It’s Knights’ Time

Ellington/Somers found four different ways to reach the end zone in Saturday’s regular season finale against Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton.

The Knights scored three rushing touchdowns, two through the air, and one each on an interception return and a kickoff return, leading to a 47-12 rout of the Patriots.

The victory enabled the Knights to finish the regular season at 9-2, good for third place in the Class M small division standings. Ellington/Somers will likely play a state tournament game at #2 St. Joseph, last year’s Class M champion.

“There were a few things we weren’t happy with execution-wise, but we’ll clean it up,” Knight head coach Sean Byrne said.

Ellington/Somers capitalized on quick strikes, twice scoring on the first play after taking possession. Of the five Knights’ scoring drives, the longest took six plays; their offense was on the field for just 15 minutes of the 48-minute contest.

Christian Rider got the Knights on the board with a 1-yard scoring run with 4:06 left in the first quarter. The play was set up by a 43-yard pass from Nate LaJoie to Mark Hickman on 3rd-and-8.

“Mark Hickman’s had a heck of a year; he’s a very good athlete,” Byrne said. “Nate is a sophomore who threw the ball pretty well today. He looked good in practice and came out with poise and threw some good balls.”

Ellington/Somers erupted for 27 second-quarter points to put the game out of reach by halftime. Rider ran in from four yards out following a poor snap on a Patriots punt attempt, then scampered in from 50 yards out on the first play of the Knights’ next possession.

Coventry cut the margin to 20-6 on a 1-yard run by Daniel Lawrence, but the Knights came right back to score on a 52-yard pass play from LaJoie to Hickman with 2:30 remaining before intermission. Moments later, Jacob Hinkel picked up a Coventry fumble and rumbled 48 yards for another score, giving Ellington/Somers a 34-6 lead at the break.

The Knights came out of the locker room and picked up right where they had left off. Izaiah Castro-Vega ran the second-half kickoff back 58 yards for another touchdown, then on the next Ellington/Somers possession, Hickman made a leaping catch of a LaJoie pass in the corner of the end zone for a 47-6 advantage.

Kevin Hampton capped the scoring for the Patriots on a 4-yard run in the final minute.

LaJoie completed five of seven passes for 147 yards, with Hickman grabbing four tosses for 141 yards. Rider led the ground game with 59 yards.

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