WOODBURY – The Nonnewaug football team played a great second half Saturday against Coginchaug/Hale Ray.
The problem was the Chiefs got off to a slow start, and had too much catching up to do in its 33-21 loss.
“I think they understand we can’t get down as much as we do because we do play good second halves,” Nonnewaug head coach Zach Mihaly said after the Chiefs fell to 1-7. “This team showed a lot of heart in the second half and they kept us in the game for the majority of it.”
Nonnewaug went three and out on its opening drive, and Coginchaug scored six plays later to take a 6-0 lead.
Jarrett Michaels hit Kurtis Krizan for an 8-yard touchdown, and John Vanderspek’s PAT gave Nonnewaug a 7-6 lead with 9:47 left in the second quarter.
However, the Chiefs stumbled the rest of the quarter. Coginchaug running back Patrick Ladas scored on a 24-yard run, and took an Eli Rivera pass 28 yards for another score. Rivera then hit Ryan Genest for a 32-yard score to take a 26-7 halftime lead.
“It’s a matter of finishing plays, finishing drive, and finishing stops on defense,” Mihaly said. “We were in a good position to make tackles and they didn’t make them and got big gains on the play. We just have to finish.”
Mihaly said it was frustrating because the defense had worked on finishing plays all week.
“When you fix things and get better at things, you expect a different outcome of the game,” Mihaly said. “What it came down to was our guys were in position to make the plays, and we just didn’t finish with our tackles.”
Nonnewaug did regroup in the second half with a pair of touchdowns from junior running back Justin Southard.
Michaels hit Southard on a 14-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, and Southard ran 70 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Michaels also had an interception in the third quarter, which he returned 23 yards.
“With our second half effort, I’m really proud of this football team and what they showed,” Mihaly said.
Nonnewaug plays its final home game at noon Saturday against Cromwell/Portland.
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