Tom Shea and the Fairfield Prep football team are beginning to believe.
Prep quarterback Strecker Backe threw a touchdown pass and ran for one as the Jesuits scored the game's final 25 points. Prep improved to 4-1 for the first time under Shea. Prep was last three-over .500 after five games in 2006, which also was the last time the Jesuits beat Cheshire.
"This is good," Prep coach Tom Shea said. "The thing we have not done is beat an elite team on the road and tonight we did it ... they're a very good team."
Cheshire's Jack Cunningham gained the Rams' lone touchdown as Cheshire fell to 3-2.
The Jesuits' defense forced three fumbles, two of which were recovered by Mitchell D'Eramo. After Backe's 1-yard touchdown run put Prep ahead, the Rams fumbled their first play from scrimmage on their subsequent two possessions.
"We think we have a pretty tough defense," Shea said. "This is what they can do."
"There's nothing more you want as a quarterback than a short field," Backe said.
Prep took over at Cheshire's 14 after the Rams' second fumble, and on Prep's second play, Ryan rolled 11 yards to the end zone, putting the Jesuits up 14-0.
"We know that it was going to be a fight and the offensive line played awesome," Backe said. "We were able to get some running lanes."
Three of Prep's six scores came on either third- or fourth-down conversions, including Backe's 6-yard pass to Chris Golger -- on fourth-and-3 -- that put Prep up 21-6.
"We played our hearts out," Golger said. "We just wanted this so bad."
Prep sophomore John Moten's 25-yard, third-quarter touchdown scamper came on third-and-1, lifting Prep's advantage to 27-6.
"We have some good athletes and some guys who can make some plays," Shea said. "When you have guys like that on your team and guys doing their jobs, we can make some good things happen."
FAIRFIELD PREP 14 7 6 12--39
CHESHIRE 0 6 0 0--6
FP--Strecker Backe 1 run (Liam Coyle kick)
FP--Dillon Ryan 11 run (Coyle kick)
C--Jack Cunningham 9 run (kick failed)
FP--Chris Golger 6 pass Backe (Coyle kick)
FP--John Moten 25 run (kick failed)
FP--Ryan 3 run (pass failed)
FP--Nicholas Crowle 9 run (kick failed)
Records: Fairfield Prep 4-1, Cheshire 3-2.