Bloomfield speeds past Hawks in Class S quarterfinals

Woodland’s Joe Shea (55) chases down Bloomfield’s Shakur Hill (26) during a Class S quarterfinal game Tuesday at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield. -BILL SHETTLE/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

BLOOMFIELD — The margin for error against lightning-quick athletes on the gridiron is slim. The Woodland football team learned that lesson the hard way in the Class S state quarterfinals.

No. 4-seeded Bloomfield used its speed on both sides of the ball to rout No. 5 Woodland, 49-10, on Tuesday night to eliminate the Hawks from the postseason.

Bloomfield (10-1) advanced to face Ansonia in the Class S semifinals on Sunday. Woodland finished its best season in a half-decade with a 9-2 record.

“Their speed is very good and it’s deadly,” Woodland coach Chris Moffo said. “We made some mistakes that they capitalized on. We didn’t get to our assignments, and those kids are tremendous football players. If you give them an inch, they’re going to take a mile. We gave them an inch and we weren’t able to tackle on the perimeter, and that killed us.”

Bloomfield’s Ky’Juon Butler rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead 3-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. He was also part of a defense that was relentless in its pursuit of Woodland quarterback Tyler Bulinski. The Warhawks allowed only three completions for 16 yards, recording four sacks and two interceptions.

“Our team speed is what we do,” Bloomfield coach Ty Outlaw said. “That’s what we do here in Bloomfield. We’re a fast team, and that showed today. We knew if we got at them early, we’d pull away.”

Edit Krivca gave Woodland a 7-0 lead with a 41-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening drive. Angelo Kollcinaku drilled a 30-yard field goal later in the first quarter to give the Hawks a 10-6 edge, but the Warhawks ended the game with six unanswered touchdowns.

“Overall, they were the better team,” Krivca told the Republican-American. “They’re a tremendous football team. Give all the credit to them, especially (Butler). He’s a tremendous running back. It’s hard; one slip, one missed tackle and he’s gone.”

Woodland’s Nicholas Rousseau (26) runs with the ball while fending off Bloomfield’s Aaron Jones (54) during a Class S quarterfinal game Tuesday at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield. -BILL SHETTLE/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

This season was Woodland’s most successful since a 12-3 campaign in 2013 that ended in a Class S championship defeat. The 9-1 regular-season mark was tied for the third-best record in school history, and the Hawks made their seventh postseason appearance in program history.

“The season meant a lot to the seniors,” Krivca told the Republican-American. “Two years ago we were 1-9, and we were able to build back up to 9-1. I’m proud where this program is right now and I’m glad we could set the bar for the future.”

“We went from the worst of the worst to this,” senior lineman Joe Shea added. “We beat top Valley schools. We came out here, gave it all we had one last time, and it’s onto whatever’s next for the seniors.”

“Our two main goals were to beat Seymour and make the playoffs,” senior linebacker Carter Amore told the Republican-American. “Going out like this sucks, but we accomplished more than we expected.”

The outgoing group of seniors holds a special place for Moffo, the third-year head coach.

“I wish I had one more day with those guys,” Moffo said. “They’re a great group of young men. Those seniors are the reason we’re here, their hard work and dedication. I’m going to miss them all.”

The Republican-American contributed to this story.