Despite the Foran High defense forcing two early turnovers, the Lions couldn’t capitalize and North Haven High’s yard-churning, time-consuming offense ran for more than 300 yards to win a 28-7 Southern Connecticut Conference Division II East Division game on Senior Day at the Vito DeVito Sports Complex on Sunday.
“Against this football team, we have to take advantage of everything,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said. “We just couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t our night.
“The missed field goal… That hurt us. You kick yourself in the butt whether you should go for it or not but I wanted to make sure we came away with something on that.”
North Haven improved to 3-0 in the East to secure its fourth straight division title. The Indians are 5-3 overall.
Foran saw its three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-3 and 2-1 in the division.
Sophomore signal-caller Jake Kasuba led the Lions, completing 27-of-38 attempts for 200 yards and a 28-yard touchdown to Zach White.
Ethan Suraci and Jalon White led the Indians rushing attack combining for 316 yards. Suraci led with 178 yards and two scores, while White added 138 yards and a touchdown for North Haven.
Prior to the game, Foran honored its 11 seniors; Chris Hoey, Micael Callahan, Michael Pitt, Niko DeRosa, Quinton Brooks, Anthony DeTullio, Jon Haray, John Carchia, Eddie Drapp and captains James Monk and Ryan Klink, as well as the senior cheerleaders and band members.
Foran got off to a good start after Sam Olsson recovered a White fumble at the Lions’ 26 after North Haven had marched 37 yards in four plays on the opening drive.
After a 19-yard screen pass to DeRosa, Kasuba threw three straight incompletions to stall the drive at his own 45-yard line.
After each team had a drive stall, the Lions started at the North Haven 49 and moved the ball in 10 plays down to the five-yard line to give Olsson a try at a 22-yard field goal.
Olsson’s kick from the right hash went wide left and the Indians took over at the 22-yard line.
The Indians moved the ball down to the Foran 17, before Suraci fumbled the ball back to the Lions.
After a backwards pass and fumble to Sean Deegan moved the ball back to the two-yard line, the Lions did all they could to make room to punt the ball away to the Indians.
“We just said we got to keep playing,” Bevino said. “This team, this group of kids is never going to quit. It’s just not in their DNA. I’ve been proud of these kids and I’m proud of them tonight. We played physical against a really good football team.”
Off the punt, North Haven drove 49 yards in seven plays, finished by Suraci’s one-yard run with 46.9 left in the first half to give the Indians the 7-0 lead.
In the second half, Foran got off on a nice drive moving the ball 54 yards in eight plays before Kasuba’s pass to Weissauer was intercepted by Freddy Sanchez, who jumped the hitch route.
North Haven answered with a 10-play, 79-yard drive concluded by a 35-yard Suraci run through the Foran defense for the score, giving the Indians a 14-0 lead.
After the offense stalled again, North Haven moved the ball 64 yards in three plays, thanks largely to a 57-yard scamper from Suraci to put the Indians inside the five.
The Foran defense, with defensive linemen Andrew Melendez, Zach Hubler, Colin Lydiksen and Dan Rivera, linebackers Jesse Alldredge, Connor Cadrin, Nick Griswold and Callahan with Weissauer and Anthony Kopatch in the backfield, stopped North Haven short of the goal line to keep it a 14-0 game.
After the defensive stop, Foran took over inside the 1.
Kasuba attempted a handoff to DeRosa but the ball was fumbled and recovered by Quincy Pecora to give the Indians the touchdown they just had been denied for a 21-0 lead.
The Lions answered with a 65-yard drive in three plays, thanks to two big pass plays from Kasuba.
Kasuba first hit Weissauer on a slant for a 38-yard gain. Then after a Kasuba two-yard keeper, he connected with Zach White on a screen pass.
White eluded four North Haven defenders to score the 28-yard touchdown to make it 21-7 after Olsson’s PAT.
The Indians responded with a 56-yard methodical drive to eat up clock and seal the victory. White capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown after 10 plays and two and a half minutes gone off the clock.
“I’ve said it all along, we’re going to be good, it’s just a matter of when,” Bevino said. “Kasuba is growing up right in front of our eyes. He did a good job, he made a couple mistakes but he’s a young kid, he’s going to make mistakes… And our wide outs; Weissauer and Deegan, those kids are doing a good job for us.
“They’re all young so I’m very pleased. The way we played, I’m pretty happy.”