NEW BRITAIN - Without all of its pieces to the puzzle, the Berlin football team was unable to stop New Britain’s run game Friday evening in the annual Wishbone Bowl.
The Redcoats defense allowed Muhamed Codjoe to run for a total of 198 yards on six carries and two touchdowns, including a 71-yarder in the first half half and an 81-yard rushing score in the second.
The Redcoats were without key players Alex Halkias, Zach Hrubiec and Larry St. Pierre.
James Mazzarella was Berlin’s leading runner on offense.
“It is very hard being the single running back when you have three good running backs down,” Mazzarella said. “I was hoping my line would help me out and have good blocks, but the way New Britain’s defense ran it, it was just very hard for me to run the ball.”
The Redcoats were not only missing three running backs, but they were also missing two defensive linemen.
“We were missing five starters, that’s a lot,” Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz said. “But I thought still with players on the field, they were all good enough to win the game.”
Berlin’s strength comes with its defensive line. It was evident that something was clearly missing in Friday night’s 51-6 loss against the Hurricanes.
“We just have to cover our gaps and just fill them up,” linebacker Dominic Scarano said. “Everyone has to win their individual battles, that’s all it is. We have to tackle, we just have to wrap up, rally to the ball, play Berlin football.”
“Two of our D-linemen weren’t out there,” Aresimowicz said. “And we were missing our safety. Zach Hrubiec is a force; he’s one of our best players, in my opinion, in the state. When he’s not on the field, it’s that much harder.”
With back-to-back losses the Redcoats are now getting ready for the state playoffs, which take place in a week and a half. There is lots to improve on, with the little time they have.
“Last week I think we played a lot better. This week we got worse, and we just have to improve. I just told them out in the field, I’m angrier right now for the 51-6 loss not because we lost, but because I saw the kids that I love not play up to their full potential, and we gotta fix that,” Aresimowicz said.