WALLINGFORD — Since hitting a little bit of a snag with two losses late in the regular season, to say the Sheehan football team has turned things around might be an understatement.
After disposing cross-town rival Lyman Hall on Thanksgiving by 56 points, Sheehan used the same formula to start its anticipated showdown with Woodland in the Class S quarterfinals.
A quick start on offense, key plays on special teams, and a stellar defense was the recipe for success as the fourth-seeded Titans easily handled the fifth-seeded Hawks, 51-0, at Riccitelli Field Wednesday evening.
The Titans have outscored their last two opponents 107-0.
Fourth-seeded Sheehan will play top-seeded Ansonia, a 30-12 winner over Plainfield, in the semifinals Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Ryan Field in Derby.
— Mike Madera (@MikeMadera2) December 5, 2019
“We faced some adversity with some injuries against some tough teams,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said. “We are battle tested. We have played LL and L schools. We have played some of the best. These kids do not stop.”
The Titans scored on their first seven possessions, held the Hawks to 8 yards of offense in the first quarter and 50 in the opening half, and took a 44-0 lead to the half.
Sheehan (9-2) was not to be denied offensively in the first 24 minutes, putting up 345 yards of offense. Quarterback Kyle Simmons threw three touchdown passes in the opening half, while fellow senior Terrence Bogan ran for three scores and also set the school record for rushing yards in the process.
— Mike Madera (@MikeMadera2) December 4, 2019
“Everyone just trusts each other,” Bogan said after running for 171 yards and three scores on 19 carries. “A lot of guys are making plays. It is unbelievable. It is not just one person.”
The Titans wasted no time setting the tone of the game, holding Woodland to three plays on the game’s opening possession before needing just two plays, capped by Bogan’s 69-yard touchdown run just 1:55 into the contest.
After an interception by Jason Villano, Simmons hit Jordan Davis with a 33-yard scoring strike for a 14-0 lead 32 seconds later.
“We have so many guys capable of making big plays every time they touch the ball,” Ferrazzi said. “Terrence Bogan and Jordan Davis are two of the most explosive players around.”
The Titans never stopped. When Woodland (9-2) botched a punt and Sheehan recovered at the Hawks’ 4-yard line, the Titans took a 21-0 lead two plays later on a 1-yard run by Bogan.
Even when the Hawks made a stop on defense, they were not rewarded. Garrett Molampy extended the Sheehan lead to 24-0 with a 36-yard field goal with 4:44 remaining in the opening quarter.
“We knew Terrence Bogan was fast,” Woodland coach Chris Moffo said. “We knew when he got through the crease, no one was going to catch him. He is a phenomenal player. That put us in a hole early. Then we had the bad snap and botched punt and it just snowballed.”
Simmons, who finished 9-of-12 for 193 yards and three touchdowns, was at it again in the final seconds of the opening quarter, connecting with Michael Lemay on a 39-yard scoring strike for a 30-0 advantage.
“We are just a really explosive team,” Simmons said. “I thought we showed that again tonight. We prepare really hard. That is a big part of how we play.”
The Titans were relentless on defense in the opening half, picking off Woodland quarterback Tyler Bulinski twice and holding the senior quarterback to just 89 yards in the air on 7-of-23 passing. Bulinski finished 9-of-25 for 112 yards and two interceptions.
Riley Bjornberg had Sheehan’s second interception of the half, setting up a 66-yard Simmons to Davis scoring strike with 7:09 left in the half for a 37-0 advantage.
When Bogan scored from 21 yards out with 3:51 left in the opening half for a 44-0 advantage, the Titans secured running clock to start the second half, and were able to get the starters out of the game early.
Sheehan capped the scoring in the third quarter on a 7-yard run by Russell Rutkowski.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Sheehan offense. Titans put up 345 yards of offense and scored on their first seven possessions of the contest to take a 44-0 lead to the half.
“These kids are great. We are starting to click on all cylinders. We are coming together at the right time.”
— Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi