Prep falls in second half to Southington in final

John DelliSanti makes a one-handed catch good for 21 yards and two plays later caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Colton Smith to give Fairfield Prep a 28-14 halftime lead. (Photo by David G. Whitham)

John DelliSanti makes a one-handed catch good for 21 yards and two plays later caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Colton Smith to give Fairfield Prep a 28-14 halftime lead.
(Photo by David G. Whitham)

Everything that was running like clockwork for Fairfield Prep in the first half of the Jesuits’ Class LL state championship game with Southington was missing in the final two quarters, as the Blue Knights rallied from a 28-14 deficit to win a 52-34 decision at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven on Thursday night.
“They stiffenened their backs,” Prep head coach Tom Shea said of Southington’s defense. “ For a couple of series (in the third quarter) we couldn’t get things going.”
While the Blue Knights forced Prep to punt on its three possessons of the third period, Southington quarterback Stephen Barmore and receiver Alex Jamele connected on touchdown passes good for 60 and four yards for touchdowns.
Kyle Smick’s 21-yard field goal on the fourth play of the final period gave Southington its first lead at 31-28.
Prep went back on top when Nick Crowle scored his second touchdown on a seven-yard run — one play after quarterback Colton Smith broke off a 70-yard gain.
Barmore marched the Knights right back, completing a quick 64-yard drive in seven plays with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jasen Rose.
Crowle and Smith divided carries to move the chains to Southington’s 47, but on third-and 9, Matt Thomson intercepted a pass and returned it to the Prep 30-yard line with 5:01 remaining.
Four plays later, Barmore hit Jamele with a 20-yard touchdown pass to boost the lead to 45-34.
Barmore later returned an interception 67 yards for the final score of the game with 1:54 left.
Prep took a 7-0 lead on its second possession, scoring on Smith’s 17-yard run and the first of Hank Healy’s three PAT’s with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
Southington tied it at 7-7 on Tyler Hyde’s two-yard run at the 5:36 mark of the period.
After John DelliSanti made a fine catch for 39 yards, Prep regained the lead three plays later when Smith scored from two yards out with 12 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Prep forced a three-and-out, and extended its lead to 21-7 on Crowe’s eye-opening, tackle-breaking 53-yard run.
Southington answered when Barmore ended a 68-yard, 11-play drive with a one-yard sneak.
The offensive barrage continued, as Prep got that score back on Smith’s 31-yard touchdown pass to DelliSanti with 4:06 left in the first half.

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