After Berlin cruised out to a convincing 19-0 third quarter lead, Rocky Hill closed to within 19-14 and was driving for the go ahead score in the fourth quarter. But a fumble recovered by Berlin's Kyle Young ended that drive and Berlin was able to drive for another touchdown and held on for a 25-14 victory in front of a huge crowd at Scalise Field in Sage Park.
Justin Gombotz scored a first quarter touchdown and Young added a second quarter touchdown to allow Berlin to lead 13-0 at halftime.
Gombotz added another touchdown to make it 19-0 midway through the third quarter.
That is when the Rocky Hill offense came to life.
Terriers' running back Chris Young made a long run to set up a touchdown run by Alex Denardo to get Rocky Hill on the board and within 19-7. After a quick three downs and punt by Berlin, Young took a pitch and raced 54 yards to close the gap to 19-14 with 1:53 left in the third quarter.
Berlin looked as if it was going in for another score to start the fourth quarter but the Terriers' defense stiffened forcing a fourth-and-eight for Berlin just inside the 30-yard line. The Redcoats tried a pass back to quarterback Mitch Williams who went out in the pattern after pitching the ball. When he went up for the reception, he got leveled by Rocky Hill's Shane Steinman and was slow to get up.
Rocky Hill drove it right back at the Redcoats before Kyle Young picked up a fumble and raced deep in Rocky Hill territory. A clipping penalty would bring it back but the Berlin went on a clinching march. Between runs by Gombotz and Scott McLeod, Berlin drove the ball to the Rocky Hill 14-yard line. McLeod then broke three tackles and scored from 14 yards out and Berlin led 25-14 for the final margin.
"We ran our offense a little differently in the second half and we were able to get Chris Young into the open a few times," Rocky Hill coach David Coyne said. "The line did a great job and we know what he can do if he gets in the open. I think we would have gone ahead too if we didn't fumble the ball. It was a good comeback.
"The kids played well. They are a very good team. We had four starters over on the sidelines in the fourth quarter with cramps and injuries. You're not going to beat a team like Berlin missing four starters."
Berlin is playing without All-State two-way lineman Chris Meucci who is out with an injury and could miss a few more weeks.
Berlin coach John Capodice knew Chris Young was a good back.
"We had two different times when we weren't slotted correctly and we knew if we didn't get in the right spots that he could break through and take it and score. He has the capability to do it," Capodice said. "Overall the execution was good and we were able to drive the ball in the fourth quarter when we needed to. Kyle Young made a big play coming up with that fumble for us. He's a good kid who works hard and makes plays. I'm happy for him."
Berlin, 2-0, is at Tolland next week while Rocky Hill, 1-1, plays East Catholic.