 2003

NEW BRITAIN — Bloomfield quarterback Rayshawn Phillips raised his arms, ran into the postgame huddle of glee and screeched: "Yes, Bloomfield."

Yes, indeed.


Powered by Phillips' four touchdown passes, the Warhawks defeated Ansonia 31-20 on Saturday to win the Class S championship at Veterans Stadium.

The title for No. 2 seed Bloomfield (13-0) was its eighth overall and first since 2003, and it came against the top seed.


"Great for us, players of the past like Dwight Freeney and Kory Sheets and everyone in town," said defensive end Kahari Scarlett, who had 10 tackles — four for losses and two sacks.

And once again Veterans Stadium was a site of sorrow for the Chargers (12-1), who were seeking their 20th CIAC football championship. Last year they lost 21-20 to Valley Regional/Old Lyme in the Class S-Large final.

Tajik Bagley rushed for 167 yards on 39 carries for Ansonia on Saturday. But the rest of the team managed only 126 yards more.

Ansonia was a one-dimensional team that relied on the run. It completed just six passes for 87 yards.

Bloomfield had superior speed at many positions and was more balanced on offense. Phillips (14-for-26 with one interception) threw for 252 yards. Andrell Pinnock rushed for 79 yards and one TD on 10 carries. Russell Thompson-Bishop had three receptions — two for TDs — for 90 yards. Dexter Lawson contributed five receptions and one TD.

"They're outstanding," Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. "I'm not calling them the No. 1 team in the state; I'm not saying that. But their size and speed is second to nobody. ... If they don't win a state track championship, I'd be shocked."

Bloomfield opened the scoring when Phillips dropped back, moved right to elude the pass rush and tossed to Thompson-Bishop, who extended his left arm and brought the ball to his chest. He ran down the right sideline to complete the 27-yard scoring play with 5:35 left in the first quarter.

"We practiced that play so often in the offseason and during the season," Thompson-Bishop said. "I even practiced catching then with one hand; never know when you might need to."

Ansonia looked like it might score early in the second quarter. But on fourth-and16 at the Bloomfield 19, Thomas Norman deflected away a pass in the end zone.

Thompson-Bishop's 61-yard punt pinned Ansonia back at its 13 late in the second quarter, then a short Ansonia punt gave the ball back to Bloomfield at the Chargers 30. Two plays later Phillips connected with a wide-open Thompson-Bishop for a 27-yard touchdown and 14-0 lead with 1:45 left in the half.

The Chargers rebounded to start the second half. Tyler Bailey capped a 12-play, 59-yard drive with a 7-yard TD run.

Then on a fourth-and-2 at the Bloomfield 35, the Ansonia front stuffed Phillips for no gain with just under 5 minutes left in the third quarter.


"Ansonia runs it so well; we went for it to keep the ball away from them," Bloomfield coach Ty Outlaw said.

Ansonia tied it nine plays later on Bailey's 3-yard run and his conversion run with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

Bloomfield took the lead for good 17-14 on Raheme Dawkins' 23-yard field goal with 10:39 to play.

Led by linebacker Dillon Harris, who had a team-high 14 tackles; Scarlett, linebacker Ventine Richardson (nine tackles), end Christian Hall-Gardner, Norman, tackle Lucas Samuels, tackle Khyrin Williams and everyone else, Bloomfield stopped Ansonia.

Jose Crespo's 12-yard TD catch with 6:52 to go increased the lead to 24-14.

Ansonia responded with Bryson Cafaro's 23-yard scoring pass to Bailey. His conversion rush failed, and the Chargers trailed 24-20 with 3:51 remaining.

Bloomfield secured the victory when Phillips made a first down by a couple of inches on a fourth-and-1 run from his 45 with 3:14 remaining. Four plays later, Lawson was all alone to catch a 1-yard TD pass.

"This was great for us, and playing in the CCC prepared us for this game," Outlaw said.

Harris said, "When they tied us 14-14, we weren't rattled. We got punched. And we punched back."