The Jr. Raider UConn Huskies closed out the season this Saturday (November 3rd) by dominating the USC Trojans in the Division III (Grades 3-4) Super Bowl. The 9 and 0 Huskies ended their perfect season with a 32-12 win over the Trojans.
The Huskies were led by halfback Thomas Amankwaa who had a season high 229 rushing yards on 9 carries, and 4 touchdowns. Fullback Loukas Ganas added 20 yards rushing, 9 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, and a successful PAT kick. Quarterback Drew Ryan also added 21 yards rushing and a completed pass, while James SanFillippo, Maysen Lane, and Chris DiNardi each carried the ball for positive yardage.
USC won the toss and elected to receive the ball first. On their first drive of the day, the Trojans got a taste of the hard-hitting UConn defense by going 3 and out on consecutive 2-yard runs. USC punted to the UConn 42-yard line. Ryan, DiNardi, and Kyle Elmalis each had great hits, and Cameron Hill, Ganas, Jason Ortman, and Holden Stack were also in on the tackles.
The Huskies took over but couldn’t get their high-powered offense started on the first drive. A short run and a facemask penalty moved the ball into USC territory, but a fumble under center on the next play turned the ball over.
USC’s 2nd possession started on their own 45-yard line, but again they couldn’t move the ball. A 2-yard run, a tackle in the backfield by SanFillippo for a 3-yard loss, and a 4-yard run forced the Trojans to punt the ball away again. Hill, DiNardi, Ortman, and Brandon Rodriguez all aided in the stop.
UConn got the ball back on the USC 47-yard line, and this time was focused on the end zone. Amankwaa was handed the ball and broke away for 34 yards down the right sideline. Ganas then pounded another 5 yards, and on a broken play Ryan dished the ball to Amankwaa who danced his way in for 6 points. Ganas was successful on the PAT kick for 2 points, and UConn led 8-0.
On USC’s 3rd possession, they again couldn’t spark their offense, with two short runs, an illegal motion penalty, and a loss. So the Trojan’s punted again on 4th & 10, to the UConn 45-yard line, and Amankwaa returned the ball 28 yards to the USC 27-yard line.
The Huskies again moved the ball on their next drive. Ganas ran up the middle for another 5 yards, and then with a little luck on their side, the Huskies recovered two fumbles. Both under center, but the second was picked up by Ryan who ran to the outside for a gain of 7 and a 1st down. Then three short runs were followed by an offsides penalty by USC, giving the Huskies another 1st down. Plagued with fumbles, the Huskies dropped another on the next play but again recovered, and then Ganas plowed up the middle for a second UConn touchdown. The PAT pass attempt failed, and UConn led 14-0
USC’s 4th possession started like the previous three, with a short run, a great tackle in the backfield by Nicholas West and SanFillippo, and an incomplete pass. On 4th & 11, the Trojan’s punted a 4th time, to the UConn 23-yard line on a good roll. The Huskies tried to return it and made no gain, but a blocking in the back penalty pushed them to their own 13-yard line.
The Huskies 4th possession lasted one play, with an impressive 87-yard touchdown run by the “play-maker” Thomas Amankwaa. The PAT run attempt failed, and UConn extended its lead to 20-0.
The Trojan’s next possession again went without a 1st down. Three short runs, a recovered fumble and an illegal motion penalty put USC with 4th & 8. Electing to go for it, they got stuffed in the backfield by Ganas and turned the ball over on downs. SanFillippo, Hill, Elmalis, Stack, Lane, and Ryan McLaughlin all contributed to the stop for UConn’s stifling defense.
UConn took over on the USC 35-yard line and gained only a couple yards on three runs. The Huskies then punted for the first time, sending the ball to the USC 17-yard line.
USC ran two more plays for short gains on their next possession before they started to make progress. The Trojans then made back-to-back break-away runs for 25 and 15 yards, and kept on going. On the 9th play of the drive they scored from 1-yard out on a QB sneak. Amankwaa made a great tackle in the backfield on the PAT attempt, and the Huskies now led 20-6.
The Huskies got the ball back once more before haftime. Ryan ran a bootleg for a gain of 4, and broke away for a 30-yard gain on the following play, but it was called back due to an illegal block penalty. The time expired and UConn led 20-6 at the half.
UConn opened the 2nd half with the ball, and went the length of the field on 12 plays. Ganas, SanFillippo, Amankwaa, and Ryan all ran the ball for gains, but a 9-yard pass from Ryan to Ganas, and a 30-yard touchdown run by Amankwaa topped the drive. The PAT kick attempt failed, and UConn extended its lead to 26-6.
USC’s first possession of the 2nd half started with a 10 yard 1st down run, but ended on the next play with a fumble recovered by UConn’s Cameron Hill.
UConn took over on USC’s 40-yard line, but their next possession didn’t last long either. A delay of game penalty, followed by a lost fumble, gave the ball back to USC on their own 40-yard line.
The clock was working against USC. They needed to put more points on the board, or they’d have no chance at upsetting the favored Huskies. The Trojans then engineered a 9 play drive. Two consecutive 1st down runs brought the ball to the UConn 36-yard line, and one short run after then next led to a 9-yard touchdown run by the Trojans. The PAT run attempt failed, and UConn’s lead was cut again with a score of 26-12.
The Huskies responded again, matching touchdowns on its next possession. On 3rd & 7 the ball was pitched to Amankwaa who made yet another signature run, hurdling defenders, breaking tackles, and spinning down the field for a 62 yard touchdown show. The PAT run attempt failed, and UConn again extended its to lead to 20 with a score of 32-12.
USC’s 9th possession of the day has halted again by the UConn defense. After runs of 9 and 5 with a 1st down, the Trojans made short gains on three more runs. But a personal foul penalty moved them back to their own 44-yard line. On 4th and 15 they went for it, and the Huskies made another stop with a gain of only 1-yard. The ball was turned over on downs, as UConn took over on the USC 45-yard line. Hunter Jorgensen, Ryan, Ganas, DiNardi, Elmalis, and West each made tackles to stop the Trojans.
UConn’s Hill then took the ball downfield for a gain of 15 yards, and Lane, DiNardi, and Jorgensen all had short runs, but not enough for another 1st down. The Huskies punted on 4th down to the USC 15-yard line, with no return.
On USC’s final possession, they made one short run and were given a few more yards on a UConn 12 men on the field penalty. Their final play from scrimmage resulted in a 1st down, but the clock had expired and the game was over. The UConn Huskies won 32-12 and claimed the Super Bowl trophy with 9-0 undefeated season. Thomas Amankwaa was awarded the Super Bowl MVP award for Division III.