MERIDEN — Josh Boganski is no stranger to big performances in big games after a four-TD performance in the Class L state championship game last year.
The senior running back came up with another MVP performance in Maloney’s 44-21 win over Platt in the Stoddard Bowl on Thanksgiving morning at Falcon Field.
Boganski was handed the Bernard Sprafke MVP trophy after the game, and he earned it. The senior compiled a 28-carry, 119-yard, 3-TD performance in front of a huge crowd as the Spartans improved to 9-1 on the season and cemented their spot in the Class L playoffs with a home game against New Milford in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
“This means everything in the world to me, but I think this should be the most valuable team trophy,” Boganski said. “The lineman put in all of the work for me. I would have had nothing without my linemen.”
Boganski praised the play of linemen Brendon Borak, Howard Stedford, Rafael Rodriguez, Rafael Figueroa Rosario, Jayden Guilavogui and Kaleb Marquez.
“They were all doing amazing and I’m so proud of them; I couldn’t have gotten this award if it wasn’t for them,” Boganski said. “They should have gotten the MVP. I wished they had (six) MVP trophies just for them.”
Borak was a big boost on the line after missing the Glastonbury game, a 28-21 overtime loss, with an injury.
Maloney head coach Kevin Frederick emphasized the importance of Borak’s return.
“He impacts the game on both sides of the football,” Frederick said. “He’s a tough kid and bounced back from a tough injury. He’s the real deal.”
Boganski had a 8-yard TD run in the first half and scoring runs of 2 and 6 yards in the second half.
“We’re mostly a second-half team,” Boganski said. “Coach Fred came in and said the game wasn’t over, but we had to put the nail in the coffin.
“Everyone’s energy was up. Donte (Kelly) and JoJo (Gonzalez) both had amazing catches; everyone put it together. We’re a great team and everyone trusts each other. That’s the best part about it. Kyle is going to put up the ball and he knows his players are going to go up and get it.”
Frederick said Boganski had a strong Thanksgiving, but given his team’s balance on offense, the MVP award could have gone to a few different players.
“He did a good job taking care of the football and ran down hill and ran really hard,” Frederick said. “I liked what I saw from him today. We want to carry this momentum into the playoffs.”
Boganski said playing on Thanksgiving is special.
“The whole town comes out; you get to put on a show in front of your family and then go home and have a great meal after a great game,” he said. “You can’t top that.”
Boganski added the team is already turning the page and now looks to defend its Class L state championship.
“We needed a win to get us a home game in the playoffs,” Boganski said. “We are on to the next game now. This game doesn’t matter to me now. We are on to Tuesday. I’m already focused on Tuesday.”