By JOHN GORALSKI
Kyle Borawski ripped the ball from the air and surveyed the field in front of him as his teammates shifted into position like an army of chessmen preparing to strike.
Austin Morin stumbled out of the backfield to throw the first block. Matt Maxwell swept another defenseman out of the way. A line of blockers seemed to point in the direction of Alex Jamele, and the Blue Knight receiver seemed to beckon Borawski from the other sidelines.
“I caught it, and I knew that there were people in front of me,” he said. “I just had to follow my blocks, and I knew they had my back. I saw Jamele, so I went all the way across the field because I knew that he’d get that block for me.”
Borawski fell in step behind his teammates and they wove a path that criss-crossed the field for a 50-yard score. The first quarter wasn’t even over, and Southington had all but secured the victory.
“We just wanted to establish our tempo and execute. That’s the biggest thing,” said Blue Knight football coach Mike Drury. “We want to be able to execute every play to the best of our ability offensively. Defensively, we want to fly around to the ball, tackle great, and play clean, disciplined football. That’s what we did.”
On Saturday, Nov. 15, it was a clear case of the haves versus the have-nots. Southington was looking for their ninth straight victory after clinching a postseason berth. South Windsor was looking to survive their 10th straight loss against one of the top seeds in Class LL.
It wasn’t even close.
“Everybody did their jobs. The offense blocked. The receivers caught their balls. Everybody held their stand, and that’s what we needed to do here today,” said Blue Knight quarterback Jasen Rose. “South Windsor’s not the toughest team, but they put up a good fight. I give them props. They fought the whole game. We just fought harder.”
Southington scored in every quarter and built a 34-0 lead by the end of the first half. Rose completed 10 of 14 passes for 191 yards and five scores. Borawski managed just two catches for 56 yards, but he scored both times. Jamele (79 yards) scored twice to move within one touchdown catch of the state’s career scoring record. Maxwell scored the other.
On the ground, five ballcarriers combined for 143 yards and two scores. Alessio Diana (69 yards) scored in the first half, and Ryan Montalvo capped the scoring in the fourth quarter as Southington surged to a 48-0 win.
“It all starts off with the offensive line who provided great protection for Jay. Then, it’s just the receivers making plays,” said Drury. “He’s got some great weapons there. All of those guys can make plays at any given time. He did a great job keeping the tempo and seeing them downfield and making the throws.”
Defensively, the Knights were even better. Matt Thompson led the charge with nine tackles. Logan LaRosa added seven, and Dan Williams finished with six. Matt Koczera, Steve Hamel, and Montalvo contributed five tackles apiece as the Knights held the Bobcats without a single completion and just 31 yards of total offense.
“It was a great day to play football, and the kids battled,” said Drury. “We picked up a couple penalties in the first half, but the guys cleaned it up and we did a great job.”
Now, all that remains is the Thanksgiving Day rivalry with Cheshire. Southington needs one more win to complete their second straight bid for a perfect regular season. Coming off a 49-21 win over Wilbur Cross, Cheshire (8-2) needs a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive. Kick-off is scheduled for 10 a.m.
“Throw out the record books,” said Drury. “It’s Thanksgiving Day, and I know that they’re going to be prepared. We’ll be prepared, and it’s going to be a great football game.”
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By JOHN GORALSKI