By BRIAN JENNINGS
Southington had the first possession in overtime, and it didn’t take long to score. Barmore scrambled in a collapsing pocket on third down and escaped to the left. He lobbed the ball back across the field to Montalvo, who bounced off tackles and thrust his way through the Bobcat defense for the go-ahead score. Or did he?
Referees huddled up for an extended period of time, and the touchdown was negated as the result of an off-the-ball personal foul that was committed before Montalvo reached the end zone.
“I didn’t know what was going on, but I heard that it was a live-ball foul,” said Southington coach Mike Drury. “We’ll have to evaluate it.”
The ball was placed at South Windsor’s 15-yard line, and the down was repeated. But an end zone interception by South Windsor ended the drive. On the Bobcats first possession, a 22-yard field goal capped their comeback.
“We were looking to get a couple of our options going,” the coach said. “Unfortunately, they knocked the ball down on us, which was a big play, scored, and then we had the penalty.”
The overtime field goal handed the Blue Knight football team their second loss of the season, 30-27, on Saturday, Nov. 11—the first overtime decision in program history.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Drury. “They’re a very good opponent. They executed a few more things than we did.”
Southington allowed a total of 359 yards, 225 in the air and 134 yards on the ground, which were the second most total yards they’ve allowed in a game this season, but the Knights led by two scores at the half.
Ryan Montalvo scored a three-run touchdown run as time expired in the first quarter. South Windsor tied the game, but Southington answered with touchdown runs by Tanner LaRosa (2 yards) and Montalvo (20 yards). Southington led by two scores at the break.
South Windsor owned the second half, outscoring the Knights, 20-6. South Windsor scored three times in the air, from 61 yards, 10 yards, and 56 yards.
“We’ll have to take a look the wheel route they ran and evaluate what happened there,” the coach said. “But they hit us twice on it.”
Southington’s only score was a 17-yard Barmore run in the third quarter, and the Knights missed the extra point.
With just under six minutes remaining in regulation, South Windsor had a chance to win, but Anthony Vecchio blocked the extra point to force overtime.
On Southington’s final drive, the Knights were looking to get up field by hitting the windows of some of their underneath passes. The drive ended on an incomplete pass on a 4th-and-9 from South Windsor’s 24-yard line, which would have been a 41-yard field goal for Evan Johanns. Drury said that he was definitely thinking about attempting the possible game-winning kick.
“We were just concerned with the wind,” said Drury. “Should you have done it or should you have not done it, you go back and forth on those things. We didn’t.”
Montalvo paced the backfield with 151 yards on 19 carries. Barmore completed 14 of 22 passes for 124 yards. Jimmy Ringrose led all Southington receivers with 39 yards on three catches.
Joe Koczera anchored the defense with 16 tackles, including 11 assists, and an interception. Ian Hall contributed with 14 tackles and a sack. Shaun Wagner and Sammy Thomson each batted down a pair of passes.
The Knights will have a week to regroup from the loss and will return to the turf when they travel to Cheshire (6-3) for their regular season finale on Thanksgiving. Game time is 10 a.m. Cheshire is currently 10th in Class LL.
“Everything’s in our hands,” the coach said. “We have to take care of our business and make sure that we prepare great for Cheshire and get ready for those guys. We’ll see how everything kind of falls out Class LL-wise.”
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/11/13/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-nov-17-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.