Killingly slips and slides its way past NFA 12-6 in OT
Killingly — Not even during this estimable run at Killingly High School, filled with all-staters and state championships, has there been anything like this.
Indeed, none of the 40 previous wins in the last four years came in such a pronounced rainstorm, a night that could have gone wrong a hundred different ways, but turned out oh so right at the end.
Derek Turner's 10-yard touchdown run in overtime gave the Redmen a wild 12-6 win over Norwich Free Academy on Friday night, solidifying a Class M playoff spot and likely a quarterfinal home game.
"This is so great for the seniors," a drenched, euphoric Killingly coach Chad Neal said. "They're still living in the shadows of (Spencer) Lockwood and (Zach) Caffrey. And to beat NFA on Senior Night ... wow, what heart the kids showed. And they loved this weather."
Ah, the weather. Perhaps the night's equalizer.
NFA's pass offense, lethal in previous weeks, coughed and wheezed its way through the wind and rain. Quarterback Elijah Parker completed nine of 27 passes for 142 yards and two interceptions.
And it was the second interception that will go down in Killingly lore and legend.
Jonathan Creswell picked off Parker on third down in overtime, denying NFA any points on its first possession.
That led to Turner's score on the next play and a wild, wet celebration.
Parker's 35-yard completion to Nolan Molkenthin helped the Wildcats (5-4) rally from a 6-0 deficit in the third quarter. Sean Preston's 2-yard touchdown run tied the game at six.
Killingly took a 6-0 lead earlier in the third when quarterback Luke Desaulnier hit tight end Quinn Gervasio on a 27-yard scoring pass on fourth down.
"We ran the whole game and we knew the pass would work because they were expecting the run," Desaulnier said. "I told Quinn, 'the ball is wet and it's gonna be a duck ... but you better catch it."
Gervasio did, giving the Redmen a 6-0 lead at the time.
Both teams missed extra points.
Killingly (8-1) has one regular season game remaining. A win would likely earn the Redmen a home game in the Class M playoffs. Killingly is the defending Class M champ, now 41-5 in its last 46 games.
It might even rain again for the Redmen.
"The weather played into our favor," Neal said. "Both teams had to play in it, but our kids love it."
NFA, which had slim hopes of qualifying in Class LL, was eliminated from contention with the loss.
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