Fitch pulls away from Bacon in the second half for 35-0 win
Groton — Leading Bacon Academy 14-0 at halftime, Fitch football coach Mike Ellis still felt something was off with his team.
“It was kind of a flat type of atmosphere,’’ Ellis said. “It had been Spirit Week all week. They had a pep rally today. I’m always leery of that situation. And that’s what we saw in the first half. But they did come to play in the second half, which was nice.’’
His halftime message worked.
Fitch (4-2) scored on its first two possessions of the second half to put the game away en route to a 35-0 win. And Fitch’s steady defense put up a zero, holding Bacon to 66 offensive yards.
“The concern at halftime, from a defensive standpoint, was our pad level,’’ said Ellis. “Bacon was underneath us, they were getting some movement on our line. So we challenged the defensive line not to let that happen in the second half. On the offensive side of the ball we needed to come down and score right away.’’
Right away is what he got.
After a Fitch penalty on the first play of the half, sophomore running back James Deichler ran 64 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Nelli capped a 52-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run on the next possession. Nelli, whose nice fake to Deichler set up the score, was also 5-for-5 in extra points and made it 28-0 with 4:31 left in the third quarter.
“We talked about pride a little bit at halftime,’’ said Ellis. “Then they made a real nice first play of the half to go all the way for the score and that got us up by three (touchdowns).’’
Keith Patterson’s seven-yard touchdown run made it 35-0 and made the final 10:06 of the game running time.
Nelli’s five-yard touchdown run gave Fitch a 7-0 lead after one quarter and Deichler’s nine-run scoring run came with 8:15 left in the first half. Deichler finished with 170 yards rushing on 16 carries.
“We’ve been looking for that fullback, with Hollis (Scott) graduating,’’ said Fitch nose guard/offensive guard Nick Helbig. “He’s a sophomore and I love that kid. I’m just hoping he continues to get better. He could be a really big player for us.’’
Nelli rushed for 26 yards and was 5-for-7 passing for 84 yards for Fitch and teammates Kennard Tate (67 yards) and Namoni McClellan (52) contributed to the 329-yard rushing total for the Falcons.
Bacon (1-5) got 18 yards rushing each from Jake Cavallo and Jon-Michael Murray.
“They were a deceptive 1-4 team coming in,’’ said Ellis. “You watch them and they’re moving the ball around on Killingly, they’re moving the ball on NFA. They’re not a bad ballclub. We just had to make sure we used our speed to our advantage out there and we weren’t doing that all the time.’’