The playoff run of the eighth-grade Connecticut state champion Shelton Seahawks AYF football team came to an end last week. The Massachusetts state champion Charlton/Dudley Rams would defeat the Shelton Seahawks, 54-40, in the AYF New England semifinals.

The Seahawks found themselves down early, as the Rams jumped out to an 18-0 lead in the first quarter, before Dave Wells (9-for-16, 202 yards, three touchdowns) found Jon Sobotka (28 carries for 109 yards, four touchdowns) in the end zone. The 15-yard score put Shelton on the scoreboard right before halftime. After a Joe Zoppi extra point, his first of five, Shelton went into the locker room trailing 18-8.

In the second half, both teams’ offenses would be sharp, as they combined for 68 points. The Rams would take the ball first to open the second half and drove 78 yards for touchdown. That extended the lead to 24-8.

Shelton answered, as the offensive line of Matt Liscio, Joe Kucky, Robert Valeri, Dan Barone and Nate Miller would open up holes for Sobotka and David Berritto (147 total yards, one touchdown) to run through.

The ’Hawks would bring the ball to the Rams 18-yard line on their first possession of the second half, where the drive would be capped off by another Wells-to-Sobotka pass into the end zone to make the score 24-16.

The Rams answered right back, extending their lead to 30-16. Shelton countered, as Sobotka scored a 14-yard touchdown to bring Shelton back within 30-24.

After a Rams’ score in the fourth quarter, Sobotka tallied his fourth touchdown to put the score at 46-32.

Wells threw a 51-yard touchdown to Berritto to reduce the Shelton deficit to 46-40 with four minutes left in the game. But, a late touchdown from the team from Massachusetts sealed the victory.

Players on the 2012 state championship eighth-grade Seahawk team were David Berritto, David Wells, Justin Greene, Jon Sobotka, Tre Genova, Tim Schiffer, Joe Ciliberti, Mike Simmons, Vinny Schiavone, Robert Valeri, Matt Liscio, Carl Kopf, Jake Camerino, Porter McKinnon, Matt Keklik, Dan Barone, Joe Zoppi, JJ Lever, Joe Kucky, Nate Miller and Nick Galuppo.