SIMSBURY, Nov. 24 – Lewis Mills scored 18 points in the final 12 minutes and forced six Wolcott Tech turnovers to end a challenging first varsity season with a 37-14 win over the Wildcats to win the Route 4 Bowl trophy at Simsbury High Wednesday night on Thanksgiving Eve.
Sophomore quarterback Zach Milbourn threw four touchdown passes for Mills and completed 9-of-17 passes for 111 yards and one interception. Senior Daniel Doyle led the Spartans with 136 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.
After winning their first-ever varsity game with a 20-13 win over Granby on opening day, Mills (2-8, 2-7 Pequot Sassacus) lost eight straight games including a 24-18 overtime loss to Sports Medicine Science Academy and a forfeit over Haddam-Killingworth after the infamous third quarter fight with North Branford on Oct. 30. In the two games before Wednesday night’s contest, Mills gave up 62 and 56 points, respectively.
But against Wolcott Tech (0-10, 0-9 Pequot Sassacus), the Spartans were able to bottle up Tech’s leading rusher Isaiah Harrington, who ran for just 48 yards on 14 carries. The Mills defense gave up just six points.
Wolcott Tech had a hard time keeping their hands on the ball with eight fumbles. Mills recovered four, including two by Parker Colby. The Spartans also intercepted Carlson twice.
“We finally played four quarters of football tonight,” Mills coach Peter Flammia said. “Our offensive line did a nice job today. They made the effort to improve each day and I’m glad it showed today.”
Tech coach Jamie Coty was disappointed with the mistakes that his Wildcats made. But he was proud of the effort his team made. Carlson scored the first passing touchdown of the year for Tech. He took a 10-yard pass from Steve Oakes and was nearly tackled near midfield. But he stayed on his feet, tiptoed around the two defenders and raced down the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown reception with 3:51 left in the fourth quarter.
But by that time, the game was over.
After Wolcott Tech fumbled the ball away on its first possession, Mills drove 38 yards on eight plays and scored on Devin Pease’s 12-yard touchdown reception from Milbourn for a 7-0 lead.
Tech tied the game early in the second quarter when Oakes intercepted Milbourn and returned it 48 yards. Harrington’s two-point conversion made gave Wolcott Tech an 8-7 lead.
Mills responded with a 67-yard drive that took 16 plays and ate up 9:45 of the second quarter. Milbourn found Jeremy Dunn (4 catches, 38 yards) on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 1:54 remaining. Mills led 13-8 after the conversion run failed.
Tech drove to the Mills nine-yard line with eight seconds left but Mills’ Chad Cables intercepted Oakes to end the threat.
In the third quarter, Mills extended its lead to 19-8 on a 18-yard touchdown pass from Milbourn to Russell LeSage after Wolcott Tech’s punted twice dropped the ball and barely kicked the ball away.
On Wolcott Tech’s next possession, the Wildcats again drove to the Mills nine-yard line but they fumbled the ball away after Oakes was hit behind the line of scrimmage. Mills couldn’t get a first down but on its next offensive play, Wolcott Tech fumbled the ball away on its own 21-yard line.
This time, Mills made Tech pay with Dunn making a sliding 12-yard touchdown reception in the end zone with 11:30 left in the fourth quarter for a commanding 25-8 lead. “We came out with a different intensity,” Mills lineman Tyler Pragosa said.
Lewis Mills 37, Wolcott Tech 14
OTWS (0-10) 0 8 0 6 — 14
Mills (2-8) 7 6 6 18 – 37
LM: Devin Pease 12 pass from Zach Milbourn (Nate Wilson kick), 4:58
WT: Steve Oakes 46 interception return (Isaiah Harrington run), 11:39
LM: JeremyDunn 14 pass from Milbourn (run fails), 1:54
LM: Russell Lasage 18 pass from Milbourn (kick fails), 4:45
LM: Dunn 5 pass from Milbourn (run fails), 11:30
LM: Dylan Celone 2 run (kick fails), 4:52
WT: Trevor Carlson 66 pass from Oakes (pass fails), 3:51
LM: Daniel Doyle 49 run (run fails), 1:41
RUSHING: Lewis Mills – Daniel Doyle 24-136, Robert Martinotti 5-40, Dylan Celone 3-12, Zane Milbourn 10-54, Eric Campbell 1-0; Wolcott Tech – Steve Oakes 6-minus 7, Trevor Carlson 10-53, Isaiah Harrington 14-48, Josh Norton 1-14
PASSING: Lewis Mills – Milbourn 9-17-1, 111; Wolcott Tech – Oakes 6-11-2, 121
RECEIVING: Lewis Mills – Devin Pease 4-55, Jeremy Dunn 4-38, Russell LeSage 1-14; Wolcott Tech – Pat Higgins 1-10, Trevor Carlson 5-111