On Monday, two Connecticut high school football teams with playoff aspirations and a lot of emotion went head-to-head on the turf at Danbury High School, even it was an affair without an official score that won’t impact those playoff aspirations in the win-loss column.

Before a crowd of several hundred friends, family, and fellow students that slowly grew as the afternoon wore on, the Bethel High School and Danbury High School football teams faced off in a pre-season scrimmage. The scrimmage was the first inter-squad competition for either team since the end of last season, and both sides showed signs of early season jitters early on.

Both the Danbury offense and Bethel defense were flagged for penalties within the first three plays of the day, Danbury for holding and Bethel for defensive pass interference. The Danbury offense, which ran every single offensive snap out of the shotgun, struggled with the deep pass early, as the Bethel defense intercepted two of the Hatters’ first three attempts.

The Hatters offense eventually found its groove, ‘scoring’ on multiple occasions, with the highlight of the day coming from senior Tyren McCrea, who turned a short completion into a long ‘touchdown’ with a beautiful cross-field run after the catch with McCrea making numerous Bethel defenders miss open-field tackles.

As for the Danbury defense, aggression was a recurring theme, as one NFL-worthy hit midway through the session sent both the DHS sideline and those in attendance into hysteria. The final defensive series of the day saw the unit, as a whole, flex it’s muscle as well, with a gang tackle on a poor Bethel ball carrier who had attempted to run through the defense by lowering his shoulder. That play was immediately followed by an interception from senior Judah James, who returned it approximately 65 yards for Danbury’s final ‘touchdown’ of the day.

Danbury’s next, and final, scrimmage of the season, will be at Newtown High School against the Nighthawks on September 5th at 9 a.m. The Hatters’ regular season schedule gets underway on Friday, September 18th at 7 p.m. on the road against Staples High School.