By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Why does the scholastic football schedule for Week 9 look so tough?
Well, for a school or two, it might not be as challenging this week.
Bristol Central looks to break its losing streak against beatable Edwin O. Smith while Eastern has a difficult home challenge in the form of old CCIL foe Wethersfield.
Finally, St. Paul puts its two-game winning streak on the line against streaking Holy Cross.
Here’s a quick look at Week 9 of the season:
Bristol Central (2-6) at E.O. Smith (3-5)
Location: Edwin O. Smith High School, Storrs
Day and Time: Friday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m.
Last Season: From Muzzy Field, Central smashed the Panthers 42-14 back on Nov. 11.
All-Time Series: The Rams leads the all-time series 2-0.
Last Week: Bristol Central lost to Rocky Hill 55-21 while E.O. Smith defeated a supremely overmatched and undermanned Fermi outfit 40-26.
Casual Facts: Bristol Central coach Sal Cintrorino after the loss to Rocky Hill last week: “We have to regroup right now. It’s how we finish the season out. We’ve got two games left and it’s not about just finishing but finishing it the right way. We’ve just got to go back and get to work again.”…While the Rams dropped a tough one against Rocky Hill, there were still some bright spots on the evening…Tyler Burrow, returning from injury, nearly scooped in 100 rushing yards against a very good defensive club while Keon Walton made two huge receptions for two touchdowns…And with all the injuries Central is dealing with on its front lines, the squad didn’t do so badly, all things considered…Having a healthy Jake Martel on “D” is very important and he was his usual self against the Terriers, making tackles, and trying to stop two of the toughest running backs in the state…And when Andrew Laviero was given the time to throw, he made some big connections with his offense…Now, on to E.O. Smith and the Panthers are 3-5 which is a very deceiving record…Smith doesn’t have a ton of options offensively but Kodey Duplissie can run a bit with the ball and against Fermi, he tallied 175 yards and two touchdowns…E.O. doesn’t do anything too fancy and if Central can just get its defense in the right spots, don’t expect Smith to light up the scoreboard…The Panthers have won three out of its last four games and certainly are a long way from its 0-4 start but where do wins against Bulkeley, Hartford and, please, Fermi really get you?…It’s time for Central to break this four-game losing streak and get back into the win column.
And the winner is: Bristol Central defeats Smith 35-14.
Bristol Eastern (4-4) vs. Wethersfield (5-3)
Location: Muzzy Field, Bristol
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season: Bristol Eastern fell at Wethersfield 14-6 back on Nov. 12, 2011.
All-Time Series: It’s the 29th showdown between the schools with the Eagles leading the series 19-9 that dates back to their CCIL days.
Last Win against Wethersfield: In a historic game, Eastern defeated Wethersfield 61-14 back on Sept. 28, 2007 from Muzzy Field. The 61 points the Lancers scored were a school record for most points scored in a game by Eastern.
Last Week: The Lancers fell to Northwest Catholic 36-7 while Wethersfield defeated RHAM 35-14.
Casual facts…Where is the M.A.S.H. unit hiding.
Because before, during and after the game against Northwest Catholic, the Lancers could rent out a hospital wing for all of its wounded warriors… “I’ve never had a season like this with injuries,” said Eastern coach Mike Archangelo. “Every game, we have somebody going down with something different and it’s all (happening to) key starters for us. It’s been tough and it’s been a struggle keeping guy’s healthy.” But against the Indians, freshmen QB Alex Hunter (7 passes, 96 yards) made a credible accounting of himself in his first ever start and receiver Kenny Smith (5 catches, 75 yards) continues to impress…Roderick Green did an incredible job at running back with his 15 carries for 57 yards…It’s a lot of “on the job” training…Against the likes of Wethersfield, you need all those experienced people in all their regular positions…However, is Wethersfield really good or not?…I have no clue as the club has beaten every team it should and lost to all the other ones…Does a 42-0 loss to Windsor, a 41-7 failure to Middletown, and a 40-14 drubbing by Hartford Public tell the story or do wins against E.O. Smith (42-0), Bristol Central (47-14), Fermi (34-0), RHAM (35-14), and Bulkeley (43-8) truly tell the story?…Who the heck knows?…There hasn’t been a close game and you wonder how the team would respond to a game that comes down to the wire…In winning efforts, the Eagles have scored at least 34 points so if this team starts to pile up the points, it will spell trouble for the Lancers…With all the injuries, the Lancers have been dealing with, beating this squad would be a great start going into the Thanksgiving Day challenge.
And the winner is…Eastern sneaks by Wethersfield 28-21 in a very close game.
St. Paul (2-6) at Holy Cross (5-3)
Location: Municipal Stadium, Waterbury
Day and Time: Saturday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m.
Last Year: St. Paul fell to Cross 49-24 from Bristol back on Nov. 12, 2011.
All-time NVL series: St. Paul trails Cross in the NVL series 3-0.
Last Week: St. Paul defeated Sacred Heart 48-36 while Holy Cross was blanked by Woodland 28-0.
Casual facts…Holy Cross Batman! First, it’s holy cow, Batman but now, it’s holy cow, St. Paul has won two games in a row…It defeated a very good Sacred Heart team by 12 points last week…36 points is still a ton to give up in a football game but divide that total by two and that’s how many combined points the Falcons have yielded over the past two weeks. Most impressive…It’s still a young defensive unit but the team is coming together and as that confidence begins to sneak through the cracks, the victories have also been popping up…It’s the Falcons first two game winning streak since the 2009 campaign when St. Paul ending its regular season with consecutive victories against Torrington (26-20 back on Nov. 13) and a Thanksgiving triumph against Rocky Hill (25-7), leading to a playoff game in New Canaan….QB Logan Marchi combined to rush and throw for over 300 yards as he connected on 20 passes for 261 yards and made nine carries for 73…In all, the creative chucker threw for three touchdowns while Eli Parks got St. Paul’s ground game going as well (20 carries, 151 yards, TD)…St. Paul led 28-7 at the half and simply never looked back against Sacred Heart…On the other side of the coin, St. Paul will be squaring off against a mad Holy Cross club who lost to Woodland 28-0…Cross has some speed, has some athletic ability, and should match-up with the Falcons pretty well…The Crusaders have won three out of its last four games but the way St. Paul is rolling, don’t be shocked if the Falcons earned its third straight victory of the season.
And the winner is: The Falcons eke out a 42-38 decision over Cross in Waterbury.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE