Class M Championship Recap and Boxscore – Killingly 28 Rockville 14

By GERRY deSIMAS, Jr.
Special to CIACSports.com
NEW BRITAIN, December 11, 2021 – The Killingly High football team wanted to make a statement in the second half of Saturday’s CIAC Class M championship game. Killingly led Rockville by seven points at halftime but wanted to seize control.  Killingly ran the ball with dominating fashion to win their fourth state championship with a 28-14 win over the Rams at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. Killingly finished the season undefeated at 12-0.

Killingly ran the ball on 11 consecutive plays on their opening drive of the third quarter to take a two-touchdown lead. And after Killingly forced a Rockville punt, Killingly marched 52 yards in less than three minutes to extend its lead to three touchdowns.

“We made a statement coming out of halftime,” Killingly back Jack Sharpe said. “We came out and showed we’re a force to be reckoned with a state championship and an undefeated season.”

Sharpe ran for 102 yards and a touchdown while teammate Soren Reif ran for a game-high 183 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

“We wanted to get powerful with them and beat them up a little bit,” said Killingly head coach Chad Neal, who earned his 100th career win in the victory. “We’re a running team. RPO, baby.”

In Killingly’s world, RPO stands for run people over.

The game was tied at 7-7 in the second quarter before Killingly’s Ben Jax returned an interception 15 yards for a touchdown to give KHS a 14-7 advantage with 6:52 left in the second quarter.

On their final drive of the first half, Rockville drove to the Killingly 17-yard line before the drive stalled and KHS’ Shane Leduc blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt with 10 seconds left in the half.

In the third quarter, Killingly ran the ball often and hard. They ran 11 times on their first drive of the half with Sharpe running nine times. Reif scored from the 16-yard line with 6:42 left in the third quarter and with the extra point, Killingly led 21-7.

After forcing a Rockville punt, Killingly marched 52 yards on seven plays to extend its lead to 28-7 on a 28-yard run from Reif with 41 seconds left in the quarter.

Rockville (10-3) did cut the lead to 28-14 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Deshaun Perry with 9:02 left in the game but that would be as close as the Rams would get.

Rockville was making their first appearance in the state finals since 1995 and were seeking their first championship since 1990.
It was Killingly’s third appearance in the Class M championship game since 2017. KHS won the championship in 2017 and was second to Weston in 2019.

Killingly 28, Rockville 14
At New Britain
Rockville (10-3)            0  7    0  7 — 14
Killingly (12-0)              6  8  14  0 — 28
First quarter
K: Jack Sharpe 10 run (pass fails), 7:33
Second quarter
R: Travon Edmondson 7 run (Michael Naylor kick), 8:36
K: Ben Jax 15 interception (Nathan Keefe pass from Thomas Dreibholz), 6:52
Third quarter
K: Soren Rief 16 run (Dreibholz kick), 6:42
K: Rief 28 run (Dreibholz kick), 0:41
Fourth quarter
R: Deshaun Perry 29 pass from Matt Ryan (Naylor kick), 9:02
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Killingly – Soren Reif 17-183, Jack Sharpe 23-102, Thomas Dreibholz 2-minus 7, Ben Jax 1-13; Rockville – Travon Edmondson 13-63, Deshaun Perry 3-18, Amir Knighton 7-44, Matt Ryan 4-minus 14
PASSING: Killingly – Thomas Dreibolz 1-3-1, 17; Rockville – Matt Ryan 16-28-1, 219
RECEIVING: Killingly – Ben Jax 1-17; Rockville – John Ryan 4-43, Juneil Powell 3-26, Hason Green 4-60, Amir Knighton 2-33, Deshaun Perry 3-57

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