Gridiron preview for Sept. 21

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL – Wins were a bit hard to come by from our scholastic squads over Week 2.

Both the public schools rolled up against top-15 programs as Central fell to Windsor and Bristol Eastern was rolled by Middletown.

St. Paul Catholic salvaged the weekend for Bristol, snaring a 30-16 win over Watertown.

Week 3 has three intriguing showdowns and here’s what the locals are dealing with:

Bristol Central (1-1) at Wethersfield (1-1)

Location: Cottone Field at Wethersfield high school

Date and Time: Friday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

The All-Time Series: Wethersfield leads the all-time series 11-8. This is the 20th all-time showdown between the teams.

Last Season: Back on Sept. 22, 2017, the Rams blitzed the Eagles by a 33-0 final from Bristol.

Last Week: The Rams fell at Windsor 29-14 while Wethersfield was a 20-6 winner over Edwin O. Smith.

Quick Facts: Central led 14-12 at the half last week at Windsor but ended up falling in the end by 15 as the Warriors notched the final 23 points of the game. Back Darrell Payton notched a five yard touchdown run and off a fumble recovery in the end zone from Devin Love, the Rams’ defense was clicking. From there, Central’s offense was blanked in the second half as QB Courtenay Jackson chucked four balls for touchdowns – connecting on 11 passes for a blistering 250 yards. The Warriors turned two Central passes into interceptions and that’s tall order to come back from against a big play team like Windsor. Wethersfield has been averaging 20 points-per-game to open the season and that’s the magic number for the Rams. The game is the second of three straight home games for the Eagles from Cottone Field. Central collected just 100 yards in total offense and that’s the number the Rams need to improve on. Expect that improvement on Friday.

Final analysis: This feels like a revenge game for Wethersfield from last season but a healthy dose of Justus Fitzpatrick and Payton might be just Maloney (2-0) at Bristol Eastern (0-2)

Location: Alumni Field at Bristol Eastern high school

Date and Time: Friday, Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m.

The All-Time Series: Maloney leads the all-time series 34-23-1.

Last Week: The Lancers fell at home to Middletown 41-7 while Maloney was an easy winner over Hartford Public on the road, 38-0.

Last Season: Back on Sept. 30, 2017, Maloney defeated Eastern 34-7 from Falcon Field.

Quick Facts: In bits and pieces, Bristol Eastern’s football squad has been putting it together. The problem is the time is – with all those consecutive home games in sight – health. And its already a big concern. You can see the players picking up the schemes, getting to the proper spots on the field, and making the right reads but success has been slow to come the Lancers’ way. Not having the team’s top two receivers didn’t help against the Blue Dragons last Friday night but will the duo reemerge against Maloney? The defense played reasonably well against Middletown, which included efforts by Carson Sassu, Josh McConnell, Edgar Santiago, Tyler Gleifert, Dylan Garcia, and Gavin Jarvis. Quarterbacks Justin Marshall (13 passes, 69 yards) and Bryce Curtin (2-for-4, 11 yards) showed different looks and both made strides in the game though the scoreboard did not show it. Maloney has big time play-making ability – like Middletown – and it’s up to the Eastern defense to limit the damage. QB Elliot Good threw two touchdown passes last week while James Tarver rushed one in. And the Spartans beat up on Windsor, which says a lot. The Lancers seemed to have success in short passing scenarios, something the squad might turn to again against Maloney. If Eastern is healthy, and all the playmakers are available, look for big things in the CCC tilt.

Final analysis: Eastern eventually has to get to the pay window during its home stand. Does it come against the Spartans?

St. Paul Catholic (1-1) at Naugatuck (2-0)

Location: Naugatuck High School

Date and Time: Friday, Sept. 21

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 in Bristol.

Last Week: Naugatuck blanked Crosby 54-0 while the Falcons defeated Watertown 30-16.

Last Season: The teams did not play one another. The last time the programs squared off, 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. When you blank two opponents, you could be a top divisional contender. And that’s what Naugy did against Wolcott in a defensive fueled 14-0 game in Week 1 while crushing Crosby the following week. Malachi Gattison rushed for two touchdowns in the thumping of Wilby while Nick Airall also ran one in while also catching a ball for a TD. Justin Papp and Paul Marsh each made an interception – scoring on both the turnovers. Obviously, Naugy is a team that can get it done on both sides of the ball. Last week, the Falcons ran the ball down Seymour’s collective throats with Kevin Ashworth leading the charge. St. Paul Catholic always seems to find ways to put points on the scoreboard and it should be interesting how the Naugy defense responds.

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

enough to overwhelm the home squad.