Football: St. Joseph defeats Rockville, 49-7, in quarterfinals
The St. Joseph Cadets trounced the Rockville Rams, 49-7, in the Class M quarterfinals matchup at Penders Field in Stratford on Tuesday night.
Coach Joe Della Vecchia’s top-seeded Hogs (10-1) will host No. 4 seed Killingly (10-1) with a spot in the championship game on the line on Sunday at 12:30.
“They’re the defending champs,” Della Vecchia said of Killingly, which defeated No. 5 Cheney Tech 62-0. “They have a great program. They like to run the ball and surprise you with the pass. They’ve had a great run the past couple years so I’m sure they’ll be ready for the game.”
David Summers led the Cadets with 126 yards on eight completions and four touchdowns against the No. 8 seeded Rams (7-4).
Jaden Shirden had 124 yards rushing and three TDs.
Ben Ambro’s pass to Nick Foley accounted for Rockville’s only score of the night.
“The whole key is our defense,” Della Vecchia said. “If they keep doing what they’re doing, we’ll be in good shape. If we get good field position and play on a short field, we’re pretty explosive on offense at times.”
Summer’s 5-yard TD pass to Jesse Bike completed a 46-yard drive (the Cadets worst starting field position of the game) and Luke Kirby’s PAT made it 7-0. Summers started things off with a six-yard pass to Will Diamantis before he found Brady Hutchison for an eight-yard gain. Shirden then gashed the Rams for 24 yards to put the Cadets in the red zone. Shirden added runs of nine and six yards before the touchdown pass to Bike in the flat.
Rockville’s following three-and-out turned for the worse when a bad snap gave St. Joseph possession on the Rams’ nine. On the very next play, Summers found Hutchison for a touchdown. Kirby’s PAT made it 14-0.
After a second Rockville three-and-out, the Rams punted the ball to their own 39.
Shirden carried twice for 29 yards before Summers found Owen DaSilva for a 10-yard score.
in the back of the end zone a 10 yard scramble. Kirby’s extra point gave St. Joseph a 21-0 lead.
It was 28-0 after one quarter when Shirden tallied from 10 yards out.
Another short field after another empty possession led to Shirden’s 12-yard scoring jaunt. Diamantis caught a 27-yard pass to set up the TD that came two minutes into the second quarter.
The Cadets began with the ball on the Rams’ 46 after another punt.
First, Summers found Hutchison for 24 yards. Then Darren Warren gained 10 yards on a jet sweep, which led to Summers’ fourth touchdown pass, this time to Bike for the 11-yard score.
Shirden next ran 24 yards for the touchdown, his third of the game, to give St. Joseph a 49-0 lead before halftime.
“I think he (Shirden) is one of the best runners around,” Della Vecchia said. “He’s a tough kid, he’s a strong kid and he plays every play hard so I expected him to do the same thing he does every week.”
Rockville used an interception with Cadet reserves in place to get on the board when Ambro found Foley wide open in the end zone for a one-yard score to make it 49-7.
In the fourth quarter, Ambro’s pass was intercepted by Preston Kral, who returned it 50 yards to the Rockville 15-yard line. With time winding down, rather than run up the score, the Cadets opted to run out the clock on their 49-7 victory.