WESTON, Conn. – The seniors on the Weston High football team were part of a Trojans squad that won just three games when they were freshman. They worked nearly every day over the past three years to make themselves better, and now are one win away from playing for the state championship for only the second time in school history.
“It’d be huge for the program to get to the state final,’’ said Jimmy Brasco, a senior lineman. “But first we have to take care of business on Sunday.”
Sixth-seeded Weston (9-2) meets No. 2 Berlin on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Bunnell High School in Stratford in the Class M semifinals. The winner advances to the championship game at Rentschler Field on Dec. 7 or 8.
The playoffs are rare territory for the Trojans, which lost in the Class S championship game to Ansonia in 1989. But they seem to be playing their best football at the right time.
Weston has already won two win-or-go-home games. Weston beat Joel Barlow on Thanksgiving, 21-14, then followed that up with a 29-22 road win over Ellington/Somers in the first round of the tournament.
“The Barlow game was pretty much a playoff game, so to win that gave us a lot of confidence,’’ Brasco said. “That was probably our best defensive performance of the year. Coming out of that we felt good about our chances.”
Senior quarterback Tyler Hassett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in Wednesday’s playoff victory. Aaron Pomerance also ran for a score, and Zach Cannon caught a touchdown pass. Hassett had another huge game, completing 16-of-27 passes 147 yards. He also ran for 103 yards. Justin Schaffer added 75 yards rushing as the Trojans’ balanced attack compiled 411 yards of total offense.
“We don’t feel like we played our best,’’ Brasco said. “We left a lot of points on the board. We got into the red zone and come up empty.”
As usual, though, Weston found a way to win. In five games this season, Weston has won by seven points or less. A 22-21 win over Pomperaug in the third week of the season provided immeasurable confidence for Weston, which also survived a scare against Stratford by scoring two touchdowns in the final four minutes. Weston also rallied from a 20-7 deficit to edge Bunnell in overtime, 27-20, in October.
“Whenever it comes down to a game like that, I never have a doubt that we’re the ones who will come out on top,’’ Brasco said.
Weston expects another close one against Berlin on Sunday. The Redcoats (10-1) are making their third trip to the finals since 2007, and sixth overall. Weston’s defense will be tested by a running attack that has churned out 667 yards and nine touchdowns in the past two games.
“We know it’s not going to be easy,” Brasco said. “But we’re excited, and we’re ready to go.”