SW A’s fall to Tomahawks in title bout

On Sunday, November 17 the South Windsor Panthers A (Maroon) team took on the Glastonbury Tomahawks in a repeat of last year’s B-division championship game.  Although the Panthers were victorious last season, defeating the Tomahawks 34-8 at Rentschler Field, this year the Tomahawks prevailed by a score of 40-22 at Sage Park in Belin.

The first-half stats were very close, with Glastonbury rushing for 136 yards to the Panthers’ 116. The Tomahawks were three of four passing and the Panthers were two of four.  Glastonbury opened the scoring on a 29-yard pass play and followed it up with 56-yard scoring drive.  The Panthers answered with a 45-yard drive of their own, including runs by fullbacks Matt Smith and Will Nowak and halfbacks Jacques Bouquot and Randy Holmes, and finally resulting in an 8-yard run by fullback Ankit Saini and making the score 16-8.

The difference in the half was turnovers; with Glastonbury converting on both of South Windsor’s while the Panthers not being able to capitalize on a fumble recovery deep in their own end.  Glastonbury went into halftime up 22-8.

In the third quarter the Panthers outgained the Tomahawks 98 yards (88 on the ground and 10 in the air) to 20 with each teams reaching the end zone once – the Panthers scoring on a 61-yard run by Holmes.  The Panthers also added 2 points on a safety due to intentional grounding by Glastonbury in their own end zone that was forced by Saini.

The fourth quarter also resulted in the teams trading touchdowns, with Holmes scoring on a 25-yard run and the Tomahawks on a 10-yard pass. The game’s final score was Glastonbury 40-South Windsor 22.

The game included tough play by the offensive lines of both teams, and including the following Panthers: Dylan Jones, Jimmy Tamburro, Bendan Mabey, Benett Saylor, Mike Gore, Muhammad Hassan, Matt Pereira, Kobe Davis, Matt Kennedy, Julian Ibes, Tito Pasqualoni, Alex Valente, Will Pineo, Chad Croxford, and Dylan Hodge.

The work of the offensive line allowed the Panthers to outgain the Tomahawks for the game 308 yards (8 yards per play for South Windsor) to 278 yards (6 yards per play for Glastonbury) on carries by Holmes (10 carries for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns), Matt Smith (who ran for a very tough 49 yards on 9 carries), Saini (5 for 24 and 1 TD), Bouquot (1 for 7), Nowak (1 for 6), and Gavin Duff (1 for 4).

Adding to this was the Panther passing game led by quarterbacks Connor Kapisak (four completions on six attempts for 39 yards) and Adam Harz (3 for 5 for 30 yards) and their receiving corp: Holmes (3 catches for 28 yards), Bouquot (1 for 25), Tamburro (1 for 6), Nowak (1 for 6), and Smith (1 for 4).

Also instrumental in the Panther’s offensive success was the downfield blocking of split ends Ben Custer, Colin Ryan, EJ Kelly and halfback Michael Bazzano.

Mabey, Gore, Saini, Holmes, Smith, Hassan, Pereira, Kennedy, Valente, Bazzano, and Hodge were also stalwarts on defense.

Captains for the day were Connor Kapisak, Will Nowak, Brendan Mabey, and Adam Harz.

In their final two seasons as Panthers, this group, led by head coach Dave Hodge, had a remarkable 19-2 record (the only two losses were to Glastonbury this season) and one championship. Conversely, over the same period the Tomahawks had only two losses as well (both coming vs. the Panthers last year).

The South Windsor Panthers would like to congratulate the Glastonbury Tomahawks on their undefeated season. Additionally, the Panthers would like to thank their many fans who attended Sunday’s game – your support was overwhelming and greatly appreciated.

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