NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain Golden Hurricanes find themselves at 1-2 on the heels of a 28-14 loss to Danbury on Friday. Despite the two-game skid, the Canes have given fans reason to believe they’re much improved from a season ago when they finished 1-9.
However, simply showing flashes of improved play won’t be enough for New Britain to compete in a currently-muddled CCC Tier 2.
The bar was set high at Middletown in Week 1 with a 38-25 win which was dominated by the running back tandem of Cam Bond and Cayden Hill. The offense has been working to find their edge as well as fight the war of attrition early in the season to be able to post those numbers again.
What has flown under the radar, however, is the opportunistic nature of New Britain’s defense to this point. That side of the ball has forced seven takeaways through the first three weeks of 2022. The Hurricanes have four turnovers on downs, two interceptions and one fumble recovery to their credit thus far.
New Britain is also one of just two teams in their league, along with Windsor, who are yet to allow more than 28 points in a game. Their three opponents to this point – Middletown, Windsor and Danbury – are currently averaging 32.3 points in games not against the Hurricanes, compared to 26.3 against New Britain.
Despite the big plays the defense has been able to make through three games, Canes head coach Isaiah Boddie isn’t ready to declare them the ’85 Bears just yet.
“I thought there was some good stuff and some stuff we’ve got to work on,” Boddie said. “28 points is still a lot, and there’s still things we’ve got to work on defensively in order for us to get the next game.”
On Friday, the defense was able to set the tone in the first quarter, but the offense was unable to piggyback on their efforts. A pair of fourth-and-1 stuffs gave New Britain the ball back twice in the early going. The offense, however, struggled with timing and execution most of the night which led to a safety and two punts for that side of the ball in the first quarter.
New Britain also passed up an opportunity to get the offense started by fumbling the opening kickoff.
“We’ve got to do a better job offensively and special teams-wise getting [the defense] better opportunities to make stops,” Boddie said.
The biggest culprit on Friday that stood between the Canes and a win were the penalties. By Boddie’s count, New Britain accrued more than 200 yards in penalties. The offense had their fair share of false starts and procedural penalties to back them up behind the sticks more than a handful of times.
Now that New Britain has seen the potential both sides of the ball can play to, they’ll need to figure a way to put them together for a full four quarters. Next up is Wethersfield this Friday who was able to take down Windsor earlier in the season.