By SPENCER DREHER
After a road victory against Hall, the Southington football team started a three-game stretch at home last Friday against Manchester (2-3). The Knights were kept in check in the first quarter but eventually pulled away for the 44-6 win to improve to 4-1.
Southington returned the game’s opening kickoff to Manchester’s six-yard line, but was up just 3-0 after the first. In the second quarter, the offense began to pick things up thanks to a dominant performance by running back Dillon Kohl.
Kohl broke through for 76-yards to score the game’s first touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, the ball bounced off the Manchester returner’s leg and fell into the hands of Southington’s Derek Bedner. Kohl would score from six yards out just moments later, which gave Southington a 17-0 halftime lead.
Manchester scored their first touchdown to begin the second half, but any of their momentum was crushed on the ensuing kickoff, which Southington’s Jack McManus took 68 yards to the endzone to put Southington up 24-6.
Kohl ran for his third and final touchdown of the day with 8:46 to play to give Southington its final points. Kohl finished with 247 yards on 24 carries. He now has 768 rushing yards on the season, including 466 in his last two games alone.
Shane Laport started the game at quarterback for the Knights, finishing 11-for-16 with 60 yards and one interception. Laport moved to wide receiver in the second half, giving the reigns to Brady Lafferty.
Lafferty found Carter Uhlman in the endzone for a 14-yard score in the third, extending Southington’s lead to 30-6. That drive was set up by two Kohl runs for 30 yards, which brought the Knights inside the redzone.
Lafferty finished 4-for-6 with 47 yards and a touchdown. Uhlman was the leading receiver with eight catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. Senior M.J Bennet also ran in a touchdown for Southington.
On defense, Southington held Manchester to just five first downs all night. Billy Carr led the team with nine tackles, including a sack and a tackle for a loss. Anthony Henderson recorded six solo tackles and also had a tackle for a loss. Riley Clingan and Ryan Walsh also had a sack each for the Knights.
Southington, who is 4-0 in CCC play, is currently tied with Simsbury in the Division I West division. Those two play each other next Friday, Nov. 1, at Southington High, a game which will likely decide the winner of the division.
Southington and Simsbury were both on a bye this week, but Simsbury travels to Manchester next week, Oct. 25. Southington will host East Hartford (0-5) next week.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.