WALLINGFORD — On Monday at Riccitelli Field, Berlin quarterback Kevin Dunn had the kind of game kids dream about during their youth football days.
He completed 13 of 28 passes for 244 yards including four touchdowns and he ran for another to lead No. 3 seed Berlin to a 34-14 win over No. 2 seed Sheehan in the Class M semifinals. And oh yeah, Dunn also contributed on defense at his cornerback position and recovered a fumble.
“During all my years in youth football, this is the kind of day you look forward to when you reach this level, what you hope for and it’s what you dream of as a kid,” Dunn said. “It’s really beyond words.
“I had a dream game as a quarterback with four touchdown passes, but it was our offense overall that contributed to my success tonight. The offensive line was great, the running backs and receivers worked hard and they all made my job easier.”
Berlin’s Alex Halkias caught five of Dunn’s passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 18 carries for 73 yards.
Berlin will make its ninth championship game appearance with a Class M title in 2009.
“The kids all worked hard for this opportunity to get to the final, they bought into the program,” Berlin coach Joe Aresimowicz said. “Kevin Dunn had a great game tonight and the thing is he has only been playing quarterback for two years. He was a receiver in youth football. But he made such an easy transition to quarterback. What makes him so good out there is he is a smart kid and makes good decisions. That’s his strength.”
In the first quarter, Sheehan and Berlin each started with the two scoreless possessions. But the Redcoats focused on their passing game the rest of the first half to take control of the game.
— Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) December 4, 2018
Dunn connected with Giancarlo Tufano for an 18-yard touchdown pass and Tufano’s kick gave Berlin a 7-0 lead with 3:41 to go.
On their next possession, the Redcoats went seven plays to score again. Alex Halkias outran the defense to the far left corner and caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Dunn as time expired on the clock. Another Tufano kick gave the Redcoats a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter,
On the ensuing possession for Sheehan,, a combination of passes and Terrence Bogan running set up the Titans with a second down at the Berlin 16. Bogan swept left and looked like he was going to get the Titans on the board, but fumbled at the 1 yard line and Dunn, at his cornerback position, recovered end the Sheehan drive with 8:47 left in the half.
Dunn then picked up where he left off in the first quarter.
Zach Hrubiac caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Dunn with 2:45 to go to give Berlin a 21-0 lead.
The Titans gave their faithful fans some hope on their next possession when Wes Terzi connected on a big play of his to get the Titans back in the game. Terzi fired a perfect lead pass to Jake Smith who caught the ball in stride and bolted down the middle of the field untouched for a 61-yard touchdown. Justin Moore’s kick hit the right upright and the Titans cut the Berlin lead to 21-6.
In the third quarter, the Dunn show continued.
Halkias caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Dunn with 7:48 to go. On Berlin’s next possession, Dunn produced points with his legs. He took the snap and swept to the right for a 13-yard touchdown run. Tufano’s kick made it 34-6.
Terzi brought the Titans closer with another touchdown pass, a 17-yard connection with Jordan Davis with 11:53 to go in the fourth quarter. A Jordan Davis pass to Tyler Ekstrom for 2 points trimmed the lead to 34-14.
Bogan added another score for Sheehan with 16 second left on a 3-yard touchdown run. Jordan Davis’ pass to Tyler Ekstrom for 2 points made it 34-14 for the final.
Bogan ended up with 21 carries for 151 yards.
BERLIN 34, SHEEHAN 22
BERLIN 14 7 13 0 9— 34
SHEEHAN 0 6 8 8 — 22
B-Giancaro Tufano 18 pass from Kevin Dunn (Tufano kick)
B-Alex Halkias 4 pass from Dunn (Tufano kick)
B-Zach Hrubiec 63 pass from Dunn (Tufano kick)
S-Jake Smith 61 pass from Wes Terzi (kick failed)
B-Halkias 34 pass from Dunn (kick failed)
B-Dunn 13 run (Tufano kiock)
S-Jordan Davis 17 pass from Terzi (Tyler Ekstrom pass from Jordan Davis)
S-Terrence Bogan 3 run (Bogan rush)