The Newington football team will have a tough test at hand when it travels to battle Windsor on Friday.
At 7-1, the Warriors are inside the top eight of Class L while the Nor'easters, (6-2), need to close out the season with two more wins to jump into a playoff spot.
Newington enters the matchup winners of two straight after beating Berlin and Platt, but Windsor has picked up five consecutive victories. The Warriors' only loss this season came against St. Joseph's in September.
“It doesn't get any easier,” Nor'easters coach Jason Pace said after their win over Berlin. “We have [some] tough opponents remaining and each week we're going to prepare like we do every week, the most important game of the season.”
During the 2019 season, Newington beat Windsor, 30-22, in both teams' season-opener. Friday's contest will be the first game between the two programs since then and it'll carry significant postseason implications with it.
A loss would hurt the Nor'easters moreso, however, the Warriors would likely end up outside the top eight should they lose. It's hard to say just how far Newington would move up with a win, but it would be putting itself within striking distance of a slot with just one game remaining.
Two years ago, these two teams finished with the same record at 7-3, however just the Nor'easters made it to the Class L postseason as they accumulated a higher point average. Given that Newington beat Windsor that same season, this year's bout will surely be a spirited one.
Through eight games, the Warriors have looked strong on offense while spreading out its attack. Windsor has tallied 1084 rushing yards and 1888 receiving yards for 35 total touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Elijah Cromartie appears to be a dual-threat for the Warriors as he's picked up 17 passing scores and a team-high eight rushing Tds.
After Cromartie, four other Windsor running backs have secured scores while 10 receivers have caught at least one touchdown throw. The Warriors' deep offense averages 317 yards and 29 points per game.
Last week against the Redcoats, Windsor used the air a lot with 289 passing yards, yet it produced four rushing Tds for the second week in a row.
Their defense is nothing to sneeze at either as the Warriors have only allowed more than 20 points in a game twice, and have also blanked two teams. Windsor's recorded 10 interceptions as well and have only played one game where it didn't register a pick.
Newington will need an extremely clean game in order to pull out a victory that has the potential to make or break its 2021 season.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.