NEWINGTON - A battle between two unbeatens will be broken tonight when the Newington football team hosts Platt.
Both enter Week 3 with a 2-0 record and while the Indians came away with a 26-20 win over Farmington last Friday night, weren’t thrilled with their overall play. They hope to correct those issues tonight.
“Coming off of a rough week last week,” Newington free safety Luke Pappalardo said, “Although we did win, we didn’t have our best game, we didn’t have the best week of practice. Moving forward, we’re definitely preparing better. We have to work harder in practice and that’s what we’ve been doing. Working in the weight room hard and we’re just get ready for [tonight].”
And Newington quarterback Robert Sanchez expects the matchup a good one, even though Platt won last year’s meeting 20-14.
“They’re in our conference, in our division,” Sanchez said. “But I know there’s some players to watch out for.”
The Panthers do have plenty of playmakers on offense and have the points to show for it. Last week against Windham, Platt won 47-20. Panthers quarterback Aurelio Marinelli leads the offense. He completed 12-for-17 passes for 142 yards with two touchdowns last week. But it will be junior running back Ethan Dudley, Newington will have to account for the most. Dudley carried the ball 19 times for 207 yard and three scores against Windham.
“The running backs are good,” Pappalardo said. “They have a good secondary, they’re fast guys, and they’re athletic. We know what we’re up against and we know what we got, and what we have to do.”
Offensively, the Indians are looking for a fast start. In order to do so, Newington will have been able to mix in the passes and runs successfully and Sanchez said they started breaking down the Panthers’ film Saturday morning.
“We’re looking out for what their defense coverage they’re in, if they man up, if they off coverage and stuff like that,” Sanchez said.
But the Indians are confident heading into tonight’s game and the new coaching staff has certainly helped in that area.
“One thing that has been working really well is the fact that we have a new coaching staff,” “They make an effort to bond with us and understand what we can do and what we can’t do,” Sanchez said. “For play calls, what side is a good side to go to, it’s kind of just coaches and play calling has been our best way to go. We expect certain things out of coaches and they expect the same thing out of us.”
“I think that we are all coming together as one, we’re meshing well, and trusting one another,” Pappalardo said.
This game, however, will be determined by what is done under the lights on the football field.
“We’re 2-0, they’re 2-0 and we have to fight to survive,” Sanchez said.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org