Dean kicks East Lyme past Waterford with field goal on final play
East Lyme — Cannon Dean has been a fútbol player, not a football player, all during his young sporting career.
Dean felt drawn to football prior to his senior year, though, and decided to give it a try.
The Vikings are dang happy Dean did.
Dean kicked three field goals, including the game-winner from 28 yards out at the buzzer, to give East Lyme a wild 17-14 win over Waterford on Thanksgiving Day.
“I played soccer for over a decade,” Dean said. “I couldn’t play soccer my senior year. I had to play football. It was just something I wanted to do as a kid. Soccer season always prevented me from doing it and I wanted to go out with my friends and have a hell of a time.”
East Lyme finished 5-5.
Waterford (4-6) leads the series, 28-25.
Dean was named the Vikings’ MVP. He made all three of his field goals, two of which were for 26 yards. He also had a sack and fumble recovery.
It’ll be his last kick that he’ll remember most, though.
“I wasn’t too nervous,” Dean said. “I was treating it like any other practice field goal or extra point, just trying to stay focused. I was telling my teammates not to talk to me about it on the sidelines.”
Dean paused, smiled and added, “I guess the truth is I was a little nervous.”
Vikings head coach Rudy Bagos said, “Seeing a couple of kicks that Cannon had I was like, okay, this kid is dialed in. We’re in range. Let’s go for it.”
Senior Will Anglin ran 21 times for 103 yards and completed 10 of 18 passes for 88 yards for East Lyme. Classmate Rowan Mundell added 25 carries for 153 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown.
Sophomore Noah Edwards had a sack and fumble recovery for the Vikings and seniors David Semnoski and Mason Senkow each had an interception, the latter which was in his team’s own end zone.
Waterford struggled to generate offense as it had zero rushing yards on 21 carries (including sacks).
Waterford also turned it over four times in the first half resulting in 10 points for East Lyme. They trailed, 14-0, at halftime.
“Turnovers, execution, (we) didn’t come out ready to play in the first half and that killed us,” first-year Lancers head coach Zeth Nolda said. “(The) second half we rallied a little bit, but we just ran out of time.”
Senior Mason Concascia scored on a 57-yard fumble return and was named Waterford’s game MVP.
Junior Nathan Hynes completed 10 of 17 passes for 110 yards with two interceptions and scored on a 4-yard run for the Lancers while senior Jordan Elci had four catches for 64 yards.
“It was a fun (season),” Nolda said. “We had a good group of guys, good group of seniors that kind of made it easy. I wish we could’ve done a little bit more for the seniors.
“There were four games down to the wire that we ended up losing this year, some tough losses, but they continued to rally each-and-every time, every game, every practice. The resiliency from this team, I applaud them.”
Concascia’s fumble return tied the game at 14 with 6 minutes, 15 seconds remaining.
East Lyme started its next drive at its own 19. The Vikings lost three yards on first down.
Anglin proceeded to lead the them downfield in 15 plays. He ran six times for 35 yards on that drive, including a 5-yard gain on fourth-and-1 from the Waterford 34.
“They left us with too much time,” Anglin said. “Credit to Cannon for nailing that (game-winner). It was pretty sweet.”
East Lyme wins Thanksgiving football game against Waterford
East Lyme wins football game against Waterford Thanksgiving day, Nov. 25, 2021, at Waterford High School.
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