Darien’s Rolapp, Suffield Academy finish perfect NEPSAC football season
AVON — Darien’s Will Rolapp caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Van Dyke to get the scoring started for Suffield Academy, which topped Avon Old Farms 29-21 to win the NEPSAC Class A Kevin Driscoll Bowl Saturday in Avon.
The victory ended a perfect season for the Tigers, who were 9-0 this fall.
Suffield led 29-14 with 5:39 remaining, but Avon Old Farms and QB Tyler Phommanchanh quickly rallied and had the ball with 2 minutes, 33 seconds remaining for a chance to send the game to overtime.
Not this time. Suffield’s Peterson Monexant, on a blitz, burst through the AOF line, ran down the elusive Phommanchanh and stripped the ball away. Lineman Aiden Michaud recovered and that was it, Suffield Academy ran out the clock on a 29-21 victory Saturday at Avon Old Farms’ Ryan Field.
Now, they could celebrate. And it was a wild one.
Suffield Academy completed its fourth unbeaten season under 11th-year coach Drew Gamere and sent its exceptional cast of Division I recruits off as champions.
Van Dyke accounted for all four Suffield Academy touchdowns, throwing scores to four different receivers, including Rolapp, Khari Johnson, Penn State commit Jaden Dottin in the second quarter as the Tigers built a 19-7 halftime lead.
Rolapp, a 2019 graduate of Darien High School, was one of four Tiger receivers to top 20 catches this year, as he finished with 25 for 432 yards and three touchdowns, including the one during the first quarter of Saturday’s game.
As good as Van Dyke was in his final game, Suffield’s defense might have stolen the show. It forced four Avon Old Farms turnovers and Mozi Bici, the 2018 New Haven Register State Player of the Year from Greenwich, blocked a punt to set up a field goal for a 22-7 lead early in the third quarter.
The Suffield players lingered on the field long after hoisting the New England championship trophy, almost unable to let the moment go.
“I’m not going to be sad yet,” Suffield coach Andrew Gamere said as he watched his guys from across the field. “But in a couple of days, it’ll start to sink in. I appreciate all that they brought. It’s a great group of young men that are going to go on and be successful. And that’s really the reward. Not what they did here, but what they do from here.”