St. Joseph HS Football "HOGS"
15 Time Connecticut State Champions
2019 Class L State Champions
TEAM NEWS & INFO
No. 2 St. Joseph holds off No. 1 Hand in L title game classic, wins 3rd Class in 3 years
NEW BRITAIN — St. Joseph has its third CIAC football championship in a row.
The Cadets defeated Danile Hand 17-13 Saturday at Veterans Stadium in a Class L final that lived up to season-long anticipation.
Austin Jose’s 37-yard field goal broke a 7-7 tie midway through the third quarter for St. Joseph. Jaden Shirden added a 15-yard touchdown run with 4:47 left after a key stop by the St. Joseph defense, including a big tackle-for-loss by Dave Silas on second down.
Hand quarterback Phoenix Billings heaved up a fourth-and-long prayer with minute left and had it was answered when Seth Sweitzer hauled it in and took it to the 2, setting up Billings’ sneak to cut into the lead. The Hogs, however, recovered the kickoff.
Top-seeded St. Joseph (13-0), which came in ranked second in the GameTimeCT poll but will surely take the No. 1 spot, won its 15th CIAC championship in 18 appearances. This senior class reached four title games and won the last three, in three different divisions, rising from Class S to Class L. The Hogs have won 23 games in a row.
Second-seeded Hand (12-1) was trying for its 14th title in 20 chances. The Tigers, who had won 36 games in a row and the past two Class L titles, had been ranked atop the poll all season.
No. 1 in the poll hadn’t met No. 2 in a state final since Xavier held serve against Southington on the 2005 Class LL final. This year’s final poll will be announced on Monday.
St. Joseph turned the ball over four times, but the Hogs capitalized on Hand’s lone turnover.
St. Joseph struck first with a defensive touchdown, a 41-yard interception return by junior Preston Kral. Mike Morrissey had the pressure on Billings.
The Tigers came back with 31 seconds left in the first half. After Hand’s defense forced a St. Joseph punt from the end zone, setting up a short field, Isaiah McNeilly took Billings’ pass 8 yards for the tying score.
St. Joseph was moving the ball well on a couple of drives but turned it over. It converted on a couple of third-down tries and a fourth-down attempt on the game’s opening drive, but a false start, a sack and a muffed snap handed the ball to the Tigers.
ST. JOSEPH 17
HAND 0 7 0 6—13
ST. JOSEPH 0 7 3 7—17
SJ—Preston Kral 41 interception return (Austin Jose kick)
H—Isaiah McNeilly 8 pass Phoenix Billings (McNeilly kick)
SJ—Jose 37 FG
SJ—Jaden Shirden 15 run (Jose kick)
H—Billings 2 run (kick failed)
Records: Hand 12-1; St. Joseph 13-0
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End of the Game
Morrisey get the assist on Prestons Pick 6
Brady Hutchison catch leads to go ahead field goal
Jaden Shirden runs 15 yards for touchdown to give SJ 17-7 lead on Hand
Entering St. Joes
Prestons Pick 6 for a 7-0 lead
Austin Jose kicks 37 yard FG for a 10-7 lead
St Joe linebacker Cole daSilva talks about game with Hand
St Joes Will Diamantis speaks about Class L win
*** Jaden Shirden
USA Today Super 25 High School Football Top Star Week 15 - vote for Jaden!