SOUTHINGTON >> Behind the career game of running back Tyler Hyde the No. 4 Southington Blue Knights ran past the No. 5 Norwich Free Academy Wildcats, 52-14 at home on Tuesday night.
“He ran like a man possessed,” said Southington head coach Mike Drury of his senior’s 155-yard, four touchdown performance. “He ran great today.”
Coming into the game the Wildcats knew they would have to contain the passing game of the Blue Knights led by Yale bound senior quarterback Stephen Barmore and they did early in the game, only allowing one completion in his first six attempts. The Blue Knights then turned to Hyde and the running game and had success as Hyde scored the first touchdown of the game from six-yards out.
“We came out passing and then we started to run and it worked great,” said Hyde. “They (offensive line) helped me get it done, the wide receivers blocked well.”
Wildcats’ head coach Jemal Davis knew that if the Blue Knights had success on the ground Southington would be able to go to its strength.
“They found something where they were able to hit the big play,” he said. “Those types of things you hope you don’t give up so then they can pass.”
After Hyde’s first touchdown run of six-yards the Blue Knights next three scoring possession came on three touchdown passes from Barmore to three different receivers, giving them a comfortable 31-0 lead in the third quarter before the Wildcats would find the end zone.
Norwich Free Academy senior quarterback Alexander Beaudreault found Ramel Williams in the end zone for the first of their two touchdown connections on the night.
Beaudreault went 16-29 for 187-yards but he was chased around all night by the Blue Knights defense that sacked him eight times.
“They did an outstanding job, it was a great defensive plan,” said Davis. “Their scheme defensively wise got their offense back on the field.”
The Wildcats were also without star senior running back, Marcus Outlow for the entire game, except one drive, because of an ankle injury. He only carried the ball only four times for 21-yards.
“We knew we had to play assignment football,” said Drury. “The defense played great.”
Hyde then added his second touchdown, 11-yards, in the third quarter and two more both from 39-yards out in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Last season the Blue Knights were eliminated at home against Glastonbury and that loss stayed with the players, including Hyde who said that all he could think of during the school day was the bad taste he still had in his mouth from last season.
“It feels great after losing to Glastonbury last season,” said Hyde. “We’re going to continue this throughout the playoffs.”
Southington will take on the No. 8 Ridgefield Tigers, who upset No. 1 Newton 35-33, on Saturday at 2 p.m. at West Haven, in the Class LL semifinals.
Southington 52 Norwich Free Academy 14
At Southington High School
Southington 3 21 7 21 – 52
NFA 0 0 7 7 – 14
S – 30-yard field goal by Kyle Smick
S – 6-yard run by Tyler Hyde (Smick kick good)
S – 50-yard pass from Stephen Barmore to Zachary Maxwell (Smick kick good)
S – 9-yard pass from Stephen Barmore to Alexander Jamele (Smick kick good)
S – 21-yard pass from Stephen Barmore to Joseph Daigle (Smick kick good)
NFA – 14-yard pass from Alexander Beaudreault to Ramel Williams (Jordon Martell kick good)
S – 11-yard run by Tyler Hyde (Smick kick good)
S – 39-yard by Tyler Hyde (Smick kick good)
NFA – 1-yard pass from Alexander Beaudreault to Ramel Williams (Martell kick good)
S – 39-yard run by Tyler Hyde (Smick kick good)
Passing Stats: S – Stephen Barmore 9-17, 166-yards, 3 touchdowns. NFA – Alexander Beaudreault 16-29, 187-yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception.
Rushing Stats: S – Tyler Hyde 14 for 155-yards, 4 touchdowns; Stephen Barmore, 6 for 11-yards; Zachary Maxwell 5 for 1-yard. NFA – Khaleed Exum-Strong 17 for 73-yards; Alrec Ricks 1 for 30-yards; Marcus Outlow 4 for 21-yards; Alexander Beaudreault 15 for 18-yards; Ramel Williams 3 for 6-yards; Da’Jon Uzzle 1 for 0-yards.
Receiving: S – Zachary Maxwell 1 catch for 50-yards, 1 touchdown; Alexander Jamele 4 catches for 49-yards, 1 touchdown; Joseph Daigle 2 catches for 27-yards, 1 touchdown; Kyle Borawski 1 catch for 27-yards; Jasen Rose 1 catch for 13-yards. NFA – Ramel Williams 8 catches for 92-yards, 2 touchdowns; Griffen Gooden 3 catches for 37-yards; Khaleed Exum-Strong 3 catches for 14-yards; Trevon Holland 2 catches for 10-yards; Daniel MacLean 1 catch for 10-yards.
Records: Southington 10-1 Norwich Free Academy 8-3.