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Jesuits dominate Gaels

“This is a good bunch,” Fairfield Prep football coach Tom Shea said of his team after the Jesuits handed Southern Connecticut Conference rival Shelton High a 42-3 defeat at Alumni Field on Friday night.
“We told them if we don’t practice well, we can’t compete. They listened.”
Prep improved to 3-1 on the season and sent Shelton to 2-2.
“Another thing [we know] is we can’t be a good team until we beat an elite team. That [Shelton] is an elite team.
“We’ve played them eight or nine times and we beat them here in 2006. We’ve had no luck at Finn Stadium. That’s what makes them such a great program.
“This was a big victory for us.”
Prep scored on five-of-six possessions in the first half.
The running of co-captain Chris Golger (two scores), Dillon Ryan (one) and John Moten (one) gave Prep a 35-3 lead at the half.
Prep ran for 220-plus yards in the first two quarters, and quarterback Strecker Backe connected with John Dellisanti on a 76-yard scoring play to the delight of a large and supportive student section of fans.
John Meyers centered an offensive line of fellow co-captain Anthony DiLeo, Dan Quatrella, Tim Peterson and Mike Ruther, with Andrew Ostrosky muscling in at tight end.
Defensively, the Jesuits played at a peak performance level.
A breakdown on kickoff coverage led to Shelton’s Ed Groth kicking a 23-yard field goal, after Prep had a 14-0 lead.
Tony Fox, Anthony Palazzolo and William Riley provided the push up front that limited Shelton to three first downs in the first half.
Nick Crowle, Matt Montani, Chris Pruden and Matt Festa led the linebackers, and Dave Gerics, Colton Smith, Kevin Kirshner and Dan Coyle did a good job locking down the Gael receivers.
After forcing a three-and-out to start the game, Prep went 60 yards in seven plays with Golger scoring from eight yards out.
Liam Coyle made the first of his six conversion kicks for a 7-0 lead at the 7:18 mark of the opening period.
The rivals exchanged punts, and Stephen Walsh made good use of his only opportunity in the first half with a booming 42-yarder.
Shelton moved the chains twice before Fox blew up a running play at the line of scrimmage from the Prep 33.
Mitch D’Eramo and Crowle dropped Gael quarterback Mark Piccirillo for a three-yard loss to get the ball back on downs at the 28.
Two plays later, Backe found Dellisanti all alone down the right sideline and the sophomore caught the ball in stride and went the distance for the 76-yard score.
Shelton’s Mike Pingree returned the kickoff all the way to the Prep five-yard line and Shelton looked to halve the deficit.
Riley and Crowle made the first stop, Fox the second, and after an incomplete pass, Groth came in to kick the field goal with 8:51 left in the half.
Prep made good use of the time remaining.
Golger scored on a 20-yard run to complete a four-play drive, keyed when Moten spun out of a tackle and ran 33 yards on first down from the Jesuit 30.
An eight-yard sack by Fox got the ball back, and six plays later Ryan scored on a one-yard run.
Backe found Ostrosky for a 17-yard gain on a screen pass, and another 15 yards were tacked on for a facemask penalty, to advance the offense in this series.
Shelton got its third first down of the half on a personal foul call, but Piccirillo saw his receivers drop two long bombs that would have drawn his team closer.
Joe Ganim returned the ensuing punt for 39 yards to the Gaels’ 41.
Moten scored on a 10-yard jet sweep with 23.7 seconds left before intermission.
Ryan scored the only points of the second half, when the senior got his pads lower than the defender to find paydirt on a four-yard run with 3:20 left in the third quarter.
Shea brought his reserves in to finish the game.
“We knew if we didn’t stop it they would keep running it,” Shelton coach Jeff Roy said.
“They dominated [up front] on both sides of the ball.
“They were great.”
Prep will visit Cheshire High Friday at 7 p.m.

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