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Barlow Football Team Looks To Slow Down St. Joseph

Joel Barlow coach Rob Tynan will guide the Falcons in Saturday's state playoff game against St. Joseph.
Joel Barlow coach Rob Tynan will guide the Falcons in Saturday's state playoff game against St. Joseph. Photo Credit: Contributed by Kathy Hickling

REDDING, Conn. – Joel Barlow High School's football team has shown the capacity to score points this season. The problem for the Falcons is that there opponent on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Class M semifinals, St. Joseph High School, can score in bunches as well.

The third-seeded Falcons (10-2) meet No. 2 St. Joseph (11-2) on at Bunnell High School. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. It is not expected to be a defensive struggle.

The Cadets rolled over Ledyard in the opening round, 84-49. Barlow pounded Gilbert/Northwest Regional, 54-27. Saturday’s game might not approach that output, but it figures to be an offensive showcase featuring two of the state’s top quarterbacks, Barlow’s Jack Shaban and St. Joe’s Jordan Vazzano.

Shaban carried Barlow to victory in the first-round playoff win, rushing for 208 yards and four touchdowns. Bryan Gallaer rushed for 122 yards and Harry Wilson added 87, and each had a touchdown. Barlow rolled up 550 yards rushing.

Barlow, which qualified for the state playoffs for the first time, is averaging 42.7 points per game.

The Falcons will have their hands full on defense trying to stop the Cadets, however.  Vazzano has thrown for 2,746 yards and 35 touchdowns, with just eight interceptions. Running back Mufasa Abdul-Basir has rushed for 2,268 yards and 28 touchdowns.

St. Joseph scored 49 first half points in the shootout against Ledyard. Vazzano threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns, while Abdul-Basir rushed for 324 yards and five scores. Shane Miller rushed for 191 yards on just five carries.

Both of St. Joe’s losses this year came to New Canaan, the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference champion. The Rams beat the Cadets, 31-20, in the league championship game.

Realtime statistics from the game will be posted on the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference website .

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