By John Nestor
Special to CIACsports.com
ANSONIA, Conn. – The Ansonia Chargers are once again set to play for a state title thanks to a standout performance from Markell Dobbs.
Dobbs scored five touchdowns, including four in the first half to lead second-seeded Ansonia to a 49-28 victory over No. 6 Cromwell/Portland in the Class S semifinals Monday night at Jarvis Stadium.
With the win, Ansonia advances to its seventh straight state title game and will face Rocky Hill, a 42-7 winner over Seymour in the other semifinal, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at Willow Brook Park.
Dobbs scored on runs of 18, one, 71 and 37 yards but it was a 68-yard screen pass from Bryson Cafaro that got the Chargers (12-0) out to an early lead and got Dobbs rolling. He added an 18-yard scoring burst to make it 13-0 and Ansonia never trailed.
“We run about 80 percent of the time so I think we surprised them with the pass,” Dobbs said. “It got us going and we executed our game plan from there.”
Kristian Sapp got the Panthers (10-2) on the board with a 36-yard run to close the gap to 13-8 but Ansonia offense answered by kicking it into high gear. Dobbs scored on a one-yard plunge to make it 21-8 and then he ripped off a 71-yard scoring burst on an inside reverse to extend the lead to 29-8.
“Markell was just awesome tonight,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said.
Cafaro threw his second TD pass of the opening half to Cody Teodosio from 26-yards out with 19 seconds left in the second quarter to make it 35-8. Dobbs then opened the second-half scoring with a 37-yard run to extend the lead to 41-8.
“We went out and played Ansonia football tonight,” Dobbs said. “Going back to the state championship for the seventh straight year means a lot to us. The last two losses are motivation for us.”
Cromwell fought until the end and scored 20 fourth quarter points against the Ansonia reserves but it wasn’t enough to keep the Chargers from another shot at state title No. 20.
“It hits you when the clock is running down that we are going back to another state title game, seven in a row and that’s a great accomplishment,” Brockett said. “It’s hard to get back there. It will be out seventh straight title game and they have been against seven different opponents.”
ANSONIA 49, CROMWELL/PORTLAND 28
CROMWELL/PORTLAND 0 8 0 20—28
ANSONIA 13 22 12 0 2—49
A—Markell Dobbs 68 pass from Bryson Cafaro (Cafaro kick)
A—Dobbs 18 run (kick failed)
C/P—Kristian Sapp 36 run (Sapp run)
A—Dobbs 1 run (Justin Lopez run)
A—Dobbs 71 run (Lopez run)
A—Cody Teodosio 26 pass from Cafaro (run failed)
A—Dobbs 37 run (kick failed)
A—Justin Lopez 5 run (kick blocked)
C/P—Jon Siena 59 run (run failed)
C/P—Dianta Highsmith 98 pass from Liam Coleman (Sapp run)
C/P—Highsmith 31 pass from Coleman (pass failed)