Lawmen fall in 45-42 shootout

Timmy Maher scored four touchdowns for Jonathan Law when the Lawmen went on the road and dropped a 45-42 Southern Connecticut Conference football decision to Sheehan High in Wallingford on Friday night.

“They are a good team,” Law coach Mark Robinson said of the Titans. “The key was stopping number eleven [Jeremy Gannon] and he was all over the place. There was too much reaching and not enough hugging [on defense].”

After a scoreless first period, Sheehan took a 12-0 lead behind Gannon, who scored on a two-yard run and threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Rutkowski.

Maher brought Law back with touchdown runs of five and 51 yards, with Mick Murray converting the extra points.

A junior, Maher rushed for 177 yards on 33 carries.

“Timmy was fantastic, making a lot of checks at the line of scrimmage to get us in the right position,” Robinson said. “He was at the top of his game.”

So was the offensive line of George Knoth, Alex Boyd, Ken Casagrande, Brian Santora and Jimmy Marron.

“I finished grading the game tape and they were all 80 or above, and I’m a tough grader,” Robinson said of his O-line. “They were really walling people off and making the offense go.”

Gannon, who completed 11-of-16 passes for 161 yards, found Brandon Gauthier from 25 yards out at the two-minute mark and Sheehan took an 18-14 lead into the locker room.

Sheehan fumbled the ball at the Law one, but the Titan’s Kyle Paolella recovered in the end zone for a 24-14 lead midway through the third quarter.

Eli Woodbury got that score back with a six-yard run to paydirt at 2:16 of the stanza, but Gannon tallied on Sheehan’s next play from scrimmage on an 80-yard run.

Paolella added Sheehan’s first conversion point to make it 31-21 at the end of three periods.

Law’s running game was bolstered by junior Joe Ziebell, who gained 165 yards on 16 rushes, as the Lawmen finished with 469 yards on the ground.

“Joe [Ziebell] hit the holes hard and was gone,” Robinson said. “Our other three running backs, Danny Ziebell, Daron Britt and Eli Woodbury, all got the job done.”

Maher scored on a three-yard run with 10:17 remaining, but four minutes later Gannon threw a 22-yard scoring pass to Paolella, who added the PAT.

Maher’s 23-yard run and Murray’s fifth straight conversion kick closed the gap to 38-35 with 5:55 to play.

The back-and-forth shoot out continued, with Rafael Dominguez finding the end zone on a nine-yard run with 3:41 remaining.

Joe Ziebell scored on a one-yard run and Murray added the PAT with 54 seconds left on the clock.

The onside kick was recovered by Sheehan.

“It was a combination of not reading their assignments and missing tackles,” Robinson said of his defense. “It wasn’t a lack of effort. But we go through 40 minutes of tackling drills each practice and we’ll keep working.”

Law will play host to Wilbur Cross at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Governors lost a 47-0 decision to Fairfield Prep in their opener.

“I’m always concerned playing a Wilbur Cross team,” Robinson said. “They are well-coached and were hurt by a lot of turnovers against a good Prep team”

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