FAIRFIELD — The Xavier football team’s senior class had gone three years without beating rival Fairfield Prep.
That changed in the blink of an eye Friday night at Rafferty Stadium, as Xavier overcame a two-touchdown halftime deficit to defeat Fairfield Prep 22-21.
Falcons’ sophomore quarterback Drew Kron connected with senior fullback Tim Boor in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead two-point conversion with 1:55 remaining.
“I went up and grabbed the ball … the best feeling in my life,” Boor said. “We had the mindset of winning this game and finishing it.”
The Jesuits fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which allowed the Falcons to run out the clock.
The comeback gave Xavier its third straight victory and put the Falcons back into playoff contention for the second half of the season. The Jesuits fell to 2-2.
“This is major momentum,” Boor said.
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Prep dominated most of the first half and led 14-0 on a pair of Max McGillicuddy touchdown catches thrown by freshman quarterback Champ Long. The Jesuits had an opportunity to make it a three-score game before halftime when McGillicuddy again ghosted behind the Falcons defense, but a defender jarred the ball loose before he could secure position in front of the endzone.
On Prep’s first drive of the second half McGillicuddy got open in the endzone but Long’s pass went off-target.
“It was the tale of two halves,” Prep coach Keith Hellstern said. “We left some points on the board, but we didn’t play a complete game and that’s what hurt us in the long run.”
— Mike C (@mikecfree) October 12, 2019
Xavier eventually made Prep pay midway through the third quarter when Kron broke free for a 55-yard touchdown up the right sideline that pulled the Falcons to 14-7.
“We didn’t do a very good job defensively in the second half, I’ll take responsibility for that,” Hellstern said. “I called the defense. They made more plays.”
The Falcons’ momentum carried to the next drive when they stopped Long a yard short of the endzone on a fourth down run to keep it a one-score game.
DJ Wright’s 80-yard run from the shadow of his own goal posts set up Kron’s two-yard plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter to tie it at 14-14.
Prep responded on its next drive. A long kickoff return by Luke Hopkins and a 34-yard catch by Andrew Loya put Kyle Vaccarella in position to run in from two yards out to make it 21-14.
From there Xavier marched down the field — mainly on the ground — capped by Wright’s two-yard touchdown run.
Down by a point, Xavier coach Andy Guyon didn’t hesitate to keep his offense on the field.
“I knew that we didn’t want to go into overtime,” Guyon said.
On the decisive conversion Kron scrambled and eventually found Boor in the back of the endzone to cap the Falcons’ emotional comeback.
“We literally put that play in the first day of training camp. We practice it a little bit every day,” Guyon said. “As a senior, that kid (Boor) making that play is just awesome.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Drew Kron, Xavier. Sophomore quarterback was a dual threat with his legs and arm. He scored two touchdowns in the second half and threw the go-ahead two point conversion.
“We knew we were winning this game when we came back on the field.” — Kron