Fairfield Prep pounds Branford, 41-0
Only a head coach can find fault with a blowout win and you'd better believe that Fairfield Prep's Tom Shea did just that Friday night.
Despite an offense that rolled up 326 yards rushing, despite a defense that allowed just 91 total yards, Shea wasn't too happy with the visiting Jesuits' overall focus in a 41-0 shutout over Branford.
"I wanted us to go out there and improve our execution and we didn't do that," Shea said. "We made some plays, but we weren't really crisp upfront and that's not going to cut it over the next couple of weeks, so we have a lot of work to do to become a good football team."
Prep was buoyed by several big plays early on that opened up a commanding 34-0 lead and the only question heading into the second half was if Prep keep it under 50? Thanks to playing literally everyone on his bench, Shea did just that.
The Jesuits used 11 different running backs, led by Allen Gibson, who rushed for 83 yards on 10 carries in the first quarter before taking the rest of the night off.
"Our offense came out strong and my line, they blocked really hard on every down," Gibson said. "Sometimes I just read the play and whatever happens, happens."
"Our starters came out and did what we had to do, we put the second and third strings to get them experience and they did well," Gibson said, who had a 28-yard touchdown run. "They put up some points."
Gibson's TD run gave Prep a 7-0 lead with 8:29 left in the first quarter as Hank Healey added the first of his four extra points. It quickly became 14-0 as Smith raced 16 yards -- his only carry of the night -- for a touchdown on the Jesuits next possession.
Prep's defense got into the act as Josh Bernstein intercepted Branford quarterback Zach DeGoursey's pass at the Hornets 48-yard line. Seven plays later, Smith and Dellisanti connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-0 with 2:16 left in the first quarter.
"Branford's been struggling a little bit and we're a little bigger and a little more experienced, so we were hoping that we'd be able to come in and make a few plays early and get some guys some work," Shea said. "And we were able to do that. But our execution is still not where it needs to be."
Backup quarterback Patrick Conti scored on a 24-yard keeper early in the second quarter to make it 28-0 and then Prep's Jack Snopkowski had the play of the night as he returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-0 with 8:16 left in the half.
In the second half, Prep kept the ball on the ground with sophomore tailback Rayn Marusi getting the bulk of the work, rushing 15 times for 83 yards. His reward? A five-yard touchdown run with 7:49 left to complete the scoring.
"We had a lot of younger guys that were able to get out there and get some experience," Shea said. "You never know when you're going to get tapped to step up and play and we needed some of these guys to get ready and some of those young guys did a good job, so I was happy with that."
FAIRFIELD PREP 21 13 0 7--41
BRANFORD 0 0 0 0 --0
FP--Allen Gibson, 28 run (Hank Healey kick)
FP--Colton Smith, 16 run (Healey kick)
FP--John Dellisanti, 22 pass Colton Smith (Healey kick)
FP--Patrick Conti, 24 run (Healey kick)
FP--Jack Snopkowski, 75 punt return (kick fail)
FP -- Ryan Marusi, 5 run (Nick Urban kick)
Records: Prep--3-1; Branford--0-3