TRUMBULL — Thirty years from now, nobody associated with the tradition-rich St. Joseph football program is going to remember Tuesday night’s 62-0 Class S quarterfinal win.
The Emmett O’Brien Tech Condors will, though.
Even in defeat, history is often remembered and reflected upon well into the future.
The Condors were outplayed in every facet of the game by 12-time state champion Cadets at McDougall Stadium, but the experience of capping an 8-3 season by making their first state tournament will be remembered for a long time.
“We came here and the only expectation was to have something to talk about in 20, 30 years,” said O’Brien Tech coach Nick Aprea, whose program was 14-43 heading into its seventh season of existence this fall. “I know there are a lot of people who say the Tech schools don’t belong here, but everybody wants their chance and this is what you coach for. These kids have something to remember forever, and I’m just proud to be their coach.”
St. Joseph junior quarterback David Summers was 14-for-16 for 274 yards and six touchdowns to pace the Cadets’ big-play effort.
Jared Mallozzi and Phillip Pasmeg caught two TDs each while running back Jaden Shirden caught one and rushed for another as the St. Joe’s offense sliced and diced its way through the overwhelmed O’Brien Tech defense.
“I thought we did a lot of things well,” Cadets coach Joe DellaVecchia said. “We played hard and competed and didn’t take anything for granted.”
The second-seeded Cadets will face No. 3 Rocky Hill, a 34-21 winner over Valley/Old Lyme, on Sunday in the semifinals.
While the Cadets offense was piling up 424 total yards, the St. Joseph defense had no issues shutting down O’Brien Tech’s single-wing offense, oftentimes going 10 in the box to clog up the middle.
“It’s kind of funny: Our scout offense ran it pretty good this week,” DellaVecchia said. “Their speed was a little faster than we had, but we took it to heart and we were ready for whatever it was they threw at us.”
O’Brien Tech was held to negative-six yards in the first half while finishing the game with 21 total yards.
The Condors only earned one first down and reached St. Joseph’s territory just once — when Mason Santa Maria carried the ball for a four-yard game to the Cadets’ 48.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
David Summers. Playing in his first postseason game, the Cadets QB was sharp all game long. In fact, he was almost perfect. Even his two incompletions could have been considered “drops” by his receivers.
PLAY OF THE GAME
On third and six from the O’Brien 5, Summers was under a heavy rush. Instead of taking a sack, though, he dropped a screen pass to Shirden for a 5-yard touchdown.
There were better — and longer — catches and Ace Luzietti’s 35-yard interception return for a score was a nifty effort, too.
But Shirden’s game-opening score immediately put pressure on the Condors to answer.
Once they couldn’t, the St. Joe’s rout was on.
“We talked about that coming out, playing our game right away,” DellaVecchia said. “The longer you keep teams in the game, the harder it gets so we wanted to take their spirit away early.”
While it took St. Joe’s nine plays to score its first touchdown, the Cadets scored the next six touchdowns in just 11 plays.
“It was such a unique thing at halftime. We talked in there (trailing 55-0) and the kids were having fun and joking,” Aprea said. “We came here with 32 kids and they had a million. We knew we were going to be in for it — everybody in Connecticut knew we were going to be in for it. But what we accomplished this year is nothing short of remarkable. To get here on this stage after seven years, playing one of the top programs in the entire state, our kids learned something.”
ST. JOSEPH 62, O’BRIEN TECH 0
O’BRIEN TECH 0 0 0 0—0
ST. JOSEPH 28 27 6 0—62
SJ—Jaden Shirden 5 pass from David Summers (Luke Kirby kick)
SJ—Shirden 14 run (Kirby kick)
SJ—Jared Mallozzi 56 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
SJ—Mallozzi 40 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
SJ—Phillip Pasmeg 25 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
SJ—Ace Luzietti 35 interception return (kick failed)
SJ—Jesse Bike 5 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
SJ—Pasmeg 17 pass from Summers (Kirby kick)
SJ—James Coughlin 4 run (Austin Jose kick)
Records: St. Joseph 10-1; O’Brien Tech 8-3