South Windsor Panthers A-team prevails

This past Saturday, on a cool and clear autumn night, the South Windsor Panthers A-Gold team played host for a gridiron match against the Haddam-Killingworth Cougars under the lights at South Windsor’s Rye Street Park Field. And to the delight of all the local fans in attendance, the South Windsor Panthers prevailed with a 38-12 victory to improve their record to 3-4 for the season.

Upon winning the pregame coin toss, the HK Cougars received the opening kick-off, but their offense would quickly stall which resulted in the Panthers getting the ball back at mid-field. With plans to pound the ground early, the Panthers would strike quick and often in the opening half. On their third offensive play of the game, Fullback Jake Veilleux took a handoff from Quarterback Connor Race and broke loose up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown run to jumpstart South Windsor’s offense for the night.

The Panther’s would continue their offensive attack on the next series when Jake Veilleux added another touchdown run of 25 yards. Soon thereafter, Fullback Eric Ribeiro would sweep out wide with a 35 yard sprint to the end zone for the Panther’s third TD of the evening. Strong play by the offensive line of Chris Pile, Abi Goyal, Eddie Cheatem, and Edrick Cheatem allowed South Windsor to control the line of scrimmage. But the running game was not South Windsor’s only means for scoring. The Panther’s also showed their passing prowess when Quarterback Matt Veretto connected with Tight End Quinn Hannigan for a 40-yard touchdown pass that led the Panther’s to a halftime lead of 32 to six.

Special teams would also play a key role in the Panther’s victory. Kicker Zach Mahan conducted the kick-off duties which resulted in two kick-off recoveries by Eric Ribeiro and Nick Kinsella. Placekicker Grant Willard was a perfect 4 for 4 in Extra Point kicks with Connor O’Brien providing the long snaps and Michael DaCosta as the holder.

Defensively, South Windsor played a strong game as well with sound tackling by Jacino Stavola, Connor Race, and Tyler Osit. Defensive highlights included a fumble recovery by Austin Dellilo and two quarterback sacks (one each by Eric Ribeiro and Christian Famiglietti). Key interceptions would also prove important in preserving the Panther’s win. Nick Kinsella’s timely interception on the Panther’s own 20 yard line and subsequent 50 yard return would stall HK’s late game scoring drive. And, with six seconds left in the game, Kahil Montgomery would seal the victory with a “Pick-6” interception to wrap up the Panther’s victory with a final score of 38-12.

Prior to the game, the SW Panther’s honored their “graduating” A-Gold team cheerleaders and football players who were participating in their final Panther home game before moving up to high school level competition. Each cheerleader and football player was announced and recognized for their length of participation in the South Windsor Football & Cheerleading program, and then escorted to midfield by their parents where they were acknowledged by friends, family, and fans.

The SW Panther’s A-Gold team plays their final regular season game against the Bloomfield Raiders this Sunday, October 27, at 9:00 AM at the Bloomfield Community Center Field. Please come out and support the SW Panther A-Gold team as they fight for a win to earn a spot in the CTYFL Championship Playoffs.

–By Alan Kinsella

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