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Looking to clinch a Class M state playoff berth, Weston had its hands full in its Thanksgiving Day game with visiting Joel Barlow. The Falcons, in fact, held a fourth-quarter lead before the Trojans rallied for a 20-9 victory to ensure their season would continue.
Weston is the fifth seed and will take on fourth seed Abbott Tech/Immaculate in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, December 3. The game will take place at Brookfield High with kickoff at 6:30 pm.
"I'm happy for these seniors. I'm happy for the entire family," Weston Coach Dan Hassett said.
It's a short turnaround for playoff teams.
"It comes quickly so we'll figure it out and get to work," Hassett said.
Barlow had a strong season and finished 6-4, and put itself in position to win its seventh game behind strong defense.
Down 7-6 in fourth quarter, the Falcons seized a two-point lead on a Michael Puglio field goal.
The Trojans scored twice late to secure the triumph. Quarterback James Goetz connected with Brendan Sawyer on a 22-yard TD pass, and Tyler Bower's four-yard run capped the scoring.
Barlow had two leads in the game. Goetz threw a first-half TD pass to Hayden Lawrence for 7-6 halftime lead.
Both defenses played well and windy conditions limited the passing game, generally a strength for Weston.
"I think Mother Nature helped us out a little bit because it was hard to pass the ball," Barlow Coach T.J. Cavaliere said. "Our defense kept us in it and allowed us a shot to hang around. They played hard."
Cavaliere said the Falcons were a bit disappointed with the end result this year, coming up a win or two short of the goal, but he was pleased with the effort.
"Our seniors played hard. I think these guys have laid a nice foundation for [the underclassmen] going forward," Cavaliere said.
"T.J. does a great job. They're very well coached," Hassett said of his counterpart.
Weston's coach after the big win:
James Goetz on the victory:
Touchdown: Trojans celebrate a score by Tyler Bower: