Coming off of a promising 6-4 campaign, the Foran High football team is poised to improve on that success this fall.
Coach Jeff Bevino returns a strong core of players that hung around in the Class M playoff race last season. The Lions knocked off Southern Connecticut Conference Division I powers Notre Dame of West Haven, while hanging tough with Class M state champions Hillhouse, en route to a second-place finish in SCC Division II East
Foran also scored a total of 336 points, second most in SCC Division II behind Hillhouse, who scored a hefty 498 points.
“The key to our season is staying healthy and depth,” Bevino said.
Foran’s biggest departure is that of tailback Niko DeRosa, who rushed for a team-high 807 yards on 98 carries as a senior.
Fortunately for the locals, nearly their entire offense returns — led by junior quarterback Jake Kasuba helming the attack.
The versatile Kasuba was all-conference as a sophomore, completing 192 of 276 attempts (nearly 70 percent) for 2,547 yards and 24 touchdowns, against 13 interceptions.
At 5-9, 170 pounds, Kasuba was also a threat on the ground, carrying 85 times for 555 yards and three scores.
His top two outside targets in Bevino’s spread shotgun attack also return.
Senior captain Nick Weissauer, another all-conference selection, hauled in 86 receptions for 999 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.
Zach White, who caught 33 passes for 499 yards and six scores, is back at wide receiver, as is 6-2, 185-pound senior Sean Deegan, who had 20 catches for 446 yards and six touchdowns.
Connor Cadrin, a running back, had 13 catches for 293 yards and 206 rushing yards as a junior last year, providing the Lion offense with another experienced senior. Junior Stephen Longley will also factor into the mix at the skill positions.
The offensive line will be anchored by 6-1, 235-pound senior Zach Hubler — an all-conference selection year.
Defensively, Weissauer will marshal the secondary, along with Sam Olsson and Cadrin.
Senior captain Jesse Alldredge, Dave McLenithan and Colin Lydikson form the linebacking corps.
Up front, Bevino will line up 5-10, 230-pound senior Andrew Melendez, 6-2, 185-pound senior Nik Griswold and 6-2, 195-pound senior Anthony Kopatch.
Foran opened up its season yesterday at home against Fairfield Warde in the SCC-FCIAC Challenge, then travels to West Haven High on Friday, Sept. 20 at 4 p.m.
Along with the Westies, who figure to be one of the top team’s in the state, the Lions will also lock horns with Hillhouse once again, this time on Oct. 25 at the Vito DeVito Sports Complex at 7 p.m.
Foran’s remaining home contests are against Sheehan-Wallingford, Shelton and East Haven, with road games against Trinity Catholic-Stamford, Lyman Hall-Wallingford, North Haven, Guilford and crosstown rival Jonathan Law to complete its regular-season schedule.
Sept. 20 at West Haven, 4
Sept. 27 Sheehan, 7
Oct. 4 Shelton, 7
Oct. 12 at T. Catholic, 1
Oct. 18 at Lyman Hall, 7
Oct. 25 Hillhouse, 7
Nov. 1 East Haven, 7
Nov. 8 at North Haven, 7
Nov. 15 at Guilford, 7
Nov. 28 at Law, 10:30