By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Nothing ever comes easy for the pigskin squads of the Mum City and Week 4 will not be any exception.
And frankly, all three games will be a challenge this Friday.
First, Bristol Central is home (imagine that) in an epic showdown with Wethersfield from Muzzy Field while Bristol Eastern is on the road against a tough Maloney outfit – no longer the pushover of just a couple years ago.
And finally, St. Paul begins the month of October with a home contest against Kennedy of Waterbury from Bristol.
So, which programs will rise to the occasion this Friday?
Let’s see what Week 4 will bring the locals in a big week of football action
Bristol Central (2-1) vs. Wethersfield (3-0); CCC Division II West tilt
Location: Muzzy Field, Bristol
Day and Time: Friday, 7:00 p.m.
Last Season: Central did not engage the Eagles last season but the squad is an old friend from CCIL days gone by.
All-Time Series: It’s game 17 between the schools. Wethersfield leads the all time series 10-6.
Last Week: Central defeated Platt 32-14 while Wethersfield snuck by Bristol Eastern 14-6.
Casual facts…Central ran the ball passed a solid Platt outfit and it was all about that offensive line and some outstanding blocking that saw QB Noah Cruz run right past the Panthers…Cruz is like a locomotive and once that coal is ignited, that engine doesn’t stop churning…He rushed for four touchdowns and a lot of that came in the second half as Platt was tired chasing him all over the field…Cruz zipped up nearly 160 yards on the ground and combined for over 220 yards when factoring in his passing…Back Luis Medina again had a 100 yard rushing game and the Wethersfield defense has a duel threat to attempt to contain…In all seriousness, Wethersfield is for real, folks, and this team is certainly talented on both sides of the ball…QB Devon Smith is athletic, as versatile as it comes and will throw – and run – with the football…Back Richard Williams is a beast on the field though Eastern really allowed him only one long run on the evening…Defensively, this squad is just as tough as well…The line did a great job of slowing down Eastern QB Alex Hunter and made a couple sacks…That defensive line is big, it made critical stops along the way and that 11-man unit is imposing…Expect the Eagles to score more than 14 points in Week 4…However, this is a winnable game for the Rams but it can’t be all Cruz, all the time.
And the winner is…Central will certainly hang around but Wethersfield picks up a 28-21 win from Muzzy Field.
Bristol Eastern (0-3) at Maloney (3-0); CCC Division II West challenge
Location: from Falcon Field, Meriden
Day and Time: Friday, 6:30 p.m. (Note the time…)
Last Season’s Game: In what was a huge victory for Eastern, the Lancers sank the Spartans 21-20 from the campus of Bristol Eastern high school on Friday, October 17.
All-Time Series: It’s game number 56 between the squads and Bristol has played this team every year since 1959 except in 2010.
Last Week: Eastern dropped a tough 14-6 decision to Wethersfield while Maloney was a 27-21 victor over Newington.
Casual facts…This could be an interesting affair if injuries alter this game…Malonley QB Chris Dingwell was knocked out of the win against Newington while Bristol Eastern quarterback Alex Hunter was also was lost for several snaps during the Wethersfield loss…If the duo is ready for the challenge, both squads will have their main weapons available…Back up QB Justin McEwen can throw the ball for the Spartans and is also a force on defense…Maloney threw up 27 first half points against Newington and, to the credit of Newington, the Spartans were held scoreless over the second half of play…McEwen is a capable back up so if Dingwell isn’t on the field doing everything, Maloney is in good hands…The Spartans dropped 91 combined points over the first two weeks of the season and Newington did a great job limiting that scoring in Week 3 – though Dingwell being out had a hand in that as well…Hunter made 27 tough rushes against Wethersfield and when he found holes his offensive line made, several mad dashes took place for big yardage…His 45 yard dash in the fourth period against the Eagles led to an eventual six points and kept the game a one possession affair…Blockers Josh Sampson and Josh Thompson were outstanding but what about that Eastern defense, holding Wethersfield to a season low 14 points?…Standouts were all over the field but Edgar Ortiz-Hernandez and Mike Portal led the charge…Thompson, Sampson, Ronte Cooper, Joey Colangelo, Josh DiMattia, Darieyn Tate Luis Rivera, and Josh O’Keefe also made stops all over the field…And Tate made a great connection with Donte Collins while Hunter was injured at QB…Eastern is working hard and the difference between Week 2 and Week 3 was evident in the final score of the game against Wethersfield thought it was still a losing effort…This will be a big test for the Eastern defense but if that same effort is shown this week as it was against Wethersfield, don’t count out the Lancers in this one.
And the winner is…Eastern could make this one interesting but in the end, Maloney wins 28-12.
St. Paul (1-2) vs. Kennedy (1-2): Naugatuck Valley League Cooper Division showdown
Location: from St. Paul Catholic high school
Day and Time: Friday, 7:00 p.m.
Last Week: St. Paul dropped a 36-20 decision to Seymour while Kennedy smashed Wilby 36-6.
Last Year: 2014 was the first season the Falcons did not compete against Kennedy in NVL play.
All-time NVL series: The Falcons leads the all-time series 4-1. St. Paul won the last meeting between the schools back on Oct. 5, 2013.
Casual facts: Both squads have beaten Wilby this season and this game could be a bit of a dog fight…However, the Eagles have struggled containing the ground game, St. Paul should be able the run the football all over the place…Credit belongs to the Falcons as the team hung around last week against Seymour for one half before finally falling over the final 24 minutes of the contest…Ben Pryor had early success in the Falcons’ running game – adding three scores overall by the Wildcats were able to throw up 36 points on the board against St. Paul’s much improved defense…Seymour’s Jaylen Kelley was able to rush for three touchdowns, passed for 145, ran for 127 additional for a total of 272 and the Falcons need to stop that lead rusher from the Eagles to snare a victory in this one…Kennedy will run with the football and the defense needs to make big stops to keep the chains from moving the wrong way…St. Paul looks to even its home record and should be able to accomplish that over Kennedy.
And the winner is…St. Paul defends home turf and defeats Kennedy 34-20.