WALLINGFORD >> Everyone wanted to see Sheehan’s record-setting running back Zach Davis Friday night.
But Hillhouse’s Mathew Brehon didn’t take a back seat to anyone.
The speedy senior running back scored three times and rushed for 170 yards to help lead Hillhouse to a 50-26 victory over Sheehan at Riccitelli Field.
“It was a big win, but ultimately we contained a good running back like Zach Davis,” Brehon said. “He’s a tremendous player, but was a solid win for our defense.”
Davis, who rushed for 549 yards and 10 touchdowns last week, rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns on Friday night.
Almost of it came in a stunning second-half performance after he was injured just three minutes into the game.
After Davis scampered 26 yards for a touchdown, he took a cleat to his lower back and barely was able to make it off the field before falling to the ground in pain on the Sheehan sideline. He was carted off the field in the second quarter to be looked at in the locker room before being cleared to return in the second half.
Losing Davis for 21 minutes wasn’t the only bad thing for the Titans. Sheehan had three turnovers, one of which was returned by Derrick Sims for a 68-yard touchdown. Also, Chase Kinzly picked up a Brehon fumble in the second quarter and raced 36 yards for a touchdown.
Both of those came in the second quarter as Hillhouse took a 20-12 lead at halftime.
“The team grew up a lot in the second half when our guy went down.,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said “Without the turnovers, we would have had a better shot. It would have come down to the wire, but hats off to Hillhouse.”
The third quarter was an explosive one as the two teams combined for 36 points. Brehon was the big offensive weapon for Hillhouse as he scored from 9 yards out to make it 28-12 less than three minutes into the second half.
Davis came right back with a 7-yard TD run of his own. When Sheehan recovered an onsides kick, Davis scored from 51 yards out two plays later to make it 28-24. Danny James, who rushed for 87 yards, caught the two-point conversion pass from Davis and it was 28-26 with 5:18 remaining in the third quarter.
“We got inspired by that, especially when we got the onsides kick, but you can’t give the ball back to them on turnovers,” Ferrazzi said.
Brehon countered with touchdown runs of 46 and 59 yards on consecutive possessions as Hillhouse broke the game wide open with a 42-26 edge after three quarters.
“The cutbacks got me open the most,” Brehon said. “When Sheehan’s defense shifted to the outside, the cutback was wide open up the middle.”
Shawn Ogarro (110 yards rushing) added his second touchdown run of the night with a 21-yard jaunt with 5:48 to play in the game to account for the final margin.
“We were there on every play on defense,” Davis said. “Missed assignments really killed us tonight.”
The victory pushed Hillhouse to 7-1 and a step closer to a CIAC Class M playoff berth.
“I’ve got my head to the ground right now just trying win game by game,” Hillhouse coach Reggie Lytle said. “If we make the playoffs, we’ll enjoy it, but we still have more to grind out.”
Hillhouse 50, Sheehan 26
Hillhouse 12 8 22 8 —50
Sheehan 6 6 14 0 —26
S—Zach Davis 26 run (run failed)
H—Shawn Ogarro 47 run (kick blocked)
H—Chase Kinzly 36 fumb ret (kick blocked)
H—Derrick Sims 68 fumb ret (John Gardner pass from Quintus Reid)
S—Danny James 9 run (pass failed)
H—Matt Brehon 9 run (Reid run)
S—Zach Davis 7 run (run failed)
S—Zach Davis 51 run (Danny James pass from Zach Davis)
H—Matt Brehon 46 run (pass failed)
H—Matt Brehon 59 run (Derrick Sims pass from Quintus Reid)
H—Shawn Ogarro 21 run (Chase Kinzly pass from Quintus Reid)
Team records: Sheehan 4-4; Hillhouse 7-1