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    Tuesday, November 28, 2023

    Killingly offense makes the most of its limited plays in 48-0 rout of NFA

    Killingly — There were moments during the first half Friday night when Killingly head football coach Chad Neal told his staff that the offense needed to run some time off the clock.

    The offense wouldn’t allow it to happen.

    Unbeaten Killingly ran just 17 plays in the first half but scored 41 points in its 48-0 mashing of Norwich Free Academy.

    “That’s what we ran”,” Neal said, eyes growing wide, when told his team ran just 18 first-half plays. “Wow.”

    Jack Sharpe ran 19 times for 241 yards and three touchdowns for Killingly (8-0), which moved up to No. 10 in The Day's Top 10 state coaches’ poll this week. Soren Rief added eight carries for 126 yards and a score.

    “Two great running backs and an offensive line that has gotten better-and-better each week,” Neal said.

    Shane LeDuc (right tackle), Ryan Miller (right guard), Darin and Devin Exarhoulias (left tackle and left guard, respectively) and center Noah Russell comprise an offensive line made up of first-year starters.

    “From week one to now they have really become a unit, a tough unit,” Neal said about the line. “They know what each other is doing. That’s been the biggest change in the last seven weeks.”

    Sharpe said, “They’re great and they’ve picked up (things) so quick. The left side, the Exarhoulias twins (who are sophomores) they haven’t played football since seventh, eighth grade and that’s a big difference going from youth (football) to high school and they’ve just adjusted perfectly.”

    Jayden Desilus started nearly the entire game at quarterback for NFA (3-6) after suffering an ankle injury in the second quarter of a Nov. 5 loss to Fitch and missing the rest of that game. He completed 16 of 40 passes for 159 yards with two interceptions and ran 11 times for 55 yards.

    Sharpe ran for a 37-yard touchdown on Killingly’s fourth play to give it a 7-0 lead with eight minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter.

    NFA drove 11 plays down to the Killingly 16 before stalling out.

    Thomas Dreibholz threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Ben Jax on Killingly’s second play of the drive to go ahead, 14-0, with 1:18 left in the first quarter.

    The Wildcats moved all the way to the Killingly 22-yard line on their next drive. They got nothing out of it after four straight incomplete passes.

    Soren Rief ran 67 yards on first down for Killingly.

    Sharpe followed with an 11-yard touchdown run to extend Killingly’s lead to 21-0 with 9:10 left in the second quarter.

    NFA went on another double-digit drive, this time for 11 plays before turning it over on downs at the Killingly 5.

    Sharpe ran 50 yards on Killingly’s next play. Rief followed with a 44-yard touchdown run to give Killingly a 28-0 lead with 5:20 remaining in the half.

    Killingly’s defense added to the scoring as Jax intercepted a pass at the Wildcats’ 33 and returning it for a touchdown to give his team a 35-0 lead with 4:43 left in the half.

    Alex Potapsky recovered a fumble to give Killingly the ball at its own 37.

    Sharpe ran six yards on first down and followed with a 57-yard touchdown run to push Killingly’s lead to 41-0 with 1:39 remaining in the quarter.

    Sharpe ran 11 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. Rief added four carries for 120 yards and a touchdown.

    Killingly had exactly 400 yards offense at the half.

    Killingly’s Terrance Allen recovered a fumble in the end zone with over six minutes left in the game for the final points.


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