By KEVIN ROBERTS
There have been some games where Southington football is a clear favorite, and the Nov. 1 contest at Enfield was one of those games.
The Blue Knights needed to play their game and take care of business, and they did for the most part in a 51-19 victory over the Eagles at Enfield High School. Southington improved to 8-0 while Enfield fell to 3-5.
There was some good and some bad in a game that was rescheduled from Nov. 2 due to impending inclement weather.
“I thought we did well getting to the ball, executing third down conversions,” coach Mike Drury said. “But again, we had the ball on the ground 2-3 times, and that’s unacceptable for us. The boys know that, and they don’t want to do that. We just have to make sure we clean up the technique of carrying the football.”
There was also the matter of Enfield returning Southington’s first kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.
“We want to be better on special teams, but [the Eagles] have done a good job on the kick return all year,” said Drury. “They’ve run a few back this year.”
As for the good, Dillon Kohl scored three touchdowns on runs of one, two and six yards. Jacob Drena threw four touchdown passes, which went for 21, 11, 72 and seven yards. Four different receivers—Jamie Lamson, Carter Uhlman, Will Downes and Jacob Flynn—caught a touchdown. Each of those receivers also had at least four catches.
Southington was able to pick up chunks of yards on third down conversions, including a 21-yard touchdown pass from Drena to Lamson on the game’s opening drive. After the Enfield kickoff return for the score, Uhlman caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Drena for a 14-7 lead. Kohl’s first touchdown run gave the Blue Knights a 21-7 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Southington blew the game open. After faking a short pass, Drena threw deep to an open Downes for a 73-yard score and a 28-7 lead just 10 seconds into the quarter. On the next drive, Drena found Flynn for a seven-yard touchdown and a 35-7 advantage at 7:25. Kohl extended the lead to 42-7 on a two-yard touchdown at 3:10.
“There were things that we thought they were giving us, and you just got to be able to go out there and execute,” Drury said.
After Enfield snapped the ball out of its own end zone on a punt for a safety, it did pick up a touchdown on the last play of the first half to make the score 44-13. Kohl scored his third touchdown with 5:45 left in the third quarter to put Southington up 51-13. The Eagles got a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Blue Knight backups to finish the scoring.
Kohl finished with 10 carries for 85 yards and the three touchdowns. He had a game-high run of 27 yards. Tanner LaRosa ran for 120 yards on 14 carries, including a long of 21. He did have a couple fumbles, including one lost. Drena was a terrific 17-of-22 (77.3 percent) for 290 yards and four touchdown passes.
Flynn led the team in catches with five while Downes paced them in yards with 137. Billy Carr, Kyle Messenger and Angelo Plantamuro each tallied eight tackles. Carr also had a sack, and Josh Vitti and Steve Witte each blocked a kick.
The Blue Knights return home for the last two games of the regular season. Southington hosts South Windsor (record) on Friday at 7 p.m. It’s been a tough season for the Bobcats, but Drury still expects a challenge.
“They’re a little bit down from last year, obviously, but I know they’re going to be a well-coached team, they’re going to play hard, and they’re going to play four quarters,” Drury said.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com