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Thames River playoff hopes ended by Quinebaug Valley

Putnam — Lee Schiavetti had a good feeling about Wednesday.

The Quinebaug Valley Pride senior was right. And he made the day miserable for Thames River.

Schiavetti had 334 yards of total offense and scored six times as the Pride stunned the Crusaders, 57-13, at the St. Marie Greenhalgh Complex and ruined Thames River's chance at its first trip to the CIAC playoffs.

"I woke up (Wednesday) morning, I had a great feeling about the day," Schiavetti beamed. "And it came true and I'm excited as hell."

Thames head coach Craig Sylvester said, "Hats off to QVP. We played hard, but they beat us. They deserved to win."

The Crusaders (8-2) would've qualified for the Class L playoffs with a win.

"We have very young kids," Sylvester said. "The (four) seniors leaving, I'm so proud of them. No one actually thought we'd be in this position. … I’m very sad and I feel bad for my seniors.”

Seth Cunningham ran 20 times for 193 yards and a touchdown for Thames. Jackson Brenek also threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Jackson.

Schiavetti was a beast for Quinebaug (8-2). He ran 17 times for 177 yards and three touchdowns, caught three passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 91-yard fumble recovery.

"I thought (the game) was going to be a dogfight," Schiavetti said. "It turned out the opposite."

The Crusaders opened the game with an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Cunningham ran six times for 58 yards on that drive, the last which was a 1-yard touchdown run as Thames took a 7-0 lead with 7:28 left in the first quarter.

Quinebaug scored in two plays. Schiavetti got behind the Crusaders defense and caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Michael Merrill as the Pride tied the game at 7.

Thames needed just six plays to set up first-and-goal at the Quinebaug 9 yard line.

The Crusaders had third-and-goal from the 2 but were flagged for a delay of game.

The Pride stopped Cunningham at their 1-yard line on fourth down.

Schiavetti burst up the middle three plays later and ended the quarter with an 85-yard touchdown run to put Quinebaug ahead, 14-7.

"That big goal line stop by our d-line was huge," Schiavetti said. "We flipped the game. We scored quick and the rest is history."

It got worse and worse for Thames in the second quarter. The Pride's Chris Daly scored on a 29-yard interception return with 11:01 left in the first half.

Schiavetti followed by scoring on a 91-yard fumble return to push Quinebaug ahead, 28-7, with 7:39 remaining in the half.

"I stripped it," Schiavetti said. "I saw (the ball), and I was like, 'you know what — let's take it to glory land.'"

Schiavetti ran for a 4-yard touchdown with 3:58 left in the second quarter.

An interception by Sam Rebello later led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Schiavetti as the Pride went ahead 42-7 with 2:27 remaining in the quarter.

Schiavetti scored his sixth TD as he took a short pass from Merrill for a 60-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.

"We’ll be back," Sylvester said. “I’ve still got Seth Cunningham coming back. I have almost the whole offensive line.”


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