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Isaiah McNeilly and the Hand football team ran their record to 4-0 by notching a 44-0 shutout against Wilbur Cross at the Surf Club on Oct. 4. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
Kayla Mendonca and the Tigers earned their first win over Lauralton Hall in program history by defeating the Crusaders 96-89 on Oct. 4. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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The Tigers’ football squad rolled to its fourth-straight victory by posting a 44-0 shutout against Wilbur Cross at the Surf Club on Oct. 4. Hand scored 22 points in the first quarter and added 22 more points in the second quarter on their way to blanking the Governors. Hand owns a record of 4-0, has won last 28 games, and is in the No. 2 spot in the Class L Playoff rankings.
Senior running back Colin McCabe turned in another stellar performance for the Tigers by rushing for 106 yards and four touchdowns on just five carries in the victory. Hand opened the scoring when senior quarterback Phoenix Billings found Isaiah McNeilly for a 17-yard touchdown strike early in the first quarter. Will Flanagan connected with Jesse Lutz on the 2-point conversion pass to make it 8-0. McCabe by then took over by scoring on TD runs of three and 39 yards as Hand built up a 22-0 lead after only 12 minutes.
In the second quarter, McCabe scored on touchdown runs of 59 and 20 yards, while Billings added a 3-yard TD run, to give the Tigers a 44-0 command at intermission.
Billings went 5-of-9 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown for Hand. Flanagan also saw time at quarterback and was 4-of-6 for 26 yards. Lutz carried the ball six times for 30 yards, and Ethan O’Brien had six carries for 32 yards. McNeilly caught four passes for 88 yards and a score. Ethan Habermann had two receptions for 32 yards.
On defense, Kevin Nizolek recorded two sacks for the Tigers, while Kade Doverspike added a sack. Aiden Patrick had an interception, Lukas Wagner forced a fumble, and Shane Reiner recovered a fumble. Reiner also had eight tackles, including four for a loss of yards.
Hand is on the bye week for Week 5. The Tigers will return to the gridiron when they play a road game against non-conference opponent Norwalk at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18.
Girls’ Swimming and Diving
Hand improved to 6-0 on the year by claiming a pair of victories last week. The Tigers defeated Shelton by the score of 84-72 on Oct. 1, after which Hand earned its first win versus Lauralton Hall in program history with a 96-89 victory over the Crusaders on Oct. 4.
Against Shelton, junior Emma Ruffo finished first in both the 50 freestyle (27.84) and the 100 butterfly (1:08.12) for the Tigers. She also joined forces with senior captain Kayla Mendonca, freshman Julia Urbowicz, and sophomore Katie Wines to take first place in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:04.1.
Wines notched a victory in the 500 freestyle (5:50.80), Urbowicz finished first in the 100 freestyle (59.93), Sophie Cadematori won the 200 freestyle (2:18.17), and Reilly was first in the 200 individual medley at 2:19.65. Hand’s 200 freestyle relay team of Urbowicz, Cadematori, Abbi Chemacki, and Ruffo timed in 1:53.54 to take first place.
Other strong finishes were turned in by senior Grace Vest in the 100 butterfly (2nd, 1:14.19), Kylie Scarpellino in the 500 freestyle (3rd, 6:31.47), and Catherine Arrandale in the 100 freestyle (3rd, 1:06.31).
In the Lauralton Hall victory, the Tigers’ 200 medley relay of Mendonca, Chemacki, Reilly, and Ava Keane finished first at 2:00.11. Hand’s 400 freestyle relay featuring Ruby Redlich, Keane, Chemacki, and Mendonca also took first place.
Mendonca finished first in the 100 butterfly (1:00.69) and the 100 backstroke (59.20) for the Tigers. Keane won the 100 freestyle (56.19), Chemacki was first in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.37), and Reilly won the 200 individual medley (1:00.69).
Hand’s 200 freestyle relay team of Redlich, Urbowicz, Arrandale, and Reilly earned runner-up honors with a mark of 1:46.22. Reilly claimed second place in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.08. Eva Alquist scored 166.13 points for a third-place performance in the diving competition.
The Tigers increased their record to 7-3 and moved within one victory of qualifying for the Class L State Tournament after recording three wins last week.
Hand posted a 3-0 shutout over Sheehan on Oct. 1, defeated Hillhouse by the same score the following day, and then blanked Branford by a 3-0 final on Oct. 4. The Tigers completed their week by taking a 3-2 loss versus Haddam-Killingworth on Oct. 5.
Hand took a 2-1 loss to Cheshire on Oct. 2, but came right back to net a 1-0 shutout versus Amity the following day. The Tigers stand with a mark of 4-3-1 this season.
In the Cheshire game, Hand allowed two goals to the Rams on penalty kicks during the first half. Mia Forti scored for the Tigers in the second half, but Hand was unable to score the tying goal.
Head Coach David Dikranian said that Hand put forth a solid defensive effort versus Amity. Goalies Brooke Salutari and Maddie Thomas combined for 14 saves to get the shutout in net, while defenders Adelia McGuire and Perry Jensen kept Amity’s attackers off-balance. Senior captain Chloe Thompson scored the only goal of the game after receiving a free kick in the 18-yard box from senior Kayla Howard at the 14:20 mark of the first half.
The Tigers saw their seven-game unbeaten streak come to an end, but they also earned a tie during last week’s action. Hand now has a record of 5-1-2 on the year.
Hand battled Cheshire to a 0-0 draw on Oct. 1. Then on Oct. 5, the Tigers lost a 3-1 decision against Shelton for their first defeat of the campaign. Scott Testori scored on an assist from Chris Porte for the Tigers’ lone goal of the game.
Hand came away with one win in its three games last week to move to 6-4 on the season. The Tigers took a 4-2 loss to Guilford on Oct. 1, earned a 3-2 victory over Cheshire on Oct. 4, and then lost to Darien by a 7-2 score on Oct. 5.
Carly-Anna Barba scored in the first half to give Hand a 1-0 lead over Guilford, but the Indians came back with four-straight goals to take a 4-1 advantage. Amy Woods scored the final goal of the game for the Tigers.
Hand fell behind Cheshire 1-0 before Grace Hartmann scored a goal at 14:58 of the first half to even the score. Jacqui Sandor and Maeve Connors had the assists. Hartmann scored again off a corner on an assist by Sandor as time wound down in the opening half. Grace Goddard’s goal at 19:52 of the second half upped the Tigers’ lead to 3-1 before Cheshire scored the last goal of the contest. Maddy Kilduff made 10 saves in the cage for Hand.
Facing Darien, Goddard and Woods scored goals to give Hand a 2-1 lead in the first half. The Blue Wave went on to score six unanswered goals to pull away for the win. Kilduff and Megan Hart split the goaltending duties for the Tigers with both goalies making five saves apiece.
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