The fifth-ranked Shelton High football team dominated SCC Division I West rival Xavier of Middletown 42-7 Friday night, but lost star wide out Chris Kanios to an injury early in the game.
The unbeaten Gaels were never threatened by Xavier (3-4 overall, 2-1 SCC Division I West), which edged Shelton 28-27 in overtime in last year’s Class LL-Small state championship game..
Shelton scored the game’s first 21 points, then answered Xavier’s only touchdown on the night with another 21 points in recording the victory before about 1,000 on a chilly late October night at Palmer Field in Middletown.
Shelton head coach Jeff Roy admitted that his players wanted this win after last year’s state championship loss. “They had this game circled,” said Roy of his players. “They wanted this game bad. They came up here and played well.”
Senior quarterback Zach Tuskowski completed 11-of-17 passes for 210 yards and four touchdowns to lead the way offensively for Shelton.
The Gaels, already playing without senior wide out Kevin Robinson due to a concussion, lost Kanios on the fourth play from scrimmage. Kanios caught a swing pass from Tuskowski but was trapped behind the line of scrimmage. He appeared to go down awkwardly, and needed to be taken off the field on a stretcher with an apparent leg injury.
Roy did not have an update on Kanios after the game.
A deep Gael team regrouped without Robinson and Kanios.
Senior tailback Peter Hoff ran for a career-high 169 yards on 20 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run.
The Kirk brothers, Sam and Alex, each scored two touchdowns. Alex scored both of his touchdowns on receptions while Sam caught one pass for a score and also added an 85-yard touchdown on a kickoff return.
“We have got a lot of depth,” said Roy. “We were without Robinson and Kanios the whole game and were still able to score 42 points.”
The victory puts Shelton (6-0) in excellent shape to claim its second straight SCC Division I West crown. The Gaels are 2-0 in the division with home games remaining against Amity (Friday) and Hamden (Nov. 13).
A win in one of those games clinches at least a share of the division title, and two wins earns Shelton a second straight outright title.