The fall season is all but over, but that didnât stop some area athletes from turning in some of their best performances of the season.
New Britainâs Muhammed Codjoe and Berlinâs Lindsay Walsh were two of those athletes as they helped their respective team pick up some important wins as their seasons came to a close.
After an up-and-down year, the New Britain football team ended its season on a high note Friday night in the Wishbone Bowl against rival Berlin. The Hurricanes rolled past the Redcoats 51-6 for their first win between the two since 2014, while also finishing with a 5-5 record.
âWe just came out here, a little more emotional than we usually are and came out here playing little harder than we usually are and we actually finished out the game this time,â Codjoe said afterwards. âWe usually let off the gas, but this time we didnât let off the gas.â
And during those 48 minutes, Codjoe played no small part.
The senior running back capped off his final game with a season-best 198 of the teamâs 474 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just six carries (33.0 yards per carry). More impressively, both of Codjoeâs scores went for 70-plus yards. The first was a 71-yarder in the second quarter for the gameâs second touchdown. The second went for 81 yards on the second play of the third quarter and ran in for the 2-point conversion to put 31-6.
âOur running backs run hard as hell,â New Britain offensive lineman Jacob Clark said.
âHe did his thing,â fellow running back Shawn Robinson said. âHe was a man amongst boys [Friday]. He was running with a purpose. First 3rd-and-3, we getting it, thatâs it. There was no, âwhoâs stopping us?â It was just go out there and make plays.â
For the season, Codjoe finished with more than 410 yards and five touchdowns on 36 carries (11.5 yards per carry) despite missing the first three games of the season due to injury.
âIt feels great to know that we ended the season the way we wanted to end it,â said Codjoe of his final high school football game. âI donât think weâve ever put up that many points against Berlin. We didnât want to lose in front of our fans, in front of our parents.â
It was a tough end to the season for the Berlin girls soccer team, which lost the Class M title to Granby Memorial 3-0 on Saturday. Nut the Redcoats would not have been able to get to the final, their first since 1998, without Walsh as their goalkeeper.
During the semifinals last Tuesday, the game was decided upon penalty kicks and it was up to Walsh to try to stop everything that came her way. She deflected three of the Lewis Millsâ four attempts in their 2-1 victory over the top seed.
â[Walsh] is just an athlete,â Berlin head coach Katie Amenta said. âSheâs not the best soccer player in the world, sheâs an athlete and I told our team if we get to PKâs, she will win this for us.â
And thatâs exactly what Walsh did.
âEvery practice, we practice PKâs,â Amenta said. âWe do it every time and Walsh is just quick, reflexively and saves things. I was confident going into the penalty kicks, and it worked.â
Walsh blocked numerous shots in both the semifinals and the final. During the semifinals, she had a total of 11 saves against the Spartans and the saves were far from easy, while in the final she saved eight.
âWe gave it all we got,â Walsh said. âWe knew that [Saturday] was going to be tough just like the last game but once again I have to say we did everything we could, [Granby] just came out on top. This past season has been unbelievable. I remember going to the first game at Sage Park, we didnât think anything of it, we were ready to be done and we got here which is incredible.â