Fairfield Prep hands Shelton 1st loss
SHELTON -- Colton Smith knew it was a remarkable play, one he couldn't do much about. But when Shelton tight end Kyle Drost scampered past a defender, beyond the first-down marker and into the end zone on a fourth-and-22 play in the fourth quarter, the Jesuits quarterback knew the best way to answer.
He ran, and ran some more.
Just two plays later, Smith burst through the line of scrimmage on a designed run and cruised 49 yards for a touchdown to cap a remarkable night against a top-10 opponent. The junior rushed for 219 yards and accounted for five touchdowns -- four on the ground -- to lift Fairfield Prep over previously unbeaten Shelton 38-28 on Friday at Finn Stadium.
Smith, who began the day with 199 rushing yards in four games, also scored untouched on an 80-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 31-21 with 3:45 left. His career night lifted the Jesuits to 4-1 on the season, while Shelton -- ranked No. 7 in the state -- dropped to 4-1.
"It was just one of those crazy plays that happen during sports," Smith said of Drost's 34-yard touchdown, which brought Shelton within three points with 1:53 left. "Our offense had to come back, make plays, get us back into the game, give us a bigger lead."
Smith's first touchdown run -- a 13-yard scramble -- put Prep up 6-0 just eight seconds into the second quarter. He also scored from 10 yards out midway through the third quarter to give the Jesuits their largest lead at the time, 18-7.
"On some of those plays, he didn't have that much room," Prep head coach Tom Shea said, "and he created some space. He did a fabulous job. Nothing Colton does surprises me.
"He's terrific -- a student of the game."
Shelton, which came in averaging 46 points a game, struggled to finish drives early. The Gaels had three drives end in Prep territory without points in the first half.
"We gave up a few too many big plays on defense," Shelton head coach Jeff Roy said. "We didn't capitalize on opportunities, especially in that first quarter. ... You've got to make plays against a great team."
Piccirillo connected with Michael Pingree for a 13-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-10 with 3:58 remaining to cut it to 24-21. But just 13 seconds later -- on Prep's first play of the next series -- Smith sprinted around the right edge and cruised 80 yards to push the lead to 10 points.
"Our line was making huge holes," Smith said. "We could've driven a truck through it."
Junior wide receiver John DelliSanti had two touchdowns for Prep, scoring on an 11-yard pass and an 11-yard run. The scoring run, which came on the first play of the fourth quarter, gave the Jesuits a 24-13 advantage. He too heaped praise on the Jesuits' massive offensive line.
"We were expecting to move the ball," DelliSanti said. "We knew the whole game was going to come down to how our line played. They really stepped up."
Jason Thompson scored two touchdowns for Shelton, including a 56-yard catch-and-run to give the Gaels their only lead of the night -- 7-6 with 2:35 left before halftime. He also had a 7-yard touchdown burst in the third quarter.
The Jesuits, who were also plenty tough on defense at times with three sacks, were relishing their win with a reminder from their coach.
"Since I was a freshman, he's been preaching it: `The key to becoming an elite team is being an elite team on the road.' We did that tonight," DelliSanti said.
FAIRFIELD PREP 0 12 6 20 -- 38
SHELTON 0 7 6 15 -- 28
FP -- Colton Smith 13 run (kick failed)
S -- Jason Thompson 56 pass from Mark Piccirillo (Joe Zoppi kick)
FP -- John DelliSanti 11 pass from Smith (kick failed)
FP -- Smith 10 run (pass failed)
S -- Thompson 7 run (pass failed)
FP -- DelliSanti 11 run (pass failed)
S -- Michael Pingree 13 pass from Piccirillo (Kyle Drost pass from Piccirillo)
FP -- Smith 80 run (Sean Morrison kick)
S -- Drost 34 pass from Piccirillo (Zoppi kick)
FP -- Smith 49 run (Morrison kick)
Records: Fairfield Prep 4-1, 3-0 SCC; Shelton 4-1, 3-1.