HKYFA: Championship Semifinals 2018

Submitted by Eric Anderson Nov. 16, 2018.

2018 CTYFL A and B Squad Championship Semifinals hosted by Cromwell.

A squad defenders pressure the Cromwell punter during 2nd quarter action at Pierson Park in Cromwell

The #2 seeded Cougar A squad traveled to Pierson Park in Cromwell to take on the #6 seeded Cromwell Lions. In week 7 the Cougars prevailed by a 32-7 margin but this time the stakes where much higher with a chance to advance to the title game on the line.

After a pair of fumbles on the first 2 series of the game by HK, Tate Callender ripped off a 62 yard run up the visiting sidelines for a touchdown. Cavin Napolentano split the uprights with authority and the Cougars drew first blood with an early 8-0 advantage. An interception by Cromwell late in the first half deep in Lion territory gave the visiting team a chance of running out the clock and preserving an 8 point deficit but a Cary Harwood tackle at the line of scrimmage and a tackle for a loss and sack by Ben Cozean forced a Lion punt. With Cromwell pinned deep in their own end of the field the HK defense overpowered the offensive line and blocked the punt into the hands of Orion Inkel who ran in for the score with 24 seconds left on the clock. Napolentano kicked the extra point and HK took an 18-0 lead into the break. The HK defense allowed the Lions a 10 play 38 yard drive on their first series of the game but locked out the visiting team for the remainder of the half, allowing only 5 additional yards of total offense.

In the 2nd half the Lions closed the gap to 18-6 with a pass completion in the end zone but the Cougars would answer with a pair of scores by Callender and extra-point kicks by Napolentano to notch the 32-6 win. Callender racked up 188 yards rushing on the day behind stout blocking from the HK offensive unit both at the line of scrimmage and in the open field. Lee Harwood (27 yards) and Orion Inkel (19 yards) contributed on the ground for the Cougars.

The defense was led by Ben Cozean who delivered an impressive performance with 7.5 tackles and a sack. Also contributing on defense where Carey Harwood (3 tackles, 1 sack), Lee Harwood (2.5 tackles), Vincent Scileppi (2.5 tackles) and Nick Fox with 1.5 tackles. Jaden Fulton, Aiden Griswold, Kevin Harrison and Bryce Anderson each contributed one tackle and Anderson had an interception. The defense held Cromwell to 83 yards of total offense on the day.

The win sets a week 1 rematch with East Hartford for the championship. The Hornets beat HK 12-7 at East Hartford in week 1.

The championship game will be played on Sunday, November 18 at Coginchaug High School in Durham at 2pm.

The undefeated and #1 seeded Cougar B squad played the #4 seeded Bloomfield Raiders in the early game at Pierson Park.

The B squad cheer team performs a stunt during halftime of the semifinal game against Bloomfield

HK jumped out to an early 12-0 lead but Bloomfield rallied to tie the game before Michael Seward broke free for a 60 yard touchdown run and with a successful extra point run the Cougars went into the half with a 19-12 advantage.

On the first play from scrimmage in the second half Seward found running room to the outside and dashed up the sidelines for a touchdown. Bloomfield battled back with a pair of scores to tie the game at 25-25 with 5:56 remaining. A tense final minutes of play resulted in a deadlock and the game moved to sudden death overtime. HK won the toss and took possession on the Raider 25 yard line but fumbled and Bloomfield recovered the ball. The Raiders would rush into the end zone 2 plays later for the winning touchdown.

Although not the desired result the team should be proud of their season. No doubt the boys will be back next year looking to build on this year’s success.

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