WETHERSFIELD â€“ Berlin footballâ€™s final drive was intercepted by Torrence Smith to cap off a 21-18 loss to Wethersfield Friday night, knocking the Redcoats to 1-1 on the season.
A night where the offense had flashing moments of being able to take the lead and potentially break the game open in the first half led to a scoreless frame. Halftime adjustments led to the offense finally finding pay dirt with the Redcoats capitalizing in the third quarter on a Jamie Palmese 6-yard score and a 12-yard reception to Jake Smalley for six.
The two scores cut the difference down to 14-12, due to a missed extra-point attempt and a failed two-point conversion. It was the closest Berlin got to evening the score all game.
On offense Lorenzo Miele was 13 of 31 in passing, racking up 208 yards. Jamie Palmese had five catches for 87 yards, both of which led the team.
Toby Lavender continues to break out as an established running back for Berlin, carrying the ball 13 times for 97 yards. Palmese also carried the ball 13 times, totaling 95 yards on the ground.
With the running game combining for 183 yards on 4.9 yards per carry, Berlinâ€™s established a running attack that has Lavender and Palmese mixing up the offensive attack. Despite the nice totals, Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz said his team wasnâ€™t able to move the ball exactly how they were wanting to, and once the ball was moving it was a race against time.
â€śWeâ€™re OK. Our inability to move the ball how we wanted to is a result of the scheme that they threw at us,â€ť said Aresimowicz. â€śThey were running stunts that we werenâ€™t prepared for, â€¦ you got to adjust on the fly. At halftime we made adjustments and said the pass game was going to be there for us, and it was, but we were just chasing the clock the whole time. â€¦ We have to execute in the red zone, and weâ€™ll have to look at the film and see what they were doing in the red zone.â€ť
Success on offense was negated a by defensive mistakes. On special teams the Redcoats allowed a 72-yard kick return for a touchdown following Smalleyâ€™s touchdown, putting Wethersfield ahead with under eight minutes to go at 21-12.
A deflating score by Wethersfield didnâ€™t keep Berlin down too long with Miele taking a keeper into the end zone with under three and a half minutes left in the game. Miele and company had a chance to get ahead with time dwindling, getting the ball over the 50-yard line before the interception sealed the night.
Aresimowicz said a change of play calling wouldnâ€™t have made as much of a difference as cleaning up the mistakes in big moments.
â€śWe could have. â€¦ I think it was more about mistakes, than any particular play calling. Execution wasnâ€™t great. We canâ€™t have those mistakes, [in] big times we had the mistakes,â€ť said Aresimowicz.
Berlin will shake off the loss as it heads into this weekâ€™s matchup against Manchester (0-2). The Redcoats will hit the road for the second straight week with kick off coming at 6:30 p.m. Friday night.