By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Here we go again as Week 2 of the scholastic football campaign is underway and three new challengers will tangle with the locals.
And Week 1 ended up being a Friday Bristol’s three squads in town quickly wanted to forget.
However, it’s a new week.
In terms of Bristol Central, the squad has Friday night off but will be preparing for this Saturday’s showdown at South Windsor (11 a.m.) from the grounds of South Windsor high school.
But it’s “Friday Night Lights” for the other public school in town.
Bristol Eastern is on the road for the first time this season as the unit takes on Farmington while in a Naugatuck Valley League affair, St. Paul Catholic stays home for a showdown against Holy Cross at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Here’s a quick look at what the locals are going to be dealing with this coming weekend:
Bristol Central (0-1) at South Windsor (1-0); CCC Division II West versus CCC Division II East tilt
Location: at South Windsor High School turf field
Day and Time: Saturday, 11 a.m.
Last Season: On Sept. 19, the Rams dismantled the Bobcats 33-8 from Muzzy Field in Bristol.
All-Times Series: This is the 12th all-time match-up against the Bobcats. Central has the advantage in the series, 7-4.
Last Week: Central fell to Windsor 47-0 while South Windsor opened the season with a win over Maloney, 28-14, from home.
Casual Facts: The Bristol Central game against Windsor was the worst possible thing that could have happen for South Windsor…Now, the Bobcats are going to have to tangle with an angry Rams’ squad who will be simply too athletic to tangle with…The Warriors threw the ball all over the field and Windsor burned the locals with several long bombs for touchdowns…Jahkari Grant tossed five touchdowns and threw for over 300 yards in the winning effort…And five of those touchdown passes were of 23 yards or more, including two bombs of 65 and 67 yards…The Rams are pretty good athletics but Windsor, a state title contender to be sure, was even more so…Turnovers hurt as well but remember, this was Week One and improvements will be made from week-to-week…And who would have thought Central would have been shutout against the Warriors? That was truly one of the biggest surprises of Week 1…Now that leaves South Windsor for Week 2, a squad that usually hovers around .500 each season but could surprise at both ends of the spectrum…In fact, the Bobcats 28-14 win over Maloney on opening night was South Windsor first opening night victory since 2004…Against the Spartans, Connor Kapisak threw two touchdowns while James Tamburro (one yard TD run); Connor Dunn (23 TD rush); and Julian Ibes all made ground gains for the home squad…But this offense can be stopped…Simply put, if Central plays to its strengths, using that blazing speed and perhaps, playing with a little edge off the shutout defeat at Windsor, this one could be over in a hurry.
And the winner is…Central wins its first campaign of the season, downing the Bobcats 21-14 on the road.
Bristol Eastern (0-1) at Farmington (0-1); CCC Division II West versus CCC Division II East showdown
Location: at Farmington High School
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season’s Game: On Friday, Sept. 18, Eastern held an early two-possession edge over Farmington but fell in the end, 38-20, from the grounds of Bristol Eastern High School.
All-Time Series: The game marks the sixth contest between the squads and the Indians hold the edge in series play, 4-1.
Last Week: Bristol Eastern fell to Edwin O. Smith 21-0 while Farmington dropped a tough one at Wethersfield by a 20-14 final.
Casual facts…This contest is Farmington’s first from home so expect a fired up group, especially off that loss to Wethersfield one short week ago…And the Indians could have taken that one but second half turnovers foiled the visiting squad…But when Farmington was able to move the ball, the Indians had clear shots to the end zone…The running component for Farmington comes in the form of Brian Buono and the 5-foot-10, 175 pound running back is a blur in motion on the field…The squad also has a little size up front, allowing junior QB Zac Conard or Brooks Mihalek to throw the ball around the field a bit…Eastern’s defense was up to the task against E.O. Smith last week and when the Lancers closed those seems and holes up front, Smith didn’t move the ball as well in the second half of the showdown…In fact, the Panthers rushed for only 79 yards over the final 24 minutes of play…Defensive standouts for the Lancers included Andrew Consalvo, Mikey Barrett, Jaden Laprise, and Mike Massarelli. It was certainly one of the positives that came out of the 21 point loss…The offense will come along and while sophomore Justin Marshall (7-of-20) missed more throws than he made, it was a promising showing of what is to come…Now, Eastern will need more than the 44 combined yards it tallied against the Panthers to pull out the victory in this one…However, this Farmington team is still in a bit of a rebuilding mode and might be ripe for the pickings.
And the winner is…Eastern is going to battle in this one for the second straight league. Is a 21-20 win on the road too much to ask this Friday night out of the Lancers?
St. Paul (0-1) vs. Holy Cross (0-1); Naugatuck Valley League, Brass Division encounter
Location: from St. Paul Catholic High School
Day and Time: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Last Season’s Game: The Falcons and Holy Cross did not compete against each other in 2015.
All-Time Series: It’s been a one-sided series in NVL play for Holy Cross as the Falcons have never beaten the squad. Holy Cross is 5-0 against St. Paul Catholic all-time.
Last Week: The Falcons lost the game against Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech 34-22 while Holy Cross fell to Kennedy 36-21.
Series Fact: St. Paul has scored more than a couple points in its recent losses to Holy Cross, netting 46 in a tough three-point loss to the squad back on Nov. 16, 2013. Since being shut-out by Holy Cross in 2009 (20-0), the Falcons average 31.5 points-per-game against the squad over the last four defeats.
Casual facts…Holy Cross is a blend of youth and experience and will be using a sophomore, Casey Fappiano, at quarterback…The best player from last season’s program (Tyler Rudolph) transferred across town to Sacred Heart and the team will miss his mad dashes in the offensive schemes…But against Kennedy, Holy Cross had a hard time stopping the rush – allowing 220 yards in offense…The throwing game worked for Holy Cross as receiver Adam Razza made six receptions for 134 yards, nabbing a 57-yard touchdown pass from Fappiano…St. Paul Catholic must stop the pass in this one…For the Falcons, Pierce Piana ran all over Sacred Heart and company, whether there was a crease in the defensive line or not. He’s the key to it all…If Holy Cross can’t stop the running game, it will be a long afternoon for the visiting squad…And like St. Paul, every game will be a chance for the program to grow and this should be a good, intense ball-game between the conference foes.