Gridiron preview for Sept. 14

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL – Week 1 of the scholastic football season saw the schools from Bristol go 1-2 with Bristol Central coming away with a shutout win over Hartford Public.

But both Bristol Eastern and St. Paul Catholic didn’t allow its offenses many chances on the field as time of possession went to the opponents.

But it’s a brand new week and all three teams are back in action.

Here’s the deal as Week 2 is quickly upon us:

Bristol Central at Windsor

Location: O’Brien Stadium Turf field at Windsor high school

Date and Time: Friday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m.

The All-Time Series: Windsor leads the all-time series 13-3.

Last Season: Back on September 15, 2017, the Rams were in its game against the Warriors but ultimately fell 29-19 from Bristol.

Last Week: The Warriors fell to Maloney 26-20 while the Rams turned away Hartford Public 34-0 in a romp.

Quick Facts: It’s not often Windsor starts the season 0-1 but after a late score by Maloney, with 1:33 left in the game, that record came to pass. Bryan Gabriel ended up with two rushing touchdowns and QB Jackson Courtenay threw eight passes for just over 80 yards for Windsor. Neither effort was good enough to get Windsor to the pay window. On the flip side, Central did pretty much what it wanted to against Hartford Public last week and that meant QB Justus Fitzpatrick and the Central offense displayed a balanced attack. He rambled up three touchdowns, one of the passing variety. Darrell Payton led the offensive charge with 86 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries while Fitzpatrick was 7-77 with those two rushing TD’s. Victor Rosa (4-64) and Jose Navedo (3-61) helped that rushing attack while the latter caught Fitzpatrick’s only completion on the evening – a 64-yard bomb – for a touchdown. In all, Central gained 333 yards on the ground. And Central didn’t allow Public much in terms of offense. Jermaine Jones went for 109 rushing yards but it came on 22 carries. Central did its job defensively in Week 1. Will that same effort come to pass this Friday? It’s a tall task against a very good Windsor team from O’Brien Stadium.

Final analysis: If Central could slow down those athletes from Windsor, the Rams have a chance in this one.

 

Middletown at Bristol Eastern

Location: Alumni Field at Bristol Eastern high school

Date and Time: Friday, Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m.

The All-Time Series: The next Eastern win against Middletown will be its first. The Blue Dragons are 7-0 against the Lancers.

Last Week: The Blue Dragons handled Wethersfield 38-20 while the Lancers fell at home to Edwin O. Smith by a 23-7 final.

Last Season: Back on September 15, 2017, Middletown defeated Eastern 35-0.

Quick Facts: The big play by Middletown has foiled Eastern over and over again since the squads have become regular season opponents. And this year, despite the Blue Dragons graduating several players, the outfit is still a formidable foe. Offensively, Xavier Reyes scored three touchdowns and rushed for just over 100 yards versus Wethersfield in the squad’s 18-point win. QB Jonta’e Dempsey, Tyreece Lumpkin and DaJuan Lomotey can all run with the ball and that spells trouble. And the Middletown secondary is good, picking off three Wethersfield balls and breaking the contest open late. Eastern’s defense made stops against Smith, especially early, but the offense never got on track. Smith was more physical, capitalized on Eastern’s defensive miscues, and played harder in the end. The good news for Eastern is all those gaffes they made are all fixable. Week 1 was a chance to get some bugs out and hopefully, a better effort will come of it against the Blue Dragons.  Health is already a concern and the hope is Elijah Gagliardo and Jaden Laprise will both be ready to go because QB Justin Marshall needs those targets out on the field. The Lancers have to get something out of their ground game, too.

Final analysis: Middletown could come in here and win it on Eastern’s home field but, hopefully, the Lancers show a little gumption to steal it away from the Blue Dragons.

 

St. Paul Catholic at Naugatuck

Location: Naugatuck High School

Date and Time: Friday, Sept. 14

The All-Time Series: Naugatuck is 5-1 in NVL battles versus St. Paul Catholic. The Falcons last win over Naugy came in 2009, a 28-18 home win from Bristol.

Last Week: Naugatuck blanked Wolcott 14-0 while the Falcons fell to Seymour 43-14.

Last Season: The teams did not play one another. The last time the programs tangled, St. Paul Catholic fell 56-41 in Naugy during the 2014 campaign.

Quick Facts: When you blank an opponent in the NVL, you’ve done a good job. And that’s what Naugy did against Wolcott in a defensive fueled game. Doreon Chapman and Malachi Gatison combined for 112 yards on 15 carries while QB Jay Mezzo nailed 7-of-17 passes for just under 120 yards to lead Naugatuck in the 14-point win. Wolcott was limited to nearly 110 total yards of offense in the game and the Falcons are going to have to out pressure on that defensive line and get a quick score. Seymour allowed the Falcons 178 total yards in offense but the home team fumbled four times. Like E.O. Smith at Bristol Eastern, the defense for St. Paul Catholic didn’t get many breaks and probably ran out of gas as Seymour put additional points on the scoreboard, keeping its offense on the field.

Final analysis: The Falcons battle but Naugy takes the game.

Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.