Before its defense even stepped on the field Friday, Fairfield Prep was trailing Daniel Hand 14-6. And with a pair of touchdowns — a 6-yard run by Conor Dowd and a 25-yard catch by Tom Wilson — the Tigers soon pushed the score to 28-6.
Ultimately, a 22-point deficit was just too much ground for the Jesuits to make up.
“They didn’t make mistakes. We did,” Fairfield Prep coach Tom Shea said.
The Jesuits turned the ball over twice in the first half. The first — a fumble on the second play of the game — was returned by Hand’s Daniel Rogers 25 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, Hand cornerback Ryan Kaufmann picked off Colton Smith. The Tigers capitalized on that miscue as well, driving 74 yards on seven plays for a score.
Trailing by as many as 22 points, Prep eventually got within eight twice in the fourth quarter — 28-20 with 8:08 left and 35-27 with 3:47 remaining. Hand coach Steve Filippone knew there was still plenty of work to be done.
“They just ran out of time basically. It could’ve went to either team,” he said. “I was fully prepared for a 35-35 put it on the 25 and play football overtime.”
Hand has been on quite a roll since a 50-21 loss to New Canaan in Week One. The Tigers have won five straight, outscoring opponents 154-102 over that span. Prep, meanwhile, is now 4-2.
“We’ve had a habit of coming out slow every game,” Shea said. “If we don’t fix that, we’re in for some tough sledding.”