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NFA hangs on for dramatic 28-26 victory over East Lyme

Norwich — The Norwich Free Academy-East Lyme football game rated high on the entertainment scale on Friday night.

The two Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I rivals battled until the final second.

It took a huge defensive stop by the Wildcats with no time left on the clock to give them a dramatic 28-26 victory.

East Lyme quarterback Will Anglin threw an incomplete pass to a well-covered Rowan Mundell on a two-point attempt. The same combination hooked up on 10-yard pass play to cut the deficit to two , capping an 85-yard drive that took 56 seconds.

When the game ended, the Wildcats (2-1, 1-0) stormed the field to celebrate and then ran over to their vocal student section to soak in the win.

They never trailed but never felt comfortable either.

The lethal quarterback-wide receiver combination of Jayden Desilus and Maxson Pierre Louis carried the NFA attack. Desilus threw three touchdown passes to his 6-foot-4 receiver and ran six yards for another score.

That touchdown run put the Wildcats ahead 28-14 with just over one minute left in the third quarter.

East Lyme (1-2, 0-1) didn't give in, though, mounting a stirring comeback attempt.

First, the Vikings blocked a punt and senior Mason Gallo scooped up the football and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown with eight minutes left in the game. But East Lyme failed to convert its extra point kick attempt.

The Wildcats got the ball back and ran down the clock while moving to the East Lyme 15-yard line. The Vikings' defense made a stand to prevent a fourth down conversion and got the ball back with 1:23 remaining.

Anglin completed three straight passes, including a cross field heave to Mundell who bolted to the NFA 10 on the 51-yard strike.

Taking the snap with only 8.8 seconds left, Anglin scrambled and hit Mundell, who made a terrific sliding catch in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown play with no time remaining,

The Wildcats held on for the win.

David Semnoski had a terrific game for the Vikings, returning a fumble roughly 40 yards for a touchdown and blocking the punt in the second half. Anglin threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Gillespie to account for East Lyme's other score.

g.keefe@theday.com

NFA kicker Brady Conley (11) joins teammate singing the fight song after defeating East Lyme in ECC football action Friday, September 24, 2021 in Norwich.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
NFA kicker Brady Conley (11) joins teammate singing the fight song after defeating East Lyme in ECC football action Friday, September 24, 2021 in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

NFA East Lyme football gallery

For more photos from the NFA East Lyme football game click here.

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