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Fitch football team keeps playoff hopes alive with 41-12 win over Capital

Groton — Mike Ellis flashed a wry grin Thursday night when he used the word "fluctuate" to describe his team's general comportment. Loosely translated: The focus of the 2021 football players at Fitch High is subject to change.

Ellis knew emotions would be prevalent during Senior Night at Dorr Field. He watched some of his players pay attention to the student section playing cornhole near the fieldhouse before the game and was a bit concerned that Thursday would be one of those occasions when the "fluctuation" wasn't kind.

"That and Capital Prep is a very athletic team," he said.

Happily, though, the Falcons persevered and earned a 41-12 win, staying very much relevant in the Class L playoff race.

"We knew they could give us some problems," Ellis said of the opponent. "The defense eventually got it figured out and the offense kept putting points on the board."

Quarterback Ben Perry showed the offense's ability to diversify, throwing for 137 yards and a touchdown, a 68-yarder to Aidan Greaves. Thomas Williams, who ran for 270 yards in last week's win over East Lyme, ran for 153 more and two scores.

"There were a lot of distractions tonight," Ellis said. "But we figured it out."

Now the Falcons can spend the next week preparing for Thanksgiving and watching the scoreboard. They entered Thursday's game 10th in the Class L race, behind No. 7 Thames River, No. 8 Masuk and No. 9 Hand.

The Falcons may be able to qualify by simply defeating Ledyard, although the mathematical possibilities are extensive. Meanwhile, any losses by the three teams in front of them would be helpful.

Thames River plays host to the Abbott Tech/Immaculate co-op (4-3) Saturday afternoon and concludes the regular season Thanksgiving Eve against Quinebaug Valley, which sits No. 12 in Class L. Hand plays at Notre Dame of West Haven (3-5) and is home for Guilford (5-4) Thanksgiving Eve. Masuk has perhaps the most difficult game of Fitch's opponents against Newtown (6-3) also battling for a playoff spot.

Fitch, which won state titles in 1976, 1999 and 2000, last appeared in the playoffs in 2017.

But of primary concern now: Thanksgiving against Ledyard and possession of the Colonel Ledyard Sword.

"We never really talk about the playoffs," Ellis said. "We just keep telling the kids that we have to win our last two to have a chance. Win our last two and then we wait and see what happens."

m.dimauro@theday.com

 

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