Passing game clicks for the Jesuits
CHESHIRE — The Fairfield Prep football team has had its success this season both on the ground and through the air.
On Friday night against SCC rival Cheshire, the passing game worked to perfection.
John Iaropoli completed 19 of 24 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns, and receiver Finn Duran had six receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns to lead Fairfield Prep to a 28-14 win over Cheshire at Maclary Athletic Complex.
The Jesuits overcame two electrifying plays by Cheshire running
back Jake McAlinden, who kept the Rams in the game with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 93-yard touchdown run.
“This was the best game for us this season so far when it comes to our passing game,” Fairfield Prep coach Keith Hellstern said. “The passing game was clicking and it was a good thing because we always expect a tough game from a Tier one rival. Their No. 43 (McAlinden) is an exceptional player. We missed some tackles and he kept them in the game.”
Iaropoli credited his receivers for his success.
“Duran is a beast out there, he catches everything,” Iaropoli said. “We usually only call about 20 passing plays a game. But tonight the passing game was clicking and we threw more passes than usual. This was an important game for us to win, everybody contributed.”
In the first half, the Jesuits (4-1) dominated. Iaropoli competed 12 of 15 passes for 193 yards and three touch-
downs. The Jesuits had a 21-0 lead until McAlinden electrified the Rams crowd with a 95-yard kickoff return for a 21-7 score at halftime.
On Prep’s second possession of the first quarter, Iaropoli sent a perfect lead pass to Duran 25 yards downfield and he never broke stride on his way to a 61-yard touchdown and 7-0 lead.
Iaropoli sent the Jesuits fans to their feet again early in the second quarter with a 50-yard pass to Sam Roberto for a 14-0 lead with 11:48 to go in the half.
The Jesuits would go on to pad their lead with their last possession of the half. Iaropoli connected with Duran again for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds to go.
Enter McAlinden and his big run to give the Rams fans some hope for the second half. On the kickoff, he caught the ball at the Cheshire 5-yard-line and bolted down the right sideline, breaking two tackles along the way. With 30 yards to go, he broke to the left side of the field and scampered in for the 95yard TD run to trim the Prep lead to 14 points.
In the third quarter, on the Rams’ second possession, McAlinden electrified the crowd again. He took a handoff from quarterback Colby Griffin and bolted down the left sideline for a 93 yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 21-14.. But that would as close as the Rams would get.
Iaropoli and Duran hooked up one more time for a 43-yard touchdown pass with 6:19 left to put the game away.
“McAlinden works hard, he worked hard all week,” Cheshire coach Don Drust said. “Those were two big plays he gave us. But you just have to put these games behind you. Our kids will show up tomorrow and we’ll work hard again to prepare for our next game.”
The Rams fell to 0-5.