Stamford Football defeats Westhill for City Championship Four-Peat

After unfortunate seasons for Stamford and Westhill, with both teams falling to an 0-9 record, the city championship was the final chance to prevent a winless season. It was a rough season for Stamford’s seniors, as the team came in with little to no varsity experience, resulting in a rebuilding year focused on the team’s younger players. Westhill was in an opposite situation, with some varsity starters returning from previous seasons, though this didn’t give them much of an upper hand against Stamford.

Although this wasn’t an ideal season for either team, a few of Stamford’s seniors made the biggest plays of the day on Thanksgiving morning to top Westhill 14-7 in a hard-fought victory. 

Westhill was the first team to put up points, when senior Kevin Laba ran for a 7-yard touchdown in the second quarter to put the Vikings up 7-0. This gave Stamford a sense of urgency, understanding that they needed to make a comeback.

Westhill’s Kevin Laba (1) carries the ball against Stamford during their Thanksgiving matchup. (Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media)

Westhill set up to punt, only for the snap to go over the punter’s head, barely getting it off in time. Taking advantage of this scuffed play, sophomore Brian Augustin returned the ball, but was short of the touchdown at the 1-yard line. 

Stamford was in an amazing position to score. With the ball at the 1-yard line, quarterback Jack Stokes ran down the middle on a QB sneak to put Stamford on the scoreboard, tying the game 7-7.

With 25 seconds left in the third quarter, Westhill attempted to punt the ball away with the punter standing in the end zone. Stamford senior Jackson Zak took matters into his own hands when he blocked the punt, and then recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown, giving Stamford a 14-7 lead.

In the fourth quarter, with 5:18 left in the game, Westhill got the ball back, hoping to score and tie the game up. Stamford senior Max Beldotti had other plans though, with back-to-back sacks and a forced fumble, giving the ball back to Stamford, who now could kill the clock and secure the city championship.

Westhill got the ball back on the 20-yard line with 30 seconds to play, but the time would run out, leaving Stamford victorious in the city championship against Westhill for the fourth year in a row.

Stamford football celebrates the team’s 14-7 victory over Westhill in the city championship game. (Scott Ericson / Hearst Connecticut Media)