FAIRFIELD — Ah, the best laid plans …

Heading into the season, Fairfield Prep coach Keith Hellstern was expecting to put the bulk of his offense on the shoulders of one of the best running backs in the state, Doug Harrison, and ride that horse as far as he could go.

That ride didn’t even last two games.

Harrison, a junior, suffered a torn ACL against Amity and will have surgery on October 12. His season is over. If that wasn’t bad enough, starting quarterback Will Lucas took a big hit late in the Shelton game last week and also spent Friday night watching from the sidelines.

But Prep is resilient. Sophomore quarterback John Iaropoli — making his first varsity start — controlled the offense, running backs Justin Keith, Connor Boyle and Anthony Mastroni were all solid and the Jesuits posted a 38-21 victory over Sheehan at Rafferty Stadium.

“He did a great job,” Prep coach Keith Hellstern said of Iaropoli. “He actually started as the third string quarterback for us and when Doug went down, we had to shift around some bodies, Connor Boyle was our No. 2 (quarterback) but he’s a very good running back, so we needed his depth there and at the point, we knew we had to get JP ready.”

Iaropoli did exactly what he needed to do. He completed seven of 14 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns and directed the Jesuits to a season-high 38 points and 262 total yards.

“I wasn’t really nervous, I mean, it’s just another football game, really,” Iaropoli said. “I kind of knew by the middle of the week because Will wasn’t practicing but I was just real excited. I’ve been waiting for this all year.”

Along with Iarpoli, Prep got steady games from its three-headed running back machine of Keith, Mastroni and Boyle. Keith had 107 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns on runs of three and 50 yards. Mastroni had 48 yards on two carries, including a 47-yard TD run and Boyle added 82 yards on 12 carries, most of that coming from the Wildcat formation.

“It became a perfect storm of circumstances when Doug went down and Will got hurt. It created the need to keep our run game consistent and we just had to make the move (of Iaropoli at QB),” Hellstern said. “We’re out there with our third and fourth running backs, which we’re lucky to have and technically, our third string quarterback, so there are a lot of positives to take from that side of things.”

Sheehan scored first, a seven-yard TD catch by Evan Mansfield from quarterback Weston Terzi but Prep answered with a pair of scores, a three-yard TD run from Keith and seven-yard touchdown pass from Iaropoli to Chris Duffy, giving the Jesuits a 14-7 halftime lead.

“In the first half, I think we had four visits to the red zone and only scored once, so that hurt,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said. “When you get into the red zone you have to put points on the board. Overall, we played a tough three quarters of football.”

The Titans tied matters at 14 on a four-yard run from Russell Rutkowski, but Prep answered with Keith’s 50-yard touchdown run. Sheehan countered with a four-yard touchdown pass from Terzi to Jordan Davis to make it 21-21 but from there, it was all Prep as Finn Duran caught a 34-yard TD pass, Mastroni bulled in from nine yards out and Hendrik Boot kicked a 29-yard field goal.

“We fell apart in the fourth quarter, it’s unfortunate,” Ferrazzi said. “For a small school like us to play a big school like them, we shouldn’t even be playing these guys, to be honest but for us to hang in there … I’m proud of them. We have high expectations but the way we played that fourth quarter, we got to get better.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Prep QB John Iaropoli. Making his first-ever varsity start, the sophomore completed seven of 14 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He showed poise under pressure as the Prep offense scored a season-high 38 points and did not commit a turnover.

MAKING THINGS HAPPEN

Sheehan’s Jordan Davis recovered an on-sides kick, caught a 32-yard pass, broke up a pass, returned a punt and forced a fumble — all in the first quarter. He added a 45-yard run on a reverse and caught three passes for 39 yards, including a 4-yard TD that tied the game at 21-21 and was involved in several jarring hits on defense. He’s just a sophomore.

QUOTABLE

“It was a good game. That’s how we should play. I liked the way (offensive coordinator, Chris) Casper mixed it up. We had gone through the game plan and I was expecting a lot of passes because we knew the deep ball would be open because their corners like to press, I was ready to throw.” — Prep sophomore QB John Iaropoli

celsberry@ctpost.com

FAIRFIELD PREP 38, SHEEHAN 21

SHEEHAN 7 0 7 7 — 21

FAIRFIELD PREP 7 7 7 17 — 38

S — Evan Mansfield 7-yard pass from Weston Terzi (Terzi kick)

FP — Justin Keith, 3-yard run (Hendrik Boot kick)

FP — Chris Duffy, 7-yard pass from John Iaropoli (Boot kick)

S — Russell Rutkowski, 4-yard run (Terzi kick)

FP — Keith, 5-yard run (Boot kick)

S — Jordan Davis, 4-yard pass from Terzi (Terzi kick)

FP — Finn Duran, 34-yard pass from Iarpoli (Boot kick)

FP — Anthony Mastroni, 47-yard run (Boot kick)

FP — Boot, 29-yard field goal

Records: FP (3-1, 1-1 SCC Tier I); S (3-1, 2-0 SCC Tier III)