New Britain building character, Southington succeeding on special teams

Published on Monday, 27 September 2021 14:10
Written by TYLER HETU

@TheTylerHetu

SOUTHINGTON - Friday just wasn't New Britain's day.

The 41-0 win by Southington over New Britain spelled the third straight loss for the Golden Hurricanes, this time at the hands of Mike Drury and the Blue Knights

New Britain struggled to work the ball down field but did not back down at any point in the contest, continuing to try to run the ball even with a running clock.

Eighty yards gained on the ground by New Britain with -4 yards passing showed where the offense is now trending as a running game is beginning to be assembled.

Post-game New Britain head coach Isaiah Boddie had a lengthy talk with his team, who has an abundance of youth, on battling through the adversity the program is facing right now.

Part of the message was talking about character, and equating the game of football to life.

"We talked a lot about character, a lot about fighting," said Boddie. "About overcoming adversity as a team and as a family. Things are not going to go your way a lot of times. Sometimes in life, whether it's in football or whatever, and in real life it's how you respond."

Responding after losses for New Britain has gradually improved. After a season-opening shutout Golden Hurricanes were able to show signs of life on offense in its home opener in Week 2. New Britain still lost 48-13 to East Hartford, but had two touchdowns from Diego Ortiz on 158 yards rushing and 139 yards passing from freshman quarterback Donovan Campbell.

Friday, the numbers didn't carry over or improve, and now it's about responding from the struggle in the next few days in practice.

"These last three weeks haven't gone our way so how do you respond? We come back in practice and respond in a positive way and come back harder than ever and continue to fight and work. ... That's why I think football prepares you for life when things don't go your way," said Boddie.

Next up for New Britain will be a tilt with Conard, at home, at 6:30 p.m.

SPECIAL TEAMS LEAD EXPLOSIVE DAY

Special teams was a big key to Southington's win on Friday as the defense was able to get its hands on a punt, which was blocked and recovered inside the 10-yard line in the first quarter.

The blocked punt by Nate Pierce resulted in the second score of the game, a Jack Barnum 7-yard pass to Ryan Delmonte to make it 13-0.

By then, the Blue Knights had the game firmly in its hands. A fumble recovery by Chris Totonis in the second half poured it on.

"(One) blocked punt, that's huge," said Southington head coach Mike Drury. "Special teams is all about field position and that's been a strength for us this year. We have to continue to fine tune that and make that a weapon every game. Jack (Barnum) with his ability to kick touchbacks almost every time, that's huge. And our punter, when he needed to, punted a 60-yard punt. ... It flips the field, and in big games those things matter a lot."

Barnum had one kick returned all night as nearly every kick off following scores was a touchback, reducing chances to get any momentum off kick off.

With the game 20-0 at the end of the first, the special teams, offense and defense didn't let up in the win despite having the insurance. Southington's prep was sound, expecting and stopping every effort New Britain had to get any sort of momentum going while trailing big.

Taking that success into next week will be crucial as Southington takes on Hall on Friday at 7 p.m., which Drury expects to be a good matchup.

"I thought we played very well in the first half and in the second half we came out and got  drives going and let some of the younger guys play," said Drury. "... We have a big game against Hall next week, that's where we're turning the focus (now). They're a well coached team, we've had great games with them over the years, ... we have to go out there and play efficient football and make sure we stay healthy."



Posted in The Bristol Press, Southington on Monday, 27 September 2021 14:10. Updated: Monday, 27 September 2021 14:40.