Gridiron preview for Oct. 20

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL – Week six of the scholastic football campaign was a bye week for all the locals with very few contests taking place around the state.

But its now week seven and all the squads from the Mum City are in the mix, itching to get back into the swing of things.

First, Bristol Central is home against pesky Newington while Bristol Eastern is back on the road, squaring off against Platt.

And then, it’s the ultimate as St. Paul Catholic takes its undefeated streak to Ansonia for a battle that will determine the division champion and give one of the squads its first loss.

It’s another big week and here’s a quick preview:

 

Bristol Central (2-3) vs. Newington (2-3); CCC Division II West encounter

Location: from the turf field at BCHS

Day and Time: Friday, 6 p.m.

Last Season: In a bit of an upset last year, Central defeated Newington on the road 25-19 back on Nov. 4.

All-Times Series: This is Central’s 28th game against Newington. The Rams hold the all-time edge in series play, 15-11-1.

Two Weeks ago: Bristol Central fell at Middletown 56-26 while Newington spun its wheels against South Windsor 40-13.

Casual facts…I would not want to be Newington this week. And that’s not bashing the program but off those showings at Maloney and Middletown, the Rams are probably a bit pissed off…The Indians have some solid offensive components but not just enough of them to really threaten the Central defense…Quarterback Roberto Sanchez can throw the ball a bit and Aveonyae Frazier is a weapon in both ground and air game schemes but Central just has to bring its usual defense to the game…And frankly, it’s truly hard to gauge Newington’s results this season…The squad tangled with Chicopee, Mass. from out of state and then struggled to beat winless Farmington 26-20. That’s where the two victories have come from…If the Rams pound the ball down Newington’s throat, like the Lancers did in its win against over the Indians, this one could be over quickly…The Rams can run Dathan Hickey (105 carries, 544 yards, nine TD’s), Justus Fitzpatrick (14-139), and Darrell Payton (56-326, 5 TD’s) at Newington’s defense and the trio will have success in that endeavor. I’m sure the Rams’ offensive line will be up for the challenge…Central’s defense just needs to regroup and this is the perfect game to get everything back on track for a little second half of the season run…Get ready for a little home cooking as one of the two squads will be picking up win number three this week.

And the winner is…Central wins this one, 36-13.

 

Bristol Eastern (2-3) at Platt (3-2); CCC Division II West showdown

Location: from Falcon Field, Meriden

Day and Time: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Last Season’s Game: On Nov. 4, 2016, the Lancers fell at home to the Panthers in a game we’d all rather like to forget…

All-Time Series: This is the 55th meeting between the schools with Platt holding a 30-23-1 advantage over Eastern.

Last Win against Platt: Eastern last won against Platt back on Oct. 1, 2010. The Lancers defeated the Panthers that night 28-20.

Two Week’s ago: Bristol Eastern held off Farmington 19-12 while Platt fell flat for the second week in a row, falling at Windsor 18-0.

Casual facts…Here’s the stat of the day: Entering last week, Eastern has the 10th worst offense in the state. And the squad is only one game under .500 so try to figure that one out…The Lancers have won its past two games by scoring nine and 19 points – giving up 19 points in the process and that’s what defense brings your teams – victories…Will it continue this Friday?…In fact, it could be the best time to knock off the Panthers if a certain Platt running back is still hurt and not able to go…After scoring at least 36 points in all three of its first games – leading the squad to a 3-0 ledger over that timeframe – Platt has limped to just seven points over its last two, going 0-2…And the time to strike is now because Eastern is on a bit of a roll…And the last time down at Falcon Field in Meriden, Eastern trailed Maloney just 14-7 midway through the third period before losing that one…The defense is clearly rolling and it’s been a share-the-wealth set-up, especially when standout Trinidad Gonzales was not able to go due to injury against Farmington…Offensively, the O-line has been excellent the past two games and against the Indians, it was a little old school, smash-mouth, up-the-gut rushing game that all saw Steven Hopkins, Matt D’Amato and captain Tyler Mason – along with a healthy dose of captain Ariza Kolloverja rushing – go for career nights in terms of yardage…Throw in a little play action by QB Justin Marshall and Eastern could have something brewing in Meriden.

And the winner is…Let’s go Eastern, 21-13.

 

St. Paul (5-0) at Ansonia (5-0); Naugatuck Valley League, Copper Division main event

Location: Nolan Field, Ansonia

Day and Time: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last Season’s Game: On Oct. 13, 2016, St. Paul Catholic fell at home to Ansonia 42-6.

All-Time Series: The Falcons are 0-5 lifetime against the Chargers. Back in 2014, the Falcons threw up 35 points against Ansonia but yielded 61 in another tough effort.

Two Weeks Ago: St. Paul Catholic defeated Torrington 26-8 while Ansonia wiped out Kennedy 48-6.

Casual facts…Ansonia hasn’t given up more than six points in a game this year, allowing just 24 overall…And the fewest number of points the squad has scored this season is 43 but that came over a shutout against Oxford during Week 3 of the scholastic season…So, the Falcons are going to tangle with one of the state’s best offensive and defensive squads on their own home turf in Ansonia…This is a tall order and a huge challenge…Where does the Ansonia squad rank in the state? Most polls show the Chargers as a top three team, better than Windsor, New Canaan, Masek, and Greenwich. That’s some impressive company to be ahead of…Ansonia’s defense is big and will have stoppers against St. Paul’s wishbone offense…The Falcons will vary its rushers in the offense and the key will be giving the runners enough space to keep the chains moving…It’s a massive undertaking…But Damien Rabis (56 carries, 723 yards, 11 TD’s), Connor Bogdanski (66-572, 8 TD’s), Kevin Ashworth (50-324, 3 TD) and Chris Dionne (39-153, 2 TD) have helped St. Paul Catholic to nearly 1,800 yards in offense on the ground this year that’s included 8.4 yards-per-carry and two dozen touchdowns…This is a huge challenge to the St. Paul offensive line, a call the group will answer…Offensively, Ansonia won’t throw the ball around too much but will rush the ball down the field off the likes of senior Markell Hobbs (41 carries, 643 yards, 12 TD), Darwin Amaya (12-276, 6 TD), and a crew of backs who have rushed for 1,578 yards as a team…The Falcons hope to slow down the Ansonia offense and find just enough holes in the defense to make this thing competitive.

And the winner is…The Falcons battle but lose this one to Ansonia, 48-14.

Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.