Football Defensive domination
BROOKFIELD — For of the outstanding performances Newtown’s defense has turned in so far this season, Friday night’s effort against Brookfield might rank at the top of the list.
The Nighthawks’ fourth shutout of the season was finished in style as a fumble recovery in the final minute sealed a 21-0 win over the rival Bobcats. Newtown forced three turnovers, which is more than the amount of first downs it allowed (two).
The No. 7 team in the GameTimeCT/Register Top 10 poll remained perfect at 8-0.
“It was a good, tough battle but I feel like we dominated,” Nighthawks senior defensive lineman Joe Zeller said. “I don’t think we’ve had a game like this so far this year. It was a good challenge and a good experience.”
The strong effort was required because the Bobcats virtually matched the Nighthawks stop for stop through three-and-a-half quarters. A pair of Dan Mason touchdowns in the final six minutes sealed the win, but Brookfield held the ball early in the fourth quarter trailing 7-0.
“I have two-way players and I love the effort that my defense put on tonight,” Brookfield coach Rich Angarano said. “At the end of the third quarter it’s 7-0 and we’re in a football game; it could go either way, we just didn’t get anything going.”
Brookfield forced a pair of first-half fumbles — including one with Newtown in the red zone — to keep within striking distance despite not earning a first down until the first drive in the third quarter.
Mason scored from one and four yards out to take his rushing touchdown total to 23 this year. Newtown scored on its opening possession, as a near eight-minute drive was capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Luke Melillo to Riley Ward.
“Most of our offensive line goes one way and our defensive line does too,” Newtown coach Bob Pattison said. “I think that wears teams down. The NFA game was similar where it was close at half and we asserted our will in the second half.”
The loss for Brookfield (6-2) puts it in win-out mode to possibly earn a Class M playoff spot. The Bobcats host Weston (5-2) in a virtual playoff game for both schools.
“Weston is a very good football team and we’re going to have to played tonight, and obviously better on offense,” Angarano said.
“We’ve had some games where we fumbled but fell on it,” Pattison said. “Tonight we turned the ball over and we didn’t take care of the football. Brookfield created some chaos for us and they probably should have had an interception. Our kids came through and finished.”
NEWTOWN 21, BROOKFIELD 0
NEWTOWN 7 0 0 14 — 21
BROOKFIELD 0 0 0 0 — 0
N—Riley Ward 24 pass Luke Melillo (Devin O’Connell kick)
N—Dan Mason 1 run (O’Connell kick)
N—Mason 4 run (O’Connell kick)
Records: Newtown 8-0, Brookfield 6-2.