Gridiron preview for Sept. 26

By MICHAEL LETENDRE
STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL – Last week, two out of three local squads zipped up victories as Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern were big winners while St. Paul fell once again to fall to 0-2 overall.
But this week, all three teams are looking to get to the pay window.
However, they’ll be some epic challenges awaiting the Mum City trio.
First, the Rams have the task of taking on undefeated Windsor while the Lancers gets a crack at division foe Middletown.
Finally, St. Paul looks for a little home cooking – and a victory – against the Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech Co-op
There won’t be any breaks for the squads of the CCC, Division-II West but don’t underestimate the abilities of the two teams from Bristol.
Here’s what we’re looking at during a very engaging Week 3:
Bristol Central (1-0) at Windsor (2-0); CCC Division II-West action
Location: from Muzzy Field, Bristol
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season: Windsor sank Central 47-0 from Muzzy Field back on Sept. 27, 2013.
Last Week: Windsor defeated Bulkeley while the Rams got past E.O. Smith 26-21 from Storrs.
All-Time Series: This is the 14th all-time showdown between the schools as Windsor holds an impressive 10-3 edge in the series.
Casual facts…This is one heck of a challenge for the Rams as Windsor, who underachieved a bit last season, should be able to get out and run against Central…The Warriors are ultra athletic and will lean on those abilities to run their way past the Rams’ defense…Along with Middletown, Windsor will be heads and shoulders above the rest of the CCC Division II-West…Windsor is a Top 10 team in the state and have all the components to be a state championship contender…Throw in John Nolan (6 yard TD pass against Manchester) at quarterback, Bennie Fulse (1,395 rushing yards, 16 TDs in 2013), and Jordan Knight at running backs, it’s a ton to handle…But Manchester did well last week, allowing Windsor just seven points going into the final quarter of play…D’Andre Conaway was a force against E.O. Smith and wrangled up 276 yards of offense in a brilliant display…The Central defense made a huge fourth quarter, defensive stance against the Panthers and it held Smith off the scoreboard…If Central can gain some yards in the ground schemes, you never know what could happen…Again, this contest could be an epic challenge but if the Rams bring some defense to the table, things might be a little closer before the final horns sounds.
And the winner is…There’s too much speed, too much ability, too much experience on the Windsor side of the equation…Central drops a tough 36-14 decision at Windsor.
 
Bristol Eastern (1-1) vs. Middletown (1-1); CCC Division II-West action
Location: from the campus of Bristol Eastern high school
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season: Back on Friday, Sept. 27, the Lancers were blasted by Middletown 40-0 from Middletown High School.
Last Week: Middletown lost in a bit of an upset to Wethersfield 14-0 while Eastern picked off Hartford Public 33-20 from home.
All-Time Series: Eastern has never beaten the Blue Dragons, posting a 0-3 against the tough squad.
Casual facts…Middletown fell to Wethersfield last week, which was a bit of a surprise and created some buzz after the Lancers defeated Hartford Public last Friday night…But what wasn’t a surprise was the hard-nosed effort that senior Gerry Ouellette displayed on all fronts (offense and defense) against the Owls…He made 25 rushes, zipped up 140 yards and then zapped Public for two damning 82 yard kickoff returns for two touchdowns. In all, he had 337 all-purpose yardage and it was an amazing evening of work…Ouellette’s defense proved just as tough while Stephen Goodrich led the charge on that side of the field as well…Curtin only made one connection but, again, like a star point guard, he got the whole offense working once again…Back to the defense as Eastern is only giving up 13.5 points-per-game and that total is a winning mark…That defense must show up against the Blue Dragons…Middletown failed to score against the Eagles and that was a huge surprise…The Blue Dragons have blazing speed and that could tip the scale in the visiting squad’s favor in the showdown…Against Wethersfield, Middletown had chances to score but failed to do so…Dario Highsmith, one of the state’s best players, was held to just 67 yards on 15 rushing attempts and Middletown might be looking for some payback…If Eastern can keep Highsmith in check, a win could be in the cards for the Lancers.
And the winner is…The Blue Dragons lose this week by a 30-27 final…mark my words!
 
St. Paul (0-2) vs. Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech Co-op (0-2) in a Naugatuck Valley League Interdivisional showdown
Location: from St. Paul Catholic high school, Bristol
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season: St. Paul picked off Sacred Heart 56-41 from Municipal Stadium back on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Last Week: St. Paul fell to Seymour 54-28 while the Hearts fell hard to Holy Cross 47-6.
All-time NVL series: Since entering the Naugatuck Valley League, the two squads have played each other over the last five seasons with the Falcons holding a 3-2 advantage over the Hearts. St. Paul has won the last two games.
Casual facts: The Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech Co-op is struggling on both sides of the ball and that has to be music to the collective ears of the Falcons…The Hearts give up 48 points-per-game and that’s certainly trouble…Forget about offense as the group only averages six points an outing…Again, that won’t be good against a very offensive St. Paul squad…Falcons QB Pat Etter is averaging over 300 yards-a-game and with Eli Parks drilling Seymour for over a 100 yards on the ground, an already overwhelmed Hearts squad will be in more so in this one…St. Paul averages over 30 points-per-game and if Dajia Fitzpatrick can haul in a long pass or two, it’s going to be a long evening for Sacred Hearts…What could stop St. Paul that night offensively? Perhaps if Etter, Parks, Fitzpatrick, and Brendan Carroll decide to enjoy milkshakes at Dunphy’s and forget about the game…And even then, the Falcons might have enough to get the job done against the Hearts (read in-between the lines here…).
And the winner is…St. Paul by a 45-21 final.