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Hey, Pomperaug Panthers. How y'all feeling today?
Should you not reside in the quaint environs of Southbury and/or have any idea what we're jibber-jabbering about, Pomperaug pulled off a bit of a shocker Friday night.
So, the Panthers played host to the more heralded Masuk Panthers yesterday. Masuk was unbeaten and ranked ninth in The Day Top 10 coaches' poll. It hung 40 second-quarter points on New Milford in a season-opening 71-34 beat down on Sept. 15. It has a REALLY BIG GAME against Ansonia next Thursday in what was a highly anticipated game.
Pomperaug, well it had lost three of its first four games. It looked as if it would become four out of five after Masuk took a 14-point, first-quarter lead.
Ah, but the Panthers of Southbury weren't going out like that. They fought back and, with 18 seconds left, Wade Prajer threw an 18-yard touchdown to Steve Croce to give Pomperaug a 35-32 upset win.
Sadly, none of the print media was at the game. It's tough for newspapers to get to games nowadays, what with staff cuts and everyone having the uncontrollable need to have lights and play on Friday nights.
(We miss the days where so many games were played on Saturday.)
The most anyone will read about Pomperaug's win is in the lead to the Waterbury Republican-American's football roundup.
We here at Polecat HQ reckoned figured that wasn't enough, Pomperaug, so we figured in lieu of physical ink, we'd give you a little digital ink.
Now will one of you please upload video of the final drive and the ensuing jubilation? Least y'all can do after ruining the Ansonia v. Masuk hype.
No, seriously, good job. Well done.
We're serious about the video, though.
• • • •
The biggest game last night was down in The Valley as Fairfield Prep knocked off No. 7 Shelton, 38-28, in a game for both SCC D-1 bragging rights and CIAC Class LL positioning.
The game was closer than it looks and featured a daffy final four minutes, starting after Shelton had cut its deficit to 24-21.
Colton Smith broke off an 80-yard run on the first play of Prep's next possession (documented HERE by JRC Amalgamated's Sean Patrick Starfish — check it out just to see the size of Prep's offensive linemen.)
Kyle Drost caught a 34-yard touchdown from Mark Piccirillo as the Gaels cut their deficit down to three points again with 1:53 left in the game.
Smith struck again, although he waited until the second play to race for a 49-yard touchdown.
Smith finished with 17 carries for 208 yards and four touchdowns. He also completed 11 of 18 passes for 167 yards and a TD.
No one should consider Prep's win a surprise. Yeah, it wasn't ranked and had a loss, but that was because No. 3 St. Joseph hit on a 42-yard TD pass with no time left to win, 36-34, on Sept. 20.
Reckon the Jesuits are going to get more love in the next coaches' poll.
• • • •
It used to be a big deal when a QB threw for 300 yards. Nowadays, 'eh, not so much. Rules were put into place to create more pretty passing (and neuter defenses), thus making 300 the new 200 yards passing.
Now 300 yards rushing in a game, that's different. It's cause for celebration if, for no other reason, because offensive linemen get to have some fun. They get to be the aggressor and charge into defenders, rather than dropping back into pass coverage and getting whacked.
Yes, we're biased here at Polecat HQ. We're total marks for the manly discipline of the running arts, which is we're pleased that Arkeel Newsome of Ansonia and Platt's Tyzahn LEATHERWOOD both broke 300 last night.
LEATHERWOOD ran 30 times for 347 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers plundered previously unbeaten Rocky Hill, 47-14. He's rushed for 1,208 yards through five games. He's on pace to run for 2,658 yards.
Newsome, the cat who owns the single-season rushing record (among other marks), ran for 314 yards and five touchdowns as the top-ranked Chargers overwhelmed neighbor Derby, 62-28.
It's common for several people to be keeping stats at a game and for all of them to have slightly different numbers. That written, 314 would give Newsome 7,998 career rushing yards.
Former Ansonia great Alex Thomas holds the state career rushing record (8,279). Newsome, then, needs 282 more yards to pass Thomas.
• • • •
Here's how The Day top 10 did last night:
2. New Canaan plays host to Danbury today at 2 p.m.
3. St. Joseph beat Wilton, 44-20. The Cadets' Jordan Vazzano completed 15 of 27 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Dave Ruden of his eponymous website and John Nash of the Norwalk Hour reporting.
5. Middletown beat Hartford Public, 41-7. Dario Highsmith ran 13 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns and threw two touchdowns for the Blue Dragons. Gentleman Jim Bransfield of the Middletown Press reporting.
6. Newtown beat New Milford, 56-13. Drew Tarantino threw four touchdown passes (three to Julian Dunn) and Cooper Gold ran for two touchdowns — all in the first half. John Nestor of Hearst Inc. reporting.
8. Windsor blanked RHAM, 49-0. Jedidiah Haynes completed 9-of-14 passes for 230 yards with four touchdowns for the Warriors. The Hartford Courant has a blurb HERE.
Pomperaug beat No 9. Masuk, 35-32. The Waterbury Republican-American's blurb is HERE.
10. Glastonbury shutout Newington, 33-0. Jalen Ollie completed 21 of 34 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns. The Hartford Courant has a blurb HERE.
Thanks for reading. More later.
East Lyme returned just five players with any varsity experience and lost its first four games. It's made gradual improvement and downed Woodstock Academy last Friday, 42-7, its second-straight victory.