Gridiron Preview for Oct. 31

By MICHAEL LETENDRE
STAFF WRITER
BRISTOL – Well, on the local football front from last week, the Bristol schools took two out of the three match-ups from Week 7.
St. Paul smacked Crosby with a huge 30-point blitzing to win game number two of the year and what can you say about Bristol Central?
The Rams are now 4-2 with a 36-6 win over Farmington, a huge victory, and the program’s first ever the Indians.
The only casualty was Bristol Eastern as they fell to Windsor 44-0 in a game the Lancers would rather forget.
Once again, however, it’s another week and three stern tests await the scholastic programs.
Will it finally be a clean sweep this week?
Let’s take a look at all the weekend action from Week 8:
Bristol Central (4-2) vs. Rocky Hill High School (4-3); CCC Interdivisional showdown
Location: from Muzzy Field, Bristol
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season: Last year on Nov. 1, the Rams dropped a tough contest by a 35-0 push from Rocky Hill High School.
Last Week: Central knocked off Farmington 36-6 while Rocky Hill was belted by Plainville 44-22.
All-Time Series: Bristol Central has never defeated Rocky Hill. The Terriers are 4-0 against the Rams.
Casual facts…Central is going to beat Rocky Hill, fans. It will be the first time ever that the Rams will accomplish that…I’m pretty confident in that assessment and so should you…Plainville’s young defense pretty much handled Hill’s running attack last week and when the squad can’t rush with the ball, they’re doomed…Over their first six games, Hill had six interceptions and just one touchdown reception during that span, get it?…Three guys do the bulk of the rushing for the Terriers as senior Dave Sevigny, sophomore Grant Nieves and freshmen Joe Catania gobble up most of the yardage. But that group wasn’t effective at Plainville last week…In fact, the Blue Devils were ahead in that game 44-6 at one point in a pretty amazing display…Here’s how to look at the Terriers: Rocky Hill has beaten the teams they should and lost to the good ones…Plainville ran the ball down Rocky Hill’s collective throats and you know what that means? Hello D’Andre Conaway – if he’s healthy and hopefully, he will be…Conaway (164 yards against Farmington) is going to have a field day against Hill but I also hope QB Noah Cruz keeps throwing the ball, keeps making invaluable connections on the field…And don’t sleep on Luis Medina who had a career night for Central with nearly 130 yards on the ground and two touchdowns…By far, the Farmington game was Central’s best defensive effort of the campaign and an impressive one to boot…Make Hill throw the ball and watch-out for an interception or two by the Rams…Again, this one is for the taking by Central. 
And the winner is…Central will defeat the Terriers by a 36-21 final.
 

Bristol Eastern (4-3) at Northwest Catholic (6-1); CCC Divisional Showdown
Location: at Northwest Catholic High School
Day and Time: Saturday, Noon.
Last Season: Bristol Eastern defeated Northwest Catholic by a 21-13 tally from Muzzy Field in Bristol on Nov. 1.
Last Week: Eastern lost to Windsor 44-0 while Northwest was defeated by Berlin 27-8.
All-Time Series: The Lancers, as a result of last season’s victory, now lead the all-time series by a 5-4 push.
Casual facts…Let’s forget about last week’s dismantling at Windsor shall we?…Let’s forget a certain running back (Gerry Ouellette) wasn’t there…Let’s forget the Warriors knocked a certain QB/receiver/rusher/Mr. Everything (Alex Hunter) out of the game…Let’s forget that Windsor QB (John Nolan) burned the Lancers for nearly 370 yards of offense…Eastern enjoyed the turf surface they played on at Windsor (where is our turf field in Bristol?!?) but that’s it…The focus this week is on an extremely talented Northwest Conference squad and it’s game time, folks…The Indians can do a little of everything well and certainly are a duel-threat attack on offense…Junior quarterback Jack Manzi can throw the ball but does have an inception or two to his name this season…The guy to watch on the ground is back Delano Robinson and Eastern should have its hands full against the talented senior…A couple of sophomores may factor into the rushing mix on the form of Dan Adebimpe and Kevin Vaughan. All three runners must be held in check…Adebimpe leads the squad in receiving yards as well…Defensively, the team is sound, allowing Bloomfield 18 points and high scoring East Catholic just six…On the other side, Eastern’s secondary must shore up those holes, make that first tackle count and come out with some fire like Allen Arbuckle had against Windsor…Northwest continues to play on a grass field, which always seems to be a challenge when teams arrive in West Hartford but it’s a surface Eastern knows quite well…The fact of the matter is that NWC has played well all season against opponents, outside of Berlin, that they should have beaten…Eastern, despite the setback at Windsor, has more than a chance in this one if, IF, the personnel are there…If Ouellette isn’t there and Hunter is still injured, this could be a long, grueling battle.
And the winner is…With all things being equal, the Lancers can compete with NWC…If things are not equal due to injury and the like, the Indians will win it by a 28-14 final.

St. Paul (1-5) at Torrington (3-4) in a Naugatuck Valley League, Copper vs. Brass Division showdown
Location: from Torrington High School
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season: The Falcons defeated Torrington by a 52-37 score from St. Paul Catholic High School on Sept. 28, 2013.
Last Week: St. Paul dropped Crosby 44-30 while Torrington fell to Wolcott in a 56-14 smashing on the road.
All-time NVL series: The Raiders lead the all-time series 3-2.
Casual facts: St. Paul has been showing signs of being the team they envisioned to start the season and off a spirited showing against Ansonia and drilling Crosby for 44 points in a big win…So, things are starting to happen for the Falcons and a big part of that comes from a duel-threat attack…The run opens up everything and that allows quarterback Pat Etter a chance to make connections all over the field and in turn, gives back Eli Parks space to operate…And boy, Parks operated against the Bulldogs…24 carries led to 237 yards while Etter made 14 of 18 connections for just under 200 yards…When those players can combine for nearly 440 yards in offense. That’s pretty good, right?…And credit the Falcons’ defense for stopping Crosby and allowing the offense to zip up 30 straight points in a huge scoring burst…Now, on to struggling Torrington, losers of three games in a row…Losses to Derby (37-7), Bunnell (48-9), and Wolcott (56-14) all showed plenty of cracks in the Raiders defense…It’s certainly something St. Paul can exploit…Torrington will go to both the air and the ground to make gains and expect that formula on Friday…Back Tyler Marens (13 carries, 96 yards against Wolcott) can run with the ball while QB Connor Finn (11-for-27, 153 yards, TD) will certainly chuck the ball for the Raiders…This could be a high scoring battle between the schools but in the end, the Falcons should come out on top in this one.
And the winner is: St. Paul wins two in a row, sinking Torrington 45-34.
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.

PHOTOS by TAMMI NAUDUS

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Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.

Bristol Eastern versus Maloney on Oct. 17.