Newington's #4 Luca Corvino and #22 Hayden Fish combine to make a tackle. Photo credit- Mick Pigott
Newington football fell to Glastonbury 28-20 last Friday night at Alumni Field, suffering a loss for the first time this fall.
The Nor’easters entered the contest undefeated at 4-0, averaging nearly 48 points per game, but lost the time of possession battled after getting outrushed 331-2.
“I think they had a good game-plan coming in trying to keep the ball out of our offenses hands, and they were able to chew the clock,” Newington head coach Jason Pace said, “Our defense played better after the first two drives, but it just came down to collectively we didn’t execute when we had to.”
Newington displayed flashes of the offensive fireworks that earned them the title of ‘The Greatest Show of Grass’. Junior quarterback Paddy Brown tossed three more touchdowns, upping his season total to 19.
On the team’s first offensive play, Brown connected with Charles Judge-Blair on a bubble screen and the speedy receiver broke a pair of tackles before jetting 47-yards down the sidelines for a touchdown.
Brown twice found Austyn Howe for scoring strikes, one on a 39-yard deep ball in the second quarter and the other on a 3-yard back-shoulder fade in the third quarter.
Howe’s second score provided Newington a 20-14 cushion, but they were held scoreless the rest of the way.
Glastonbury senior Matt Daniels had scoring runs of 41 and 89 yards in the final quarter, finishing with a game-high 167 yards on the ground.
The win was the first of the year for the Guardians, who entered Newington 0-4.
“This was a team that was very physical, but I liked the way that we responded. What we need to focus on is being more disciplined, we had a couple of costly penalties that we just can’t have going forward, especially against teams that are physical. When we’re up in the fourth quarter, we have to put that game away,” added Pace, who knew Glastonbury was better than their record indicated, “We watched the film and they were physical and in every game. They could have easily been 2-2 or 3-1 coming in and we knew it was going to be a battle.”
Newington had a two chances to take the lead or tie in the fourth, yet came up empty on both attempts.
Trailing 21-20, Brown connected with Josiah Ross on passes of 14 and 16 yards to get into the red zone, but the drive stalled, resulting in a turnover on downs as the 16-yard line.
After Daniels scored his 89-yarder with less than a minute remaining to make it an 8-point game, Brown found Howe down the middle of the field for a 45-yard reception to the 16-yard line. However, Brown was sacked and his desperation fourth-down pass into the end zone fell incomplete to end the final scoring opportunity.
The win was the first of the season for Glastonbury, who is coached by Eric Hennessy. Hennessy coached Newington football from 2013-2016.
“Newington is a pretty amazing team offensively and they’re fast, so we don’t match up well with their speed but we understood that we could matchup with their size,” Hennessy said after the game, “We felt we could wear them out a little bit. That was our goal.”
Newington (4-1) is on a bye week before next traveling to West Hartford to battle Conard (2-3) on Oct. 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Pace said he’d like to see the team come out with a greater sense of urgency, “Starting with [Glastonbury] we knew we would have a really tough stretch against some really good football teams. We have to make sure we use the bye week to fix some of the things we did wrong tonight. We just have to play better going forward.”
Newington's Shakir Smith looks for running room during a 28-20 loss to Glastonbury. Photo credit- Mick Pigott
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin