Smith tallies twice in fourth quarter

Prep’s Colton Smith gets around the corner for good yardage in the Jesuits’ 38-28 victory in Shelton. (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Prep’s Colton Smith gets around the corner for good yardage in the Jesuits’ 38-28 victory in Shelton.
(Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Colton Smith quarterbacked coach Tom Shea’s Fairfield Prep football team to a 38-28 victory over No. 7 Shelton High in a key SCC clash at Finn Stadium on Oct. 11.
Smith broke off touchdown runs of 80 and 49 yards in the fourth quarter to twice reestablish 10-point or better leads for the Jesuits (4-1).
“We battled to the end, came back, and then they’d bust another one,” Shelton coach Jeff Roy said. “We gave up a few too many big plays on defense.
Shea said, “We came out with a lot of work to do (tonight) to beat an outstanding team with great coaches, great talent and great character.
“Colton demonstrated tonight why I believe he is one of the best quarterbacks around. He can beat you with his arm or his feet.”
Prep took a 6-0 lead on Smith’s 13-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.
The score was set up when John DelliSanti made a one-handed catch and then raced down the seam for a 49-yard gain to the 15. Smith scored two plays later.
Shelton, which also missed a 30-yard field goal on its second possession, took a 7-6 lead on Jason Thompson’s 44-yard run after catching a screen pass from Mark Piccirillo’s with 2:35 left in the first half. Joe Zoppi kicked the conversion.
Prep answered with a 58-yard drive, and took a 12-7 lead into the break when Smith capped a 58-yard, 10-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to DelliSanti with 6.9 seconds left.
The Jesuits O-line of Anthony Palazollo, Brendan Sullivan, Connor Roche, Art Mansolillo and Mike Ruther, along with tight end Andrew Ostrosky, did a good job up front against Shelton’ front seven.
Prep’s John Buckley’s interception halted Shelton’s first drive in the third quarter, and Prep went 59 yards and scored on Smith’s 9-yard keeper.
DelliSanti took a jet handoff around the left side for 11 yards to get things started, and Nick Crowle had a pair of carries to keep the chains moving.
Smith’s tackle-breaking run of 17 yards went to the Gaels’ 27, before he threw to DelliSanti on the run and the junior slipped a defender and got to the 10.
Shelton made it an 18-13 game on Thompson’s 7-yard run with 3:38 left in the third.
Prep’s next possession carried into the final period.
Ostrosky caught the ball for a 15-yard gain, and George Richards had a pair of key receptions. The first went for 21 yards to the Shelton 39, and the second came on a 4th-and-6 play from the 17 to garner a first as the third quarter came to a close.
On the next snap, DelliSanti cut back and found paydirt on a 15-yard run.
Prep’s Andrew Cunha, who had an exceptional night punting the ball, made a diving interception at the Jesuits’ 13 to stop one Shelton drive.
“We really wanted it, we really needed it, and we came out and did what we had to do,” said Smith. “We have total confidence in our defense.”
The Gaels came within 24-21 with 3:58 remaining on Piccirillo’s 13-yard pass to Mike Pingree and a two-point conversion pass to Kyle Drost.
Smith took the wind out of the Gaels’ sail when he got to the edge and raced 80 yards untouched for a score. Sean Morrison hit the much-needed conversion kick.
Shelton made it 31-28 with 1:53 remaining on Drost’s tackle-breaking 34-yard touchdown reception.
Again, Smith answered, this time with a 49-yard scamper. Morrison tacked on the final point.
“You have to make big plays to beat a great team, and tonight they made the plays,” Roy said. “This was a great high school game.”
Prep’s next challenge comes on Friday night in Madison, when the Jesuits play the Hand Tigers (4-1) at the Surf Club at 7 p.m.

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