NEWINGTON – Seniors Austyn Howe and Shakir Smith spearheaded Newington football in its 28-20 win over Wethersfield on Wednesday at Alumni Field.
The Nor’easters’ duo combined for all four scores to lead the hosts to the season-ending victory a day before Thanksgiving.
“All week we talked about, let’s do it for the seniors, let’s do it for the seniors, the seniors are going to carry us and they didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure,” Newington coach Jason Pace said. “We talk about Austyn and Shakir, but Charles (Judge Blair) played well, a receiver, and on the offensive line, Jordan Middlebrooks, Sam Cultrera and Miguel Rivera, they all contributed. It really was a collective effort.”
Howe scored the game’s first touchdown on a nine-yard sweep with about four minutes left in the first quarter, before No. 8 snagged a long flea-flicker pass from Padraig Brown with 50 seconds remaining to put the Nor’easters out front 14-0 after 12 minutes.
“We’ve been able to do that, we’ve been able to score points (early),” Pace said. “But our defense played well. We like a couple big plays here or there but overall it was a complete team effort.”
The Eagles got on the board in the second quarter with a 10-yard rush from Torronce Smith, but Newington’s Shakir Smith reupped its lead to two touchdowns five minutes later with a five-yard score. The Nor’easters took a 21-7 lead into halftime following the successful extra point.
Neither team found the end zone in the third, however three touchdowns were scored in the final frame.
Nor’easters’ Smith added the fourth and final touchdown of the night on a 15-yard run about midway through the quarter for a 28-7 lead.
Wethersfield made it interesting with a nine-yard touchdown catch from Ethan Lemos with less than minute remaining in the game, and then got the ball back after a successful onside kick.
The Eagles cut it to a one possession game on a Hail Mary touchdown with two seconds on the clock. The visitors tried another onside kick, but the clock ran out by the time possession could be determined.
The win brings Newington’s final record to 7-3, while Wethersfield fell to 6-4.
“Any time in this league, that’s very competitive, you can win seven games, successful year,” Pace said. “Now they set the expectation and the underclassmen have to have that bar to live up to and our goal is to exceed that next year.”
Wednesday’s result also moves the overall Thanksgiving series record to 24-20-1 favoring Newington.
Newington 28, Wethersfield 20
Wethersfield 0 7 0 13 – 20
Newington 14 7 0 7 – 28
N – Austyn Howe 9 run, 3:58 (XP good)
N – Howe 45 catch from Padraig Brown, 0:50 (XP good)
W – Torronce Smith 5 run, 6:10 (XP good)
N – Shakir Smith 5 run, 1:12 (XP good)
N – Smith 15 run, 7:55 (XP good)
W – Ethan Lemos 9 catch from Wil Bankowski, 0:58 (XP good)
W – Bankowski 45 pass, 0:02 (XP missed)