ROCKY HILL >> It’s been an impressive season for the Seymour football team, but on Monday in the Class S semifinals, the Wildcats had no answers for Rocky Hill running backs Grant Nieves and Joe Catania.
Nieves set the tone early, scoring on the game’s second play with a 9-yard touchdown run. He ended up with 14 carries for 193 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 4 Rocky Hill to a 42-7 win over No. 8 Seymour at McVicar Field. Catania rushed for 153 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Rocky Hill advanced to the Class S championship where it will face No. 2 Ansonia on Saturday at Willow Brook in New Britain at 10:30 a.m.
“The bottom line is they whupped us tonight,” Seymour coach Tom Lemmon said. “We were prepared for this game, but they are a helluva football team. Coach Tom Brockett and Ansonia will have their hands full with these Rocky Hill players in the final.
“Nieves is explosive and made some great cuts. He would make four or five cuts and then just take off. Their No. 2 (Catania) just pops out of the line and before you know it he has 15 yards. I’m proud of my guys and they should keep their heads high.”
The Terriers are rolling with nine wins in a row and improved to 11-1.
“Getting a quick touchdown like we did is a great way to start off a game,” Rocky Hill coach Mark Fritz said. “It takes a little pressure off. Grant is a special player who can take it to the end zone any time he touches the ball. Joe uses patience to take advantage of the offensive line, waiting for holes to open and then he just takes off.
“Joe and Grant are a nice dynamic to have in the backfield.”
Nieves gave the Terriers a 7-0 lead 27 seconds into the game. The 9-yard TD came after a 72-yard run by Nieves on the games first play from scrimmage.
On Seymour’s first possession, it drove inside the Rocky Hill 10, but the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs, falling short on a fourth and 3 at the Rocky Hill 3. Giving up the ball on downs was a first-half trend for the Wildcats.
The Terriers, starting on their own 3, took the ensuing possession and added to their lead in five plays. Danny Cavallaro completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to Dante Baker and Damon Lonero’s kick made it 14-0 Terriers with 5:43 to go in the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Catania bolted untouched down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. Nieves added a 24-yard touchdown run and 3-yard touchdown run to give the Terriers a 35-0 halftime lead.
On the Wildcats’ second possession, they had a fourth and 13 on the Rocky Hill 29, but a pass fell incomplete. On a fourth and 4 at the Rocky Hill 43, a completed pass went for minus-3 yards.
In the second half, Catania added his second touchdown on a 33-yard run for a 42-0 lead with 8:41 to go in the third quarter.
The Wildcats finished their last drive of the game with a score when Jaylen Kelley completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jake Larovera. Rocco Vertuccio’s kick made it 42-7 Terriers.
“This is an exciting time for our guys,” Fritz said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge and we know Ansonia is a tough team. They have won more state championships than the amount of years our program has been around.”
For Seymour (9-3), Kelley completed 7-of-13 passes for 214 yards, Kelley also ran for 46 yards on 20 carries, while Bobby Melms had 20 carries for 87 yards. Alex Massie added five catches for 180 yards.
Rocky Hill 42, Seymour 7
(at Rocky Hill)
Seymour 0 0 0 7 7
Rocky Hill 14 21 7 0 42
RH Grant Nieves 9 run (Damon Lonero kick)
RH Dante Baker 41 pass from Danny Cavallaro (Damon Lonero kick)
RH Joe Catania 40 run (Damon Lonero kick)
RH Grant Nieves 24 run (Damon Lonero kick)
RH Grant Nieves 3 run (Damon Lonero kick)
RH Joe Catania 33 run (Damon Lonero kick)
SEY Jake LaRovera 27 pass from Jaylen Kelley (Rocco Vertuccio kick)
Team records: Rocky Hill 11-1; Seymour 9-3.