Gridiron preview for Nov. 9



BRISTOL – Thursday is going to be a busy night for our scholastic football teams in town.

Because of the holiday, all three squads will play on the day before Friday in three unique pigskin challenges.

Bristol Central doesn’t leave town again, starting its second to last game of the year versus winless East Catholic from the turf field at BC.

Bristol Eastern takes on a CCIL opponent of old in the form of Manchester – with the showdown coming on the road.

And then St. Paul Catholic takes it shot against struggling Wilby from Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.

Can the locals sweep this unusual edition of Thursday night football? It will be better than the Bills/Jets game from last week, promise.

Here is what’s on tap:


Bristol Central (5-3) vs. East Catholic (0-8); CCC Division II against Division III shake-up

Location: from the turf field at BCHS

Day and Time: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Last Season: The squads did not play against each other.

All-Times Series: This is Central’s first game ever against East Catholic.

One week ago: Bristol Central defeated Platt in Meriden 43-26 while winless East Catholic didn’t do much better against RHAM in a miserable 54-12 loss from home.

Three Quick Facts…East Catholic scored a season-best 22 points against Bulkeley during Week 2 of the season and still lost. That’s really all you need to know about the level of competition this week for Central…Dathan Hickey, the Yale bound jack-of-all-trades athlete who has been filling in at QB for the Rams quite admirably, smashed Platt for five touchdowns…Even if the Rams weren’t at full strength in this game – for reason A, B, or C – Catholic still would be hard pressed to win the game.

And the winner is…Oh, for crying out loud! Central wins (or won depending on when you received your edition of the Bristol Observer this week). 42-6 sound good?


Bristol Eastern (2-6) at Manchester (2-6); CCC Division I vs. CCC Division II tilt

Location: from Memorial Field, Manchester

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

Last Season’s Game: The squads haven’t squared off against each other in quite some time ands did not play against each other last year.

All-Time Series: It’s not in the Lancers’ favor. The Indians lead the all-time series 11-4.

Last Win against Manchester: The last BE win over Manchester came nearly forty-four years ago. On November 10, 1973, the Lancers snuck out a 14-13 win on the road over the Indians.

Last Week: Bristol Eastern dropped a heartbreaking 14-13 decision to Wethersfield while Manchester lost versus Simsbury, 24-0.

Three quick facts…Manchester is a big group and plays an amazingly tough CCC Division I schedule but against Simsbury, the squad did little to move the needle…Is Bristol Eastern snakebitten or what? Another end of the first half scoring opportunity bungled by the, well, never mind…Look, BE quarterback Justin Marshall is now over 1,000 yards throwing for the season, Jaden Laprise (three catches, 126 yards, 2 TDs versus Wethersfield) has been receiving option number one and the defensive effort has been much improved. Time to snare a win on the road.

And the winner is…Eastern wins at Manchester, 21-20.


St. Paul (5-3) at Wilby (0-8); Naugatuck Valley League Brass versus Copper Division challenge

Location: Municipal Stadium, Waterbury

Day and Time: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Last Season’s Game: On Nov. 11, 2016, the Falcons destroyed Wilby 54-6. The 54 points was a season high by St. Paul Catholic.

All-Time Series: St. Paul Catholic is 3-2 against Wilby, winning the last three showdowns. Over the last three years, the Falcons have scored 37, 38, and 54 points over those encounters.

Last Week: St. Paul Catholic lost to Seymour 49-12 while Wilby fell again, this time to Oxford, 43-0.

Three quick facts…Wilby is not having a good year, allowing 50 or more points four times this season including a mind-boggling 76-6 loss at Naugatuck that just made people shake their heads…St. Paul Catholic has now lost three straight games but the squad continues to run its stuff, play a little defense, and compete for themselves – and for each other…Time for the Falcons to run the ball down Wilby’s collective throats and get back to the pay window.

And the winner is…Come on, St. Paul Catholic drills the squad, 48-14.