Newington football will look to start the year 3-0 when it hosts Farmington on Friday at Alumni Field.
The Nor’easters picked up wins against Enfield and Manchester to start the season, and a victory over the River Hawks will count as their best start since the 2007 season. Newington finished with a 9-1 regular-season record that year.
Against Manchester on Sept. 17, the Nor’easters’ offense lit up in its 52-42 win. Quarterback Paddy Brown threw for 275 yards and five touchdowns, while the running game combined for nearly 300 yards and two scores.
Through two games, Newington has averaged 214.5 passing yards per game and 236.5 rushing yards per game. Clearly, the Nor’easters haven’t had trouble producing points and their rushing capabilities combined with a strong arm under-center make their attack hard to stop.
“Because we’re so young, we have so many different pieces and players that can really go out and make plays,” Newington coach Jason Pace said during the preseason.
Brown has thrown for 429 yards and eight touchdowns while compiling a 107.7 QB rating. Running backs Austyn Howe, Shakir Smith and Luca Corvino have all surpassed 100 rushing yards already, with Smith averaging 135 yards per game and Howe at 94.5 per game.
Howe and Josiah Ross lead Newington’s receiving corps with seven receiving touchdowns between the two while Charles Judge Blair has a single reception score.
This Friday, the Nor’easters will be taking on a Farmington team that hasn’t had nearly the same amount of success finding the end zone.
The River Hawks have totaled 28 points and have allowed 73 through its first two weeks. In their most recent game against E.O. Smith, they lost 31-7. Three turnovers (two interceptions, fumble) were the difference in that game as the Panthers earned its first victory of the season.
Quarterback Kevin Ives is 8-for-13 for 63 yards and a touchdown in one game played for Farmington. Matt Olson and Luke Watson make up its running backs and each of them have picked up a rushing touchdown, while receiver Ryan Parker leads the River Hawks with five receptions and a touchdown.
In total, Farmington has created 145 yards of offense during its 0-2 start to the season.
The contest will be the first meeting between both schools since 2018. The River Hawks won that game, 28-7.
“It really came down to the mistakes that we made,” Jason Pace said after the loss. “We beat ourselves. If you look at the penalties we had, the mistakes we made, we just can’t stay in football games making those kinds of mistakes.”
The year before, the Nor’easters took down Farmington with a 26-20 victory.
Currently the 10th-ranked team in Class L, Newington has a chance to put itself in great position with a win on Friday. The back end of the Nor’easters schedule will feature games against Berlin, Platt, Windsor and Wethersfield, so continuing to build that confidence before heading into the tough part of the schedule will be key.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.