Fitch runs all over Ledyard 48-15

Groton — After all the long runs, all the big hits, and all the touchdowns Fitch had during its 48-15 rout of Ledyard on Wednesday night, it was an interception that made the Falcons most delirious.

Well, it was a little more than an interception.

Fitch senior defensive back Javon Smallwood was in pass coverage, slipped and fell to the Dorr Field turf.

Ledyard’s halfback option pass dropped right into Smallwood’s hands for his first interception of the season as the Falcons kept possession of the Colonel Ledyard Sword.

“(I thought), ‘oh, the ball is coming my way’, then I tripped in the mud, the mud was sort off slippery,’” the excitable Smallwood said, hopping to-and-fro as he talked. “When I saw the ball, I didn’t think. I just caught it.

“My teammates went crazy. Our team is crazy. We’re just like a family.”

Smallwood, who moved up this year from Georgia, injured his quad during a scrimmage against Stonington and didn’t return until three weeks ago.

“He had his time to shine and he made the most of it,” Fitch senior Nick Helbig said. “That’s what I love about the team. When somebody makes a big play like that, it doesn’t just ignite the crowd. It ignites the team, and I love seeing that.

“He’s such a positive guy. He’s the one that is always getting everyone hyped. When he was out, he would always give everyone water in the huddle. He’s a great team player. Honestly, he’s probably my favorite player that I’ve ever played with.”

Helbig, who had two sacks, was named the game’s most valuable player for Fitch (7-3).

The Falcons had more than enough players worthy of the honor. Senior Brandon Hamilton sacked Colonels senior Jacob Sylvia in the end zone for a safety and the game’s first points with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first quarter.

Sophomore fullback James Deichler ran 18 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from senior Tyler Nelli.

Nelli ran 12 times for 76 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 91 yards.

Seniors Keith Patterson (30 yards) and Keiv Lucas (20 yards) also ran for touchdowns for the Falcons. Fitch ran 56 times for 331 yards using its triple option offense.

“They have a good team,” first-year Ledyard head Clay Killingsworth said. “Running an option like this, one guy makes a mistake and they can exploit that, and it really showed. I’ve run that type of offense and I know how deadly it can be. They did a great job.”

Senior Pedro Mojica also had a sack for Fitch.

Senior James Smith (16 yards) and Sylvia (15) both ran for touchdowns and Brayden Grim was named the most valuable player for the Colonels (2-8). They lead the Thanksgiving week rivalry, 12-7.

“(We’re) building for the future,” Killingsworth said. “Get these guys in the weight room in the offseason, they have to play other sports, not just go home and sit down and do nothing. That’s going to be the biggest thing. I’m going to challenge them. It’s their team.”

n.griffen@theday.com

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