WALLINGFORD – The Carini Bowl stays at Sheehan for the sixth year in a row.
The playoff-bound Titans totaled seven rushing touchdowns from sophomores Terrance Bogan and Jordan Davis to earn a 49-20 victory Thursday over Lyman Hall in front of a traditionally large crowd at Sheehan’s John J. Riccitelli Field.
“Anytime you get a win on Thanksgiving no matter who pretty or ugly it was, it’s a fantastic win for the program,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said. “We have a little streak going, which is nice. The win also makes us SCC Tier 3 champs again, which is huge. With the playoffs right behind, we did our best to keep our players focused on this game, but now that it’s behind us we have some serious work to do.”
Bogan, who was named Sheehan’s offensive MVP, rushed 14 times for 184 yards and four touchdowns. Davis (11 carries, 138 yards) added three as the Sheehan (9-1) ground game overwhelmed the Trojans (5-5).
Lyman Hall senior running back Randy McFarline accounted for all three touchdowns for the Trojans as he and Austin Ruiz (29 carries, 105 yards) carried the LH offense all game. McFarline finished with a game-high 176 yards on 26 carries.
“In the end, we all came together and it felt great to play with the guys one last time as a senior,” McFarline said. “Win or lose, it was just an amazing feeling, the atmosphere and fans. It was just great. I did what I could. I just wanted to help the team as much as I could.”
The Trojans were done in by three first-half fumbles as they fell behind 28-7 at the break, despite moving the ball behind McFarline and Ruiz.
Bogan, who missed the last two games with a leg injury, had three touchdowns at the half with runs of 4, 25 and 1. He added a 50-yarder in the second half.
Sheehan took the opening kickoff 68 yards on eight plays to take a immediate 7-0 lead with 9:30 left in the first quarter. Bogan capped the drive with a 4-yard TD plunge. On the drive, Wes Terzi connected with Evan Mansfield for a 17-yard reception. Terzi also found Davis for a 12-yard gain.
Lyman Hall responded with an impressive 10-play drive, all runs, that was ultimately halted at the Sheehan 1. The Trojans fumbled the snap on a fourth-down play and Sheehan junior defensive back Ryan Paul jumped on the ball.
The Lyman Hall defense returned the favor on Sheehan’s next drive. The Titans galloped into Trojans’ territory on three big gains, but LH forced a Bogan fumble that was recovered by Furkan Parcal with 2:59 left in the first quarter.
The Lyman Hall offense churned its way into the red zone, but again faltered on fourth down. On fourth-and-3 from the Sheehan 19, Ruiz was tackled for a loss by Will Terzi and the Sheehan offense was back on the field.
The Titans took that momentum and turned in a six-play drive capped by a 40-yard TD run by Davis up the middle that extended the lead to14-0 with 10:07 left in the first half. Junior wide receiver Jake Smith made a one-handed grab over the middle on a third-and-5 for 15 yards to keep the drive going.
McFarline fumbled at the end of a 26-yard run to stall another successful Trojans drive. His defense picked him up, forcing a Wes Terzi fumble on Sheehan’s first play of the ensuing drive. Junior defensive back Louis Ferri jumped on the loose ball.
The Sheehan turnover set up Lyman Hall’s only points of the first half: a 3-yard TD run by McFarline. Joe Naumenko booted through the extra point to make it a 14-7 game with 7:16 left in the first half.
The Titans answered with a heavy dose Davis and Bogan. Davis rushed three straight times to start the drive. Bogan followed with a five-yard run and then broke off a 25-yard TD run that expanded Sheehan’s advantage to 21-7.
Sheehan’s special teams made a big play after a LH drive died near midfield in the closing minutes of the first half. Tyler Eckstrom blocked the punt — the only punt by either team in the first half — and the Titans went to work at the LH 42.
Wes Terzi had a 21-yard scramble down to the Lyman Hall 1. Bogan cashed it in with a 1-yard TD run with 1:31 left in the first half, putting the Titans up 28-7.
Lyman Hall came out of the locker room strong. The visitors opened the second half with an eight-play scoring drive that was aided by a 49-yard fake punt pass from Louis Ferri to Shakespeare Rodriguez for the Trojans’ longest play of the game.
McFarline punched it in on a fourth-and-goal rom the 8. McFarline carried it to the right from the Wildcat formation.
“I thought Lyman Hall really played their butts off,” Ferrazzi said. “They prepared a very good game plan and ran the ball really well with McFarline and Ruiz, who are as tough as they come.”
Sheehan marched right back down the field with a heavy dose of Davis. Wes Terzi ripped off a 19-yard run to set up Davis’ second score of the game, this one from five yards, to push the score to 35-14 with 4:46 left in the third quarter.
“Thanksgiving victories are amazing,” Davis said. “I was just running hard today. The line was really big again today.”
After Lyman Hall turned the ball over on downs, Bogan broke free for his fourth and final TD of the day, this one from 50 yards that made the score 42-14.
“That was biggest run of the game,” Bogan said. “I broke a tackle and scored. That was nice. I just wanted to come into this game like it was any other game.”
McFarline scored Lyman Hall’s last points of the season with a 11-yard touchdown run with 10:36 remaining in the game.
“Randy is one kid I’m really going to miss,” Lyman Hall coach Bill Weyrauch said. “He exemplifies everything a football should be. He’s just a perfect kid to me, on and off the field. He does everything right. On the football field, he’s just a warrior. He plays his heart out. That’s all you could want.”
Davis scored the final touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run up the middle. Bogan set it up with a 44-yard run.
The defensive MVP’s were Sheehan’s Stephen Zenisky and Lyman Hall’s Harry Febbriello.
“This means a lot to me,” Zenisky said. “It shows that hard work pays off. I felt we were more physically dominant than Lyman Hall today and we just want to keep this thing going.”
Lyman Hall’s season ended at 5-5. Thursday was the final game for Lyman Hall seniors Tylor Seamans, Matthew Velardi, Noah Geissler, Nick Santello, Randy McFarline, Harry Febbriello, Jake Seichter, Andres Godinez, Drew McClure, Aeron Heidgerd, Joe Naumenko, Raj Munoz, Tyler Lomento, Tim Hetrich, Connor Avallone.
“Obviously, any time we lose I’m disappointed,” Weyrauch said. “I’m disappointed with some of the things they did offensively. I’m not disappointed with the effort of my kids. I thought the effort was outstanding today. That’s a 9-1 football team and are very good and well coached. I knew coming in we needed to be almost perfect to win this football game and we made a couple of mistakes early on that really cost us. But I walk off this field proud of my kids.”
Meanwhile, Sheehan rolls to 9-1 and will host a Class M quarterfinal on Tuesday night. It’s Sheehan’s first playoff game since 1995.
The Sheehan seniors are Anthony Mazzucco, Christopher Lombardo, Milton Dash, Evan Mansfield, Nathan Zona, Stephen Zenisky, William Terzi and they will each have at least one more game left in their careers.