Last year, Shelton, Fairfield Prep, heck, all of Connecticut football sparkled in front of the tri-state area on MSG when the Gaels came back to defeat the Jesuits 26-21 in front of a packed house of 5,000 at Finn Stadium.
It was, MSG’s Mike Quick said at the time, one of the best high school games MSG had ever broadcast. It was a game no doubt supercharged thanks to the suggestion from Fairfield Prep senior Ryan Nolan that, “Shelton should be afraid of us because we have the best team in the SCC.”
Poetically, after Nolan blocked a game-tying extra point kick, Shelton’s Geoff Schultz slipped past the charging linebacker and into the end zone for the winning points with just under a minute left.
About a month ago, Fairfield Prep coach Rich Magdon stirred me from slumber with a call to say Prep is going back on MSG, a fact reinforced when MSG released its tentative high school football schedule for the 2008 season (check it out here).
All of this is just a long-winded way of saying…
The first thing that came to my mind was, not how great this game figures to be, but intriguing, too. It will pit the alma mater of one former all-state player (and Major League alum) Matt Merullo against his son, junior Nick Merullo, who famously took over at QB for Hand in the middle of last year, beat Shelton, completed an unbeaten regular season and then took the Tigers to the Class MM state championship game.
I got a chance to meet proud papa (Matt introduced himself anonymously as such) the night of the Shelton game. He had been hiding among the Shelton fans in the tall stands at Finn Stadium, and not with the Madison parents.
While I’m sure Matt’s going to be rooting for his son in this game, I guarantee his boys from Fairfield Prep are going to give him hell for it. Hence, I now christen this game, “The Merullo Bowl.” It’s gonna be in Week 3 at Fairfield Prep’s Alumni Stadium.
I can’t wait. I’m sure the Merullo family can’t either… right, Matt?