Bordiere lifts Nonnewaug past Lewis Mills
BURLINGTON - Nick Bordiere has seen some tough times during his days with Nonnewaug football so the senior went out and made his final game as a Chief a memorable one.
Bordiere scored the game's only two touchdowns and Nonnewaug capped a season of improvement with a 13-0 victory over Lewis Mills on Thanksgiving morning.
The turkey tasted a little better for the Chiefs (4-7), who now own their rivalry with the Spartans. Nonnewaug has shut out Mills in the last two meetings and the four wins are a sign of progress for a program that was playing a jayvee schedule just three seasons ago.
"When I was a freshman we were playing jayvee games but we stuck with it and it feels really good to get a win here today to finish the season," Bordiere said.
After the Spartans came up short on a fake punt attempt on 4th and 16, the Chiefs took over at the Mills 42 and capitalized on the good field position. Senior quarterback Christian Metallo scrambled for a big first down to keep the drive alive and Bordiere capped the march with a 5-yard TD run to give Nonnewaug a 7-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first quarter.
"We were able to run the ball and that was key for us today," Bordiere said.
Metallo set up Nonnewaug's second scoring drive with an interception and big return down to the Mills 14. Bordiere finished the short drive with an 8-yard scoring run.
The game, the first home game ever played on the Lewis Mills campus, was played in frigid temperatures and a steady and sometimes howling wind. It made points tough to come by and scoring drives even tougher to string together and Nonnewaug's two first-half scores were enough for the win.
"I've been involved in some cold games and some windy games but never one that had both like we did today," Nonnewaug coach John Oko said. "Our kids played tough. We were able to run the ball and play good defense. It wasn't always pretty but we made plays when we needed them."
The elements weren't helpful to comeback football and the Spartans were also dealt a blow when running back Max Stone had to leave the game with a leg injury after a big kick return after the Chiefs' second TD.
Nonnewaug forced four turnovers and did a good job of controlling Mills' offense over the final two quarters to pick up the win.
It was an important win for the Chiefs and the program. They've won two straight over the Spartans (2-9) and have not allowed a point in the process while taking another step forward in the process.
"We were winless two seasons ago and last year it was big just to get a couple wins," Oko said. "This year we were more competitive. Four wins is a good step for us and we were competitive all year, we probably let a couple games slip through our fingers. The next step is that consistency and playing the way were are capable week in and week out."
With only 10 seniors on the roster Nonnewaug will have a good group of experienced players back next season, but Oko will also have to replace some talent as well as leadership.
"This senior group has been through a lot and really been a group that has paid a foundation," Oko said. "They stuck with it and really are a big reason the program stayed together. I'm really proud of this group and happy they got a win today."