NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain football team has already seen this play out too many times this season - another week of practice and another week to refocus and regroup.
Losers of three of their last four, including a tough 42-20 defeat at the hands of No. 2 Southington last Friday night, the Hurricanes have a heightened sense of urgency as they look to avoid another non-winning season.
“We’re feeling like we have to win all these next games,” New Britain tailback and linebacker Muhammed Codjoe said. “The season is still here, we just have to clean up our mistakes and play a good game.”
That starts tonight against a Glastonbury team that has seen its own ups and downs this season. The Tomahawks (3-3), however, come in having won three of their last four, including a 19-12 win over Enfield last week.
The good news for the Hurricanes (2-4) is Glastonbury has had trouble scoring points. The Tomahawks have scored more than 20 points just once this season - a 30-28 loss to East Hartford - and average 15.3 points per game.
Despite its offensive struggles, New Britain knows priority No. 1 will be stopping quarterback Drew Daniels, Glastonbury’s main offensive threat. Daniels has been more effective as a runner than as a passer. Against Enfield, the junior completed just 4-of-8 passes for 43 yards, while rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
“He does a little bit of everything,” Hurricanes head coach Tebucky Jones said. “He’s an athletic kid, he can run. You have to stop the quarterback. Number 34 [Matt Tenney], the tailback, is next. Watching the film, most of their offense is those two guys.”
On the other side, the Tomahawks haven’t given up many points on defense either. The unit has surrendered more than 14 points just twice, against Southington in Week 1 and to East Hartford.
New Britain believes it won’t see anything different from the Glastonbury defense that it has not seen in prior seasons, with the Tomahawks utilizing a 3-4 base set and a mixture of man-to-man coverage with some Tampa 2 thrown in as well.
“They like to blitz a lot and send guys off the edge,” Codjoe said. “We have to make sure, it’s a pass play, we pick up the blitzer, and if we’re running the ball, we have to make sure we find the cutback lane.”
Jones also noted Glastonbury has been able to stop the run successfully at times this season and with the Hurricanes possibly looking to run the ball earlier in the game, it will be even more important for the offensive line to get some push upfront, something the group struggled with in the second half against Southington.
But what really hurt New Britain last week, and in all of its losses this season, has been the team’s inability to carry out individual assignments. And the Hurricanes know that could be the difference between a win and another loss tonight.
“We just have to go out and do our jobs,” Jones said. “That’s what wins and loses games.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach