October 25, 2013 11:48PM
By Ken Lipshez
WALLINGFORD — In their moment of glory, Sheehan running back Rafael Dominguez and quarterback Jeremy Gannon paid tribute to some unheralded teammates.
Tom Francis, Riley Konopka, Greg Suplinskas, Jordan Lytle and Mike Moscato man the offensive line. They didn’t score the touchdowns but those who did wanted to make sure their oft-overlooked efforts were appreciated.
Dominguez and Gannon combined for seven touchdowns behind cohesive blocking Friday night as Sheehan used the big play to overwhelm the Lawmen, 47-13, and snap a five-game losing streak in an SCC Division II crossover game at John J. Riccitelli Field.
“It’s a victory we needed for the program to keep us rolling in the second half of the season,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said. “Hopefully it’s a sign of what’s to come.”
Dominguez scored four on runs of 1, 75, 6 and 2 yards and now has 12 touchdowns on the season. Gannon accounted for the other Titan scores on runs of 54, 43 and 26 yards.
“The linemen did what they needed to do,” said Dominguez, a shifty 5-4, 142-pound senior. “I don’t think they get enough credit for what they do. It’s been really rough on them the last couple of weeks with some hard losses. We give it all to them. Without them, we’re nothing.”
Ferrazzi was proud of the improvement the boys up front displayed.
“We challenged them this week,” he said. “We had a couple late-night, after-practice film sessions to sharpen up. We were able to get on the field the next day and get things corrected. It’s just a matter of them working together.”
Ferrazzi had been using both Gannon and Justin Lange at quarterback and was generating the brunt of the offense through the air with Brandon Gauthier as the go-to receiver. The preparation for Law focused on the running game.
“We’ve been preparing ourselves two ways,” he said. “By game planning we felt we could get our run game going with [Gannon] as quarterback. [Lange] is still going to play some quarterback but he’s a big-bodied guy who can play a little tight end so we repped him over there, too, and it worked.”
After the two squads went most of the first quarter without scoring, Sheehan (2-5) gained an edge in field position thanks to a 44-yard punt by Nolan Cloutier that pinned Law at its 11. Four plays later, Sheehan had the ball at the Law 34 where Dominguez went to work. He ran for 16 yards and Gannon followed with a keeper that placed the ball at the 11. Two plays later, Dominguez scored from the 1 with 24 seconds left in the quarter.
Sheehan ran just two plays to Law’s 29 in the second quarter but the Titans scored on both touches.
“When you go against an option team, they can keep you on the field,” Ferrazzi said. “An option team is going to grind you out and they grinded us out for the whole first half. It’s hats off to our defense — one score in the second quarter and not giving up anything in the second half.”
Law (1-5) scored a touchdown when Tim Edson recovered a fumble in the end zone to cap a 13-play, 53-yard drive that consumed over six minutes. On the next play from scrimmage, Gannon faked a handoff and shot through a huge gap in the center of the defense for a 54-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
Law quarterback Timmy Maher, running the option effectively, guided the Lawmen to the Sheehan 25 when the drive died less than a minute before halftime.
Dominguez weaved 75 yards on the next snap to extend the lead to 13.
“We wanted to reactivate the run game through Rafael but we haven’t shown enough of it with Jeremy,” Ferrazzi said. “We wanted to get that going this week. The explosiveness of our offense is kind of an energy-giver to the team.”
The big play continued to haunt Law.
The second half began with a 15-yard run by Gannon and a 38-yard aerial to Gauthier, setting up a six-yard touchdown scamper by Dominguez.
Once again, the Law offense sputtered and the Sheehan offense exploded. Gannon blew into the secondary from the Law 43 and went the distance. Any drama dissipated early in the third quarter with the Titans up 34-7.
Gannon capped the evening with a 26-yard gallop on the fourth play of the final stanza.
“This game meant everything for the rest of the season because we’ve were been hungry for a win and tonight we finally got one,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Sheehan 47, Law 13
At John J. Riccitelli Field
S—Rafael Dominguez 1 run (Brandon Gauthier kick), :24.1
L—Tim Edson recovered fumble in end zone (Mick Murray kick), 5:53
S—Jeremy Gannon 54 run (Gauthier kick), 5:43
S—Dominguez 75 run (kick failed), :43.2
S—Dominguez 6 run (Gauthier kick), 10:52
S—Gannon 43 run (Gauthier kick), 9:43
S—Dominguez 2 run (kick failed), 5:27
S—Gannon 26 run (Gauthier kick), 10:32
L—Giovanni Marzullo 23 run (pass failed), 1:55
RUSHING—Law (60-253): Tim Maher 16-74, Marzullo 12-74, Joe Ziebell 18-52, Ryan Siddall 9-32, Joe Coury 2-8, David Patrick 1-6, Tim Caldwell 1-4, Max German 1-3; Sheehan (29-314): Dominguez 13-133, Gannon 8-156, Bradley Olmstead 5-17, Nolan Cloutier 2-5, Bruce Rutkowski 1-3.