Hawks rout Seymour

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Woodland quarterback Tanner Kingsley sets back to pass Thanksgiving eve against Seymour in Beacon Falls. The Hawks won the annual rivalry game, 62-26. –RA ARCHIVE

BEACON FALLS — Woodland’s record-setting offense did it again, and this time it happened in a much more important situation.

Woodland quarterback Tanner Kingsley broke Connecticut’s single-game passing yardage record, receivers Anthony Scirpo and Rahmi Rountree each racked up 250-plus yards and four touchdown catches, and the Hawks routed Seymour 62-26 on Thanksgiving eve to help seal a Class S postseason berth.

While the Woodland (7-3) offensive line didn’t set any records, the hogs had just as much fun up front.

“It was like using an Xbox controller,” Woodland senior lineman Jeremy Clark said.

Here’s a quick recap of some (because there were lots) of what happened:

Kingsley’s 615 passing yards broke a 42-year-old state record held by New Canaan’s Kurt Horton, who passed for 599 yards in 1970. The number also broke Kingsley’s own Naugatuck Valley League record (set Oct. 26 vs. Naugatuck) and is 14th-most in national history.

His 31 completions were second-most in NVL history to his 33 (set. Nov. 3 vs. Holy Cross), his eight touchdown throws tied his own league mark and are second-most in state history, and his 42 passing touchdowns this year are already tied for second-most in state history and most in league history.

“It’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had playing sports,” Kingsley said of breaking the state record. “We just wanted to run good offense.”

Scirpo’s 284 receiving yards set a school record and are second-most in NVL history while Rountree’s 264 yards are fourth-best in league history. Each had four touchdown grabs, which are tied for second-most in NVL history.

“We must be doing a few things right,” Woodland coach Tim Shea joked. “Coach (Tim) Phipps does a great job with them. We keep Tanner very humble. He’s got to deal with his brother (Cody, an assistant coach). It’s a complete team effort. When we’re all on the same page and clicking, good things happen.”

The Hawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first on touchdown passes of 66 yards to Rountree and 39 to Scirpo, but Seymour tied it up in the second on scores by Jack Briggs and Joey Salemme.

Perhaps the game-changing play of the night was a third-and-20 for Woodland at its own 27 with about a minute left in the first half. Kingsley’s line gave him six seconds to throw and he delivered a 77-yard touchdown strike down the middle to make it 20-14, a halftime lead that barely withstood a last-minute Seymour drive.

“At the beginning of the year, no one talked about our line because we had a lot of new kids,” Kingsley said. “Our linemen work hard every single day. They come out here and do whatever they have to do.”

What ensued in the second half made Clark and his fellow linemen happy and hungry.

“It gives us a little bit more swagger,” Clark said of the passing game’s success. “We’re watching guys run for 80-yard touchdowns, so we want to be physical and throw someone on the ground.”

Seymour's Mike Conlan (3) is brought down by Woodland's Kevin Brennan, left, and Will Flormann, Thanksgiving Eve in Beacon Falls. Moving in the on the play is Woodland's Levi Fancher, right. –RA ARCHIVE

Scirpo caught touchdowns of 30 and 13 yards on the Hawks’ first two second-half drives to make it a 35-14 game. Scirpo, who also now holds NVL records with 19 receiving touchdowns this year and 28 in his career, said the huge numbers didn’t really occur to him during the game.

“We think about it but our number one focus is to get the win and get to the playoffs,” he said. “We’re all team players. Our offense has the capability of doing big things and we did it.”

Rountree caught up to Scirpo the rest of the way, grabbing Kingsley’s final three touchdown passes of 20, 47 and 53 yards — the last of which saw him juke several Wildcats in a lengthy run to the front left pylon.

“The whole day I was thinking this would be the last game on my home field,” said Rountree, one of the Hawks’ 12 seniors. “Nobody was going to stop me. I was trying not to get tackled tonight. Whatever the next play is, I just see what move I can make.”

Kingsley said he took advantage of man-to-man matchups on the outside.

“We’ve got more athletes,” Kingsley said. “They manned us up and we went deep on them.”

Shea removed the first-string offense with a few minutes to go, even as the Hawks were driving for another touchdown.

“I didn’t realize the totals until they were actually on the field (after the game),” Shea said. “I knew we were going to keep doing what we do. Anthony has been playing better every week and Rahmi has a chance to go (to the end zone) every time he gets the ball.”

Woodland plays Capital Prep in the Class S quarterfinal Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Dillon Stadium in Hartford. If the Hawks win, they will play in Sunday’s semifinals.