Shook, Sheehan top Weston in Alliance tilt

WALLINGFORD — Coming off a gut-wrenching loss a week earlier, senior Jacob Shook and his Sheehan football team had a bit of a chip on their shoulders.

That chip proved to be all the motivation the Titans needed.

Behind some timely conversions and the running of Shook, Sheehan topped Weston 32-14 in an Alliance tilt at Riccitelli Field at Sheehan High in Wallingford Friday evening.

Shook not only ran for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he had a key first half interception as well to deny Weston a scoring opportunity.

“That was 100 percent a driving force,” Shook said of the loss. “We talked about having that effort and working hard. We came out and we played hard. We have a lot of work to do in terms of execution, but this is a good win for us.”

With the Titans leading 13-7 in the fourth quarter, Sheehan’s offense capped a 13-play drive with a pounding running game. Shook ran for 54 yards in the drive, capped by a 21-yard scoring run by Shook for a 19-7 advantage with 1:57 gone by in the final quarter.

“We showed a lot of resilience right there,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said of the scoring drive. “We put the ball in the hands of our running game. We wanted to move the chains and eat some clock. Our offensive line came through big time. Once they did that, our backs were able to make plays. We have three running backs we rotate through, and each brings something special to the table.”

The Trojans wasted no time getting back into the contest, needing just five plays to march 78 yards. Weston quarterback Nicholas Psichopaidas perfectly connected with Bradley Barcello in stride for a 63-yard scoring strike 2:07 later to put Weston in striking distance once again at 19-14.

“First, we have to credit Sheehan,” Weston coach Dan Hassett said after his team fell to 1-2. “We have to clean up some of the things we can control. Once we got within one score, we needed one stop. We were unable to get that.”

The Titans came right back to put the game away as quarterback Paul Gorry hit Ryan Gersz for a 57-yard connection, and four plays later, Jelan Kollie ran in from four yards out for a 25-14 lead with 5:31 to go.

After Sheehan stopped Weston on fourth down, Shook took over, running four times for 26 yards, including an 8-yard score with 2:21 left in the contest for the 32-14 final.

“The line was a beast tonight,” Shook said. “Without them, I don’t gain any yards. To see them work so hard after what they have been going through was great. They did a great job.”

The opening half was one of missed opportunities for both teams. Both the Titans and Trojans squandered scoring opportunities before Sheehan went to the half with a 13-0 advantage.

Sheehan held the Trojans to just 16 yards of offense in the opening quarter and took a 7-0 lead after 12 minutes of play. As expected, it was the Titans’ defense which played a key part in the opening score of the game.

After Sheehan’s defense sacked Psichopaidas at the Weston one, forcing a punt, the Titans took over at the Weston 26.

Shook raced 22 yards to the Weston 4 on the first play, before junior Romeo Cruz plowed in from one yard out and a 7-0 lead with 3:45 left in the opening quarter.

“Jake is a warrior,” Ferrazzi said of Shook. “He has prepared himself so well for the season with how hard he has worked. He started out as a wide receiver and we moved him to the backfield. He is also our top defensive player at outside linebacker. He makes some big plays for us.”

The Titans looked as if they would extend the margin on their next possession as quarterback Paul Gorry hooked up with Shook on a 56-yard pass connection to the Weston 17. The drive stalled three plays later on a bad snap on fourth down.

Weston then had a golden opportunity to even the game but Shook picked off a Psichopaidas pass in Titans’ territory. Sheehan gave the ball back two plays later when Weston’s Bradley Barcello recovered a Titans’ fumble.

“Our job is to go back, see what we did wrong and get better,” Hassett said. “We had some opportunities there.”

The Titans took a 13-0 lead with a 9-play, 54-yard drive with 3:49 left in the opening half. Shook had the big plays of the drive with an 18-yard run and a big fourth down conversion.

Gorry and company then came up big on third-and-15. The sophomore quarterback found senior Jayden Lode right down the seam in the middle of the field for a 26-yard scoring strike and 13-0 advantage after the conversion failed.

Weston picked up its offense in the second quarter with 107 yards and had another scoring opportunity with just over one minute remaining in the half.

That drive stalled as Sheehan’s defense came up big, stopping Psichopaidas one yard short of a first down at the Sheehan nine.

Psichopaidas finished 14-of-19 for 151 yards, while Barcello ran for 50 yards on 11 carries and a score for Weston. Gorry finished 12-of-18 for 218 yards and a touchdown pass.


Jacob Shook — Titans’ senior ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. Shook also made several key stops on defense, while also intercepting a pass.


“We may have had some execution issues, but these guys play hard and play for each other. We are young and inexperienced like everyone else. It is only a matter of time.”

— Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi


WESTON 0 0 7 7 — 14

SHEEHAN7 6 0 19 — 32

First quarter

S — Romeo Cruz 1 run (Ryan Gersz kick) 3:45

Second quarter

S — Paul Gorry 26 pass to Jayden Lode (Kick failed)

Third quarter

W — Bradley Barcello 10 run (Sean Esslinger kick) 4:30

Fourth quarter

S — Jacob Shook 21 run (Kick failed) 10:03

W — Nicholas Psichopaidas 63 pass to Bradley Barcello (Sean Esslinger kick) 7:56

S — Jelan Kollie 4 run (Pass failed) 5:31

S — Jacob Shook 8 run (Ryan Gersz kick) 2:21

Records: W (1-2) S (2-1)