Updated: St. Joseph defeats Trumbull, 17-10

St. Joseph scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half to snap a 3-3 tie and went on to defeat visiting Trumbull High, 17-10, on Thanksgiving Day at the Dalling Sports Complex.

With the victory, coach Joe Della Vecchia’s Cadets finish the regular season at 7-2. Seeded 7th, they will play No. 2 New Fairfield in the Class M state playoff quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 6:30 p.m. The Rebels are 9-1.

Coach Bob Maffei’s Eagles finished the season with a 5-4 record.

Penalties stalled both team’s offensive output in the first two quarters.

St. Joseph took a 3-0 lead on Nick DeCairano’s 34-yard field goal with 5:43 remaining in the first half. Quarterback Cory Babineau completed five passes on the drive that started on the Cadets’ 25-yard line. Colton Lilliemoe had two catches good for 24 yards and Christian Trefz ran 15 yards with another reception.

Trumbull’s Danny Hoffmann caught a 42-yard pass from Johnny McElroy to bring the ball to the Cadets’ 15-yard line with time winding down in the first half. The Eagles twice ran the ball from a tight formation on 3rd — and then 4th-and-goal from the two — only to be stopped with 1:28 remaining in the first half.

Trumbull took the second half kickoff on its 22-yard line and marched to tie the game on Ryan Cranston’s 21-yard field goal at the 6:38 mark of the period. Dwight Patrick-Daley and Hoffmann caught passes from McElroy during the drive.

The game turned on Cam Ryan’s 52-yard punt that brought the ball from the Cadets’ 41 to the Eagles’ eight. St. Joseph’s defense forced a three-and-out, and its offense got the ball back on the Trumbull 43.

Babineau completed a 14-yard pass to Jared Mallozzi on 3rd-and-11, and on the next play, hooked up with Lillemoe for a 27-yard gain to the Trumbull three-yard line.

Robbie Miller, filling in for an injured Trefz, who was injured in the second quarter, scored from two yards out on third down. DiCairano kicked the PAT for a 10-7 lead with 2:52 left in the third.

Brian Harner tackled Trumbull’s Markeese Woods for a 10-yard loss after the kickoff. A pair of false starts pushed the Eagles back to their 12. St. Joseph got the ball back on the Eagles’ 39.

Liam Seperack made a dazzling 21-yard catch in traffic to the three-yard line. Babineau snuck in on 3rd-and-goal from the one to take the score to 17-3 after the conversion kick.

Interceptions by Mallozzi (in the end zone) and Nick Osborne (at midfield) stopped the next two Trumbull possessions.

The Eagles went 62 yards in 11 plays over 1:44 to score on McElroy’s three-yard run with 5.4 seconds remaining.

Spencer Lucas recovered the onsides kick for St. Joseph.

The Cadets’ Seperack was named St. Joseph’s game MVP.

Trumbull’s Cory Haslam earned the Eagles’ MVP Award.