— Ryan Lacey (@RyanLacey11) September 9, 2017
BROOKFIELD—It truly was the longest yard.
And Brookfield wasn’t about to yield it.
A swarm of Bobcat defenders — including linebacker Conor McVey — came up with a game saving tackle on 4th-and-1 from the 1-yard line as time expired, preserve a dramatic 7-3 victory over visiting New Fairfield Friday night in a defensive struggle.
Rebels back Zach Buffington — who himself made several tackles for loss at linebacker — was corralled in the backfield for a loss when the horn went off.
“It was just a fight for whoever wants it more at the end,” McVey said. “We just wanted it more, we pushed them back; we were able to get in the backfield and make the tackle.”
McVey scored a touchdown on the previous possession to give the Bobcats the lead with 4:36 left, but New Fairfield marched the length of the field. A 4th-and-12 conversion from quarterback Will Enright to Zach Thuesen kept the drive alive, setting up a 1st-and-goal at the Brookfield 4-yard line.
New Fairfield ran inside four straight times but the Bobcats didn’t wither.
“Words can’t describe (the disappointment),” New Fairfield coach Anthony Fata said. “The kids worked hard to get back into position to take the game. Brookfield did their job, they held their own in a tough spot and they should celebrate that win.”
The Rebels started game with a bang as Jake Ledda returned the opening kickoff into the red zone. New Fairfield settled for a 32-yard field goal from Enright.
“My blocks were all there and my lineman did a great job on that play,” McVey said. “They made a huge hole and I was able to make it through.”
The Bobcats had signs of life in the ground game coming out of the half, driving several times deep into New Fairfield territory. An interception and failed fourth down conversion kept Brookfield off the scoreboard in the third quarter.
Without starting senior quarterback Liam Carroll (undisclosed), Trevor Sterry and John Garizio took snaps under center for the Bobcats; both were under siege from the Rebels defense.
“I was very happy defensively,” Fata said. “But we have to put more points on the board. We can’t put three points on the board and expect to win. That’s on me.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Chris Comizio, Brookfield. The junior running back broke a 61-yard run in the fourth to help set up the touchdown and had more than 100 yards for the game.
On 3rd-and-goal from the New Fairfield 9-yard line, McVey found a big hole right up the middle and pushed his way all the way to the end zone to give the Bobcats the lead for good.
“Both teams need a lot of work offensively,” Brookfield coach Rich Angarano said. “We played well when we had to, I’m very happy with how we played defensively. “I’m happy with how we ran the ball in the second half, I think we ran it very well.”
BROOKFIELD 7, NEW FAIRFIELD 3
NEW FAIRFIELD 3 0 0 0—3
BROOKFIELD 0 0 0 7—7
NF—William Enright 32 field goal
B—Conor McVey 9 run (Michael Scribner kick)
Records: New Fairfield 0-1, Brookfield 1-0.