MERIDEN — Newington head football coach Jason Pace made it clear what his team had to do to be successful to come out with a win against Platt Friday night — execute the game plan.
The Indians didn’t.
It was a night Newington found itself competitive at times once again, but just like in its previous loss, lacked the discipline to stop the Panthers, who scored the first 31 points of the night — all in the first half — as the Indians were shut out 38-0 at Falcon Field.
“We didn’t come out very good,” Pace said. “We didn’t play well tonight. We need to work on getting better and we didn’t take steps in the right direction tonight.”
Newington's lack of attention to detail that hurt the most, be it blown coverage or missed assignments, was allowing Platt (3-0) to rack up 311 yards of total offense in the first 24 minutes.
Panthers running back Roberto Salas and quarterback Lozano Sanson proved to be the differences in the game.
Salas ran for 241 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Sanson completed 7-of-14 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for another.
The Indians (1-2), meanwhile, managed just 116 total yards as a team. Dylan Nees-fair has 55 of those yards on 14 carries.
“Right now we’re just not ready to compete at this level,” said Pace, whose team was held to seven points or less for the second time in as many weeks. “We need to do a better job to prepare and make sure we’re ready to compete against teams like this.”
It took a little over six minutes into the game for Platt to get on the board, but after that, the Indians didn’t have any answers.
Sean Bell Jr. and Salas both scored in the first quarter on short runs. Bell’s was from four yards out, while Salas found the end zone with 2:43 remaining in the period. Bell finished the night with 42 yards rushing of his own.
Already down 12-0 entering the second quarter, Newington gave up touchdown 10 seconds in when Sanson hit Josh Baker for a 49-yard strike. It was the first of two touchdown catches for the wideout, who scored on a 21-yarder less than two minutes later.
After his own rushing score near the end of the first half, Sanson polished off the night with a 46-yard passing touchdown to wide receiver Frederick D’aniello to bring the score to the final 38-0 in the third.
“We didn’t come out with anything,” Indians quarterback Nick Pestrichello. “We came in knowing we weren’t going to win and it showed on the field. We really have to bring it next week. There’s really no excuses. Everyone messed up.”
“We didn’t execute,” Newington linebacker Julian Mulero said. “We had a game plan coming in and I feel like we just got intimidated. We cannot play scared.”
The Indians will try to get back on track next Friday at South Windsor (3-0). The Bobcats were blown out by New Britain 44-0 earlier in the day and have given up at least 40 points each week.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PLATT 38, NEWINGTON 0
At Falcon Field
Platt (2-0) 12 19 7 0 — 38
Newington (1-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
P—Sean Bell Jr. 4 run (kick fail), 5:57
P—Robert Salas 2 run (kick fail), 2:43
P—Jake Baker 49 pass from Lorenzo Sanson (kick fail), 11:50
P—Baker 21 pass from Sanson (kick fail), 9:51
P—Sanson 4 run (Joey Salafia kick), .12
P—Frederick D’aniello 46 pass from Sanson (Salafia kick), 8:23
Rushing— Newington: Dylan Nees-fair 14-55, Izayah Ciarcia 6-12, Zach Demarco 7-25, Nick Pestrichello 2-5. Platt: Roberto Salas 18-241-TD, Sean Bell Jr. 8-42-TD.
Passing—Newington: Pestrichello 5-15-16. Platt: Lozano Sanson 7-14-134-3TD.
Receiving—Newington: Nees-fair 3-5, Keenan Esau 1-9 Jordan Alexander 1-2. Platt: Jake Baker 4-77-2TD, Frederick D’aniello 2-50-TD, Tommy Lillard 1-9.