SIMSBURY- Last week’s win might have been an aberration for the New Britain football team.
At this point of the season, the only things constant for the Hurricanes are the number of mistakes and miscues that cost them the potential to walk off the football field with a victory. Count Friday night’s 33-22 loss to Simsbury (4-0) among them.
Poised to take its first lead of the game 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the fourth quarter after recovering a Trojan fumble, New Britain’s drive came to an unceremonious ending by its own doing.
The Hurricanes (1-3) were called for a personal foul that took them from the Trojans’ 6-yard line back to the 21. They ended up turning the ball over on downs and Simsbury turned a four-point lead into an 11-point advantage three minutes later on a two-yard run Dan Sohn. New Britain didn’t cross back over onto the Trojans’ side of the field the rest of the night.
“The penalties got us tonight,” said Hurricanes senior running back and wide receiver Tarik Hetmyer, who rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries, caught a 19-yard pass and threw for 42 yards.
But even with all of the mistakes, New Britain fought its way back from an early deficit and for a four-minute stretch traded blows with Simsbury thanks in part to Omary Payne and the running game, which looked a lot like last season when the Hurricanes were dominant
Payne finished with 183 yards and three touchdowns on three touchdowns, two of which went for 60-plus yards, as he left those in the stands silent as he juked and darted his way past the Trojans defenders.
Down 13-0 early in the second quarter, Payne broke off an 86-yard run on the first play of New Britain’s second drive. The senior tailback then followed it up with a 64-yard run on the first play of the Hurricanes’ next possession to cut Simsbury’s lead to 20-16 after a pair of 2-poitn conversions. Payne later added a 4-yard touchdown run in the third.
“Teams are expecting us to give up after a while,” Payne said. “But we just go out there and keep running hard. We can’t give up.”
The Hurricanes just didn’t have any answers for Simsbury three biggest playmakers in Sohn, Brendan Gaffney and quarterback Aiden Boeshans. For every New Britain touchdown, the Trojans responded in kind.
After Payne’s first touchdown cut the score to 13-8, Simsbury used a three-play, 42-yard drive capped off by a 16-yard Boeshans touchdown run to bring the score to 20-8. The quarterback scored on a 9-yard run on the Trojans’ next possession with 7:49 left in the second quarter. Sohn’s touchdown run later capped off the scoring.
Boeshans finished the game 6-for-11 passing with 126 yards and an interception, while rushing 13 times for 84 yards. Sohn carried the ball 13 times for 127 yards and Gaffney rushed for 42 yards on nine carries, caught a 27-yard pass and finished with two touchdowns - he returned the game’s opening kickoff 93 yards and scored on the next drive on a 3-yard run to put the Hurricanes in a 13-0 hole. He also picked off two passes.
“They went up and down, we went up and down a few times and scored, but the biggest thing was we had three or four guys hitting them and they’re running through [the tackles],” New Britain head coach Tebucky Jones said. “You can’t win a game that way. Tackling was a big problem. [Defense] took a step back tonight.”
Now, the Hurricanes will have to once again forget another tough loss and get ready to face Hall (2-1) which takes on Southington Saturday afternoon.
“We got a lot of work to do,” Jones said.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org