This past Saturday, the Coginchaug Blue Devils football team faced off against the Nonnewaug Chiefs in their season opener. It was a beautiful day for football and despite the long drive, the boys were motivated and ready to play when they arrived at Nonnewaug Regional High School in Woodbury.
The offense came out with blazing speed and laser focus. Jack Granger put Coginchaug on the board in the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jake Ober. The PAT from John Crandall put the score early in the game at 7-0. Granger scored again on a 20-yard touchdown run and Crandall's kick put the Blue Devils up 14-0.
In the second quarter, Granger scored his third touchdown — a 33-yard TD pass from junior QB Tyler Meeker. A failed PAT left the score at 20-0. A few minutes later, Granger found the endzone again on an 8-yard run. The PAT was good, and the Blue Devils went into halftime with a 27-0 lead.
The third quarter was much of the same, with Meeker throwing a 21-yard pass to Granger. Another great Crandall kick and the score was 34-0. Jeff Grumm caught Meeker's third touchdown pass of the afternoon and with another good PAT the Blue Devils led 41-0.
In the fourth quarter freshman QB Wes Benjunas ran 18 yards for the final score of the game.
Granger finished with 8 carries for 107 yards with 2 TDs rushing. He also had four catches for 91 yards and 3 TDs. Senior co-captain Sean Harper had 12 carries for 60 yards and 2 catches for 23 yards. Ober carried the ball 6 times for 45 yards. Sophomore Carlos Benitez had 4 carries for 22 yards. Freshman Connor Salva had 4 carries for 19 yards and sophmore Eric Solomon carried the ball 3 times for a total of 11 yards.
Meeker finished 6-for-9 and passed for 107 yards with 3 touchdowns. Great blocking from the offensive line allowed the Devils to control the field. When the dust cleared, the Devils had carried the ball 274 yards and passed for 135 yards.
The Devils defense, with a show of power and determination, allowed only four first downs all day. Benitez had five tackles on the day. Devin Rodrigue had a recovered fumble and 4 tackles. Blue Devils all-league center Ian Augur, a captain, had a sack, 5 tackles and two big hits. Jake Nickel showed up with 3 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Jeff Grumm disrupted the Chiefs offense with an interception, a pass break-up and 3 tackles. Ty Kartiganer had four tackles on the day as well. All around the kids played really hard and fast all afternoon.
Our cheerleaders were there in force and had plenty to cheer about. People may say we’re a young team, that we lack experience, but there are things these kids don’t lack and they are heart and skill. I was proud of the Blue Devils this Saturday and I look forward to this season.
Final Score : Blue Devils 47 Chiefs 0
Submitted by Gary Paxton