Bal­anced at­tack

Je­suits dom­i­nate be­hind Har­ri­son’s big night

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Sports - By Emery Filmer

FAIR­FIELD — Fair­field Prep and North Haven came into this SCC con­test with iden­ti­cal records, and some other sim­i­lar sta­tis­ti­cal phe­nom­ena. But there was one big dif­fer­ence be­tween them and that was on dis­play for all to see on Satur­day.

North Haven re­lies on a strong run­ning game.

Prep can do it all on of­fense.

And that bal­anced unit turned this show­down be­tween a pair of state pow­ers into a one- sided af­fair as Prep cel­e­brated a 42- 20 win.

“We did some good things tonight,” Prep coach Keith Hell­stern said. “We ran it and passed it well.”

North Haven ( 7- 2) com­pleted three passes and one was in the fi­nal minute against the Je­suits’ sec­ond team. Prep ( 8- 1), led by run­ning back Doug Har­ri­son and quar­ter­back John Iaropoli, had 452 to­tal yards with Har­ri­son rush­ing for 196 of Prep’s 256 yards on the ground and Iaropoli com­plet­ing 13 of 16 passes for 194 yards.

“We be­lieve we can do


any­thing on of­fense that we need to do,” Har­ri­son said.

Once Prep got up 21-6 at half­time, it was ob­vi­ous the In­di­ans were in trou­ble.

“We wanted to put them in po­si­tion where they had to chase be­cause that’s not their game,” Hell­stern said, whose team needs to beat West Haven to earn a state play­off berth.

The In­di­ans rushed for 252 yards on 32 at­tempts but had 70 yards pass­ing (24 in the fi­nal minute).

“It’s hard at this stage of the sea­son to take a beat­ing like this,” NH coach An­thony Sag­nella said. “They were op­er­at­ing at a dif­fer­ent speed than us. We couldn’t match their in­ten­sity.”

An 81-yard drive that be­gan early in the third quar­ter might have been the knock­out blow. Af­ter stop­ping NH on its first pos­ses­sion of the sec­ond half, the Je­suits took nine plays to take a 28-6 lead with Har­ri­son fin­ish­ing it with a four-yard run. About three min­utes later, Har­ri­son scored his 13th TD of the sea­son on a 24-yard run.

“This was one of my bet­ter games,” Har­ri­son said. “I try to make sure that I have my big games when it’s a big game.”

Al­bert Hooks then went 46 yards for a score on an end-around for North Haven.

But Prep added one more score on an eight-yard run by TJ Wal­ton late in the fourth quar­ter be­fore NH quar­ter­back Shamus Mee­han ran five yards for a TD as time ran out.

It was a great start for Prep. The Je­suits went 65 yards on 11 plays on their first pos­ses­sion as Har­ri­son rushed for 39 yards and Iaropoli com­pleted all four of his passes, the last of which was an eight-yard scor­ing toss to Sam Roberto.

Max Au­gus­tine scored for North Haven in the sec­ond quar­ter be­fore Iaropoli hooked up with Finn Du­ran for a 61-yard touch­down and a 14-6 Prep lead.

Prep full­back Zach Sheehan’s one-yard dive in the fi­nal minute of the half made it 21-6.

NOTES: The teams had three com­mon op­po­nents this sea­son and had amaz­ingly sim­i­lar re­sults. North Haven beat Cheshire by 13 points, Prep beat Cheshire by 14. NH topped Xavier by 35, Prep by 34. And both lost to un­de­feated Shel­ton: North Haven by four and Prep by three.

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Fair­field Prep’s Dou­glas Har­ri­son ( 6) drives the ball be­tween North Haven’s Justin White, right, and Nicholas Dodge dur­ing Satur­day’s game in Fair­field.

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Fair­field Prep QB John Iaropoli throws a pass against North Haven on Satur­day in Fair­field.

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