Weston won its first football state championship today with a convincing 27-6 victory over Killingly. The Trojans were dominant on both sides of the ball.
It appeared the Trojan strategy would be to capitalize on a renowned ability to attack by air when, on the first play of the game, quarterback James Goetz launched a 50 yard touchdown strike to John Cassol. But for the rest of the match, Goetz occasionally took to the air, but the Trojans mainly executed a punishing ground game, controlling both the ball and the clock.
Killingly's first scoring opportunity — its only successful one — came after a first-quarter Weston fumble and a quarterback sneak from the two. Jack Sawyer blocked the extra point, leaving Weston in the lead 7-6. On their next possession, Weston drove down the field, mostly on runs by Tyler Bower and James Goetz, with Bower scoring from the eight yard line. Weston's point-after was also blocked, but the Trojan lead was 13-6.
Following a Killingly fourth down attempt, one of three in the game stopped by the Trojan defense, Weston took over but eventually punted. On their next possession, Killingly was driven back to their own 20 after suffering two consecutive sacks. A short punt gave Weston the ball at the Killingly 42.
Goetz threw a bomb to Jack Sawyer, and Bower ran in for the touchdown from the three yard line. Phoenix Parker's point-after made it 20-6. Killingly's drive late in the half came up short.
The second half opened with promise for Killingly, returning the opening kickoff deep into Weston territory. A penalty pushed them back, and Weston's defense stopped a fourth-down attempt inches short of success.
Bower and Goetz took over on the ground with alternating rushes, driving to the 14 yard line with the help of a pass interference penalty. Bower powered into the endzone from the three. The extra point, which made it Weston 27-6, would be the last score of the game.
The next Killingly drive reached the Weston ten yard line, but an incomplete pass into the endzone brought up another fourth down situation for Killingly, which Weston stopped once again, this time with a sack.
Weston's subsequent drive ended with a short punt after a long march down the field, mainly on the ground, that effectively ran out the clock. At the final whistle, Weston players executed one more play perfectly: the ritual dousing of head coach Dan Hassett.