Weston pulls out second straight last second win, beating New Fairfield
Updated 11:17 pm, Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Another week, another dramatic win for Weston football.
The play capped a frantic final few minutes of a contest largely devoid of excitement. New Fairfield (2-5) took a 9-7 lead with a minute and a half remaining after the Trojans (5-2) turned the ball over on downs in their own territory.
The decision to go for it at their own 36-yard line in a game dominated by defense was a gamble to say the least, and one that would have been questioned if Rogers didn't bail the Trojans out.
"I should have punted. Everyone makes mistakes. We were all fired up and we wanted to end the game right there," Weston coach Joe Lato said.
Nick Guardi gave the Rebels the lead on a straight ahead 10-yard run that looked as it if sealed the deal on a fine defensive performance for New Fairfield.
However, the Trojans returned the ensuing kickoff to the New Fairfield 31 behind the legs of Rogers, and a late hit penalty on the Rebels brought the ball to the 16. The penalty was the play of the game, setting up Weston with a very short field to win the game with a field goal or a touchdown.
Having turned the ball over on downs twice in the game in addition to two turnovers, protecting the football was the number one priority of the Trojans after getting the short field.
"The ball was very slippery and all I was thinking was not to turn the ball over. If I don't throw a pick or a fumble I'd knew we'd win," Trojans quarterback Tyler Hassett said.
Rogers found the end zone on the third play of the drive, sending the Trojans to their third straight win.
"Every game is a different story. Today's was about special teams and field position and running the football. I'm just glad the kids pulled out it out," Lato said.
Both quarterbacks had trouble moving the football through the air on a day where conditions deteriorated rapidly. Hassett was 3-of-7 for 91 yards and a touchdown and an interception while Rebels quarterback Mike Jamieson was 3-of-7 for 24 yards.
Regardless of the stats, Hassett was excited to get another close win for the Trojans.
"It's crazy. The third week in a row it's come down to the last play. I can't believe it's happening over and over again."
New Fairfield finally opened the scoring with 3:57 left in the second quarter, as a result of a Trojan fumble on their own 32 yard-line. The Weston defense kept the Rebels out of the end zone after a 1st and goal from the six, and Ardian Sahinovic had to settle for a 23 yard field goal.
The points finally woke up the Trojans and they immediately replied.
Hassett, who also had an interception on defense, hit Rogers on a 37-yard pass to get the ball into Rebels territory, and on a 4th-and-2 later in the drive Hassett bought himself some time in the pocket before finding Matt Keeney wide open down the field for 23 yards.
On a 3rd-and-15 from the 16, Hassett took a shot at the end zone and found J.D. Simons for the touchdown. It was the third touchdown catch in two games for Simon, all on the exact same corner fade route.
"We've ran the same play three times, and it's worked each time. It's exciting to find the end zone like that," Simons said.
New Fairfield is now 2-5 and with three games to play, and the best it can hope for is a .500 record.