WINDSOR , Nov. 12, 2010 – Football can teach its players many lessons that can be applicable later in life. How do you respond to adversity and pressure? What do you do after getting knocked down?
The Windsor High football team rallied from a seven-point deficit and survived a missed field goal attempt with 26 seconds left in regulation to hand Hall High its first defeat of the season Friday night in a 27-24 double overtime thriller at Jack O’Brien Stadium.
“They didn’t quit and kept playing hard,” Windsor coach Rob Fleeting said. “They kept believing in themselves. Sometimes, it can be hard to lift their spirits when things go bad.”
For Hall, it was a disappointing end to its most challenging game of the season and the end of an eight-game winning streak. But Hall (8-1, 6-0 CCC Division II) still has an opportunity to win the CCC Division II title with a victory over arch-rival Conard on Saturday and possibly earn a berth in the CIAC’s Class LL tournament.
Windsor (7-2, 5-2 CCC Division I) shut down the Hall running attack, allowing just 33 yards but quarterback Riley Carroll was outstanding, completing 20 of 43 passes for 253 yards and three touchdown passes to Miguel Godoy.
“They fought hard,” Hall coach Frank Robinson III said. “We made plays. They made plays. ( Windsor ) did a great job running the ball but we hung tough.”
Jackson, who transferred in from South Windsor for his senior year, literally carried Windsor on his back. He rushed for a game and season-high 240 yards on 35 carries. He scored all four touchdowns and kicked each extra point. His number was called on Windsor ’s final 11 offensive plays and on 14 of the last 17 snaps. “He ran like a bull,” Fleeting said. “We’re proud to have him on our team.”
Neither team flinched. Each rose to the challenge. “I love all of these guys,” Robinson said. “I have happy for the guys who stepped up when they had to because of a few injuries.”
With the score tied at 14 in the fourth quarter, Windsor marched 81 yards on 14 plays to the Hall two-yard line on a long drive that ate up nearly seven minutes. But when Jackson attempted a 18-yard field goal to win the game with 26 seconds remaining, his holder bobbled the snap and the kick fluttered to the left, sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, each team gets four plays from the 10-yard line to try and score. Each team gets one offensive possession. For Windsor , it took two plays for Jackson to bull his way into the end zone, giving Windsor a 21-14 lead.
Hall responded with Carroll completing a 10-yard pass to Godoy on third down. Godoy snatched the ball inches off the grass, turned and ran three yards into the end zone. Mike Steinberg kicked the extra point to tie the game, 21-21.
In the second OT, Hall got the ball first. Carroll gained five yards on first down but after two incompletions, Steinberg kicked a 22-yard field goal to give Hall the lead.
On third down from the two, Hall initially stopped Jackson but he continued to run and with his second effort, he scored the game-winning touchdown.
“Our offensive line stepped up,” Jackson said. “They made the holes for me.”
Windsor took a 7-0 on its first drive of the game. Jackson carried the ball for 74 yards on six plays, scoring from the 14-yard line. Hall tied the game on seven-play, 70-yard drive in the second quarter with Carroll hitting Godoy for a 23-yard touchdown strike.
On its first possession of the third quarter, Hall marched 75 yards on eight plays with Carroll finding a wide-open Godoy for a 20-yard touchdown reception. Steinberg’s extra point gave the West Hartford squad a 14-7 lead with 6:22 remaining in the quarter.
Windsor tied the game at 14-14 late in the third quarter. Runs of 25 and 16 yards by Jackson and a 29-yard pass from quarterback Robert Fleeting to Brian McClain put the home team in position. Jackson scored from five yards away with 0:21 left in the third quarter.
Both defenses made big plays. Hall marched 59 yards on nine plays to the Windsor seven-yard line with 13 seconds left in the first half and set up to attempt a 26-yard field goal. But McClain raced around the end to block Steinberg’s kick.
McClain also intercepted a pass while Adam Glynn picked off a pass for Hall.
It was Hall’s first overtime game since 2008 – a 23-17 loss to a Weaver team coached by Fleeting. It was Windsor ’s fourth straight win over Hall and 11th in the last 13 years. Windsor leads the overall series between the two schools, 14-12-1.
Windsor 27, Hall 24, 2 OT
Hall (8-1) 0 7 7 0 7 3 — 24
Windsor (7-2) 7 0 7 0 7 6 — 27
W: Milton Jackson 14 run (Jackson kick), 8:15
H: Miguel Godoy 21 pass from Riley Carroll (Mike Steinberg kick), 5:33
H: Godoy 20 pass from Carroll (Steinberg kick), 6:22
W: Jackson 5 run (Jackson kick), 0:21
W: Jackson 1 run (Jackson kick)
H: Godoy 10 pass from Carroll (Steinberg kick)
H: Steinberg 22 FG
W: Jackson 2 run
MISSED FG: Jackson 18 (wide left), Steinberg 26 (blocked)
RUSHING: Hall – Riley Carroll 7-9, Jacob Rosario 12-39, Devin Ortiz 2-minus 16, MiguelGodoy 1-1; Windsor – Milton Jackson 35-250, Robert Fleeting 6-30, Rashad Daire 2-5
PASSING: Hall – Riley Carroll 20-41-1, 253; Rosario 0-1-1, 0; Windsor – Robert Fleeting 16-21-1, 108
RECEIVING: Hall – Joey Denault 7-62, Ian Dugger 3-50, Justin Cleaver 1-13, Devin Ortiz 4-36, Miguel Godoy 4-68, Jacob Rosario 1-4; Windsor – Brian McClain 4-49, Aaron Berardino 4-27, Zachary Langs 4-10, Milton Jackson 2-2, Ryeime Moore 1-13, Alex Smith 1-7
Fumble recoveries: Nick Black (H), Jahson Johnson (W); Interceptions: Adam Glynn (H), Brian McLain (W), Aaron Berardino (W)