NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain football team knew Friday night might be the last time it got the chance to play at Veterans Stadium this season. So the Hurricanes made sure to put on a show.
Shawn Robinson ran for 273 yards and four touchdowns and Tarik Hetmyer finished with 190 total yards - 128 rushing - and two touchdowns as New Britain rolled past Enfield 48-6 in a torrential downpour on Senior Night.
“It’s emotional,” said Robinson, who had touchdown runs of 68, 3, 33 and 83 yards. “It’s one of those wins where we just have to be proud. We worked so hard for everything we got. We’ve earned everything and we’re just proving to the state that we demand some respect and it’s going to be a hard playoff game for whoever we play.”
The victory keeps the Hurricanes (8-1) in the No. 7 spot in the Class LL rankings with an important showdown next week against Berlin (9-0), the current top seed in Class M, next week at Sage Park. The Redcoats are coming off a 42-0 win over Rocky Hill.
“First of all, I haven’t seen 8-1 for a minute at New Britain,” left guard Juliano Morales said. “That’s just a great feeling for us as seniors to bring this program back to where it needs to be and to just keep going from here on out. We’re excited for next week and we need to start off like we did against East Hartford and tonight against Enfield.”
The rain had little impact on the Hurricanes, who rushed for 433 total yards, Friday night and by halftime the score was 35-0 to set up the running clock for the final two quarters.
It took just three plays for New Britain to score on its first possession of the game when Robinson waited for the offensive line to open up a hole and ran down the sideline 68 yards.
It was a common occurrence in the first half.
Robinson scored on two of the next three possessions and ran for 156 yards over the first 24 minutes. His touchdown runs of three and 33 yards came at the 9:39 and 6:16 marks of the second quarter to all but put the game out of reach for the Eagles (3-6).
Center Brandon Rivera’s 8-yard fumble recovery on a drive that started at the Enfield 16-yard line was the score sandwiched between the tailbacks’ second-quarter touchdowns. Hetmyer then capped off the first half with a 5-yard run four plays after he caught a 55-yard pass from Tahje Yopp to bring the score to 35-0 with the point after.
The Eagles, on the other hand, came away with 23 yards of total offense over the first half of play and quarterback Cody Stegar was sacked four times. The only Enfield touchdown came on an 82-yard kickoff return by Brendan DeBarber with 8:57 left in the game.
“It starts upfront and the guys upfront are doing a good job right now,” said Hurricanes head coach Tebucky Jones, whose team has now rushed for 2,988 yards and 45 touchdowns this season. “Every week it seems like guys are getting stronger and better and pushing guys back. The defensive line on the other side of the ball is doing the same thing.”
The second half played out much like the first: with Robinson breaking off a big run.
The senior took the first play of the third quarter 83 yards up New Britain’s sideline. His night was done after two more carries and Hetmyer finished off night. The junior ran for 111 of his 128 yards after halftime, including a 66-yard run in the fourth to finish off the game.
“We’re coming out to prove everyone wrong,” Robinson said. “We know we have a good chance at making the playoffs this year and we only got one team left in our way. We’re making playoffs.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW BRITAIN 48, ENFIELD 6
At New Britain
Enfield (3-6) 0 0 6 0 - 6
New Britain (8-1) 6 29 7 6 - 48
NB-Shawn Robinson 68 run (run failed), 4:54
NB-Robinson 3 run (Robinson run), 9:39
NB-Brandon Rivera 8 fumble recovery (run failed), 7:45
NB-Robinson 33 run (Tarik Hetmyer run), 6:16
NB- Hetmyer 5 run (Tyree Pinnock kick), 1:25
NB-Robinson 83 run (Pinnock kick), 10:41
E-Brendan DeBarber 82 kickoff return (pass failed), 8:57
NB-Hetmyer 66 run (kick failed), 2:12
Rushing-New Britain: Shawn Robinson 12-273-4TD, Tarik Hetmyer 13-128-2TD, Tahje Yopp 1-22, Chris Maldonado 3-15, Kaiyon Gunn 3-3, team (-8). Enfield: Kesean Mason 6-19, Wyatt Raymond 1-(-7), Cody Stegar 12-(-21).
Passing-New Britain: Tahje Yopp 1-1-22, Monte Dickson 1-2-7. Enfield: Stegar 7-11-17.
Receiving-New Britain: Hetmyer 2-62. Enfield: Brendan DeBarber 1-7, Raymond 3-4, Cameron LeBlanc 1-4, Mason 1-1, Ethan Amburn 1-1.