Newtown High School’s football team shut out its third South-West Conference opponent with a 37-0 triumph over host Bethel, on the natural grass, on October 6.
Although on the surface the turning point of the game may seem to be Newtown jumping out to an early lead, it could be argued a goal-line stand midway through the second quarter was as big a sequence as any in this contest.
The Nighthawks, following a Wildcat interception to the one yard line, stuff the run three straight times before Matt Dubois broke up a fourth down pass attempt in the front of the end zone. That kept the Hawks ahead 16-0, a lead they would take into halftime.
“That was pretty impressive because that changes the dynamic of the game a little bit,” Newtown Coach Bobby Pattison said. “Our defense stepped up there. That was a big momentum shift for us.”
Newtown built its lead on a touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Kost to Riley Ward and A Dubois rush into the end zone, as well as a safety.
In the third quarter, Shea Talbot’s third down reception to move the chains led to Jack Miller’s seven yard TD run.
Mike Loomis recovered a fumble on the ensuing drive, and on the next play, Ward caught another touchdown pass, this one despite tight coverage.
Newtown’s two scores in span of 43 seconds made for a commanding 30-0 lead heading to the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, Kost connected with Harry Lucas on a 19 yard touchdown as Lucas jumped to pull the ball down near the back of the end zone.
Easton Ricks had a late-game interception to help preserve the shutout.
The Nighthawks improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in SWC play. The Hawks have outscored Pomperaug of Southbury, Brookfield, and Bethel a cumulative 78-0. The team’s lone defeat — to nonconference opponent Xavier of Middletown — was a 30-14 setback.
Pattison spoke to his players, after the game, about the importance of improving. The coach said missed assignments, penalties, and other mental mistakes will cost his team against strong teams, such as the next opponent, Shelton.
“We’re four games in, we’re 3-1, we’re in a good position but from week to week we have to get better,” Pattison said. “We have the tough part of our schedule coming up.”
The Hawks host Shelton at Blue & Gold Stadium, on Friday, October 13, beginning at 7 pm.
Shelton, like Xavier, is in the Southern Connecticut Conference. Shelton is 4-1, and is a team Newtown has become a bit familiar with. The teams met in the state playoffs in each of the last couple of seasons, with Shelton coming out on top both times.
“They’ve got big players, they’ve got athletes. We’ve got to get ready,” Pattison said.
Read more about the win over Bethel on the October 13 print edition of The Bee.