Class LL final: Southington sticks to what works best

Southington gashed Fairfield Prep for 38 second-half points to rally for a 52-34 win in the Class LL championship on Thursday at West Haven’s Ken Strong Stadium. The title was the Blue Knights’ first since 1998 and second all-time.

Most impressive was the way in which Southington (12-1) stuck to what it does best, despite an inconsistent first half. Quarterback Stephen Barmore completed 11-of-15 attempts in the second half for 229 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to his favorite target, Alex Jamele. That came on the heels of a first half in which Barmore went 11-of-18 for 117 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.

Victimized by four early drops by his receivers, Barmore saw his team trailing 28-14.  But, the Blue Knights didn’t panic. They continued to pass, eventually wearing out Prep’s defense.

“We’re not big, but we’re a very strong football team,” Southington coach Mike Drury said. “Fourth quarter, we kept coming. We didn’t let up.

“We like to say we get better as the game goes on. … The kids showed up.”

Tyler Hyde led Southington in rushing with 70 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He had 11 rushes for 40 yards in the first half.

  • Prep’s rushing attack gashed Southington for 189 yards on 24 carries in the first half. Quarterback Colton Smith rushed for two scores and fullback Nick Crowle ran for another in the 28-point first half. They added 143 more yards on the ground in the second half, 70 of which came on one carry by Smith.
  • Thursday marked the latest a high school football game in Connecticut has been played. It dipped into the winter season, including the boys basketball schedule, which began Wednesday. Barmore plays on Southington’s hoops team, but sat out its opener, a 66-52 loss to Rocky Hill. Barmore said he hopes to play Friday when the Blue Knights host Masuk, but added, “the transition’s going to be a little short.”