For the first time in over a year, Monday practice at Bethel was on the upbeat side.
The Wildcats snapped a 13-game skid that dated back to last September on Friday as a 28-18 triumph over Law validated the hard work the team has put in despite the lack of success on the field.
Morgan Haskett had a pair of touchdown runs while Kyle McLoughlin and Nick Crouse also scored on the groound. Bethel (1-5) got late interceptions from Mike Reseska and Antonio Jackson to seal the win.
“The kids were ecstatic,” said Wildcats coach Jason Gill. “They worked really hard; they had a choice at 0-5, they could have packed it in but they practiced even harder. I couldn’t be happier with their dedication.”
The ground game paved the way as the offensive line group blocked cohesively, Gill said. There were no big plays against the Lawmen, but consistently churning out yardage and taking advantage of several mistakes — including a fumbled kickoff — was enough to earn the win. An overall approach to team football was one of the reasons for the triumph.
“I think we were good all phases,” Gill said. “We we really good on special teams; we played as a team in every aspect.”
The possible turning point came three weeks earlier against New Fairfield, when a late drive was all that separated the Wildcats from potentially forcing overtime. A 28-20 loss provided hope the elusive win was around the corner.
“The way we played against New Fairfield was (big),” Gill said. “We played as a team and as coaches we kept referring back to that game where if you play the way you played against New Fairfield, nothing is impossible. The kids have worked hard
Up next for the Wildcats is a trip to neighboring Barlow for a matchup with the 4-1 Falcons. Bethel nearly scored the upset last year in a 20-16 loss, and coming off a win the hosts will have to be on guard.
“Barlow is a good football team,” Gill said. “They run option very well and you have to be assignment-sure to play them. We have to do the the same things in practice this week that we did last week and be ready for Saturday.”
In addition to the Falcons, Bethel has New Milford, ND-Fairfield and Brookfield to close the season in search for a possible second win.