By Joe Morelli
Special to CIACsports.com
MaxPreps photos by Bill Berg
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WEST HAVEN – Matt Brehon rushed for 231 yards and two touchdowns for No. 2 seed Hillhouse, which defeated No. 5 St. Joseph 42-21 Saturday at Ken Strong Stadium.
Brehon went over 2,000 yards for the season in the fourth quarter and 176 yards in the second half. He also scored both touchdowns in the second half.
“I felt we put pressure on them defensively and came out in the second half on fire,” Brehon said. “That kind of shocked them and froze them up. We are a second-half team. If you let down, we get it rolling.”
Brehon finished with 3,405 rushing yards for his career and 39 total touchdowns.
“Matt’s an exceptional kid. His speed is incredible,” Hillhouse coach Reggie Lytle said. “Everyone we played, nobody prepared for our speed, nobody practiced for our speed, nobody could demonstrate our speed.”
The Academics (12-1) held St. Joseph (10-3) to no point and just 25 total yards in the second half. St. Joseph had just 5 yards in the half until its final drive.
“Ironically, the third quarter has been our best quarter all year, only giving up 14 points,” St. Joseph coach Joe Dellavecchia said. “They are so fast and explosive. It’s real tough. We did the best we could filling lanes. It was a matter of time before they break a couple. We just hoped it wasn’t that many.”
It’s Hillhouse’s first state title since 2012. The Cadets were seeking their 13th state title.
Jaden Shirden accounted for all three touchdowns for St. Joseph in the first half. He finished with 78 rushing yards.
Chase Kinzly caught four balls for 113 yards and had a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half for the Academics.