MIDDLETOWN — Seven games down, seven wins, and a strong wind is behind them.
The Middletown High football team will enter a bye week off an emphatic 42-0 victory over Newington Friday, relishing what it has accomplished while shifting its focus to the final stretch of the regular season.
The Blue Dragons will return Nov. 9 against Platt-Meriden. Next is New London, before the season ends with Windsor. Three strong teams, three challenges for a team with high hopes and some tangible momentum.
“These next three games … it’s going to be tough,” Middletown coach Sal Morello said. “It’s going to be a tough stretch. We know that.”
Morello will address the upcoming games with his players this week. But there won’t be much an emphasis on looking ahead, keeping the focus instead on the next game.
It’s coaching cliche, Morello said, but it’s useful.
“One game at a time,” Morello said. “The process.”
The process this week called for a quick start against Newington (3-5), a team that worried Morello. And sure enough, the Blue Dragons (8-0) ran to a quick and early lead and never looked back.
It was 35-0 halftime with a resounding performance on both sides of the ball— Middletown gained 197 yards in the half, Newington 14.
With a decided speed advantage, Middletown simply overwhelmed Newington. It was scoreless early when Middletown senior Devin Ballkishun intercepted a pass and ran to the Newington 9 yard line.
Three plays later, Lomotey scored on a 4-yard run. That was the first of four touchdowns for Lomotey, who rushed for 67 yards on eight carries in the first half.
On Middletown’s next possession, Lomotey took a second-down handoff and ran untouched up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown run. Matthew Aresco’s kick made it 14-0 with 3:17 left in the first quarter.
Middletown’s Eric Alicea recovered a fumble on the Newington 20 before Lomotey scored on a first-down run. In the span of 30 seconds Middletown boosted its lead to 21-0.
“We came out and we playe,” Morello said. “Right from the beginning. That was the point of emphasis all week, to come out fast.”
And the momentum continued in the second quarter, as the Blue Dragons drove 75 yards and Lomotey scored on a 1-yard run.
The next time Middletown got the ball? Yes, another touchdown. This time, Jonta’e Dempsey-Brown (5 of 9, 109 yards) tossed a pass to Jaymin Torres.
Torres’ catch-and-run resulted in a 55-yard touchdown completion. Aresco’s fourth extra point of the half made it 35-0.
With the clocking running in the second half, Middletown continued to dominate. Chris Danas threw a screen pass to Kristian Glemaud, who ran 31 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Middletown finished with 336 yards, Newington with 50.
Now, they rest. Like most teams, there are bumps and bruises. The Blue Dragons have momentum, but the break isn’t a bad thing.
“Maybe it is coming at a good time, to let the kids heal up,” Morello said. “We’re playing well, but this might not be a bad thing for us.”