Panthers’ Season Ends With Shunpike Showdown Victory

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Submitted by Gene Gumbs,

Pictured: Cromwell/Portland quarterback Cole Brisson, shown in early-season home game, passed for 240 yards in Wednesday’s win over rival Rocky Hill.

Cromwell/Portland defeated Rocky Hill in the Shunpike Showdown for the second year in a row as freshman Cole Brisson threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns in a 20-14 victory Wednesday night at Pierson Park.

Rocky Hill had a chance to score the go-ahead touchdown on its final possession, which started at midfield, but the Terriers turned it over on downs when quarterback Konnor Walsh was sacked on fourth-and-long with 1:51 remaining.

Cromwell iced it when Brisson ran for an 11-yard gain third-and-7 at the Rocky Hill 45 with a minute left.

Both teams finish the season with a record of 2-8.

Cromwell/Portland senior Justin Stergos and Rocky Hill senior Rockwell Spalding were ejected for fighting in the first quarter. Two other Panthers were ejected for leaving the bench during the dust-up.

Brisson threw touchdown passes to Ben Fagan (4 yards) and Ryan Rozich (14 yards) in the first half. The Panthers led 13-7 at halftime.

Teddy Williams’ 15-yard reception from Brisson in the third quarter gave the Panthers a 20-7 lead and what proved to be enough of a lead to win for the first time since a season-opening 3-0 victory over Haddam-Killingworth.

Nine of Brisson’s 16 completions on the night went to Matthew Pepe, who had 160 receiving yards. Owen Brunk led the Panthers’ ground game with 27 yards on 15 carries.

Walsh finished 6 of 26 for 152 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Matt Sevigny had two catches for 80 yards.

Cromwell had a 295-252 edge in total offense.

Cromwell/Portland 20, Rocky Hill 14

RH  0 7  0  7—14
CP  7 6  7  0—20

First Quarter
CP–Ben Fagan 4 pass from Cole Brisson (Matthew Pepe kick), 2:20 remaining

Second Quarter
RH–Arber Ndoni 10 pass from Konnor Walsh (Brody Troiano kick), 8:57
CP–Ryan Rozich 14 pass from Brisson (kick failed), :18

Third Quarter
CP–Teddy Williams 15 pass from Brisson (Pepe kick)

Fourth Quarter
RH–Tyriece Dominiq 27 pass from Walsh (Troiano kick)