GREENWICH — Two touchdown passes from Nick Henkel, a 21-point first half and a dominant defensive performance added up to another win in its season-opener for the Brunswick School football team.
Henkel passed for 260 yards and also ran for a score in Brunswick’s convincing 28-7 win over host Hotchkiss School in an Erickson League matchup on Saturday. The victory marked the third straight year the Bruins won their season-opening game.
“We did very well for the first game of the season,” Bruins coach Jarrett Shine said. “Henkel and the passing game was great, we ran the ball well and our defense was strong.”
Protected well by his offensive line, the Bruins’ senior quarterback completed 18 of 23 passes in the winning effort. Brunswick limited Hotchkiss to 105 total yards of offense.
“Our defense looked really good,” Shine said. “Our guys put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, with Harrison Caponiti coming from the edge, along with Nick Mosher. And our cornerbacks covered very well.”
A 2-yard pass from Henkel to junior wide receiver Cornelius Johnson, followed by Chris Chavez’s successful point-after attempt gave the Bruins a 7-0 first-quarter lead. Henkel then connected with senior receiver Sean Amill for a 14-yard touchdown, putting Brunswick ahead, 14-0, in the opening quarter.
Henkel’s 10-yard run to the end zone put the Bruins up by three scores in the second quarter. Senior running back Michael Gottlieb scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter, putting the Bearcats in a 28-0 hole. Coached by Danny Smith, Hotchkiss scored its lone touchdown in the third quarter on a 1-yard run.
Brunswick held a 35-12 first down advantage on Hotchkiss and held the Bearcats to just 36 passing yards. However, 115 yards worth of penalties hurt the Bruins during certain parts of the game.
“We committed a lot of penalties on offense and we had a couple of touchdowns called back,” said Shine, whose squad was whistled for 12 infractions. “We made some mistakes, but we’re going to work on correcting them this week.”
Johnson caught five passes for 85 yards, Amill had six receptions for 115 yards and senior Jack Ocken rushed for 54 yards for the Bruins (1-0). Gottlieb added 45 yards on the ground for the victors. Shine credited Caponiti, Mosher, junior linebacker Nick Villis and senior safety Brennan Troy for helping lead the team’s effective defensive effort.
Up next for Brunswick is a showdown against Cheshire Academy Friday at 7 p.m. Cheshire defeated the Bruins in last season’s NEPSAC Wayne Sanborn Bowl.
“Cheshire is a very good opponent that has beaten us the past couple of years,” Shine said. “Our team is looking forward to the opportunity of playing them again. We know we have to play better against them than we did today.”
BRUNSWICK 28, HOTCHKISS 7
BRUNSWICK 14 7 7 0 — 28
HOTCHKISS 0 0 7 0 — 7
B — Cornelius Johnson 2 pass from Nick Henkel (Chris Chavez kick)
B — Sean Amill 14 pass from Henkel (Chavez kick)
B — Henkel 10 run (Chavez kick)
B — Michael Gottlieb 7 run (Chavez kick)
H — 1 yard run (kick converted)