NEWINGTON â€“ A 22-point fourth quarter was the difference in Newington footballâ€™s 43-33 win over Berlin on Friday at Alumni Field.
Behind 27-21 after three quarters, the Norâ€™easters found the end zone three times in the final frame on a combination of rushing and receiving scores to pick up its fifth win of the season.
â€ś[Iâ€™m] proud of our seniors,â€ť Newington coach Jason Pace said. â€śIt was their Senior Night and they played it was their Senior Night tonight, they really led this team from the standpoint of making sure we brought it every single play, especially that second half, we came out with passion. Obviously it was a collective effort, some of the guys stepped up late in the game and made plays when we had to and that was the difference tonight instead of the last two weeks.â€ť
Seniors Austyn Howe and Shakir Smith totaled four touchdowns while juniors Josiah Ross and Everett Hillman each caught a TD pass for the Norâ€™easters. Howe, in particular, was all over the field, finishing with a rushing score, a reception score and a passing score.
The Redcoats received a tremendous game from Jamie Palmese, who scored all but one of Berlinâ€™s touchdowns on the evening. Berlinâ€™s senior running back concluded with more than 300 yards of total offense, including back-to-back rushing scores that measured more than 70 yards.
â€śHeâ€™s just a great kid,â€ť Redcoats coach Joe Aresimowicz said. â€śHe gives everything he can and he works really hard. One of the best players in the state in my opinion.â€ť
Berlin started the game strong, scoring on each of its three drives in the first half, but the Norâ€™easters responded defensively as the Redcoats produced 12 points over the final two quarters to Newingtonâ€™s 29.
â€śDefensively, we allowed 33 points so we have to clean some things up, but there were a few fourth down stops that we were able to make when we had to so that was key.â€ť
Palmeseâ€™s pair of lengthy touchdown runs were the only points the visitors put on the board in the last half.
â€śItâ€™s really starting to become a tale of two halves,â€ť Aresimowicz said. â€śWe really have to put an end to that, otherwise every game is going to end up this way. Weâ€™re going to go back to work on Monday and figure it out.â€ť
Berlin got on the board first with a 10-yard rush from Jonathan Dâ€™Amore as the only TD of the opening 12 minutes.
Smith scored on the Norâ€™easters first drive of the contest with a 3-yard score in the second quarter, before consecutive TDs from Palmese put the Redcoats ahead 21-7 late in the half.
In the red zone with less than five seconds remaining, Newington made it a one possession game on a touchdown passing play as time expired, a play that wound up sparking the hosts for the rest of the night.
The Norâ€™easters tied it on a bit of a trick play, as Howe tossed a 25-yard throw to Everett Hillman with 3:19 left in the third.
Each team went back and forth scoring until Smith and Howe both found the end zone on the ground in the fourth to make it 43-33 final.
â€śWe got our offense going again,â€ť Pace said. â€śThe last couple of weeks it seemed like it stalled in certain situations and we were able to really put it together.â€ť
Newington (5-2) will visit Platt next week while Berlin (3-4) will host Windsor.
Newington 43, Berlin 33
Berlin 7 14 6 6 â€“ 33
Newington 0 14 7 22 â€“ 43
B â€“ Dâ€™Amore 10 run, 6:22 (XP good)
N â€“ Smith 3 run, 11:08 (XP good)
B â€“ Palmese 15 catch from Miele, 7:21(XP good)
B â€“ Palmese 10 run, 2:52 (XP good)
N â€“ Howe 5 catch from Brown 0:02 (XP good)
N â€“ Hillman 25 catch from Howe, 3:19 (XP good)
B â€“ Palmese 75 run, 0:55 (XP missed)
N â€“ Ross 16 catch from Brown, 11:54 (XP good)
B â€“ Palmese 77 run, 11:31 (XP 2-point conversion failed)
N â€“ Smith 2 run, 6:55 (2-point conversion good)
N â€“ Howe 8 run, 2:44 (XP good)
Rushing â€“ Newington: Shakir Smith 20-60 2 TDs, Austyn Howe 6-46 TD
Berlin â€“ Jamie Palmese 23-257 3 TDs, Jonathan Dâ€™Amore 2-12 TD
Passing â€“ Newington Padraig Brown 22-32-192 2 TDs, Howe 1-1-25 TD
Berlin: Lorenzo Miele 9-15-104 TD
Receiving: Howe 7-72 TD, Josiah Ross 11-73 TD, 1-25 TD
Berlin: Palmese 2-47 TD, Kyle Melville 1-20, Toby Lavender 1-15