FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield Wildcats’ seventh-grade football team had the best defense all season in the Fairfield County Football League. In Wednesday’s semifinals, the Wildcats beat Wilton White, 8-0, by shutting down the league’s most potent offense.
Jack Kovaleski returned an interception 45 yards for the game’s only touchdown late in the third quarter. The Wildcats’ defense was also responsible for the only other points, a safety in the fourth quarter when a Wilton runner was tackled in the end zone.
Fairfield (9-1) gets to defend its title this weekend. Darien plays Wilton Blue in the other seventh-grade semifinal Thursday night. The site and time for the championship game have not been announced.
“We take pride in our defense,’’ Fairfield coach Buddy Zachery said. “It worked out well for us tonight.”
The shutout was the sixth of the season for Fairfield, and fifth in six games. It may have also been its most impressive, since Wilton (7-3) scored 20 or more points in six of its seven wins.
Defense turned the game around for Fairfield, forcing three interceptions in the second half. Clay Zachery and Matthew Cerminaro also had interceptions, the latter coming on the game’s final play.
But the big one was the pick six by Kovaleski. Fairfield put heavy pressure on the Wilton quarterback, and Kovaleski picked off the errant pass. He raced untouched into the end zone, escorted by strong blocking by his teammates.
The Fairfield defense stood tall the rest of the way, and did not allow a first down in the second half. Timmy Jacobi had a nice game running the football, and Jack Curtis added several nice runs in the second half. Fairfield made two turnovers of its own in the second half, however, and let Wilton stick around until the final play.
“We lost three players from last year, so it took a while but this team has really come together,’’ Buddy Zachery said. “Now that we’ve gelled, we’re looking forward to playing for the championship.”