By Matt Bjorklund, Mirror Correspondent
Xavier dominated East Haven in every aspect of Friday’s non-conference game at Palmer Field, as standout senior quarterback Will Levis accounted for six of the Falcons’ seven touchdowns in their 56-3 rout of East Haven.
Levis, a Penn State commit, had one of his best performances this season, passing for 361 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
“I would say that definitely stat-wise, my best game of the year,” Levis said, “but [now we] put it behind us now and focus on [Fairfield] Prep and focus on doing just as well next week.”
With primary running back Tyrone Abrahams Jr. sidelined with a foot injury, the Falcons leaned mostly on the passing game and were incredibly successful with it. The victory also gave Xavier (2-2) a lift following last week’s loss at Wilbur Cross.
After scouting East Haven last weekend, Xavier coach Andy Guyon said he saw things in the Yellow Jackets’ defense that Xavier and Levis could exploit.
“It was what they were giving us” that allowed Levis to be as efficient as he was. “We felt the way they were playing coverage-wise, we had a lot of things in the pass game that we could take advantage of,” Guyon said.
Xavier scored on all five of its first-half possessions in building a 35-3 halftime lead. Levis completed 19 of 22 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns.
On the third play of the Falcons’ first possession, Levis found fellow captain Kyle MacGillis, who clutched the ball and took off, leaving the Yellow Jackets’ defense behind for a 72-yard touchdown. This play was indicative of the game plan Guyon had in mind as the game wore on.
Levis also threw touchdown passes to Adrian Hyatt (12 yards), another to MacGillis (28 yards) and one to Alex Kulasenski (1 yard) before scoring on a 15-yard keeper to account for the Falcons’ first-half scoring. MacGillis finished the game with 131 receiving yards.
The Falcons wasted no time at the start of third quarter — 1:47, in fact — in expanding their lead to 42-3. With the Falcons being 1 yard from the end zone, Levis tossed it to Michael Femc, who was waiting for the pass. Per CIAC rules, the margin of Xavier’s lead triggered running time for the remainder of the game.
A short while later in the third , Falcons running back Nick Hassleman scored on a 19-yard touchdown run. Xavier’s final touchdown of the night was set up by an interception by James Rusiecki and capped off with a 4 yard touchdown run by Ryan Miner.
The Falcons’ defense was stout, with pressure on East Haven quarterback Tanner Divito throughout the night.
“Now that we’re back again to .500, how are we going to show up this week at practice?” Guyon asked himself. “Prep is a pretty big rival, so I would hope we’re going to be practicing well and the kids are going to be doing the things they’re supposed to do (to be successful).”
Abrahams is expected to play next Friday against Prep (3-1) at Rafferty Stadium on the campus of Fairfield University. Game time is 6 p.m.