Valley/OL finishes up strong
Haddam — So remember Garrett Burdick, denizens of Eastern Connecticut Conference football? You know, the scrawny freshman who, two seasons ago, kicked two game-ending and game-winning field goals for the New London football team?
Burdick is doing his damage nowadays as a receiver-defensive back for the Valley Regional/Old Lyme co-op, and the Old Lyme resident remains as clutch as ever.
Burdick had three interceptions and kept offensive drives alive with seven catches for 98 yards as the Warriors concluded their regular season with a 27-13 win over old friends Haddam-Killingworth on Tuesday in a Pequot Football Conference South game.
It’s been quite a transformation for Burdick.
“It sure has,” Burdick said. “I guess all I can say is I’ve been blessed. I love my team. I’ll do anything for them. I’ll do anything to win the game with them.
Burdick staked three H-K drives with interceptions at the Valley/Old Lyme 20, 6 and 15 yard line. He also made two big catches on two of the Warriors’ touchdown drives.
“He’s a terrific athlete (on) both sides of the ball,” Valley/Old Lyme head coach Tim King said. “Three picks may have tied the school record with Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn (now an Amherst senior who was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday).”
The Warriors won their final four games to finish 6-4, 3-2.
Senior Gus Cummins had four catches for 138 yards, including a 95-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, and added an interception for Valley/Old Lyme. Junior Matt Sapere completed 17 of 29 for 316 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, and junior Dan Stecher added 10 carries for 68 yards and two scores.
Alex Segaline completed 9 of 21 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown and ran 17 times for 50 yards and a score for the Cougars (5-5, 0-5).
The game was tied at 13 when H-K had a fourth-and-6 from its own 27-yard line.
Segaline, the punter, took the snap and rolled right as if he were going to execute a rugby kick.
Instead, Segaline opted to run and was tackled for a 2-yard loss by senior Jared Roche.
“We had that play called (the option to run or punt),” Cougars head coach Mike Baklik said. “He can make it happen out there, and sometimes he surprises us. We work with him. We try to get him to see what the defense is giving him. … He makes plays out there.”
That play set up the Warriors’ go-ahead touchdown. They had a fourth-and-1 from the Cougars’ 16 when Sapere and Stecher sold a handoff like champs, allowing senior Will Visgilio to get wide open across the middle for a touchdown catch. The extra point was blocked.
Cummins intercepted a pass at his team’s 9 with over six minutes left.
Burdick out-leaped two defenders for a 35-yard catch on third-and-8 from the Valley/Old Lyme 18.
Cummins dropped to the ground for a 27-yard catch on third-and-3 at the H-K 13-yard line.
Stecher ended the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 1 minute, 35 seconds left in the game.
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