NEWINGTON - It has been three years since the Newington football team has seen East Hartford.
In their last matchup, back in 2014, the Indians managed to outscore the Hornets 20-12. This time around could be quite different.
No. 14 East Hartford comes in having won seven straight, its only blemish on the season a Week 1 41-14 loss to now 19-19th-ranked South Windsor. Newington, meanwhile, has lost its last six after starting the season 2-0.
“Their record tells most of the story,” running back Aveontae Frazier said. “They’re a good football team. We played them at a younger age and since then they’ve gotten bigger. They’re pretty physical. They have the size in post possessions, especially their running back. But at least we have a feel for who they are. So we know they’re good, we just have to be prepared.”
Stopping running back/linebacker Kevon Jones will be a top priority. A UConn commit and listed at 6-foot-3, 224 pounds, Jones collected 117 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in the Hornets’ 28-7 win against New Britain last Friday.
East Hartford’s offense also features a dual-threat quarterback in junior Raquan Tompkins, who completed 6 of his 11 passes for 105 yards while he rushed another 60. Overall, Jones and Tompkins were responsible for three of the Hornets’ four touchdowns against New Britain.
“They’re probably going to be one of the better teams that we play this season,” free safety Luke Pappalardo said. “We just have to make sure we work hard. We can’t fall asleep like we have in other games, give up halfway through. We have to keep pushing.”
“It seems like every week we’re playing good teams,” Newington head coach Jason Pace said. “We’ve been there we just need to make sure we put an entire four quarter game together.”
And East Hartford has had little trouble putting points on the board, averaging 32.7 points per game. Newington’s defense, on the on the other hand, has given up 214 total points this season, an average of 26.8.
“Besides their record alone, them being able to beat a program like Southington (Week 6, 27-20) says a lot about what kind of team they have this year,” Pace said.
With only two games left in the regular season, the Indians want to end their season with some positives. Newington will see its rival, Wethersfield (3-5) for the last game of the season.
“This rivalry is new to me,” Pace said. “I hear that it is a very emotional contest, the players already filled me in on what took place last year, which we’re going to make sure we avoid any situation like that. But we want to make sure we end with some momentum, some excitement for our program, some excitement for the end of our season just to show some growth from where we began and then where we ended.”