NEW BRITAIN >> Jasen Rose dropped back to pass on the game’s very first play from scrimmage Friday night and missed his receiver.
It would be one of the few passes the Southington quarterback failed to complete all night.
In what at times resembled one of those passing camps teams hold with their quarterbacks and receivers over the summer, Rose rebounded to complete 19 of his next 20 passes, five of them for touchdowns. At one point, the junior signal-caller notched 13 straight completions.
When the dust had settled, Rose had completed 30 of 36 passes for 360 yards and six touchdowns. He also ran for a score, as the No. 1-ranked Blue Knights rolled to a 54-20 victory over New Britain at Veterans Stadium.
Southington improved to 4-0, while New Britain fell to 3-2.
Rose, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder who has received scholarship offers from UConn, Boston College and West Virginia, seemed at times simply to be out playing catch with his receivers.
“You throw the ball to them, they make every catch,” he said. “They get the extra yards after them, too. It’s just incredible … You throw the ball and you know your receiver’s gonna make the play, that’s all you’ve got to have.”
Rose spread the wealth, too, connecting with six different receivers, all of whom had at least two catches. Austin Morin led the way with seven catches for 121 yards, while Matt Maxwell also hauled in seven grabs for 100 yards.
Having played tight end as a sophomore last year while current Yalie Stephen Barmore was at quarterback, Rose understands the receiver’s perspective, as well.
“Jay’s really progressing each week,” said Southington coach Mike Drury. “He’s been a quarterback his whole life, so it’s not a new position for him. But he’s running our offense with efficiency. He’s just playing and doing his job really well right now.”
About the only thing that bothered Drury on this night was a rash of penalties his team incurred, including a few that led almost directly to the Hurricane touchdowns.
“We’ve got to correct those things,” the coach said. “Those are things that don’t lose yards, they lose games.”
Rose connected with Morin for the game’s first score midway through the opening quarter, and later scampered in from 12 yards out on a keeper. Early in the second quarter, Rose began his streak of 13 straight completions during a drive that culminated with a seven-yard hook-up with Alex Jamele. And after Steven Hamel’s interception helped set up a 22-yard connection between Rose and Kyle Borawski with 6:44 left in the first half, it was 27-0 Blue Knights.
New Britain finally got on the scoreboard after a 10-play, 78-yard scoring drive was capped by Marcus Torres’s seven-yard run. But Southington took over with about 90 seconds left in the half and Rose completed six straight passes covering 69 yards, the final one a three-yard hook-up with Borawski to give the Blue Knights a 34-7 halftime lead.
New Britain’s Kyshawn Gunn returned the opening kickoff of the second half 91 yards for a touchdown, but Southington countered four plays later on a 37-yard Rose-to-Maxwell TD pass.
“It really starts with the O-Line,” said Rose, singling out Matt Steeves, Noah MacDonald, Tyler Chasse, Dylan Kulas and Trevor Godston. “The O-Line held their duty. Everyone stepped up to the plate.”
No one more so than Jasen Rose, the former tight end who is truly making a name for himself as a quarterback this season.
“It’s becoming more comfortable each and every day,” Rose said. “That’s what really matters.”
Southington 54, New Britain 20
(at New Britain)
Southington 14 20 14 6 — 54
New Britain 0 7 13 0 — 20
S—Austin Morin 26 pass from Jasen Rose (Tyler Shoneck kick)
S—Jasen Rose 12 run (Shoneck kick)
S—Alex Jamele 7 pass from Jasen Rose (Shoneck kick)
S—Kyle Borawski 22 pass from Jasen Rose (kick blocked)
N—Marcus Torres 7 run (Jose Conde kick)
S—Kyle Borawski 3 pass from Jasen Rose (Shoneck kick)
N—Kyshawn Gunn 91 kickoff ret (kick failed)
S—Matt Maxwell 37 pass from Jasen Rose (Shoneck kick)
N—Marcus Torres 20 pass from Charles Gaskin (Conde kick)
S—Alessio Diana 14 run (Shoneck kick)
S—Austin Morin 11 pass from Jasen Rose (kick failed)
Team records: New Britain 3-2; Southington 4-0