WALLINGFORD — The roll of the Sheehan Titans could not be stopped on Friday. Witih a 41-0 dismantling of the East Haven Yellowjackets, the Titans clinched their first state playoff berth since 1995.
“It feels like a long time coming,” said head coach John Ferrazzi, who is his 13th season. “We stayed hungry and this is a group of kids that wanted it.”
The playoff clincher will be one to remember not just because it means the playoffs are on the horizon, but because it just so happened on a night that plummeted to 22 degrees Fahrenheit in East Haven. The wind chill in the air Friday made it feel like the Titans were playing in single degree weather.
And yet they stayed hot, improving to 8-1.
“The cold doesn’t affect us,” said sophomore running back Jordan Davis, who finished with 115 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. “It’s the same as every game. Come in, go in to win and work hard.”
Neither the weather nor the Yellowjackets prevented the Titans from continuing the momentum that they have accumulated over the last several weeks. Sheehan has outscored its opponents 130-8 over the last three games.
“There wasn’t much we could prepare for with the cold,” said Sheehan quarterback Wes Terzi. “The coaches got us ready in every way — defensively, offensively, schematically. It was just a great week of practice.”
Terzi was 20 for 27 on the night, accumulating 177 yards through the air and two passing touchdowns. One of them was a diving end zone catch by Evan Mansfield, who finished with eight receptions for 71 yards.
“I was really impressed tonight with how we got off the bus and how we ran out onto the field,” said Ferrazzi.
“If the cold was affecting them, they didn’t let it show. They came out here looking to take care of business and I am so proud of them.”
An obvious concern moving forward for the Titans is the level of competition that they will be facing. The last two opponents, Bassick (0-9) and East Haven (1-7), were not playoff opponents. Plainfield (6-2) was the last competitive game for the Titans (they won 27-10 on Oct. 27 on the road). Sheehan’s Thanksgiving Day opponent, Lyman Hall, sits at 5-4 after losing to Jonathan Law 46-0.
Ferrazzi is not concerned. Sheehan has wins over Weston (6-3), Law (5-4) and Foran (4-5, SCC Tier 2) under its belt. Sheehan’s loss was to Fairfield Prep (7-2), a Class LL and SCC Tier 1 team.
“We’ve played good competition this year,” said Ferrazzi. “Sometimes we have played down to our competition a little bit. We are showing that when we can be consistent, we can be a very dangerous football team. For us, it is a matter of rhythm and consistency.”
This will be Ferrazzi’s first trip to the postseason as a head coach since taking over the mantle in 2005. Out of all the teams that Ferrazzi has coached, this one is particularly special to him.
“They love each other,” said Ferrazzi on what sets the 2017 team apart. “They are tight knit. They play hard and compete. You can never question their effort. You can never question their competitiveness. It’s a joy to watch and we still have a lot of room to improve.”