New Milford football finishes up and down season on high note
It was an up and down season for New Milford High School football — one that ended with a satisfying win for the Green Wave.
Mired in its second three-game losing skid of the season, New Milford capped the season with a 37-0 victory over New Fairfield. The win gave the Green Wave possession of the Candlewood Cup for the first time in five years and their first shutout since 2008.
“We finally played a complete football game against New Fairfield,” New Milford coach Larry Badaracco said.
Some standout performances against the Rebels came from Nishan Parikh with an interception, sack and fumble recovery; Kyle Wilton with 11 tackles, Tyler Sullivan with five touchdown passes and Kendell Greene’s touchdown catches.
The Green Wave opened the season with a 37-7 home victory over Stratford that was followed by losses to Hillhouse and Pomperaug by seven and two points, respectively. Winning those two and getting to 3-0 would have made the season shape up a lot differently.
After a loss to Class M playoff team Joel Barlow (41-21), New Milford won two games in a row beating Hamden (47-7) and Weston (15-14) in the most exciting game of the Green Wave’s season.
Trailing the Trojans 14-7, the Green Wave offense went down the field and scored on a Tyler Sullivan run. Then, deciding to go for the win, Sullivan threw the go ahead two point conversion to Greene. Austin Swanson sealed the game with an interception.
The season had some stand out performers for New Milford. Offensively, senior captain Matt Brevard had 53 catches for 814 yards and five touchdowns. Brevard was named First Team All Conference at Wide Receiver and set school career records with 121 catches and 1,661 yards.
Tyler Sullivan, the senior captain, finished his season with 18 TD passes and 34 for his career. Sullivan ended the season with 2,278 yards passing. Greene also was named first team All Conference at running back where he lead the team in rushing (743) and Total TD (13).
On the defensive side of the football the Green Wave was led by Nate Capriglione, an All-State Player in 2016 who was named 1st Team All-Conference at Linebacker. Dylan Jimenez led the team in tackles with 72. Wilton led the team in sacks with 6.5 and Parikh added three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
New Milford had three players play both sides of the football. Senior captain Mike Haggerty was named to the SWC ALL-Conference team on the Offensive Line and also was a defensive line starter with 31 tackles.
Chris Pesantez was also a starter on the offensive and defensive lines with 37 tackles. Austin Swanson was a jack of all trades on offensive and had five touchdowns and 416 receiving yards.
On defense Swanson had four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown, and on special teams he averaged 10 yards per punt return and 22 yards a kickoff return.
“The program was very senior laden this year. Nine senior starters on Defense and eight on offense,” Badaracco said. “A lot of sophomores and juniors got experience playing varsity this year but it will take a commitment to the offseason program to be able to perform full time at the varsity level.”