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FOOTBALL Turnovers keying Bruins’ success

September 28, 2018

Creating turnovers was certainly one of the Brunswick School football team’s trademarks over its first two games of the season.

And the Bruins promptly turned the turnovers into points, which was one of the main reasons why they defeated Loomis Chaffee School and Hotchkiss School to start the season.

Now Brunswick hopes to continue its turnover creating trend against a team that’s given it plenty of problems in the past — formidable Cheshire Academy.

The 2-0 Bruins visit Cheshire Academy (1-1) in a non-league game on Friday at 7 p.m. Cheshire Academy has beaten the Bruins the past three seasons, including, a 45-20 victory in 2017, so the Bruins know they have to raise their performance level.

“Over the last three seasons they have beaten us and they have been a dominant force in terms of being a solid football team,” Brunswick coach Jarrett Shine said. “Our players can’t go in there being intimidated and they’re ready to play a tough opponent.”

Brunswick has forced eight turnovers in its first two games, seven of which have been interceptions. Junior defensive back Liam Fairback intercepted two passes in the Bruins’ season-opening win against Loomis Chaffee School and senior defensive back Whit Knight picked off a pass. In the squad’s 41-7 triumph over visiting Hotchkiss School last week, Fairback notched his third interception of the season, while Knight, senior linebacker David MacGillivray and junior cornerback Alex Burdick had one interception apiece.

“We’ve received some solid defensive play,” Shine said. “We played physical football, our cornerbacks played aggressive, they made plays on the ball and they were in the right place at the right time. We hope it continues, but we have to play more physical football for sure this week.”

Yielding only 20 points through its first two games, Brunswick has also received effective play from its defensive linemen and linebackers, led by senior captain Nick Villis.

“We’re really excited about causing this many turnovers,” Villis said. “We’re just following our reads and making plays when we see the opportunities coming.”

GET IT TO JOHNSON

It’s no secret the Bruins want to get the ball to their dynamic playmaker Cornelius Johnson (senior captain) as much as they can and they’ve been pretty successful thus far. Junior quarterback Nick Winegardner, who has fared well the first two games, connected with Johnson for scoring strikes of 74 and 10 yards against Hotchkiss.

Johnson also showed his special teams skills, returning a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to begin the second half of last weeks’ game.

“Getting the ball to Cornelius and being able to run the ball will be very important for us this week against a strong team,” Shine said.

Winegardner, who threw four touchdown passes in Week 2, also found receivers Charles Packard and Bernard Zoungrana in the end zone last week, while running back Jalen Madison rushed for a 43-yard score.

CHESHIRE A CHALLENGE

Cheshire Academy, which dropped a 16-14 decision to Hun School in its season-opener, rebounded with a 38-12 win against Worcester Academy a week ago.

Quarterback Jack Brandon completed 11 of 16 passes for 120 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to running bak Jared Martino (3 and 23 yards). Martino also gained 80 yards on the ground, as did running back Jack Roberge.

Last season, running back Bryce Sebastian hurt the Bruins, rushing for two touchdowns.

“They have a good quarterback, receivers and running backs, so it’s important for us to wrap up on defense,” Shine said. “Defensively, their physical and fast, but we believe we can match their physicality.”

dfierro@greenwichtime.com

Creating turnovers was certainly one of the Brunswick School football team’s trademarks over its first two games of the season.

And the Bruins promptly turned the turnovers into points, which was one of the main reasons why they defeated Loomis Chaffee School and Hotchkiss School to start the season.

Now Brunswick hopes to continue its turnover creating trend against a team that’s given it plenty of problems in the past — formidable Cheshire Academy.

The 2-0 Bruins visit Cheshire Academy (1-1) in a non-league game on Friday at 7 p.m. Cheshire Academy has beaten the Bruins the past three seasons, including, a 45-20 victory in 2017, so the Bruins know they have to raise their performance level.

“Over the last three seasons they have beaten us and they have been a dominant force in terms of being a solid football team,” Brunswick coach Jarrett Shine said. “Our players can’t go in there being intimidated and they’re ready to play a tough opponent.”

Brunswick has forced eight turnovers in its first two games, seven of which have been interceptions. Junior defensive back Liam Fairback intercepted two passes in the Bruins’ season-opening win against Loomis Chaffee School and senior defensive back Whit Knight picked off a pass. In the squad’s 41-7 triumph over visiting Hotchkiss School last week, Fairback notched his third interception of the season, while Knight, senior linebacker David MacGillivray and junior cornerback Alex Burdick had one interception apiece.

“We’ve received some solid defensive play,” Shine said. “We played physical football, our cornerbacks played aggressive, they made plays on the ball and they were in the right place at the right time. We hope it continues, but we have to play more physical football for sure this week.”

Yielding only 20 points through its first two games, Brunswick has also received effective play from its defensive linemen and linebackers, led by senior captain Nick Villis.

“We’re really excited about causing this many turnovers,” Villis said. “We’re just following our reads and making plays when we see the opportunities coming.”

GET IT TO JOHNSON

It’s no secret the Bruins want to get the ball to their dynamic playmaker Cornelius Johnson (senior captain) as much as they can and they’ve been pretty successful thus far. Junior quarterback Nick Winegardner, who has fared well the first two games, connected with Johnson for scoring strikes of 74 and 10 yards against Hotchkiss.

Johnson also showed his special teams skills, returning a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to begin the second half of last weeks’ game.

“Getting the ball to Cornelius and being able to run the ball will be very important for us this week against a strong team,” Shine said.

Winegardner, who threw four touchdown passes in Week 2, also found receivers Charles Packard and Bernard Zoungrana in the end zone last week, while running back Jalen Madison rushed for a 43-yard score.

CHESHIRE A CHALLENGE

Cheshire Academy, which dropped a 16-14 decision to Hun School in its season-opener, rebounded with a 38-12 win against Worcester Academy a week ago.

Quarterback Jack Brandon completed 11 of 16 passes for 120 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to running bak Jared Martino (3 and 23 yards). Martino also gained 80 yards on the ground, as did running back Jack Roberge.

Last season, running back Bryce Sebastian hurt the Bruins, rushing for two touchdowns.

“They have a good quarterback, receivers and running backs, so it’s important for us to wrap up on defense,” Shine said. “Defensively, their physical and fast, but we believe we can match their physicality.”

dfierro@greenwichtime.com

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