NEW BRITAIN - The Southington powder puff football team couldnât contain its excitement.
For the first time since the Blue Knights started playing New Britain, dating back to 2009, they beat the Hurricanes at Veterans Stadium.
Nicole Carter ran for two touchdowns and Abby Connolly rushed for another as Southington beat New Britain 20-0 Wednesday night. It also marked the first time the Blue Knights won back-to-back games in the series after an overtime win last year.
âItâs massive,â Southington head coach Charles Kemp said of the win. âWe also didnât have the luxury in Southington of having two games because Cheshire decided they didnât want to do it anymore. I told the players, âlook thereâs no Cheshire game to fall back on. Itâs one and done. You gotta focus in on New Britain.â Maybe because they didnât have that in the back of their minds âoh, we still have another game,â they dialed in and got it done.
âItâs wonderful to be able to win back-to-back against [New Britain] and to win it here. Iâm happy for the players to have this experience and walk away with a victory.â
In a game where both defenses made their presences on the field felt, it was the Blue Knightsâ ability to generate enough big plays that turned out to be the difference.
The first happened to be the lead to the first score of the game.
Connolly took a double reverse from Carter and bounced her way out to the left sideline. A pair of New Britain defenders then ran into one another, allowing Connolly to sprit her way 50 yards into the end zone to put Southington up 7-0 early in the second quarter.
âThat was a lot of adrenaline,â Connolly said. âBut just from playing soccer and track, thatâs where I got a lot of my speed from. Once I saw only one girl in front of me, I was like âI got this.ââ
A little more than 7Âœ minutes later, it was Carterâs turn to cross the goal line. The tailback ran the ball in from three yards out to give the Blue Knights a 13-0 lead heading into the locker room at the half.
Carter was given a short field by basketball standout Janette Wadolowski, who returned a punt 43 yards to the Hurricanesâ 10-yard line. It was her second long return of the half, beating out a 30-yarder towards the end of first quarter.
âThey beat us, but I donât think they were that much better than us with the exception of a few big plays,â New Britain coach Carlos PiĂ±a said. âThey had more skill players. Those girls played varsity sports, where we didnât have many.
âI think [our players] tried hard. We didnât execute very well. Not being used to competitive sports showed and I think they were a little bit confused at times. But at the end of the day, it was a great day and a great night, a lot of people came out for both sides.â
The second half played out a little more quietly than the first in terms of scoring and it was Carter that once again provided the points.
The running back scored from 15 yards out to bring the score to 20-0. A 31-yard run by Taylor Riddick the play before, allowed the offense to set up Carter with the touchdown run.
âOnce you see the end zone, you just go for it,â Carter said. âYou donât realize how close it is, you just run for it. But I was not expecting to score two touchdowns tonight. Once you get adrenaline, you kind of forget about everything elseâs thatâs going on.â
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, found the red zone just one time Wednesday night. In the end, it gave Southington its second shutout of the series, itâs first coming in 2014.
âNew Britain always brings it,â Kemp said. âTheyâre always so tough. One thing youâre worried about is if your players are going to get scared out there, but there was no fear in this team. On every side of the ball they did a great job.â
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @DavidGlovach