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Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins named first-team All-Pro for first time

A Football From The Clouds In WaterburyCIAC Football Championships

December 06, 2009By Jeff Jacobs

WATERBURY   Joe Lambert threw a touchdown pass on the halfback option that, swear on Christian Doppler's grave, went so high it altered weather patterns. From the moment the football left Lambert's fingers until it finally nestled in DeShawn Murphy's fingers 60 yards later, it had rained, snowed, sleeted, hailed and set off tornado sirens at the Fox 61 meteorology desk.

That's right. You can blame the outstanding Hyde tailback for our crazy change a minute precipitation Saturday. Lambert won't mind, not when you can celebrate a 21 0 Class S championship victory over Northwest Catholic, too.

And then there is one of Lambert's partners in the Hyde backfield. Juston Wilson is 5 feet 9, 297 pounds after a side salad and, no, that is not a misprint. When Wilson runs, MaxPreps doesn't record the yards. Yards do not adequately measure seismic activity. Waterbury shook when Wilson broke loose in the fourth quarter, rumblin' and tumblin' for 50 yards on the half frozen Municipal Stadium turf. The rest of Connecticut shook when Wilson launched himself in the air with the elegance of Nureyev and landed with the aplomb of William Perry for a 1 yard touchdown dive 6.0 on the Richter scale to finish off that drive and the Indians.

Although the Howling Wolves didn't amass 370 rushing yards, including 151 by Wilson, the way they did in the CIAC semifinals Tuesday against Bloomfield, they did provide more than their share of excitement with Lambert's option pass, quarterback Kendell Groom's 44 yard TD pass to Lambert and the raw entertainment of the Human Bowling Ball. But the truth is, none of that good stuff told the real story.

No, the real story could be told in the tiny tear that formed in the right eye of Northwest quarterback Jack Murphy. Yes, it was raining. Yes, it was snowing. Yes, it was raining and snowing at the same time. But I can tell the difference between a raindrop and a teardrop. And Murphy, who was running for his health all afternoon, was Wholesale Jerseys CBS Supply hurting in more ways than one. Lambert, Murphy and Wilson, it turns out, Cheap Jerseys play defense, too.

Jack Murphy finished only 4 for 16 for 29 yards and an interception. He ran for 3 yards on 11 carries. In slick conditions, he had two of Northwest's four lost fumbles. The Indians could produce only 134 yards on offense in the school's first trip to the state finals. Wilson and Mark Kendrick were huge in the middle. Hashiem Roberson played a terrific game at outside linebacker. Yet it was the exquisite blitzing, especially off the edge, by DeShawn Murphy that especially drove Northwest crazy. There was some serious Murphy on Murphy violence, folks. DeShawn sacked Jack three times.

"They had some very intricate blitz schemes," Jack said. "In the beginning they were getting to me all the time. It was hard to stop. Our line pulled together toward the end, but it was a little too late. [Murphy] is very fast."

And hits hard. With Hyde showing so much speed from the edge against spread formations, Northwest used its incredibly tight formation receivers, linemen, backs are bunched together to run the ball with misdirection plays. Northwest calls it "Caly." Hyde calls it "Double Tight HK."

"Haddam Killingworth used it against us," Murphy said. "We know it."

Northwest had limited success, but when you fall behind 14 0 and all runs eat up the clock, limited success isn't nearly enough.

"We knew they were fast and they were good," Northwest coach Mike Tyler said when asked what the biggest surprise was. "But their defense was even faster than I thought. They were great. That was the difference. I'm so proud of our kids. They fought it to the end. Our defense played very well, too, except for a couple of plays."

Tyler's right about that. Northwest did a strong job, stretching Hyde out on runs. The Howling Wolves didn't complete one pass against Bloomfield in their 40 26 win Tuesday. They didn't need it. On this day they would end with 151 of 255 yards in the air. Hyde coach Melvin Wells, whom Tyler coached at Southern Connecticut, said Northwest did a strong job taking away the middle and "flying to the motion" on sweeps. So this was the plan. Fake sweep. Go deep.

"The option pass really hurt," Tyler said. "We had practiced it. Hey, it happens at all levels, NFL, college. Guys bite up. The kid also threw a perfect pass."

Perfect and awfully high.

"What was going through my mind?" DeShawn Murphy said. "Oooh. He threw it high. He threw it far. Lambert has got a big arm. I'm looking up and thinking it's time to make a play, but I better step it up and get under this."

"We waited for a while for that one to come down," Wells said. "Murphy went into third gear on it. And when he caught it, we were like, 'Thank you, Jesus.'"

DeShawn Murphy is deciding between playing basketball and football in college, Wells said. Sacramento State is looking at him for basketball; Wagner and a number of Division I AA schools, for football. Maine, Wagner and others are looking at Lambert.

"This is my last game," Murphy said. "I just wanted to leave it all on the field. This feels so great."

For the other Murphy, not so great.

"It would have been so much better to get a win today but we're proud to be the first team in school history to get this far," Jack said.

"Northwest is such a good team, Cheap Authentic(Elite) Jerseys, New Jerseys Wholesale a tough team, and this is such a long journey," Wells said as his Howling Wolves whooped and howled around him. "I'm just going to enjoy breathing [today]."



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