Football: Shelton defeats Derby, home for playoffs (Updated)

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Alex Kirk tracks down Derby quarterback Jake Finnucan in Shelton High’s 49-0 Thanksgiving Day victory over Derby. — Aaron Berkowitz photo

Shelton High capped an undefeated regular season with a dominating 49-0 victory over Derby High in the 105th meeting between the two schools, before about 3,000 at Lou DeFilippo Field in Derby on an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving Day.

Senior quarterback Zach Tuskowski threw three touchdown passes — two to Alex Kirk and one to Kevin Robinson — to lead the Gaels to victory.

Fifth-ranked Shelton (10-0) beat Derby for the 13th straight time and now leads the series 55-43-7. The Red Raiders (6-4) have defeated Shelton just once in the last 19 years.

Derby opened the game with an onside kickoff, which the Gaels recovered at midfield.

On the third play from scrimmage, Tuskowski hit Kirk in stride for a 35-yard touchdown pass.  Robinson added the two-point conversion run for an 8-0 Gael lead just 70 seconds into the game.

Robinson was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after catching four passes for 120 yards and the touchdown.

That first score was all the Gael defense would need on this day. The Red Raiders never threatened to score, getting no further than the Shelton 44-yard line at any point in the game.

Among the big plays turned in by the Shelton defense included fumble recoveries by Jonathan Sobotka and David Wells, and interceptions by Wells and Keith Prior. Wells returned the fumble for a touchdown. He also returned his interception for a touchdown, but that was negated due to an illegal block on the return.

Shelton earned the top seed in the Class LL state playoffs and will host No. 8 West Haven in a quarterfinal match-up on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Finn Stadium. The Gaels defeated West Haven, 48-27, earlier this season.

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