By MICHAEL LETENDRE
t’s back to work for Week 7 of the scholastic football season.
Two out of the three scholastic teams in town are in action this weekend while one has it off.
Both public schools are competing this Friday while St. Paul Catholic needs its bye week to regroup from that 42-6 loss at home to Ansonia.
For Bristol Central, winners of three straight games, it’s two games in a row from Muzzy Field – starting with a showdown versus Maloney.
And Bristol Eastern has a winnable contest on the road in a contest at Newington High School, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Will the Rams move up in the Class L rankings by the completion of the weekend?
Will the Lancers notch victory number one of the 2016 season?
The stakes are indeed high on Friday:
Bristol Central (3-2) vs. Maloney (3-2); CCC Division II West match-up
Location: from Muzzy Field, Bristol
Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Season: The Rams gave up 53 points to the squad as the Spartans won the contest by 19 points (53-34) in a contest played at Falcon Field in Meriden back on Oct. 23.
All-Times Series: Central and Maloney will play in showdown number 57. The Spartans lead the series 28-25-3.
Last Week: Central did not play; bye week.
Series history versus the Spartans: In the very first contest between the squads in 1959, from Muzzy Field in Bristol, Maloney started a fight against Central that eight police cruisers were called in to stop. Because of that situation, the Bristol schools did not compete against Meriden scholastically over the following months – simply wiping off Maloney and Platt’s games from the winter schedule. When springtime came, the towns had made up and everybody were friends again.
Casual Facts: In my opinion, the bye week came at the worst time for the Central program because the Rams were building some real momentum…Despite the 3-2 record, Central played just 18 bad minutes against South Windsor to end the game and the contest against Windsor – who every squad has lost to this year. Those two teams carried a combined 8-2 ledger going into week 7…Hopefully, the inspired play Central has been showing continues because the Rams are legit…Forget the 47-0 loss to Windsor folks and the Bobcats had to pull out big stops to topple the Rams the following week from home that saw the Rams go 0-2 to start 2016…Central’s offense has been flowing better as of late and that’s due to the players getting more familiar with one another, the obvious talent level, and health…QB Isaiah Miller (32-of-53, 356 yards, 2 TDs) is a duel threat on the field and while he averages 11.1 yards-per-catch, he also captured 309 yards on the ground (on 63 carries) and nabbed a team tying five rushing touchdowns…Running back Luis Medina is on pace for another 1,000 yard season as his 101 carries and 525 yards (5 TDs) currently leads the squad…The passing game has been improving by leaps and bounds…Miller has used Connor Staubley (8 catches, 133 yards), Justus Fitzpatrick (8 catches, 137 yards, TD) and Medina (8 catches, 44 yards, TD)…Over those last four games, Central might be yielding 21.5 points-per-game but during those last three showdowns, the Rams’ have been winning each contest by a touchdown – showing the team’s ability to pull out the close games…That’s a credit to the Central defense, which has been making big stops at critical times…Hey, Maloney is going to throw the football folks and that’s going to be the challenge for the Rams’ defense to stop all evening long…Maloney quarterback Larue Graham can throw the football all over the field and his favorite target is Alejandro Ortiz who caught four passes for 116 yards against Eastern in the team’s 28-10 victory over the Lancers…The Spartans used Freddy Hidalgo (18 carries, 103 yards) effectively against Eastern so the Rams have to be careful of that threat…More than a couple points are going to light up the scoreboard from Muzzy Field on Friday night but the Rams should come out on top in this one.
And the winner is…Central wins its fourth straight game, downing Maloney 35-21. Can the Rams’ run the table to close out the season?!?
Bristol Eastern (0-5) at Newington (1-4); CCC Division II West showdown
Location: at Alumni Field, Newington
Day and Time: Friday, 6:30 p.m. (Note the time…)
Last Season’s Game: In Eastern’s only win of 2015, the Lancers defeated the Indians 40-34 from the grounds of BEHS. With the realignment of the CCC South, the Indians are back on the Lancers’ radar to stay.
All-Time Series: It’s the 30th game of the series between the schools as Newington leads the series 16-13.
Series history versus the Indians: For nearly 20 years (1984-2004), the Lancers and Indians were both part of the CCC South along with New Britain and Southington. The realignment took those three squads out of the mix for Eastern and Central.
Last Week: Bristol Eastern did not play; bye week.
Casual facts…Since beating Hartford Public on Week 1, the season has turned into a disaster for the Indians as both squads are out of the state tournament picture..But this showdown against the Indians should be a fun contest none-the-less…Newington’s quarterback coming into the season transferred to a school in Pennsylvania and the Indians have had a new chucker to open the campaign…Newington QB Issac Ortiz Jr. can and will throw the ball and averages over 100 yards in offense per game…Ortiz will also keep the ball and run for several yards as will back Aveontae Frazier…Eastern’s lone win last season came against Newington and it was a contest that saw the squads combine for 74 total points. Don’t expect that kind of offensive explosion this time around…The Lancers didn’t have a great offensive game against Windsor two weeks ago (46-0 loss) but who has this season against the undefeated Warriors?…Eastern only posted 39 total yards in the loss to Windsor…But quarterback Justin Marshall continues to make strides by the week and even though he just has one touchdown toss this year, the sophomore is one tough kid…Bristol should be able to generate a little success in its running game against the Indians through the rushes of Mikey Barrette, Edgar Hernandez and Marshall…Jaden Laprise has done a little of everything this season for Eastern, as has Ariza Kolloverja, and both those players have done well on both sides of the ball…Tyler Mason is a tackling machine and Trinidad Gonzalez is going to be a good one as he gains experience on the field…Each week, big Andrew Consalvo seems to make a big stop, a big tackle…And the Lancers just missed making two critical stops against the Warriors that would have kept 14 points off the scoreboard. It might not seem like much but every small victory is a step in the right direction…This game is one for the taking for the Lancers as the bye week was a needed and necessary break…However, Newington is home in this one and that could be the key ingredient.