SOUTHINGTON — The Southington powder puff team defeated Rocky Hill in what both teams hope is the start of a new annual rivalry.
Southington won 21-0, but head coach Charles Kemp said the victory over Rocky Hill was anything but a walkover.
“They gave us a run. They can play, they can play really well,” he said.
Southington’s Natalie Verderame scored her team’s first touchdown early in the first quarter.
Rocky Hill’s drive to get on the board just before halftime was stopped when Southington’s Hailey Morelli intercepted a pass on Southington’s 20-yard line. Morelli got another interception in the second half.
Southington scored again just after halftime, when Chrissy Marotto ran for a 75-yard touchdown.
After a third-quarter interception, Southington’s Kelly Doyle ran for her team’s third touchdown.
Rocky Hill’s final drive was stopped just short of the Southington goal line.
Male cheerleaders with wigs, skirts and pompoms performed cheers and other antics for the spectators during the game. Southington’s side of Fontana Field was active with a host of players and coaches cheering, jumping or jogging in place to keep warm.
Rocky Hill brought 17 players on Monday. Southington had nearly 80.
“It’s fun. We look at this as a big-time challenge,” said Mike Dudis, Rocky Hill head coach.
Dudis was pleased with how well his girls played against a bigger school.
“We just couldn’t finish drives,” he said.
Kemp said with such a deep bench, he was able to rotate players. That was also to make sure all the girls on the team got playing time.
“That’s been paramount. Every girl’s got to play,” he said.
Kemp was surprised at Rocky Hill’s passing game, not usually a feature of powder puff, but said adjustments at halftime helped Southington cope.
Southington nearly didn’t have an opponent for the annual girls’ flag football game, but was able to secure Rocky Hill recently. Previously, Southington has played Cheshire and New Britain, but Cheshire sat out this year and New Britain canceled its plans to field a powder puff team.
Both Kemp and Dudis said Monday they planned on a rematch in Rocky Hill next year.
“Now we have a new rivalry,” Kemp said.