No. 4 NFA comes up empty at Glastonbury
Glastonbury - It looked, sounded and felt like the playoffs here Friday night, what with the requisite large crowd (more than 2,500) tight game (tied into the fourth quarter) and swells of emotion on both sidelines.
Maybe that's why Norwich Free Academy senior Marcus Outlow, eternal optimist, was thinking about the playoffs at the conclusion of a vexing night.
"Hopefully," Outlow said, "we get a chance to play them again."
Outlow would love one more chance at Glastonbury, a fellow Class LL school with the defense that stuffed NFA three times inside the 20-yard line, ultimately carrying the Tomahawks to a 6-0 victory.
Glastonbury quarterback Jalen Ollie, with his dad, UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie watching, threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Kyran McKinney-Crudden with 9:18 remaining and the Glastonbury defense did the rest.
"We bent quite a bit," Glastonbury coach Scott Daniels said, alluding to the 274 yards yielded, "but to not give up any points against these guys is a feat for our defense."
Glastonbury's offense ran four plays during the third period and had fewer than 100 yards before its scoring drive. NFA outgained Glastonbury 274-148 overall.
The Wildcats had a 65-yard touchdown pass negated by an ineligible receiver downfield on their first possession of the game and turned it over on downs after a first down at the Glastonbury 17 late in the first half. NFA failed to score in the second half after a first down at the Glastonbury 12 and missed a 25-yard field goal later in the quarter.
It didn't help, either, that an ankle injury sustained last week slowed Outlow, while all-state caliber lineman Tuzar Skipper injured his ankle in the first half Friday and was hobbled much of the game.
Nobody on the NFA sideline was much into excuse making, however.
"(Glastonbury) played a great game. That's what the story is," NFA coach Jemal Davis said. "We got it in the red zone (three) times and had nothing to show for it. That has nothing to do with who may or may not have been healthy. They executed their game plan."
Outlow, who acknowledged he was about "70-75 percent," said, "We're not going to make excuses. If we executed, (the injuries) wouldn't have mattered. We still have most of the season ahead of us."
Outlow, who had 102 yards on 19 carries, was guilty of being the ineligible receiver on what would have been Ramel Williams' 65-yard touchdown reception.
"I thought I communicated (to the official) that I was off the line (of scrimmage)," Outlow said.
Davis said, "Our guys have to be more diligent in letting the officials know they're off the line."
NFA, which entered the game No. 3 in the state media poll and ranked fourth in The Day coaches' poll, plays a home night game next week against undefeated Ledyard.
"If we win the rest of our games," Outlow said, "we'll be in good shape."
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