Montville — His place in the pantheon of all things orange and black will be fodder for spirited discussions over a few beverages at the Brown Derby in years to come. But this much we know: Jeremiah Crowley won't be ranked far down the list of the greats to wear the football uniform of Montville High School.
Crowley's career, which dots the state record books in several places, ended Tuesday night on the wet turf of his home field. Crowley ran for 206 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Indians to a 45-0 victory over St. Bernard/Norwich Tech and the town championship.
Crowley, who set the state record for most rushing yards in a single game (526) earlier this season against Stonington, finishes with 2,139 yards this season. He sits in the top 30 all time for single season rushing yards in Connecticut.
"It's pretty tough knowing you're not going to be able to suit up again," Crowley said, while several teammates walked past him in tears. "But there's that sweet moment knowing you won your last game."
Crowley scored on runs of 7, 27, 35, 23 and 48 yards. He did not play Montville's final two series on offense.
"I can't put it into words or a sentence," Montville coach Tanner Grove said, asked to summarize the experience of coaching Crowley over four seasons. "You guys (reporters) probably got to see up close and personal as much as anyone else some of the challenges that come along with a kid that has his capabilities.
"The thing about him that makes him so good is also what gets him into so much trouble," Grove said. "It's like something out of Greek mythology. He is absolutely fierce to a point of error."
Crowley said he plans to enlist in the Army upon graduation from Montville. He leaves with an appreciation for the fleeting sense of time, if nothing else.
"It went by way too quick," he said. "People were telling me four years goes by quick, but I didn't believe them."
The Indians, who made the Class M playoffs last season, will miss the postseason, finishing 7-4. Grove said the program's mission is to play in December.
"I'm proud of the kids, coaches and support staff," Grove said. "We'll enjoy this tonight and take a moment with each senior who leaves the program."
Then Grove paused and said, "and we'll talk tomorrow to the underclassmen about what's necessary to get back to December."
Mitch Dole blocked a punt that led to a touchdown for the Indians and Nick Veillette kicked a 27-yard field goal.
St. Bernard finished 1-10.
And Crowley finished with an exclamation point.
"My goal was to get over 2,000 yards and over 30 touchdowns and I got it thanks to my line and thanks to my team," Crowley said. "This is a low key town that a lot of people don't know about. It's a good feeling to have the records in the books."