Tomahawks Upset in Quarterfinals

GLASTONBURY- Things didn’t go the Tomahawks’ way from the beginning Tuesday night as two-seed Glastonbury fell 33-23 to visiting seven-seed Fairfield Prep in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Class LL State tournament.

“It just wasn’t meant to be tonight,” Glastonbury head coach Scott Daniels said of his team’s early exit from the tournament.

The Tomahawks, who lost in the quarterfinals of last year’s tournament to eventual champs Xavier, were 10-1 in the regular season this year, winning ten straight after an opening day loss to Southington.  Quarterback Jalen Ollie and wide receiver Ethan Ericson powered Glastonbury’s ten-game winning streak offensively.

Led by the two senior standouts, the Tomahawks were able to outscore their opponents 376-109 in those ten wins and reach the state tournament for the sixth straight year.

Glastonbury would get off to a rough start in this year’s tournament.

After completing his first pass, Ollie was picked on the second play of the game by Fairfield Prep’s Brett Stevenson who returned the interception 45-yards for the score, giving Prep a 7-0 lead just seconds into the game.

On the following possession, a fumble by Ollie was recovered by the Jesuits, which set up a 20-yard touchdown run for junior quarterback Colton Smith on the ensuing possession.  After a missed PAT, Fairfield Prep had a 13-0 lead with 7:27 left to play in the first quarter.

“We dug ourselves into a hole with a couple turnovers,” Daniels said.  “We gave them 13 points and we were trying to claw back from that the whole game.”

After a Glastonbury field goal, Smith had another touchdown run for the Jesuits, this time a 46-yard run.  At the end of the first quarter Fairfield Prep had a controlling 19-3 lead over Glastonbury.

But the Tomahawks were not going to be embarrassed at home.

With 7:00 left in the first half, Ethan Ericson recovered a Jesuit fumble.  Ollie then led his team 66-yards downfield, capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ericson to cut the Fairfield Prep lead to 19-10 at the half.

After another Smith touchdown to open up the second half to give Fairfield Prep a 26-10 lead, it seemed that Glastonbury was primed for a comeback.

Ollie threw a quick 61-yard touchdown pass to Ericson, who finished with 7 receptions for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns, to make the score 26-16, and then followed that up with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Anisimov on the next possession to cut Prep’s lead to 3.

“They are explosive and they have the ability to make plays,” Fairfield Prep head coach Tom Shea said of Glastonbury.  “They are as good as advertised.”

Despite stumbling early, Ollie was able to put his team in excellent position, trailing the Jesuits 26-23 late in the third quarter.

“Everyone makes mistakes, but we were 10-1 regular season because Jalen has been outstanding for us,” Daniels said of his star quarterback.  “I’m proud of what he and everybody on the team did.”

Unfortunately for the Tomahawks, Fairfield Prep would strike back quickly.

Smith, who finished with 22 carries for 266 yards and 4 touchdowns, ran the ball 77-yards to the house on Prep’s next possession to give the Jesuits a 33-23 lead with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter.

“When they scored, we had answers,” Shea said of his Fairfield Prep squad.  “Colten Smith and our offensive line did a great job.”

Down by ten in the fourth, Glastonbury seemed to be engineering a scoring drive led by Ollie and Ericson.  With the game in the balance, Ollie’s fourth and eighteen pass to Ericson fell just short, and the Jesuits were able to reclaim possession and hold their 33-23 lead for the final.

A tale of two games.

Glastonbury and Fairfield Prep had polar opposite styles of offense.  Prep, led by Smith, dominated on the ground, picking up 375 total rushing yards, but had only 58 yards passing.  The Tomahawks, led by Ollie, controlled the air, picking up 346 yards passing, but only 74 yards on the ground.  Ollie would end the game 23-42 for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns, and finish the season just twenty-three yards short of 3,000.

“Everything is a learning experience; you learn from your wins, you learn from your losses,” Daniels said of what his Glastonbury team will take away from this loss.  “I told the young guys to remember this moment.”

For more photos from the game click HERE.






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