MERIDEN - The Newington football team hasn’t had the best of luck at Falcon Field in Meriden.
And Thursday was no different.
The Indians let Maloney score six different times throughout the duration of the game, which quickly developed into an ugly 43-20 loss.
Unlike its previous blowout last week, the Indians were able to score in the first quarter, but then proceeded to surrender the next 43 points, all while seemingly repeating many of the same mistakes that plagued them in early weeks of the season.
There were missed tackles, blown coverages, and an interception that put the Spartans on the 28-yard line.
“From the start, we didn’t come out well,” Newington head coach Jason Pace said. “We started with an interception second play of the game and then after that they scored right off the bat. When you put yourself in a hole like that it’s hard to fight back. But I thought we did.”
Maloney, however, came out of the gates firing, scoring its first touchdown seconds into the first quarter. Spartans’ running back James Tarver rushed 28 yards on his first carry of the game into the end zone.
Newington’s first touchdown of the game came near the end of the quarter. With less than a minute on the clock, and 13 plays later, the Indians were inside the red zone with just a yard to go. Newington’s Keenan Esau rushed it in for the score.
This past week, Pace told the Indians sustaining drives was going to be the key to success. It came in spurts, but failed to be consistent throughout the night.
“Last week we barely moved the ball,” Newington defensive end Eric Sims said. “This week we had a 17-play drive, a 14-play drive, we were able to score on a really good team so it just shows we’re improving.”
It didn’t take long for the Spartans to react. Still in the first quarter, with nearly 10 seconds remaining, Tarver ran in for another score, but this time from 50 yards out. In just the first half, Tarver carried the ball four times for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Maloney scored twice more in the second quarter. First was on a 13-yard pass from quarterback Elliot Good to wide receiver Vincent Martinez midway through. Good then ran one in the 1-yard line with 2:21 remaining in the half.
“We knew how good our opponent was,” Newington receiver Izayah Ciarcia said. “We went over a game plan to try to stop them, but it didn’t end up going so well.”
Going into the third, Maloney held a 29-6 lead over Newington. The Spartans added to the score with a 10-yard rushing touchdown from Darien Murray.
Newington’s second touchdown of the game came after a 10-yard holding penalty on the Spartans. The Indians were 15 yards away from the end zone when quarterback Nick Pestrichello connected with Ciarcia for the score with 1:35 left in the third quarter.
“I thought we fought at times,” Pace said. “I saw more fight and energy tonight than I saw last week, so that was a positive, but still not where we want to be to be a successful football program.”
Both teams scored in the final quarter. For the Spartans it was a 25-yard passing touchdown two minutes into the quarter and for the Indians it was a 25 yarder of their own on a pass from Pestrichello to Gunnar Johnson.
Maloney improves to 7-1 on the season whereas Newington falls to 3-5. The Indians tough schedule continues next week with a matchup against, currently 13th-ranked East Hartford on Friday.
MALONEY 43, NEWINGTON 20
At Falcon Field, Meriden
Newington (3-5) 6 0 6 8 - 20
Maloney (7-1) 16 13 0 0 - 43
M-James Tarver 28 run (Tarver run), 11:17
N-Keenan Esau 2 run (kick fail), 53.6
M-Tarver 49 run (Vincent Martinez pass), 13.6
M-Vincent Martinez 13 pass from Elliots Good (Good pass), 6:21
M-Good 1 run (kick fail), 2:21
M-Darien Murray 10 run (Martinez kick), 8:41
N-Izayah Ciarcia pass 15 from Nick Pestrichello (Pass failed), 1:35
M-Jaylon Nixon 25 pass from Good (Martinez kick), 10:08
N-Gunnar Johnson pass 25 from Pestrichello (Dylan Nees-fair run), 5:26