FAIRFIELD, Conn. The Fairfield Giants Junior Pee Wee teams lost to Stratford and Hartford in games last weekend in the Southern Connecticut Pop Warner Football Conference. The Stratford Redskins topped Junior Pee Wee 1, 19-7, and the Hartford Hurricanes blanked the Junior Pee Wee 2s, 27-0.
Against Hartford, the Giants recovered two first-half fumbles but were unable to capitalize and turn the mistakes into points. Hartford took a 7-0 halftime lead and put the game away with 14 third-quarter points. The Giants' defense continued to play aggressively in the second half, only to see Hartford score in the final minutes.
The Junior Pee Wee 1 team plays Junior Pee Wee 2 at 7:30 on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Fairfield Ludlowe in the conference quarterfinals. The winner meets No. 1 seed Milford Sunday in Newington at 9 a.m.
PeeWee Division Fairfield Giants 30, Hartford Hurricanes 18
The Pee Wees finished the regular season 7-1 and as the No. 2 seed for the playoffs with a resounding victory over Hartford.Hartford jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter. Fairfield responded to the challenge with a key drive early in the second quarter. Ryan Sullivan and Tyler Llewellyn had some nice runs behind solid blocking from Steve Ouellette and Drew Helgans. Brian Azarian punched it in for the score. Llewellyn kicked one of his three extra points on the day, each resulting in a 2-point conversion in Pop Warner Football.
It is unusual for the kicking game to help a team win at this level, but in addition to the success from Llewellyn, the Giants had another impressive kicking performance in the game by Steve Mettler. After the Azarian touchdown, Mettler's onsides kick was well executed and Fairfield recovered the ball. Fairfield was able to take the lead with a drive on that possession, the touchdown coming on a well-thrown pass from Sammy Keresey to Will Parisi. The play gave the Giants a 14-12 halftime lead.
The Giants used the passing game to take charge in the third quarter. Under pressure from a blitzing Hartford defense, Azarian hit Llewellyn for a 75-yard score.Hartford continued to challenge the Giants, breaking for another TD to narrow the gap, 22-18. The Giants defense showed character and grit in holding off Hartford, Jack King and Gabe Reale making some nice tackles. A key fumble recovery by Joey Mancini set up the Fairfield offense to put the game on ice.
Jack Price smashed his way in for a short touchdown run, with the Fairfield offensive line clearing the path. Tommy Donohue and Blake Gottlieb provided strong blocking.
The Giants play No. 3 seed Park City on Sunday in Trumbull at 1 p.m. in the conference semifinals.
The Junior Midget team had a bye and finished as the No. 3 seed for the playoffs. It will play the New Haven Steelers in the semifinals Sunday at 11 a.m. in West Haven.
For more information on Fairfield Pop Warner, visit its website at Fairfieldgiants.com.
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