SOUTHINGTON – Wallingford’s Tom Brockett was in a familiar territory on Tuesday morning. The Ansonia head coach was holding court with the state football community and state media at the CIAC Football Luncheon at the Aqua Turf in search of yet another state title.
Brockett, 40, and his Chargers will make their eighth consecutive state final appearance on Saturday in the Class S state final. Top-seeded Ansonia kicks off against No. 2 St. Joseph-Trumbull on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at West Haven High School.
Brockett has totaled a 148-10 record in his 12 years as Ansonia’s head coach, including a perfect 12-0 mark this season. Out of his 12 years with the Chargers, Brockett has made the state final 11 times and has a 6-4 mark in the championship game.
“We don’t take it for granted,” Brockett said of another trip to the finals. “With the new playoff format, I don’t think you will see anyone going 11-out-of-12 or eight in a row. The playoff format is really hard right now. it’s good for high school football, but it makes the challenge tougher.”
Ansonia, riding a 25-game winning streak, was a spotless 10-0 in the regular season and cruised by NVL rival Seymour, the No. 8 seed, 51-16 in the quarterfinals, then defeated No. 5 Stafford/East Windsor/Somers 52-19 in Sunday’s semifinals. Both victories were at home at Jarvis Stadium.
Senior running back Markell Dobbs has churned out 32 touchdowns and 1,902 during the regular season for the defending Class S champs. The CCSU-bound back added 206 yards and three TDs on 24 carries in the quarterfinals and 147 yards and three TDs on 13 carries in the semifinals.
St. Joseph (11-1) will present Brockett’s biggest challenge yet this season.
“We’ve got our hands full,” Brockett said. “They are arguably the best team in the state the way they are playing. Without that quarterback, they are a top five team in the state and, with him, I think it just puts them over the edge. I think they are a different team than they were earlier in the year. They’ve gotten better, better and better and it’s a tribute to them.
“Their quarterback is the best in the state. I don’t think I remember seeing a kid throw the ball this well since Casey Cochran. He’s phenomenal and they have four great wide receivers and a physical defense and a good running back. They have all of the pieces of the puzzle.”
That quarterback is 6-foot-3 junior David Summers, who threw five touchdown passes in St. Joseph's 49-20 win over Rocky Hill in the semifinals. Three of the TD passes were to receiver Jared Mallozzi.
“We are playing the most storied program in state history,” St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia said. “They have a terrific team with a strong offensive line, backs, quarterback and defense. They’re just good all the way around. We have a big challenge ahead of us.”
St. Joseph defeated Ansonia in the 2010 title game. Della Vecchia said his team has had some big wins this year.
“It’s been exciting and a lot of fun,” Della Vecchia said. “We opened the season with a thrilling win at New Canaan, which is something that hardly ever happens. We had a late comeback win against Ridgefield. We beat Wilton, Staples and Trumbull along the way. Those are teams we had to beat because it’s so tough to get in the playoffs. We’ve risen to the challenge so far.”
The Class S final is one of four on Saturday. Also in action are No. 5 Masuk and No. 2 Daniel Hand in the Class L tilt. That game kicks off at 11 a.m. at New Britain’s Veteran’s Stadium. The Class M contest between No. 6 Joel Barlow and No. 1 Killingly will follow at 3 p.m.
The Class LL title will be decided between FCIAC foes No. 3 Darien and No. 1 Greenwich. The Blue Wave is riding back-to-back championships heading into Saturday’s 11 a.m kickoff at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium.
Ansonia, Greenwich and Killingly are the three unbeaten team to this point of the season.
Brockett said he he’s had fun with his Chargers again this fall.
“They are kids and we have fun,” Brockett said. “They are sitting with a 25-game winning streak and have a chance to do something really special on Saturday, and that means a lot to us. They are committed to the program and have worked really hard. Some of the guys have changed themselves as people and players, and that’s always really important for me.”