By BRIAN JENNINGS
Will Barmore’s four touchdown passes and Anthony Plantamuro’s three receiving touchdowns helped the Blue Knight football team remain undefeated as they stung the Hornets with a 47-21 victory at East Hartford (4-4) on Friday, Nov. 4.
Southington has now scored over 40 points for the seventh time this season, and their 47 points against East Hartford were the most points the Hornets have allowed this season.
“We’re coming together as a unit and family,” said Southington coach Mike Drury. “That’s so important, and we talk about it. There are no individuals on this team, and that’s huge. Everyone’s rallying together and doing their job. We had more adversity than we probably ever had here in my coaching career. Any adversity that comes our way, we’re able to handle it.”
Plantamuro hauled in a 40-yard pass from Will Barmore to put the first points of the game on the board on the Southington’s very first possession. On East Hartford’s first possession, the center snapped the ball over the punter’s head on fourth down, setting the Knights up with great field position at the 15-yard line. Vance Upham cleaned up the drive on the very first play from scrimmage by rumbling 15 yards for the score, giving Southington a 13-0 advantage after a missed extra point.
Early in the second quarter, the Hornets stopped the Knights on fourth down, setting up shop from their own 11-yard line. A 74-yard completion helped cap off the drive with four-yard run for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to seven points.
Southington answered with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Barmore to Tim O’Shea with just under 5 minutes to play in the first half. Moments later, Brandon Kohl corralled a nine-yard touchdown pass from Plantamuro with four seconds to go before halftime, putting the Knights up, 27-6.
Plantamuro grabbed two more touchdown passes from Barmore in the third quarter, and Upham capped off Southington’s win with a two-yard run for a score late in the fourth quarter. East Hartford scored two more touchdowns in the second half on runs of 79 yards and 38 yards.
“Those guys had some great athletes, and we knew that coming in,” said Drury. “They have really good players, and you saw it because they had some really big plays on us. But it’s subtle adjustments offensively and defensively. This game is played on adjustments and who can make better adjustments.”
Plantamuro finished with five catches for 155 yards. Plantamuro also had six tackles—including four assists—intercepted a pass, and forced a fumble on defense as well.
“He had a hell of a night,” the coach said. “He’s a hell of an athlete and a tremendous competitor on both sides of the ball. He just has that fire and energy. He had a great over-the-head catch over the middle in the concentration that he showed. It was a big game for him, and he’s ready to have those every night.”
Upham rushed for 228 yards on 26 carries, finishing with 13 tackles—including nine assists—on defense. Barmore completed 13 of 17 passes for 241 yards. Richie Rivera caught two passes for 39 yards, and O’Shea finished with 33 yards on a pair of receptions.
“I thought our offense actually moved the ball fairly well,” said Drury. “We just didn’t convert a couple times in the red zone on third down. We blocked effectively, and our offensive line did a great job. We’re down three starters right now. These are guys who have been rotating, but they all stepped up in different roles and positions this week.”
Ian Hall anchored the defense with 15 tackles, including 11 assists and a fumble recovery. Joe Koczera (9 tackles, 8 assists), Robert Bunting (7 tackles, 7 assists), Sammy Thomson (9 tackles, 4 assists), Shaun Wagner (interception), and Tyson Harris (blocked kick) contributed as well.
Southington is currently 8-0 overall and in first place in Class LL. Darien (8-0) is 20 points behind in second, followed by Darien (8-0), Newtown (8-0), and West Haven (8-0). The Knights will look to remain undefeated this week when they return home to host Bulkeley-HMTCA-Weaver (0-8) on Friday, Nov. 11.
“We’ve seen them a couple times on film this year so far,” the coach said. “They’re going to come ready to battle. They played us hard last year up at their place on a cold windy day. I know their coach, and I know he’ll have those guys prepared. We just have to come out and play our game.”
Veterans Day pregame ceremony
The Blue Knight football team will recognize local veterans before Friday’s varsity game against Bulkeley-HMTCA-Weaver.
Veterans should gather near the end zone prior to the contest. They will be honored in a ceremony on the field before the game.
The band’s halftime show will include songs from each branch of the service.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.