Ready for the hurricane? Football to face first big challenge

Dillon Kohl sweeps around the Hall rush during a 37-7 home victory last week. (Photo by John Goralski)

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Southington football used a 24-0 second half to beat Hall 37-7 on Sept. 28 at Fontana Field, but it will take a full game to beat its next opponent on Friday.

The Blue Knights travel to Veterans Stadium in New Britain to play the Golden Hurricanes in a battle of 4-0 teams. New Britain has defeated Conard (35-0), Manchester (55-26), South Windsor (44-0) and Simsbury (30-7) in its first four games. Southington has wins over Glastonbury (41-7), Simsbury (21-7), Manchester (31-13) and Hall (37-7).

“They’re always a dangerous team,” said coach Mike Drury about the Golden Hurricanes. We just need to make sure we’re hyper-focused in practice, then get out there and execute.”

New Britain features good athletes across the board on offense.

“They have a very good run game in terms of the guys in the backfield, they’re tough up front with the O-line,” Drury said. “They have a couple dynamic guys on the outside as well.”

This  game has major postseason implications in Class LL. The game kicks off on Friday at 6:30 p.m. in New Britain.

Big 2nd half beats Hall

SEPT. 28—The Warriors couldn’t have gotten off to a better start against the Blue Knights.

A yard-churning, clock-eating drive in the first quarter ended with a Nolan Tibbell two-yard touchdown run. The extra point from Noe Ruelas had Hall up 7-0.

Tanner LaRosa leaps a tackle on his way to the end zone. (Photo by John Goralski)

Southington evened the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Drena to Will Downes and an Evan Johanns extra point. Jake Beaupre later blocked a Warrior punt deep in its own territory, but a fumble into the end zone for a touchback allowed the visitors to get the ball back. JT Martin took the ball back for Southington with an interception at the 7:27 mark.

“He’s working his butt off,” Drury said. “He’s a kid that’s a three-year guy with us, a two-year JV guy, had a great offseason, and he’s really coming into his own.”

Dillon Kohl finished the ensuing Blue Knights march with a two-yard touchdown run for the lead, but a botched snap on the extra point kept the score at 13-7 with five minutes to go until halftime. The score remained 13-7 into halftime.

Southington got its offense going in the second half and outscored Hall 24-0. Drena threw touchdown passes of 45 and 32 yards to Flynn, and Tanner LaRosa ran 15 yards for a touchdown. Drena threw for 185 yards in th egame with three touchdowns, and LaRosa ran for 92 yards. Flynn had four catches for 103 yards.

Evan Johanns booted four extra points, and he nailed a school record 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the game’s final points.

“I think the offense started to hit its stride a little bit,” Drury said.

On the other side, the Warriors couldn’t do much at all against the Blue Knight defense.

“They stepped up,” Drury said. “I think the defense plays with great energy, they play together, they play as a unit.”

Billy Carr had 12 tackles, including two sacks, and a fumble recovery. Angelo Plantamuro had 10 tackles, including one sack, and Matt Thompson recovered a fumble.

Southington turns its focus to New Britain in a showdown years in the making. The Blue Knights and Golden Hurricanes are having success at the same time, and that should make for a great game on Friday.

To comment or contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com

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