MANCHESTER - It was a hot day, but Berlin was hotter on Saturday afternoon.
While East Catholic lost two players to dehydration, Redcoats head coach Joe Aresimowicz stayed on top of his players so the heat wouldn’t get to them as they routed the Eagles, 45-8.
“We were really diligent making sure the guys were drinking water,” Aresimowicz said. “We brought bananas and granola bars, and we’re just hydrating the whole time, even during the half. We just paid attention and we made them pay attention.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Berlin quarterback Kevin Dunn threw his first varsity touchdown to senior running back Alex Halkias, putting the Redcoats on the board eight seconds into the second.
A 28-yard field goal from Giancarlo Tufano gave Berlin a bit of insurance with 9:43 remaining before halftime.
The Eagles finally scored their first points of the year after that. A fumble recovery put the Eagles in a good position and East Catholic rushed 63 yards, bringing them to just inside the 10-yard line.
The Eagles’ Conor Race scored from there, while Luke Rumley went for the two-point conversion and scored.
“The second quarter was good. Obviously there were some mistakes in the first half,” Aresimowicz said. “A couple mistakes and some big penalties, but we still scored the ball and we had the potential to score more.”
Berlin came back after halftime ready to play.
“Second half we just dropped on them real quick,”Aresimowicz said. “We scored really quick at the start of the third quarter and then we actually started shuffling in some of the young guys. We got to see Larry St. Pierre today and [he] had a great game.”
Having St. Pierre back on the field has made a difference for the Redcoats. He rushed for 23 yards and received for 87, scoring two touchdowns.
“He’s a great kid and just a hard worker,” Aresimowicz said. “He’s naturally talented. You can see he can get an open space; he’s slippery. He’s hard to tackle. I know I wouldn’t want to be in an open field trying to tackle him, either.”
St. Pierre’s game plan was to come in and win.
“Hopefully we go undefeated and make playoffs,” St. Pierre said.
Dunn threw his second varsity touchdown to St. Pierre at the end of the second quarter. Dunn was 6-for-8 for 161 yards, averaging 26.8 yards per completion.
“I definitely played better than last week,” Dunn said, “and we executed our offense really well.”
The Redcoats were able to put about 40 different kids on the field Saturday.
It’s awesome,” Aresimowicz said. “It really helps you, because when a kid goes down and you don’t want to risk it, the next guy is up and ready to play and there’s not much drop off.”
Execution is something the Redcoats are still struggling with. Berlin had a total of nine penalties for 70 yards.
“We still have the mistakes. The penalties will cost us in closer games,” Aresimowicz said. “You just can’t make those mistakes, you can’t have turnovers, and you can’t have penalties. We want to get those down to zero … that’s always our goal. It’s just a lot of work to get there.”