Shelton’s DeFelice era opens with impressive win over North Haven

Shelton coach Mike DeFelice addresses his team following Shelton's 23-3 victory against North Haven.

Shelton coach Mike DeFelice addresses his team following Shelton's 23-3 victory against North Haven.

Bill Bloxsom / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Coach Mike DeFelice was doused with a water bath as the final seconds ticked off the clock of Shelton’s 23-3 win against North Haven at Finn Stadium on Friday night.

It was DeFelice’s first victory as head man. The Gaels’ former offensive coordinator was quick to share the limelight after Shelton’s SCC Tier I victory.

“We were able to find some spots where our offense could attack them,” DeFelice said. “Michael Kinik did a great job throwing the ball. Our defense was amazing against their single wing. The last few years when we’ve played them, we had different ways to play our defense. You have to mix it up. If you sit in one thing against them they will find a weak spot. They found a few seams, but our defensive coaches did a great job adjusting.”

Kinik completed 3-of-4 passes for 39 yards on a game-opening 76-yard drive that ended when John De Camps latched onto an 11-yard scoring pass from his sophomore signal caller. North Haven’s M.J. DeVilliers blocked the conversion kick.

North Haven’s Anthony Cavaliere booted a 36-yard field goal to make it 6-3 midway through the second period. Matt Dodge completed a first-down earning pass to Matt Cocco (14 yards) and Adam Pandolfi broke off a 14-yard run to key the drive.

Shelton got those three points back when Cristano Rosa kicked a 33-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining in the half. That capped a 59-yard drive that ate up 2 minutes, 33 seconds and saw Shelton move the chain four times.

Coach Tony Sagnella’s squad took seven minutes off the clock on its opening possession of the third quarter. North Haven drove from its 20 to the Shelton 9-yard line after a Dodge to DeVilliers completion for 14 yards. A pair of negative plays forced Cavaliere to try a 42-yard field goal that was short.

Set up by De Camps 79-yard catch and run on a slant pass to the North Haven 9, Tyler Rich scored two plays later on a 6-yard run. Rosa’s PAT took the score to 16-3 with 9:14 remaining.

Shelton took advantage of a short field when Shane Santiago closed out the scoring with a 3-yard run at the 5:15 mark.

Sagnella said: “Hats off to Shelton, a class act and tough competitor. We knew what we were getting into coming here. In our end, we are jayveeish, trying to become varsity. These are growing pains. I thought we competed well and then began to waver. Some of that was Shelton. It is something we will continue to work on.”


John De Camps caught an 11-yard touchdown pass. The 6-3, 175-pound junior came down with a contested pass for 11 yards to keep the late first half drive for a field goal alive. His 79-yard catch and run led to Shelton’s final score.


“Our defense did a great job holding them to that first field goal,” DeFelice said. “That drive in the third quarter, to stop them deep in our territory when they were going for the lead, that was a game changer.” Twitter: @blox354


NORTH HAVEN0 3 0 0 — 3

SHELTON6 3 0 14 — 23

SH: John De Camps 11 pass from Michael Kinik (kick blocked)

NH: Anthony Cavaliere 36 field goal

SH: Cristano Rosa 34 field goal

SH: Tyler Rich 6 run (Rosa kick)

SH: Shane Santiago 3 run (Rosa kick)