News & Events
Elias leads Notre Dame to win over Hamden in 67th Green Bowl
- November 25, 2017
- Posted by: Shepherds
- Category: Student Accomplishments
HAMDEN — Senior quarterback Chris Elias led three first-half scoring drives then watched the Notre Dame-West Haven defense make two key second-half interceptions in the Green Knights’ 21-14 win over the Green Dragons in the 67th Green Bowl on Thanksgiving at Hamden High School.
The Green Knights (3-7) jumped out to a 14-0 lead after two of their first three possessions.
First, Elias capped off a 70-yard drive, scoring on a 1-yard quarterback sneak on fourth down to give Notre Dame a 7-0 lead with 8:45 left in the first quarter.
After a fumble on its next possession, Notre Dame’s third drive appeared to be stalled as well. Punting on fourth down, Hamden went for the block, but was called for a roughing the punter penalty, giving Notre Dame a first down.
The Green Knights’ offense used the reprieve to add to its lead when Elias lofted a neatly-thrown 15-yard touchdown pass to Nick Petruzzelli for a 14-0 lead with 6:45 left in the first half.
Elias’ third touchdown of the game came in an unconventional manner as first-year head coach Joe DeCaprio reached into his bag of trick plays.
Elias took the shotgun snap and handed to Isaiah Kane, who flipped the ball to Petruzzelli, who then lofted a perfectly-thrown pass to Elias who had snuck out of the backfield. Elias then outran a few Hamden defenders for a 35-yard touchdown and the Green Knights led 21-0 with just more than four minutes left in the first half.
“I give Hamden a lot of credit,” said Notre Dame head coach Joe DeCaprio. “We scored on three of our first four drives but we needed a couple key interceptions late in the game to hold them off.”
Elias, who completed 12 of his 16 passes for 207 yards in his final game for Notre Dame, was hoping that play would be called.
“I was pretty pumped, but nervous at the same time,” he said. “We’ve been practicing that play for two years now and I am glad it paid off. I was nervous I would drop it but it worked out.”
Hamden, which finished 1-9, did not go away quietly though. From that point forward, not only did the Hamden defense keep Notre Dame off the scoreboard, but they also engineered several nice drives, two of which ended in Sahim Hasan to John Mayes touchdown passes.
The first of which came with 40 seconds left in the first half from 39 yards out cutting the Hamden deficit to 21-7 at intermission. That duo connected again from 28 yards out with 6:13 left in the third quarter and suddenly Hamden trailed 21-14.
Hamden had a few chances to tie the game with drives reaching as far as the Notre Dame 30-yard line but the Green Knight defense rose to the occasion each time.
On the final play of the third quarter, Hasan (8-14 for 137 yards) tried to find Jayquan Bromell, but Notre Dame defensive back Andrew Kendrick ran stride for stride with Bromell and intercepted the pass in the end zone.
Kendrick sealed the win for the Green Knights with his second interception of the game with 1:40 left. Hasan, rolling to his left, threw the pass to the far sideline. The ball was tipped by Notre Dame’s Jared Gallbronner, but Kendrick was able to corral the ball and get both feet inbounds, ending any hopes of a Hamden come-from-behind win.
“It came down to they made a few more plays than we did,” Hamden coach Tom Dyer said. “Sahim made two great touchdown passes for us, but in the end, we had some key penalties that hurt us throughout the game, too.”
Notre Dame’s defense also came up with a huge fourth down stop from the two-yard line on Hamden’s first possession of the game.
“We switched defenses for this game and it worked out great,” DeCaprio said. “They scored on a couple fade patterns but we did a nice job on the run and those two interceptions by Andrew (Kendrick) were huge.”
For the game, Notre Dame outgained Hamden 336-235 and held a 14-12 first down advantage. Hamden did run 52 plays to Notre Dame’s 43 and held a 12-minute time of possession edge.
With the win, Notre Dame has won 12 straight in this series and holds a 43-22-2 all-time advantage. It’s the second time in four years that Notre Dame has won by a touchdown. The Green Knights won 35-28 in 2014. Hamden’s last series win was a 15-10 triumph in 2005.