DANBURY — Any hopes the Prince Tech football team had of pulling off a come-from-behind victory Saturday were snuffed out by an opportunistic Abbott Tech/Immaculate defense.
ATI forced six turnovers against a potent Prince Tech offense to secure a 14-12 victory in a Connecticut Technical Conference game at Mustang Valley.
Prince came awfully close to scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons had two drives late in the fourth quarter end with fumbles, the second of which was recovered by ATI’s Shaquez Danzy on the Immaculate 33 with 1:39 remaining.
“We’ve got some kids who have a lot of courage,” said ATI coach Rich Holmes, whose team improved to 2-1 with its second straight win. “Realistically, we were out-manned by quite a bit. We were out-manned last Friday, too. Our kids are believing what we’re telling them, and they have the courage to carry it out.”
Matt Christe rushed for 144 yards and both ATI touchdowns. Tommy Fahey chipped in with two first-half interceptions. The United never trailed.
Tonius Gedeon caught a touchdown pass from Devon Hernandez for Prince’s first touchdown, and William Deleon muscled his way into the end zone from 6 yards out for the other. Deleon rushed for 90 yards for the Falcons (1-2).
A REAL NAIL-BITER
With less than eight minutes remaining and ATI clinging to a two-point lead, the United had pinned Prince Tech deep in its own end after an interception by Ki-Shawn Covington on the 7-yard line. On fourth-and-4 from the Falcons’ 13, Hernandez broke free for first-down yardage and more. As he darted into the open field, it appeared for a split second as if Hernandez could take it the distance for the go-ahead score. That’s when ATI’s Anthony Frasier raced in and jarred the ball loose. Teammate Kyle Cyr alertly pounced on it, and everyone on the ATI sideline let out a collective sigh of relief.
“We had been working hard all week. We studied the plays and we were just ready for them,” said Frasier, who had rushed for 61 yards on offense.
The United were not out of the woods just yet, however, and on the first play of Prince Tech’s next drive, Gedeon made a tremendous, leaping catch in heavy traffic along the sidelines on a deep pass from Hernandez. Several tacklers converged on Gedeon and the ball popped loose from his grasp. Danzy recovered it on the ATI 39.
“It was just a learning experience all around,” Prince Tech coach Broderick Beckford said. “At the end of the day, I felt like we beat ourselves with a lot of plays. We’ll tighten that stuff up this week and check out some film. We’ll definitely get better. All you can do is learn from your mistakes.”
Frasier made two of his biggest plays on each of Prince Tech’s two-point conversion attempts.
After Hernandez hit Gedeon with a scoring strike to narrow ATI’s advantage to 8-6 in the third quarter, Frasier tackled Deleon short of the goal line after he had caught a swing pass from Hernandez.
Deleon’s touchdown run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter cut ATI’s lead to 14-12. The Falcons then lined up for the ensuing two-point conversion attempt\. It wasn’t successful, as Frasier intercepted Hernandez to preserve ATI’s two-point lead.
DON’T EVER GIVE UP
With ATI leading 8-0 early in the second quarter, quarterback C.J. Cianflone broke free for what would have been a 41-yard United touchdown — but Gedeon had other plans. The Falcon speedster sprinted downfield, caught up with Cianflone inside the 10-yard line and knocked the ball loose. Prince Tech’s Nate Tyson — a 270-pound, two-way lineman who rarely came off the field — had also raced 40 yards downfield in pursuit and fell on the ball on the 1. Even the officials congratulated the Falcons on that play.
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ABBOTT TECH/IMMACULATE 14
PRINCE TECH 12
ATI — Matt Christe 31 run (Anthony Frasier run)
PT — Tonius Gedeon 18 pass from Devon Hernandez (pass failed)
ATI — Matt Christe 18 run (run failed)
PT — William Deleon 6 run (pass failed)
Records: Prince Tech (1-2, 1-2 CTC); Abbott Tech/Immaculate (2-1, 2-1 CTC)