SOUTHINGTON - The Southington football team may be undefeated heading into Week 7, but it saw plenty of things that needed to be corrected when reviewing last week’s film against New Britain.
“We definitely didn’t play as good as we wanted to and we had a great week of practice,” cornerback Sammy Thomson said. “I think we came well prepared, it’s just we didn’t fly around and break down the tackle. This week, everyone has to get to the ball and make one-on-one tackles.”
Last week, however, might have been the best thing for Southington (6-0) as the second-ranked Blue Knights enter what will be their most intriguing matchup of the season as they host East Hartford (5-1) tonight.
The Hornets come in with plenty of momentum. Winners of its last five, East Hartford has shown an affinity for winning by comfortable leads as well as closing out the close ones. Three times during their streak, the Hornets have won by six points or less, two of which - in Week 2 against Simsbury and Week 5 against Glastonbury - have been decided by two points. The other two games were decided by 31 points or more.
The one consistent has been East Hartford’s scoring, which has put up at least 31 points in each game since its Week 1 loss to No. 13 South Windsor. The Hornets’ defense, on the other hand, has given up an average of 24 points per game, boosted by a shutout of Hall last week.
“They have some great playmakers,” Southington head coach Mike Drury said. “Offensively, they’re trying to get the ball to their athletes in space and play in some condensed sets and run the football. They have some size up front. They’ll get the quarterback involved in the running game and then hit you more vertically down the field.”
One of those playmakers, and perhaps the most dangerous, is running back/linebacker Kevon Jones, an UConn commit. Listed at 6-foot-3, 224 pounds, the senior has a knack for being around the football, leading his team in both rushing and total tackles.
East Hartford’s offense also features a dual-threat quarterback in junior Raquan Tompkins as well as his favorite target in receiver Jaquan Allen, who possesses plenty of speed to run by defenders. Against Glastonbury, Allen had six catches for 193 yards and three touchdowns.
“Their QB is really good at throwing the deep ball, but he can run the ball too,” Thomson said. “If he gets out of the pocket, we have to contain him. The wide receivers they have are good at going up for contested balls, so hopefully we’ll swat the ball down instead of trying to go for an interception every play and stop them right from the beginning.”
But in a game like this, what is going to make the Blue Knights have a usual Southington performance or another difficult week is the ability to do the little things right, Drury said.
“We have to win the turnover battle against this team,” Drury said. “We have to win the field position battle against this team. They have too many athletes, too many playmakers. We have to tackle and we have to block. We try to simply it down to those things. That’s the key.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach