KILLINGLY - Three interceptions, missed assignments and missed tackles ended Berlinâ€™s playoff run as it fell to top-seeded Killingly in the Class M state semifinals 49-7 on Sunday afternoon.
The Redcoats were unable to stop the running game of leading state rusher Spencer Lockwood, who ran for a total of 317 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior rusher Zach Caffrey also added to Killinglyâ€™s success with two touchdowns of his own and 117 yards.
â€śTheyâ€™re a very good team, just as advertised,â€ť Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz said. â€śThey had it and we made mistakes. We made mistakes the very first possession, and we knew if we made any mistakes it wouldnâ€™t be a good outcome.â€ť
Zach Burgess intercepted a pass by Berlin quarterback Kevin Dunn with 7:53 left in the first quarter.
â€śSo we get the ball first, we start pounding it down their throats, weâ€™re really moving the ball good, throw a pick,â€ť senior lineman Greg Carson recapped. â€śThat pick in the first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game.â€ť
Before the quarter ended, Lockwood rushed 51 yards on 10 carries, bringing the ball to the Killingly 2-yard line.
On the first drive of the second quarter, Zach Caffrey ran 2 yards into the end zone, putting Killingly on the board. Luke Desaulnierâ€™s kick for the extra point was good, giving the Redmen a 7-0 lead.
â€śI personally didnâ€™t think they were that much better than us,â€ťCarson said. â€śItâ€™s just we made way too many mistakes.â€ť
After 15 yards and two incomplete passes, Berlin had no choice but to punt the ball on fourth down. Unfortunately for Berlin, as Dunn went for the punt his knee hit the ground, giving Killingly possession of the ball on its own 49-yard line.
Dunn completed six of his 18 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions, while Desaulniers missed his only target of the game.
Desaulnier handed the ball off to Burgess for what would have been a 44-yard run, but a flag was thrown. A holding penalty against Killingly negated the play.
With 8:32 left remaining in the first half, Desaulnier handed the ball off to Lockwood for a 47-yard rushing touchdown.
In the first half alone, Lockwood rushed more than 200 yards on 20 carries, with two touchdowns.
Killingly led 14-0 with about seven minutes remaining in the first half when Dunnâ€™s pass was intercepted by Burgess for his second turnover of the game.
Collectively, the Redcoats were only able to run for 122 yards against Killingly.
Alex Halkias led Berlin with 53 yards on 11 carries, Andrew Brochu carried the ball twice for 25 yards and Dunn also carried the ball twice for 24 yards. James Mazzarella ran twice for 11 yards and Larry St. Pierre carried the ball once for two yards.
A pass from Desaulnier intended for Burgess was intercepted by Berlin defensive back Anthony Undercuffler.
The Redcoats finally found some momentum when Dunn connected with junior receiver Andrew Brochu for a 28-yard touchdown. Giancarlo Tufanoâ€™s kick was good, cutting Killinglyâ€™s lead to 14-7.
That would be Berlinâ€™s only score of the game.
It didnâ€™t take long for Killingly to respond. A minute and a half later, Lockwood rushed another 8 yards into the end zone, giving the Redmen a bit of insurance before going into the half up 21-7.
Lockwood opened the third quarter for Killingly with a 68-yard rushing touchdown on the first drive, his third touchdown of the game.
Berlin was unable to get the ball moving, turning the ball back over to Killingly.
Two minutes later, Caffrey rushed 34 yards down the side of the field and into the end zone, collecting his second touchdown of the game, and Killingly led 35-7.
With three minutes left to go in the third quarter, Lockwood rushed for a 5-yarder, forcing a running clock, as the Redmen led 42-7 over the Redcoats.
With their eyes on the prize, the Redmen subbed out Lockwood, Caffrey and Desaulniers, giving a chance to the underclassmen.
Sophomore Jacob Nurse took over as quarterback for Killingly. Nurse handed the ball off to junior running back Tyler Cournoyer for a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, capping the scoring for Killingly.
Berlin finishes its season 9-3, while Killingly will advance to the Class M championship game, where it will face No. 6 Joel Barlow (9-3) on Saturday.
â€śThis past season was a tough one for us,â€ť Halkias said. â€śBut we enjoyed the ride and weâ€™ll miss our seniors [and] weâ€™ll be back next year.
â€śWeâ€™re trying to get back to this stage. Weâ€™ll be missing a couple key players, but a couple young guys are going to be stepping up for us.â€ť
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or On Twitter: @shelbyiava