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Weekend roundup: Losses for Avon, Simsbury in tight games

Simsbury’s Chad Mairano (20), shown in September against Stamford, scored three touchdowns in Friday night’s loss to East Hartford at Holden Field.

The Avon High football team trailed E.O. Smith on Friday night by 21 points in a Central Connecticut Conference game in Storrs but the Falcons didn’t throw in the towel.

Avon scored three unanswered touchdowns – two on runs of 60 yards or more – and had a chance to win the ballgame. But the host Panthers were tough near the goal line, stopping three two-point conversion tries to beat the Falcons, 28-27 in a CCC Tier III contest.

Nik Meltser’s 63-yard run late in the fourth quarter cut the lead to one but the Panthers stopped Avon on the two-point conversion run to maintain a 28-27 lead. The Panthers (2-2) were able to run out the clock with a few key first downs.

Trailing by 21 points, 28-9, John Murphy scored on a 68-yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt by Jack Fallon was blocked. After making a stop defensively, Avon took the ball again and scored another touchdown on a 33-yard run from Murphy to cut the lead to 28-21. A fumbled snap on the extra point attempt turned into an attempted run that was smothered.

Avon (1-3) got another stop on defense and then Meltser ran 63 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the drive.

“I think we were a noticeably different team,” Avon High coach Brendan Smith said. “This week when things went down and didn’t go our way, we didn’t get mad, angry or upset, we just believed in each other and got back to work.

“It’s the first game I would say that we were truly all pulling in the same direction and they fought until the very end and I’m proud of that.”

Meltser ran a game-high 211 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries while Murphy ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Jack Fallon kicked his first field goal of the season for the Falcons, connecting on a 31-yard attempt in the second quarter.

Quarterback Connor Ouellette completed 8-of-17 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns for E.O. Smith with Noah Cordone catching five passes for 52 yards and two TDs. Sam Dejesus had a 48-yard interception return for a TD for the Panthers, who were facing Avon for the first time since 2001.

Avon returns to action on Friday night at 6 p.m. when they resume their suspended game against RHAM (2-2) on the turf field at the high school. Due to lightning, the game was suspended on Saturday, Sept. 9 with 7:10 left in the third quarter with RHAM leading 28-8. Raptor QB Brady Hillard had thrown four TD passes to Joshua Weeks, who has caught seven passes for 94 yards.

E.O. Smith 28, Avon 27
At Storrs
Avon (1-3)                  0  9  6  12  — 27
E.O. Smith (2-2)      0  14  14  0   — 28
Second quarter
A: John Murphy 1 run (run fails)
EO: Noah Cordone 30 pass from Connor Ouellette (Anthony Bolduc kick)
EO: Sam DeJesus, Jr. 48 interception return (Bolduc kick)
A: Jack Fallon 31 FG
Third quarter
EO: DeJesus 55 run (Bolduc kick)
EO: Cordone 30 pass from Ouellette (Bolduc kick)
A: Murphy 68 run (kick blocked)
Fourth quarter
A: Murphy 33 run (run fails)
A: Nik Meltser 63 run (run fails)
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Avon – Nik Meltser 24-211, John Murphy 16-151, David Minami 3-5; Carter Davies 3-4, Nick Seminara 2-2, Andrew Sielski 1-0; EO Smith – Sam DeJesus 8-101, I. Dejesus 6-30, J. Dingler 1-2, B Rosenberg 2-minus 2, Connor Ouellette 1-3
PASSING: Avon – David Minami 0-5-2, 0; EOS – Connor Ouellette 8-17-0, 92
RECEIVING: EOS – Noah Cordone 5-52, J. Sanville 1-30, I Bowles 1-7, Sam Dejesus 1-3

South Windsor 28, Farmington 12
FARMINGTON, Oct. 6, 2023 – Mitch Chaves ran for a team-high 133 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries to lead South Windsor to a 28-12 win over Farmington on Friday night in CCC Tier III action.

Logan Sherwood also had a pair of touchdowns for the Bobcats (3-1, 2-0 CCC Tier III) with a 45-yard touchdown run and a 80-yard punt return.

For Farmington (2-2, 1-2), Ty Nogiec had an eight-yard touchdown run while Ethan O’Hara caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jahkai Veal.

South Windsor 28, Farmington 12
At Farmington
South Windsor (3-1)      7  0  21  0  — 28
Farmington (2-2)           0  6    0  6  — 12
First Quarter
SW: Logan Sherwood 45 run (Josh Gordan kick) 10:45
Second Quarter
F: Ty Nogiec  8 run (kick fails), 0:29
Third Quarter
SW: Mitch Chaves 45 run (Gordon kick) 9:24
SW: Chaves 1 yard rush (Gordan kick) 4:36
SW: Logan Sherwood  80 punt return (Gordon kick), 0:16.5
Fourth quarter
F: Ethan O’Hara 32 pass from Jahkai Veal (run fails)
Individual statistics
RUSHING: South Windsor – Mitch Chaves 8-133, Logan Sherwood 7-87, Slei Elder 2-26, Lloyd Boateng 2-16, Jake Pfiederer 2-9
PASSING: South Windsor – Mitch Chaves 4-9-0, 14
RECEIVING: South Windsor – Slei Elder 1-9, Sam Czaja 1-2, Ethan Burker 1-3, Joey Bemis 1-0

East Hartford 38, Simsbury 32
SIMSBURY, Oct. 6, 2023 – East Hartford’s dynamic quarterback Drayvn Roberts threw three touchdown passes and ran for two TDs, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter as East Hartford won another close game with Simsbury, 38-32 on Friday night in CCC Tier I action.

It was the sixth game between the two schools since 2016 and all six games have been decided by four points or less.

Twice, Simsbury (0-5, 0-2 CCC Tier I) had leads of 14 points (14-0 and 21-6) in the first half but the Hornets (2-3, 1-2 CCC Tier I) rallied. The Trojans led by five at the half, 24-19 and by six, 32-26 after three quarters.

Roberts, who completed 6-of-18 passes for 132 yards, threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second quarter to Isaiah Tripp (29 yards) and Jayden Burns (11 yards).

Simsbury had a 32-26 lead after three quarters thanks to Chad Mairano’s third touchdown of the day and a successful two-point conversion. Mairano had a team-high116 yards on 16 carries.

But Roberts completed a 43-yard touchdown pass to Tripp that tied the game at 32-32. Roberts’ one-yard run gave the Hornets’ the lead for good. Roberts ran for 119 yards on nine carries.

Travis Bolognese ran for 104 yards on nine carries for Simsbury. QB Patrick Matyczyk completed nine of 20 passes for 178 yards. Mairano caught two passes for 95 yards.

The game was played in front of the newly-constructed grandstand at Holden Field and was packed with students.

The newly-constructed grandstand at Holden Field was ready for Friday’s Homecoming game against East Hartford. (Photo courtesy Simsbury Gridiron Club)

East Hartford 38, Simsbury 32
At Simsbury
East Hartford (2-3)            6  13  7  12  — 38
Simsbury (0-5)                 14  10  8    0  — 32
First quarter
S: Chad Mairano 59 pass from Patrick Mataczyk (Marshall Potter kick)
S: Travis Bologense 6 run (Potter kick)
E: Drayvn Roberts 1 run (Conversion failed)
Second quarter
S: Mairano 4 run (Potter Kick)
E: Isaiah Tripp 29 pass from Roberts (Nana Acheampong kck)
S: Marshall Potter 32 FG
E: Jayden Burnes 11 pass from Roberts (Acheampong kick)
Third quarter
E: Yaxier Rivera 1 pun (Acheampong kick)
S: Mairano 5 run (conversion successful)
Fourth quarter
E: Isaiah Tripp 43 pass from Roberts (kick failed)
E: Roberts 1 Run (conversion failed)
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Simsbury — Chad Mairano 16-116, Travis Bolognese 9-104, Jacob Isabel 4-5; East Hartford — Drayvn Roberts 9-119,Yaxier Rivera 23-190. Nara Acheampong 1-3, Isaiah Tripp 1-40
PASSING: Simsbury — Patrick Matyczyk 9-20-0, 178; East Hartford — Drayvn Roberts 6-18-0, 132; Casablanca 2-2-0, 64; Angel Sanchze 2-5-0, 27
RECEIVING: Simsbury — Mairano 2-95, J. Schields 1-37, A. Medina 1-23, A. Jerin 1-8, J. Isabel 1-5, S. Butler 1-3, Z. Tartaglia 1-2; East Hartford — Rivera 2-7, Darol Young 2-23, Jayden Burneys 3-72, Casablanca 4-95, Isaiah Tripp 1-15, Haydenm B

East Catholic 36, Lewis Mills 0
BURLINGTON, Oct. 7, 2023 – Joey Montalvo scored three touchdowns as the East Catholic football team earned a 36-0 win over Lewis Mills in CCC Tier 4 action on Saturday. The Eagles (1-4) won their first game of the season with Mills slipping to 0-5.

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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