EAST HARTFORD - There was no fourth-quarter comeback against East Hartford this time around for the New Britain football team.
The Hornets make sure of it.
The Hurricanes failed to contain East Hartford’s top two playmakers in quarterback Raquan Thompkins and running back Kevon Jones and gave up 21-unanswered points as they fell 28-7 Friday night.
At 3-5, New Britain no longer as a chance at a winning record and must win its final two games to close out the year with its third straight 5-5 season.
“We wanna go out with a good record, we wanna go out and play every game hand,” Hurricanes quarterback Jahfari Newman said. “We’re going to go into every game looking to win. I tip my hat to East Hartford, but we have to move onto next week now.”
Thompkins and Jones were responsible for three of the Hornets’ four touchdowns. Each added a rushing score in the second quarter, Jones’ 1-yard run and Thompkins’ a 32-yarder, while the two connected for a 27-yard touchdown pass to close out the third. Thompkins’ rushing touchdown proved to be the deciding score.
A Quinton Haughton 18-yard run for East Hartford capped of a 7-play drive and provided the game’s only score of the fourth quarter.
Overall, New Britain gave up 11 plays of 10 yards or more, including three of the four touchdowns and seven in the second half, while generating just six itself. The Hornets outscored the Hurricanes 14-0 over the final 24 minutes of play.
“We gave up big plays and that’s what hurt us,” New Britain head coach Tebucky Jones said. “You can’t give up big plays.”
But it was a first half that played out much like the previous two meetings - with neither team being able to get much going offensively. But it was East Hartford that managed to take a 14-7 lead into halftime after two second-quarter touchdowns.
Jones led the Hornets on a 10-play, 47-yard drive that the UConn commit capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run to open up the scoring. Jones carried the ball six times for 32 yards on the drive.
After the two teams traded punts, New Britain managed to find the end zone 5½ minutes later when Kaiyon Gunn crossed the goal line from nine yards out to tie the game at 7-7. An encroachment penalty from East Hartford helped set up the play. Tahje Yopp provided the big play of the 41-yard drive for the Hurricanes with a 35-yard run down the left sideline.
But the Hornets responded in kind on a drive led to the halftime lead. Thompkins’ 32-yard run ended a quick three-play, 54-yard drive that left 1:47 left on the clock. Thompkins had connected with Haughton for a 21-yard completion to play before to set up the touchdown run.
New Britain was never able to recover. Out of the Hurricanes’ four second-half possessions, three ended in turnovers on downs.
“The effort was there the whole game,” Newman said. “It’s just certain plays that need to made, have to be made the whole game. There was no let off on either side, they just made a play or two more than us.”
New Britain will next take on Enfield (1-7) on the road next Friday.
David Glovach can be reachedat (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach