For Southington coach Charles Kemp and the Southington powder puff team, the 2019 season did not go entirely as they planned it. After a 10-7 loss at Rocky Hill on Nov. 20, the Southington stands were packed Saturday night as the seniors tied to South Windsor, 6-6.
It wasn’t quite as high of a scoring affair as last season, when Southington beat Rocky Hill at home, 21-0. But plenty of the Blue Knights showed their playmaking ability.
On the very first possession, Southington’s Lily Scalise intercepted a pass and returned it inside South Windsor’s 10-yard line.
A few plays later, Chloe Stanish ran it in to make 6-0 after the missed extra point.
South Windsor tied it up before halftime, and neither team would score for the rest of the game. Southington still had several plays that belonged in the highlight reel.
Kristin Rose played quarterback for the Knights and had several deep completions on the day. She completed passes of 41 yards and 20 yards to Era Pasha. Rose also had a 10-yard run on a keeper in the fourth quarter.
“Rose was off the hook with the way she threw the ball,” Kemp said. “She has a tremendous ability.”
Danielle Flynn had rushes of 14 yards and 13 yards in the second quarter. Autumn Swain also had a 17-yard punt return.
The Knights also had a lead when they traveled to Rocky Hill. After Rose threw a touchdown to Kallie Candelaria to get them on the board in the first quarter, Rocky Hill tied it up right before halftime. It was a tug-of-war between the defenses in the second half, and the difference in the 10-7 final was a late field goal by Rocky Hill.
Kemp said this was the opportunity for a lot of the seniors to stand out, and many contributed on both offense and defense.
“This was an opportunity for a lot of these players who maybe didn’t make the cut or get playing time on other teams, while at smaller schools, they would probably be starting,” Kemp said. “This year, some of those athletes stood out. Trinity Cardillo was fantastic. Kallie Candelaria and Miesha Batchelor played a big role on defense. But at the end of the day, it is hard to nail it down to one particular player because we like to spread it around. They all did a great job.”
Frank Pepe got to experience his first powder puff season as principal of Southington high school, and was amazed by the excitement of the town and the competiveness of the game.
“This is my first powder puff game, and I couldn’t believe how many kids we have on our team and how many people are involved,” Pepe said. “Now, experiencing it for the first time, it is very special.”
Kemp said this tradition has always been exciting for the community and a great prelude to the Thanksgiving matchup for the football team against Cheshire.
“Powder puff is a tradition that goes back many years in this town,” Kemp said. “It is not as steeped as it is down in Wallingford, where they have had thousands of people show up in the past couple of decades. But it is always a nice event for the community to watch before the big game on Thanksgiving. The guys also have a lot of fun dressing up as cheerleaders, and the community just enjoys it.”
Kemp said he wishes powder puff could return to playing Cheshire each year before Thanksgiving, as it will hype each school up even more for the Apple Valley Classic.
“This school would have been psyched for Thanksgiving no matter what,” Kemp said. “What I miss is playing Cheshire each year. I wish they would put their program back together. But either way, this week was a nice table-setter for Thursday.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.