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Big runs propel Killingly (13-0) to Class M title; St. Joseph’s outduels Ansonia

Killingly’s Zack Burgess weaves through traffic at the beginning of 86-yard touchdown run in Monday night’s Class M championship game in New Britain.

NEW BRITAIN, Dec. 11 – It didn’t look good for the Killingly High football team early in the second quarter. Trailing by seven points, Joel Barlow’s David Cusick blocked a punt giving the Falcons the ball on the Killingly 26-yard line.

On the next play, Joel Barlow’s Alex Stillman raced around the end for the second time in the quarter for a 26-yard touchdown to give a 14-point lead over the undefeated Redmen.

But there was a flag on the field and the touchdown was called back. Given a second chance, Killingly held on defense. On Joel Barlow’s next possession, the Falcons fumbled on their own 16-yard line. Joel Barlow never scored again.

Killingly (13-0) scored 34 unanswered points to rumble past Joel Barlow to win the Class M championship Monday night at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in New Britain and complete the first undefeated season for the Redmen since 1953. It was the first state title for the program since 1996.

“This was a special night for these kids, this town and this community,” a thrilled Killingly High coach Chad Neal said. “It was awesome, a great team effort. The offensive line blocked well. This is a team and this is a team of destiny this year. This is the greatest feeling in the world.”

Killingly finishes the season as the only undefeated team in the state and probably will finish in the top 10 of the state sportswriters poll.

More photos from the Class M championship game

The game was a track meet in the first half. The two teams combined to rush for nearly 750 yards. Between the two teams, there was just one pass completed for eight yards. Killingly’s Spencer Lockwood, who was named the Gatorade state player of the year earlier this week, ran for two touchdowns and 110 yards. Teammate Zack Caffrey ran for a game-high 187 yards and a touchdown.

Killingly’s Jonathan Rodriguez Mendez stops Joel Barlow’s Will Bray in Monday night’s state final in New Britain.

For Barlow (9-4), Alex Stillman led the way with 139 yards and one touchdown on nine carries.

Killingly 41, Joel Barlow 14
At New Britain
Barlow (9-4)        14     0      0    0—14
Killingly (13-0)      7    20    14    0—41
First quarter
K: Spencer Lockwood 63 run (Luke Desaulnier kick)
B: Cal Peterson 43 run (Michael Puglio kick)
B: Alex Stillman 76 run (Puglio kick)
Second quarter
K: Lockwood 1 run (Desaulnier kick), 5:40
K: Desaulnier 3 run (Desaulnier kick)
K: Vasileios Politis 8 pass from Desaulnier (kick blocked)
Third quarter
K: Zack Burgess 26 run (Desaulnier kick)
K: Zach Caffrey 86 run (Desaulnier kick)

TEAM STATISTICS     Joel Barlow   Killingly
First downs              10                14
Rushing-yards         45-335          43-418
Passing                   0                  8
Comp-Att-Int           0-6-0            1-1-8
Fumbles-lost            2-1               0-0
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING: Barlow—Cal Peterson 14-111, Trevor Furrer 14-18, Alex Stillman 9-139, Will Cusick 7-65, Henry Eubanks 1-2; Killingly—Spencer Lockwood 20-110, Zach Caffrey 16-187, Zack Burgess 3-60, Luke Desaulnier 4-18.
PASSING: Barlow—Trevor Furrer 0-6-0; Killingly—Luke Desaulnier 1-1-8.
RECEIVING: Barlow—None; Killingly—Vasileios Politis 1-8.

Class S championship
St. Joseph 42, Ansonia 36
CHESHIRE, Dec. 11 – St. Joseph-Trumbull didn’t let a 19-point deficit faze them in Monday night’s Class S championship game. The Cadets scored 28 consecutive points including 21 points in the fourth quarter to hand Ansonia their first loss of the season with a 42-36 victory.

St. Joseph QB David Summers threw five TD passes including a 56-yard pass to Jared Mallozzi with 5:55 remaining in the game for the game-winning score. St. Joseph (12-1) won their 13th state championship with their only loss of the season coming to Class LL champion Darien in the third week of the season.

It was fast-paced fourth quarter. St. Joseph took the lead on a 58-yard run from Jaden Shirden. But Ansonia (12-1) responded immediately when Markel Dobbs broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run on the Chargers’ next play for a 36-35 lead.

St. Joseph didn’t blink with Mallozzi’s touchdown reception to take the lead for good. Summers completed 14-of-26 passes for 246 yards for the Cadets. Ansonia was led by Dobbs with 239 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries.

St. Joseph 42, Ansonia 36
At Cheshire
St. Joseph (12-1)      7    0   14   21  — 42
Ansonia (12-1)          8   14    6    8  — 36
First quarter
S-Philip Pasmeg 21 pass from David Summers (Luke Kirby kick)
A-Markell Dobbs 7 run (Dobbs run)
Second quarter 
A-Darwin Amaya 12 run (Dobbs run)
A-Dobbs 4 run (run failed)
Third quarter
A-Lopez 13 run (run failed)
S-William Diamantis 10 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
S-Pasmeg 70 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
Fourth quarter 
S-Jesse Bike 12 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
S-Jaden Shirden 58 run (Kirby kick)
A-Dobbs 75 run (Dobbs run)
S-Jared Mallozzi 56 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)

TEAM STATISTICS     SJ      ANS
Rushes-yards          18-119   53-350
Passing                       246     73
Comp-Att-Int          14-26-1   3-8-2
Punts-Avg.              2-32       2-32.5
Fumbles-Lost            1-1       3-1
Penalties-Yards         9-41    6-42
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING: St. Joseph-Shirden 9-87, David Summers 9-32; Ansonia-Dobbs 38-239,Justin Lopez 6-88, Amaya 7-23, Terjuan Burney 2-1.
PASSING: St. Joseph-David Summers 14-26-0, 246; Ansonia-Lopez 2-6-0, 35, Dobbs 1-2-0, 38 
RECEIVING: St. Joseph- Paseg 3-110, Mallozzi 3-75, Bike 3-35, Diamantis 5-32;Ansonia-Amaya 2-61, Cody Teodosio 1-12.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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