Killingly Redmen take on QV Pride on Thanksgiving
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Mon., Nov. 18, 2013
The Killingly High School Redmen ran kick-off drills on Nov 15. Coach Chad Neal blew his whistle. “Get to the ball,” he yelled. “Stay in your lane.” The players charged 50 yards. They did it again and again until Neal was satisfied.
Neal and the Redmen will need to have their kick-off drills and their run defense down pat when they face the Quinebaug Valley Pride in a Thanksgiving Day game. The Pride has two top running backs – John Sanderson crossed the 1,000-yard carry mark this season and Raiff Santerre is threatening. But if the Redmen play like they did against Montville, they’ll do fine.
“Their performance against Waterford and Montville was tremendous,” Neal said. The Montville win was especially sweet since the Redmen shut down Jeremiah Crowley, one of the top rushers in the state. Crowley set a record this year when he rushed for 526 yards in one game. “I thought we did a great job shutting him down,” Neal said.
While the defense has been playing well throughout the year, the Redmen have had their troubles. “We’ve struggled at times,” Neal admitted. Killingly moved from the small division to the medium division this year. Senior Tyler Stucke, an All-State player last year at running back, has been playing through an injury most of the year. The three-year varsity starter is closing in on an 800-yard season.
Freshman quarterback Kyle Desrosiers led the team to a 2-0 start. “We made a commitment to him,” Neal said. “He runs the offense real well. His arm is as good as anybody I’ve coached. He’s right up there. He’s going to be a special player.” Nick Hewitt took over for Desrosiers after an injury sidelined him, but Neal expects him to be ready for the Thanksgiving Day game.
Four sophomores are on the offensive line. “It’s a young but strong line. It’s a very talented offense. We’ve been diverse. We like to run the ball, but we aren’t afraid to throw it,” Neal said.
Junior Michael Elsey has contributed as wide receiver and cornerback. He’s been a big playmaker for the Redmen both receiving and running the ball. Neal calls him a dynamic player.
Senior Troy Chappell who plays linebacker and fullback is the emotional leader for the Redmen. “We kind of go as he goes,” Neal said.
“We spend a lot of time preparing for these games. There are bragging rights involved. We’re going to have our hands full but we want them to enjoy the moment.”