Rocky Hill steals the show in Tolland’s home opener

TOLLAND–The Tolland football team pieced together a 14-play drive that spanned 79 yards and ended in a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Rocky Hill Friday night.

The team looked like it was on a mission, and it was, as the touchdown run by Ben Houghton ended a Terrier shutout in a 41-7 loss for Tolland (0-2) on the night they christened their brand new state of the art field.

“That’s hopefully what it will look like in a couple weeks,” Tolland head coach Andy Bourquin said of the final drive.  “That’s the goal. There were only one or two of these guys on the field last year. We don’t have much game experience.”

The Eagles were out-gained 357 yards to 161 yards, with Rocky Hill scoring a rushing touchdown on each of its first six possessions.

In stark contrast, Tolland was forced to punt each and every drive leading up to a turnover on downs in the second half and then finally the touchdown with one minute of game time left in the fourth quarter.

“We got beat up front,” Bourquin said. “They aren’t necessarily a big team but they are quick. I think there were a couple times we had opportunities to get stops. I don’t know what happened, they broke free a couple times. They made plays.”

In several instances the Eagles defense looked poised to get the ball back for their offense, but the Terriers were able to convert three big third downs in three separate scoring drives early.

“I give Rocky Hill credit,” the coach said. “They’re tough. They don’t give you anything. They make you earn it and we didn’t earn it tonight.”

In the losing effort, six Tolland runners gained at least 15 yards offensively. Leading the way was Houghton, who in addition to scoring Tolland’s only touchdown had eight runs for 45 yards. MJ Vanderpool had seven carries for 41 yards, Austin Hainey had three runs for 19 yards including a run of 15 yards in the fourth quarter, and Alex Suchecki had 15 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Chris Janton ran the offense and also ran the ball 10 times, gaining 37 yards.

Though clearly the score leaves much to be desired, there is plenty for the Eagles to be proud of, and to build off of as the season carries on.

“I told the kids to stay the course,” Bourquin said, “and if we do the right things good things will eventually happen for us. I just hope it happens soon.”

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