NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain Golden Hurricanes showed flashes of how they played in their Week 1 victory at Middletown, but ultimately it was penalties and self-inflicted wounds that sunk them against the Danbury Hatters on Friday night.
“When you get over 200 yards in penalties it’s going to be extremely hard to win the game,” said New Britain head coach Isaiah Boddie. “That starts with us as a coaching staff. We’ve got to do a better job coaching that up in practice.”
False starts and pre-snap penalties were the main culprit for the Hurricanes tonight leading to the eventual 28-14 loss at the hands of the Hatters.
New Britain’s defense began to leave their mark on the game on Danbury’s second drive when they took their chances on a fourth-and-1 from the opponent’s 4-yard line. The Hurricanes stood tall to stuff the Hatters and get the ball back.
The success didn’t carry over to offense, however, for New Britain. A bad snap through the back of the end zone gave the ball back to the visitors as well as the first points of the night with the safety.
The Hurricanes’ defense continued to respond on the ensuing series. Danbury tried their luck on fourth-and-1 once again from New Britain’s 33 and were stuffed for their second failed fourth down try.
The defensive stand amounted to nothing as the Hatters regained possession with 40 seconds to go in the first quarter. Eight seconds into the second quarter, quarterback John Bardin hit Asher Jones for a 20-yard touchdown pass to build their lead up to nine points.
New Britain ran nearly six minutes off the clock on the ensuing drive which took them all the way down to the opponent 5-yard line. The Hurricanes marched 62 yards – 23 through the air and 39 on the ground – before being faced with a fourth-and-5. Quarterback Donavan Campbell was sacked on the try, turning the ball back to Danbury.
An interception by New Britain’s Cayden Hill amounted to nothing, giving the Hatters possession with 1:53 remaining in the half. On the first play from scrimmage, Cushi Perkins rushed for a 24-yard touchdown to build a 16-point lead with 1:45 to go in the half.
New Britain failed to gain any traction following the score. They punted away before a Hatter made contact with the ball on the return, and New Britain jumped on it first to regain possession with 30 seconds on the clock. Dameer Bailey made the visitors pay for their mistake with a 41-yard touchdown reception. He paced New Britain receivers with 51 yards and cut the halftime deficit to 10.
It was a quiet third quarter until the final moments when Bardin hit Jones for a 38-yard score, his second of the night. A missed extra point brought the score to 22-6.
The Canes ate up about six minutes of game time to start the fourth quarter despite the clock now working against them. Campbell and the Hurricanes were able to string together a few chunk plays to get deep into Danbury territory. The series ended with a two-yard touchdown rush from Cayden Hill which gave his side life. New Britain was within one score after the two-point conversion.
Danbury made sure to quickly silence the thought of a comeback with a 44-yard score to Jayden Leroy. New Britain was able to snuff out the two-point try, but they still trailed 28-14 with 4:33 to play.
It was too little too late for the Hurricanes as they fell to 1-2 on the season and 0-2 at home. They hit the road for the next three weeks and will begin the stretch against the Wethersfield Eagles next Friday at 7 p.m.