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Bears survive a wild finish

By Ned Griffen

Publication: The Day

Published November 09. 2013 4:00AM
Tim cook/ The Day
Stonington's Harry Calmar avoids Ledyard's Khary Childs for a big gain in the first quarter of the Bears' 28-21 win over the Colonels in a battle for first place in the ECC Medium Division on Friday night.

Stonington - Stonington finished its game Friday night football game the same way it played all night - bold and devil-may-care.

The Bears were clinging to a seven-point lead against Ledyard, and backed up against their own goal line with four seconds left.

So Stonington decided to blitz.

"We sure did," Stonington coach A.J. Massengale said. "We've got to put some pressure on (the quarterback) in that situation."

Linebackers Harry Calmar and C.J. Dipollino sacked Ty Ebdon to end the game as Stonington won, 28-21, and tied the Colonels atop the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division.

"They're a very good football team," Massengale said of the Colonels. "We knew we were going to have to play some of our best football to be successful tonight, but we also knew we had to have some things in the toolbox to pull out when needed."

Stonington didn't so much take things from its tool box as it shook everything out. The Bears ran the single wing. They onside kicked twice (recovering one). They also ran a fake punt for what would've been a first down had it not been called back on a penalty.

"The fake punt was freakin' beautiful," Massengale said. "I'm hoping we tackled somebody. I'm hoping the hold was just so obvious."

"You've got to do. ... a little of everything. We did it all tonight."

Quarterback Divante White scored on a 2-yard run with 44 seconds left to give the Bears (6-2, 3-1) the lead.

The Colonels (7-2, 3-1) needed just four plays to go 59 yards down to the Stonington 6. Khary Childs made it possible with successive catches of 20, 15 and 24 yards from Ebdon.

"That kid is a nightmare, man," Massengale said of Childs. "We just said that we have to double this kid, legitimately double him. Put two players right on him because he's just. I don't even know the word.

"We had to do some fundamentally unsound things at the end."

Ebdon threw an incompletion on first-and-goal. And that's when the Bears opted to blitz.

"We definitely get excited when we get that call," Calmar said after the Bears won their sixth straight game. "Yeah, it is (a risk). If they know that it's coming, or they pick it out during the count, it can definitely be a risk."

The risk worked, sending Stonington into hysterics.

"We didn't play well at all from start-to-finish," Ledyard coach Jim Buonocore said. "We were very poor. You've got to credit Stonington. They made some big, big plays in third down situations. They made some huge plays that you've got to give them credit for."

Calmar was in on another of those huge plays with the Colonels leading, 21-20, with less than three minutes in the game.

Zach Mueller stopped JoJo Shumaker on a third down play, and Pat Dooley and Calmar stripped the ball. Dooley recovered at the Ledyard 40 with 2:38 left in the game.

"I was like, 'Scoop and score!," Massengale said. "'Let's go, man!'"

White scored the go-ahead touchdown. Zach Poirier ran in the two-point conversion.

Poirier ran 28 times for 160 yards while Calmar ran 13 times for 49 yards and a score.

White ran for two short touchdowns. He also completed 7 of 13 passes for 95 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown to Poirier.

Shumaker had 13 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown for Ledyard, which had a three-game winning streak snapped. Jordan Kowalski added 77 yards and a score on seven carries.

Ebdon completed 9 of 17 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Childs had five catches for 108 yards and a score.

n.griffen@theday.com

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