FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Prep’s football team has won three state championships, but it has been a long time since the Jesuits were in a position to add a fourth.
On Saturday, seventh-seeded Prep meets No. 4 Southington for the Class LL championship. Kickoff is at 1:35 p.m. at Central Connecticut State University. The time of the game was switched Thursday due to the threat of snow.
Prep (11-2) last won a state title in 1988, which was also the last time the Jesuits played in the state title game. The team also won titles in 1977 and ’82.
Prep’s football program has returned to prominence under coach Tom Shea, who took over after the team went 0-10 in 2009. The Jesuits went 3-17 in 2008-09 but have continued to improve under Shea, who went 3-7 in 2010 in his first year at Prep.
Prep is led by junior quarterback Colton Smith, who has rushed for 1,649 yards and 25 touchdowns. Smith has also thrown for nine touchdowns and 1,513 yards. Wide receiver John DelliSanti has caught 35 passes, including eight for touchdowns.
Prep has won seven straight games since losing to Hand of Madison on Oct. 18. After beating West Haven on Thanksgiving, 29-20, Prep has defeated Glastonbury and West Haven in the state tournament. Smith rushed for 267 yards and four touchdowns in the win over Glastonbury and had 281 yards rushing in the win over West Haven on Thanksgiving.
Prep will look to slow down a high-flying Southington team that has put up 97 points in its first two playoff games. The Blue Knights beat Norwich Free Academy, 52-14, and Ridgefield, 45-0, to reach the title game.