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Southington, led by QB Barnum, tops Cheshire in Apple Valley Classic – CT Insider


SOUTHINGTON — It has been a season of streaks for the Southington football team.

The Blue Knights started the season with three straight wins, then lost to Hall, won four straight, and then lost to Conard.

Now, the Blue Knights are hopeful a new streak has been started that will lead them to a deep run in the CIAC Class LL playoffs.

Jack Barnum completed 14-of-18 for 161 yards, kicked a 40-yard field goal and initiated an onside kick that led to a touchdown, leading Southington to a 17-10 win over Cheshire at Southington’s Turf Field on Thursday.

With the Blue Knights leading 3-0 at halftime, Southington was set to kick off to Cheshire to strart the third quarter. But Barnum, named the game’s MVP, kicked an onside kick. Alex Maindon recovered the ball for the Blue Knights, and 14 plays later Javon Thomas scored on a 4-yard run for a 10-0 Southington lead with 8:24 to go in the third quarter. Lincoln Cardillo added a touchdown on a 3-yard run with 2:29 left in the third quarter for a 17-0 lead.

“This was a great win for us today against a tough team,” Southington coach Mike Drury said. “The onside kick was the turning point in the game, a momentum shifter. Our defensive coordinator Rob Levesque made the call. Jack Barnum did a great job to get it going.

“We don’t know exactly where we stand in the playoff picture right now. But we’re hoping this gets us on another win streak.”

The win unofficially secured a spot in the Class LL playoffs for the Blue Knights (8-2). They are expected to be the No. 7 seed and face New Canaan Tuesday.

Cardillo ended with 15 carries for 82 yards and Justin Zitofsky had seven carries for 65 yards for the Blue Knights. Christian Russo led the Rams (4-6) with 16 carries for 71 yards.

“I’m pumped up, we’re all pumped up,” Barnum said. “We like to beat them because Cheshire is a great rivalry and they are always tough. Leading only 3-0 at halftime we knew we had to get on the pedal and come out aggressive. The onside kick was a turning point for us, it really got us going the rest of the game.

“Getting back to the playoffs is a great feeling.”

In the first half, defense and flags dominated play.


All the scoring for the first half came on Southington’s first drive of the game. A 16-yard pass from Barnum to Zitofsky gave the Blue Knights a first down at the Cheshire 20 yard line. Five plays later Barnum kicked his 40-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 7:06 to go.

In the second quarter, Cheshire started a drive on its own 40. But the Rams only moved the ball 6 yards and four plays later had to punt. Southington had the ball to close the half and ran 13 plays. The Blue Knights started on its own 32 but the drive – and half – ended on the Cheshire 48.

The Rams did all their scoring in the fourth quarter.

Micah Galloza kicked a 22-yard field goal with 8:10 to go in the game. When Ethan Rosenthal caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Jeffery with 1:03 to go to cut the lead to 17-10, the Rams were back in the game. But the Blue Knights pounced on the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

“The onside kick gave them some momentum, but we battled the whole game and I am so proud of our kids,” Cheshire coach Don Drust said. “We have kids with tremendous character and they always play hard the entire game.”

daniel.nowak@hearstmediact.com

SOUTHINGTON 17, CHESHIRE 10

SOUTHINGTON 3 0 14 0 — 17

CHESHIRE 0 0 0 10 — 10

S — Jack Barnum 40 FG

S — Javon Thomas 4 run (Barnum kick)

S — Lincoln Cardillo 3 run (Barnum kick)

C — Micah Galloza 22 FG

C — Ethan Rosenthal 5 pass from Matthew Jeffery (Galloza kick)

Records: C 4-6, S 8-2.



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