SPJ Excellence in Journalism Award for Sports News: Gunn's three touchdowns spark New Britain football over South Windsor, moves to 3-0

Published on Friday, 24 May 2019 15:41
Written by DAVID GLOVACH

@DavidGlovach

SOUTH WINDSOR - Kaiyon Gunn has made a habit of making big plays this season for the New Britain football team.

First it was against Conard, then Manchester, and now South Windsor learned how important it is to account for the senior running back and cornerback.

For the second time this season, Gunn delivered a three-touchdown performance. He ran one, caught another and returned an interception 59 yards on defense as the Hurricanes shut out the Bobcats Friday afternoon, 44-0, at South Windsor High School. The victory gives New Britain (3-0) its first three-game winning streak since 2011.

“I had the anger from last year,” said Gunn, who intercepted another pass in the third quarter and totaled 70 yards of offense. “They beat us bad last year. We went in there with a lot of energy and we had something to prove. We still have a lot to prove.”

So far, so good.

Friday afternoon marked the second shutout of the season for the Hurricanes and third time they scored 35 points or more.

All three of Gunn’s touchdowns came in the second quarter after neither team was able to find the end zone in the first 12 minutes.

His first came 10 seconds into the period after he bounced a handoff to the left side and juked three would-be South Windsor tacklers for a 31-yard score. The second was the interception three and a half minutes later when he snagged a pass from Bobcats quarterback Anthony Bellizzi at the New Britain 41-yard line and raced down the right side of the field. Gunn’s final touchdown was on a 13-yard screen pass from Tahje Yopp with 2:29 left in the half.

By the time Gunn ran in for the 2-point conversion, the Hurricanes were looking at a 22-0 lead before South Windsor (0-3) even knew what happened.

“Gunn came out and played with the intensity he always plays at,” New Britain head coach Tebucky Jones said. “A lot of other guys need to feed off that and play the same way.”

The Hurricanes made it a point to put the game away in the third quarter.

Backup quarterback Monte Dickson found Chris Moldando for a 34-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-24 to make it 29-0 with the extra point, while Tyrik Hetmyer’s 4-yard scamper with 7:03 left in the third set the running clock into motion.

Yopp ran a 15-yarder into the end zone midway through the fourth to cap the team’s scoring. He rushed nine times in the game for 99 yards.

As the offense continued to have success against South Windsor, so too was the defense, which finished with three takeaways. The Bobcats managed just two yards of offense - 13 in the first half and -11 in the second - and only reached New Britain’s side of the field once, when they started a drive at the Hurricanes’ 47-yard line in the third.

Maxwell Kaull was South Windor’s offensive leader after totaling one catch for seven yards. Bellizzi ended his afternoon completing 4-of-13 passes for 21 yards.

“From last year, we knew they were going to want to run the ball and we made sure to put a stop to it early in the first quarter,” linebacker Robert Zapor said. “They couldn’t throw the ball either. Everyone is playing together. Everybody was just flying to the ball. Kaiyon was making plays on both sides of the ball.”

As good as this win was for New Britain, the players are already shifting focus to next Friday night when the Hurricanes host Simsbury and try to move to 4-0.

“We’re trying to show New Britain is a different team this year,” Gunn said. “We’re trying to get that top spot. But there’s still a lot to work on.”

David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or dglovach@newbritainherald.com



Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 24 May 2019 15:41. Updated: Friday, 24 May 2019 15:44.