Thanksgiving Eve provided a pair of very closely-contested SWC battles in a defensive-minded struggle with playoff implications and an offensive battle of Cats.
NHS 17, Masuk 2
Newtown visited Masuk and prevented the Panthers from clinching a Class L state playoff berth with a hard-fought 17-2 win. In the process, the Nighthawks locked up a first-round Class LL state playoff home game. The postseason gets underway on Tuesday, December 3.
The game was scoreless at the half. A touchdown run by Luke Hannan broke the ice in the third quarter. Masuk's Colin Meropoulos got the Panthers on the board with a quarterback sack in the end zone for a safety, making the score 7-2 heading to the fourth.
Devin O'Connell's 21-yard field goal made it 10-2, and Jared Dunn's two-yard leap for a TD capped the scoring.
Both teams had their lowest point totals of the season thanks to stellar defensive play.
"Totally love this team, totally love these kids. They gave us everything they had," Masuk Coach Joe Lato said. "They're amazing kids."
The Panthers were competitive all season long, including a one-point loss to Windsor.
"It was a game of inches all year," Lato said.
Brookfield 35, Bethel 28
The visiting Brookfield Bobcats were after their first win of the year and got it in a wild one against the Bethel Wildcats.
Brookfield built a seemingly commanding 28-7 lead only to see Bethel fight back on Nick Crouse's TD run, Mike Reseska's TD catch and Morgan Haskett's fourth down touchdown rush from a yard out.
The Bobcats reclaimed the lead, getting the decisive score when Andrew Manesis rushed 40 yards into the end zone. Matt DeStefano scored a pair of TDs in Brookfield's triumph.