In a game that came down to a breathtaking final play, the Fairfield Giants Pee Wees defeated New Haven, 14-8, in the semifinals of the Southern Connecticut Pop Warner Division 1 playoffs Sunday at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. The victory sends Fairfield into the state championship game this weekend in West Haven.
Fairfield seemed to have the game secured when it stopped New Haven inside the Fairfield 30-yard line with 1:37 remaining. The Giants took over, ran four plays and appeared to run out the clock. Officials keeping time on the field awarded New Haven one final play from the Fairfield 40-yard line. An elusive running back escaped down the sideline and was pushed out of bounds at the Fairfield 10-yard line as time expired.
"New Haven's a great team,'' Fairfield coach Tim Conway said. "We played them in the beginning of the year, and it was a hard-fought game, just like this one."
Fairfield trailed 8-0 at halftime before rallying. Henry Purdy's 55-yard scamper in the third quarter put the Giants on the scoreboard. Fairfield took the lead on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brendan Beiser to Purdy with 9:10 left in the fourth quarter. Fairfield kicked the conversion to go up 14-8.
"We had been running on them,'' Conway said. "The offensive coordinator called a great play on that one. They were biting on the run, and we thought we could hit pass on them."
New Haven threw a final score into Fairfield by marching inside the 30-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. That set up the frightful finish.
"We felt from the beginning of the year that we had a pretty good team,'' Conway said. "We're 7-2 and going to the championship game. We'll give it our best shot."
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