CIAC FOOTBALL: Sheehan holds off Ansonia, heading to first state final in 34 years! Darien extends mastery of Southington; Hand finishes off Maloney on pick-six & fumble returns

CIAC FOOTBALL: Sheehan holds off Ansonia, heading to first state final in 34 years! Darien extends mastery of Southington; Hand finishes off Maloney on pick-six & fumble returns



DERBY — Three touchdowns from Jordan Davis, including the game-winner with just over eight minutes to play, carried the No. 4 Sheehan Titans over the top-seeded Ansonia Chargers 30-22 in the Class S semifinals on Monday night.

With the win, Sheehan (10-2) is going to a state football final for the first time since its 1985 Class SS title year. They’ll face defending champ Bloomfield (12-0) on Saturday.

Davis’ final TD on Monday night, a 1-yarder on fourth down, broke a 22-22 tie in what was an epic dogfight in the rain.

Earlier in the second half, Sheehan had struck big for 64-yard passing touchdown from Kyle Simmons to Davis to take a 22-16 lead.

Ansonia came right back with a short TD run set up by a long kickoff return, then mounted a goal-line stand in the waning moments of the third quarter to keep the game tied at 22-22.

Sheehan’s defense responded by holding the Chargers and forcing them to punt from their own 4. That punt was partially blocked, setting the Titans up at the Ansonia 29.

Ansonia nearly mounted another goal-line stand. This time, Davis scored from 1 yard out to put Sheehan back on top.

Sheehan’s defense took it from there, stopping Ansonia cold on its final possessions of the game.

In the first half, it was a ground war. Shykeem Harmon’s two touchdown runs bookended Sheehan strikes by Terrence Bogan and Davis.

Harmon also converted a pair of two-point tries. That was the difference at intermission.

In other state semifinals:

*Class L: Daniel Hand 42, Maloney 0

Down running back James Tarver, who was out with an injury, the short-handed Spartans fought nobly into the third quarter led by a stout defense.

The defending champion Tigers wound up extending a 15-0 halftime lead by scoring on three turnovers in the second half – a third-quarter pick-six for 40 yards and a pair of fourth-quarter fumble returns, one from 60 yards and the other from 12.

Hand staked itself to an 8-0 lead on a 26-yard run and two-point conversion from Colin McCabe, then pushed the lead to 15-0 later in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Phoenix Billings.

Maloney had a promising second-quarter drive after a fumble recovery by Trevor Santiago. Maloney gained the red zone before being stopped on downs.

*Class LL: Darien 21, Southington 12 (4Q)

A 16-yard touchdown by Will Kirby with just over five minutes to play extended a 14-12 lead Darien had been holding onto since halftime and carried the Blue Wave to its third Class LL state semifinal win over Southington in five years.

Darien also handed 10-2 Southington its lone defeats of this season.

Prior to Kirby’s insurance strike, all the scoring came in the first half.

Peter Graham threw a pair of TD passes for Darien, which never trailed.

Southington, though, answered each score, first on a 25-yard TD pass from Brady Lafferty to Shane LaPorte in the final minute of the first quarter and then on a 34-yard TD run by Dillon Kohl in the second.

Kohl’s run was a gem. Going around left end, Kohl broke a tackle at the second level and beat a defender to the pylon.

Graham’s TD passes were to Sean Guilford (32 yards) and Michael Minicus (11).

The difference on the scoreboard up until the fourth quarter? Neither Southington PAT/2-point try was good.

Southington’s D made a big stop just before half, halting Darien on fourth-and-goal from the 12.

Neither team mustered much in the third quarter. Southington twice intercepted Graham in the period.

 

The following are all finals.

 

CLASS LL

No. 3 Darien 21, No. 3 Southington 12

No. 1 Newtown 17, No. 4 Simsbury 0

 

CLASS L

No. 2 Daniel Hand 42, No. 3 Maloney 0

No. 1 St. Joseph 42, No. 4 New Canaan 0

 

CLASS M

No. 5 Weston 37, No. 1 Rockville 0

No. 3 Killingly 35, No. 2 Waterford 7

 

CLASS S

No. 4. Sheehan 30, No. 1 Ansonia 22

No. 3 Bloomfield 35, No. 7 Plainville 7

 


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