Valley Regional/Old Lyme clinches playoff berth with big win over Canton

Canton's Donovan Macklin (22) is stopped by Valley Regional/Old Lyme's Jacob Kruszewski in Saturday's game in Canton. VR/OL won, 41-0.

Canton’s Donovan Macklin (22) is stopped by Valley Regional/Old Lyme’s Jacob Kruszewski in Saturday’s game in Canton. VR/OL won, 41-0.

CANTON, Nov. 12 – Valley Regional/Old Lyme unofficially clinched a CIAC playoff berth for the fifth time in seven years Saturday with a dominating 41-0 Pequot Conference victory over Canton.

Valley Regional/OL scored six touchdowns in the first half, improving to 8-1 on the season and securing an invitation to the Class S tournament. Valley last played in the postseason in 2014 and rallied to beat Ansonia, 21-20 to win the Class S Large Division title.

Ian Humphreys caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Sapere and also scored on a 35-yard interception return. Sapere completed 6-of-8 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns to lead Valley.

Valley Regional/OL receiver Ernest Jean-Pierre pulls in a touchdown pass over Canton defender Dugan Lloyd Saturday in Canton.

Valley Regional/OL receiver Ernest Jean-Pierre pulls in a touchdown pass over Canton defender Dugan Lloyd Saturday in Canton.

Canton (0-8) was led by freshman Carter Gavin, who ran for 49 yards on 19 carries. Gavin Wood caught two passes for 35 yards while QB Dugan Lloyd completed 3-of-14 passes for 45 yards. He threw three interceptions.

Canton, which has lost 19 straight games, returns to the field on Saturday morning when they face the CREC co-op (1-8) at 11 a.m. at Public Safety Academy in Enfield. 

NOTES: Valley Regional/Old Lyme has won all four meetings in the series since it began in 2007. … It was the fifth in eight games that Canton has been shutout this season. .. Due to injuries, Canton had just 18 players in uniform available to play.

Valley Regional/Old Lyme's Ryan Santos (11) returns an interception in the second quarter of Saturday's win over Canton while Travis Abate (70) pursues.

Valley Regional/Old Lyme’s Ryan Santos (11) returns an interception in the second quarter of Saturday’s win over Canton while Travis Abate (70) pursues.

Valley Regional/Old Lyme 41, Canton 0
At Canton
Valley Reg/OL (8-1)            21  20  0  0  — 41
Canton (0-8)                         0    0  0  0  — 0
First quarter
VR/OL: Ian Humphreys 23 pass from Matt Sapere (Garrett Burdick kick), 10:38
VR/OL: Daniel Stecher 10 run (Burdick kick), 2:28
VR/OL: Burdick 24 pass from Sapere (Burdick kick), 0:59
Second quarter
VR/OL: Ian Humphreys 35 interception return (Burdrick kick), 10:12
VR/OL: Ernest Jean-Pierre 20 pass from Sapere (Burdick kick), 6:08
VR/OL: Jae’len Arnum 12 run (no conversion attempted), 2:41
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Canton – Carter Gavin 19-49, Jack Szczepanski 7-minus 2, Braydon Fluckiger 4-18, Dugan Lloyd 3-minus 4, Donovan Mackin 2-3; VR/OL – Nick Braga 5-40, Daniel Stecher 4-26, Cole Ensinger 3-11, Michael Cullina 2-minus 12, Jacob Kruszewski 2-6, Jae’len Arnum 1-12, Arick Outama 1-4
PASSING: Canton – Dugan Lloyd 3-14-3, 45; Valley Regional/OL – Matt Sapere 6-8-0, 130
RECEIVING – Canton: Gavin Wood 2-35, Carter Gavin 1-10; VR/OL – Garrett Burdick 2-38, Ian Humphreys 1-23, Jason O’Brien 1-24, Ernest Jean-Pierre 1-20, Ryan Santos 1-25
RETURNS – Kickoffs – Carter Gavin (C) 2-22, Jack Szczepanski (C) 4-84, Donovan Mackin (C) 1-0

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