FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield Giants football teams won three straight league championships from 2007 to 2009. On Sunday, they added another one.
Led by a defense that allowed just two first downs, the Pee Wee Giants stuffed New Fairfield, 19-0, to win the Southern Connecticut Pop Warner title Sunday in Southbury.
The victory sends the Giants to the New England semifinals Saturday in Cranston, R.I., against a team from Providence, R.I. The winner will play the winner of a game between New Hampshire and Massachusetts for the New England title. The New England winner advances to the national championship in Florida in December.
“We thought this team had a chance to get this far,’’ said head coach Mark Innaimo, who also took the 2007 team to the national championship. “They’ve been together since they were seven years old. We’ve had a couple of good seasons, and lost in the league championship to Stratford last year. We were scratching the surface. This year they pulled it all together. They’re firing on all cylinders. It’s fun to watch.”
Kyle Stevenson returned the opening kickoff to the New Fairfield 40-yard line. Four plays later, Nick Morris ran for a 20-yard touchdown for a quick 6-0 lead.
On the Giants’ second possession, Morris threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Stevenson. Morris added another touchdown run in the third quarter, and Tommy O’Connell added the PAT.
Middle linebacker Charlie Wilcox led the defense, which posted its third straight shutout. Peter Strang, Freddy Capossela, Dylan Fragomeni, and Grady Barlett stopped the running game.
Offensive linemen Griffin Harding, Robert D'Elia, Max Spies, Declan O'Hara, Luke Martucci and Grady Golier helped Fairfield control the line of scrimmage.
Innaimo said the team employed a no-huddle offense this season, which made for a more explosive offense. “The quarters are only 10 minutes,’’ Innaimo said. “They go by pretty quick. With the no huddle, they maximize the plays. The number of plays we’re able to run has doubled.”
Only four Giants teams have won state titles in the last 48 years. “It’s great for the program and great for the players,’’ Innaimo said. “It’s a big accomplishment. Southern Connecticut is a very tough league. Just to win that is a great accomplishment. There’s a lot of great football in those towns. We’ve made great strides over the past three years with concussion awareness and injury awareness. All the good stuff we’ve been doing, this is the icing on the cake.”
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