DURHAM >> After scoring a touchdown on their opening possession against Granby Memorial, Coginchaug’s extra point attempt didn’t go as planned: the ball was snapped over the head of Jack Granger, the Blue Devils senior kicker. Granger, however, alertly scooped up the ball, rolled to his right and tossed it into the back of the end zone where senior Christian Adams made a terrific, leaping catch for the 2-point conversion.
Yes, it’s been that kind of month for the Coginchaug football team.
After a lopsided loss against Morgan back on Oct. 5, the Blue Devils responded with impressive wins versus Lewis Mills, Old Saybrook/Westbrook and Hyde. There was also a forfeit win against Housatonic when the Mountainners couldn’t field a team.
Coginchaug’s 36-16 Senior Day victory against Granby Saturday at the Wally Camp Athletic Complex extended the Blue Devils unbeaten string to five games and propelled Coach John Bozzi’s squad into the Class S playoff race with a 6-2 mark.
When the dust settled this weekend, Coginchaug occupied the eighth and final playoff spot in the Class S rankings with three games remaining (at North Branford, Haddam-Killingworth, at Cromwell).
The Blue Devils formula for success has been a balanced offensive attack, a much improved defense, and senior leadership.
Against Granby, senior quarterback Tyler Meeker completed 9-of-16 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. Junior running back Jake Ober scored three rushing touchdowns, while junior Eric Soloman and Granger also did a great job running the football as the Blue Devils gained nearly 200 rushing yards.
The Blue Devils defense was spearheaded by senior linebacker Ty Kartiganer and senior nose tackle Ryan Murphy.
Coginchaug got an eight-yard scoring toss from Meeker to Granger, and a 3-yard TD run from Ober to take a 15-3 midway through the second quarter. The Bears answered with a nine-yard scoring run from Dominic Pagano to cut the Blue Devils lead to 15-10.
But with 54 seconds left in the first half, Ober capped a 10-play, 79 yard scoring drive with a six-yard touchdown scamper. Ober found the end zone behind blocks from juniors Josh Smith, Antonio Lockwood and Murphy and Granger’s extra point kick gave the Blue Devils a 22-10 lead at intermission.
Blue Devils junior Eric Sbona’s 28-yard interception TD return late in the third quarter stretched the lead to 29-10. The Bears answered with a 7-yard scoring toss from senior quarterback Curtis Field to senior Ian Downey.
Ober’s third touchdown run from four yards out lifted the Blue Devils to a 36-16 advantage with 2:38 left to play.
Coginchaug will travel to North Branford this Friday night in a Pequot Conference battle with huge playoff implications. Kick-off at Colafati Field is 6:30 p.m.
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