The varsity football team defeated Milton Academy 21-3 in a dominant performance on Saturday, November 20, in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference’s Todd Marble Bowl, played on Pratt Field.
It was Loomis Chaffee’s first appearance in a football bowl, and the game was considered the Class A New England prep school championship.
Milton, which plays in the Independent School League, came into the game undefeated with eight wins, and Loomis, a Founders League school, had an 8-1 record.
The story of the day was the Loomis defense, which put on one of the most impressive performances in bowl game history, holding the Mustang offense to a total of negative seven yards. The defense recorded nine sacks, and the Milton offense managed 29 total passing yards and negative 36 rushing yards.
On the other side of the ball, Loomis sophomore quarterback Dante Reno threw for three touchdowns, as the Milton defense stifled the Pelicans’ run game. Reno got the Pelicans on the board at the end of the first quarter when he connected with senior wide receiver Chase Collyer in the end zone on an 18-yard touchdown pass to take a 6-0 lead. Senior kicker Zach Henderson tacked on the extra point attempt to give Loomis a 7-0 lead.
The Pelicans doubled their lead on the ensuing possession when Reno threw for another touchdown pass. This time he connected with junior tight end Chandler Coe, who made an impressive catch at the pylon for a nine-yard touchdown. Henderson once again tacked on the extra point, giving the Pelicans a 14-0 lead.
At the end of the second quarter, the Pelicans fumbled the ball in their own half, setting up the Mustang offense with a great opportunity to score, but the defense held Milton to a two-yard drive. Milton opted to kick a field goal, bringing the score to 14-3 in favor of Loomis.
The score remained unchanged until late in the fourth quarter, when Reno connected with Coe again for a 19-yard touchdown. Henderson finished the day a perfect 3-for-3 to earn the extra point. The Pelicans ran the clock out on their next drive to seal the victory.
“I’m just so happy for all the guys on our team,” said head coach Jeff Moore. “Three years ago this team went 1-8, and to see how hard they have worked to turn things around has been a blessing for me and all the other coaches as well. These boys should be proud of what they have accomplished. They made history for the school today.”