WETHERSFIELD - The Newington football seniors never had the chance to have the Thanksgiving trophy in their grasp - until now.
For the first time since 2012, the Indians beat rival Wethersfield 17-7 Wednesday evening.
It took seven weeks and a bye in between for the Indians to come back out on top. After starting the season off to what could have been its best start since 2008, the Indians defeated Chicopee, Mass. (42-14) and Farmington (26-6).
Unfortunately for Newington, those were the only two wins it saw all season, up until Wednesday evening.
The Indians finally snapped their seven-game skid, after losing to Platt (36-14), Bristol Eastern (9-7), South Windsor (40-13), Bristol Central (20-17), Middletown (34-7), Maloney (41-10) and East Hartford (27-7).
Wednesday evening the Indians to do something they haven’t been able to do all year - finish.
“At times it has been frustrating because I feel like we were close on a lot of contests,” Newington head coach Jason Pace said. “A lot of contest we’re either leading or within a score at halftime and then it seems like in the second half we just can’t finish or something happens and it doesn’t go our way, or respond in the right way. [Wednesday] they could have easily been like, ‘here we go again,’ and lost it at the end, but they didn’t.”
The Indians scored twice in the second quarter. Dylan Nees-Fair rushed six yards into the end zone followed by a 19-yard field goal by AJ Ferreira three minutes later.
Wethersfield’s only touchdown came with 10:45 left in the first quarter, when Craig Elliott connected with Ryan Skelly for a 61-yard pass. Elliot finished the game 10-of-21 for 173 yards with three interceptions. Elliot was subbed in favor of Matthew Silver in the second half. He connected on 8 of his 24 passes with only 69 yards and two interceptions.
After a scoreless third quarter, quarterback Robert Sanchez set the tone for the rest of the game when he connected with Carlum Caldwell for a 44-yard passing touchdown with 8:41 left to go in the fourth quarter.
The Indians found the momentum they were looking for all season. Newington was able force two turnovers in the last six minutes of the game. Both Frazier and Sanchez intercepted passes thrown by Silver.
“It was a year where we were trying to get a foundation in place as a staff and our seniors helped us do that,” Pace said. “I know it didn’t necessarily equate to the amount of wins that we would have liked or hoped for, but at the same time we’re going to build on that. But I do have to look back and we like the way our seniors have fought. They have fought every single game so even if things didn’t go our way, we didn’t give up. They fought till the end.”