BE’s Crowley was determined to sink BC

Bristol Eastern’s Nick Crowley is on the move against Bristol Central at the Nov. 22 game at Muzzy Field.

BRISTOL – Was there anyone else on the Bristol Eastern football team who wanted to beat Bristol Central as badly as senior running back Nick Crowley?
Probably not, as the likeable Crowley wasn’t so likeable on the field against the Rams if you weren’t wearing the blue and grey of the Eastern uniform.
For the sake of argument, the Eastern Offensive Player of the Game could have been the best defender on the squad that afternoon as well.
But after the showdown, it was all about team for Crowley and he gave credit to the entire roster.
“Today, the effort was tremendous,” said Crowley. “Everybody stepped up. We strapped up and we went full force. We realized this was our last game, especially as seniors, and we wanted to go out with a bang.”
Crowley didn’t score a touchdown in the game but rushed for 200 yards off of 37 carries and that was just on the offensive end.
On defense, he made six tackles – including one for a loss – while getting his mitts on Central quarterback Andrew Laviero for a big sack.
During timeouts, Crowley was firing up his mates, showing his teammates where they should be lined up and simply stayed revved up the entire forty-eight minutes of action.
And if you gave him the ball and told him to play quarterback, he probably would have done well at that too and thrown a couple touchdowns.
Simply put, he did everything he could to get this win for his team.
But even after everything he did, Crowley wasn’t satisfied.
“I probably could have done a lot more,” said Crowley. “I did leave as much as I could out there. I think my team and especially my linemen, my fullbacks did a heck of a job. The coaches did an excellent job understanding the game, understanding what was working and the concepts.”
“I’m just so proud of everyone.”
Crowley ended his career with a stellar, though injury plagued, senior campaign.
He rushed for 737 yards and 11 touchdowns off 158 carries for an average of 4.7 yards-per-game but did the bulk of that work in only seven games.
Crowley did not attempt any rushes at Windsor, against Wethersfield and the wounded warrior – with that busted thumb – carried the ball just twice for a total of three yards at Northwest Catholic.
In those other seven games combined, Crowley scooped up 735 yards for an average of over 100 per game where he dominated the ground game.
But the focus is Thanksgiving and since 2006, when Eastern played Central to a 14-14 stalemate – ending the Rams’ season at 8-1-1 with the squad missing a shot at state tournament qualification – Thanksgiving has become a holiday of joy for the Lancers.
In years past, Thanksgiving has been a nightmare for Eastern as Central usually ruled the holiday.
Before 2005, the Rams owned a 31-15-1 advantage on Thanksgiving.
That edge has been chopped to 31-21-2 via a 6-0-1 spurt that includes Eastern’s current six-game winning streak.
Crowley and his senior class joins the likes of former players such as Ray Ortiz, Tom Tarantino, and Tyrell Holmes as never experiencing a loss on Thanksgiving.
That’s a small but ever-growing group of Eastern players.
And for the longstanding tradition of holiday football between the schools, getting that streak going in Eastern’s favor is a big deal indeed.
“It feels sweeter and sweeter every year,” said Crowley of those Thanksgiving wins. “Especially this year because it’s my last game and we went out with a bang.”
Again, you have to go back to health went taking a look at the BE/BC game and getting all those wounded players back was a factor that put Eastern over the top in the Thanksgiving challenge.
But being injured was n’t all bad.
It’s just something Eastern head coach Mike Archangelo doesn’t want to experience again anytime soon.
“We’re going to invest in a lot of milk this offseason and we’re going to get our kids healthy,” said Archangelo. “I’ve never had a season where we’ve been plagued with so many injuries. But the good part of it is, when these injuries went down, we had guys step up all over the place. A lot of these kids are younger kids.”
“We got a good glimpse of what our future could be here.”