By BRIAN JENNINGS
When the Blue Knight football team prepared for their season opener against the Eagles at Enfield, there was no game film to review from the new co-op team. Southington didn’t know what they were going to get when they traveled north to the state’s border.
All they knew was that it was their farthest regular season game away from home against an Enfield team that combined with Fermi High School after Fermi was shut down last spring.
The Knights didn’t know what to expect, but after playing the first-ever game at Enfield’s new turf field, they knew what kind of mark they had left: a housewarming gift of a 53-0 shutout.
“The defense dialed in,” said Southington coach Mike Drury. “We know that we have to lean on those guys to set the tone. Whoever starts the game, we want that group to set the tone. It starts with special teams and goes right to the defense.”
In the first half, Southington’s defense forced four three-and-outs and three turnovers (2 fumbles, 1 interception), heading into halftime with a 46-0 advantage. The defense held Enfield to negative yardage on the ground (-22) with just 29 yards receiving for the game. At the half, the Eagles had negative yardage in both offensive areas.
“Those guys flew to the ball and attacked,” said Drury. “That’s the stuff that we talked about. They put the offense in great field position, and that’s what we like.”
Joe Koczera anchored the defense with seven total tackles, two assists, a sack, and a fumble recovery. Ian Hall finished with six total tackles and three assists. Brandon Slade contributed with four total tackles, four assists, and an interception. Sean Scanlon (recovered a fumble), Vance Upham, Matt Meade, and Seth Bogoslofski each forced a fumble.
In his first varsity start at quarterback, William Barmore played in just the first half, but went 7-for-7 for 177 yards and three touchdowns.
“Not every play is going to be a perfect play, but you want to make sure that we’re handling the things we can handle and making great decisions with the ball,” said Drury. “He’s showing that he’s really maturing with that and putting the ball where it’s supposed to be.”
Besides performing impeccably on the field, Drury said that Barmore has also been flawless mentally as well.
“We’re throwing a lot of different formations and concepts at him,” the coach said. “He’s able to grasp it all and put us in a good position to be successful.”
Jacob Drena was under center for the second half and went 4-for-4 for 55 yards and a touchdown. Upham rushed for 95 yards and a pair of scores on five carries. Ryan Montalvo rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns on three carries. Anthony Plantamuro led all receivers with 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns on four receptions.
The Knights will look for another win this week when they travel to Simsbury (0-1) on Friday, Sept. 16 against a much-improved Spartan team. Simsbury suffered a 32-13 home lose to Manchester in their season opener.
“They’re a very well-coached team,” said Drury. “I know that they’re really building the program back up. They have plenty of great players that came back, but we just have to make sure that we have a great week of practice and come in fully prepared.”
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