BERLIN - Alex Halkias led Berlin football with three touchdowns in its 24-0 shutout victory over Northwest Catholic Friday night.
It was a slow start for the Redcoats, as they didn’t reach the end zone until the end of the second quarter.
“The first quarter we came out a little sluggish, first half actually,” running back Zach Hrubiec said.
With 1:48 left on the clock, quarterback Kevin Dunn threw a 40-yard pass to Halkias. Giancarlo Tufano’s kick was good, giving Berlin the lead 7-0 at the half.
The game plan for the Redcoats was to “run, run, run,” Halkias said.
Berlin came back from the half ready to play. Only three minutes into the third quarter, Halkias rushed 40 yards into the end zone.
“We put the ball in Alex’s hands and good things happen,” Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz said. “When he hits that edge, he’s hard to stop.”
The Lions would only get as close as the 3-yard line before the Redcoats defense could stop them and take possession.
“We were expecting to come out a little stronger,” Halkias said. “But during the fourth quarter, that’s what we were expecting.”
Aresimowicz decided to leave the last play entirely up to Halkias.
“When we went for it on fourth down, I told the offensive coordinator leave it up to the kids, let the kids decide,” Aresimowicz said. “And they called it. Alex said he wanted the ball and he scored, that’s the type of leadership you want from the team.”
Halkias rushed 17 yards to score his third touchdown of the evening with 4:13 left in the game.
Halkias rushed for a total of 125 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns.
Tufano kicked a 27 yard field goal to close out the night and gain the extra points for the Redcoats.
“Second half we made adjustments,” Hrubiec said. “I expected a ‘W’ and that’s what happened. You can’t ask for much more no matter what the score is, but we have to make adjustments and come back better next week.”
Aresimowicz predicted how the game was going to play out.
“We had some injuries, we had a lot of young kids in there, I think this week we started five sophomores,” he said.
Getting the younger players in the game earlier has given Berlin the opportunity to play deep, just last week they rotated over 40 different players.
“We had a couple new guys coming in but I think they stepped it up as the game went on,” Halkias said. “They just had to get the jitters out in the first, second quarter.”
Sophomore Larry St. Pierre made his comeback last week, but Friday night he was seen sitting on the sidelines once more.
“Larry got hurt yesterday. That’s not always good, but we overcame,” Aresimowicz said. “We were sloppy with penalties again, we have to clean it up a lot of tough games coming next week. If we clean up the mistakes we’ll be OK, if we keep making mistakes we’re going to get a loss sooner or later.”