By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – November is here and if a certain scholastic football program from Bristol wants a possible postseason bid, the team will have to win out the month and hope for a little luck.
The month of Nov. opens with Bristol Central taking on Platt which should be an excellent battle and the game of the week in town.
On the other hand, Eastern goes on its longest road trip of the campaign – traveling to Wethersfield – to take on an Eagles team that’s undefeated at home.
And then its homecoming at St. Paul Catholic High School as Kennedy comes to Bristol in a special Saturday challenge.
Here’s how the weekend is shaping up for our gridiron squads:
Bristol Central (4-3) vs. Platt (6-1)
Location: from the turf field at BCHS
Date and Time: Friday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m.
The All-Time Series: The Rams lead the all-time series at 28-24-1.
Last Season: On Nov. 3 of last season, Central traveled to Platt and came away with a 43-26 victory from Falcon Field in Meriden.
Last Week: Central defeated Capital/ Achievement 28-7 while Platt got by Edwin O. Smith 14-6.
Quick Facts: STOP THE COUNTER DRAW. There’s no mystery on the plays Platt likes to run offensively and a certain sophomore running back – Roberto Salas – makes up most of his yardage from that play. If you can get him within a couple steps, those yards dry up quickly and the Rams have the personnel to handle that running attack. The Panthers QB, Lorenzo Sanson, won’t throw a ton of balls but the connections he makes are big. He’ll run a little bit and get out of the way of traffic. Defensively, I don’t know what they put in the water in Meriden but – like Maloney – Platt has a big defensive line with plenty of stoppers in their schemes. The Panthers are a really good team despite losing Ethan Dudley, a senior running back with plenty of power, pop, and pep. It’s simply amazing that the Panthers lost its starting running back and the squad has not missed a beat. The team is legit and Central knocking off Platt could help halt any type of postseason aspirations for the Meriden contingent. And Platt needs to beware because Central scooped up 415 totals yards against Capital/Achievement (the Hartford squad only had 133 total yards).Central’s Darrell Payton rocked the team from Hartford for 167 yards on 27 carries (and a touchdown) while Justus Fitzpatrick averaged five yards-a-carry behind a 20 rush, 101 yard effort. He also connected on 3-of-5 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Nate Rosa caught two balls for 96 yards and a score. The big guns for Central are ready for a showdown versus Platt.
Final analysis: Hey, the postseason is still a possibility for Central if they can win out. 7-3 isn’t out of the question and neither is a win over Platt.
Bristol Eastern (0-7) at Wethersfield (4-3)
Location: from Cottone Field on the campus of Wethersfield High School
Date and Time: Friday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
The All-Time Series: Old friends from CCIL days gone by, Wethersfield leads the series 23-9. Back on Sept. 28, 2007, the Lancers defeated the Eagles 61-14 from Muzzy Field. The 61 points scored is a school record for points in a game by the Lancers.
Last Week: In its third straight road contest of the season, Wethersfield upset Windsor 21-20 while Eastern fell to Hartford Public 27-22.
Last Season: In a heartbreaker, Wethersfield defeated Eastern 14-13 back on Friday, Nov. 3 from Alumni Field in Bristol.
Quick Facts: Wethersfield is 3-0 at home and have outscored opponents there 93-12. That outstanding home play including a 24-0 win over Bristol Central. The squad is 1-3 on the road (against Middletown, Platt, and Maloney – what a trio) but then goes to Windsor and picks up a 21-20 win? My goodness. Wethersfield has used three different quarterbacks this season as Craig Elliott, Matt Silver, and Connor Pace have combined to throw for nine touchdowns and averages 14 yards-per-connection. The Silver and Pace duo have rushed over a combined 500 yards this season and account for 70-percent of its touchdowns on the ground. Those are the weapons Eastern will somehow have to tangle with and slow down. But for the Kingstreeters, getting that first over the Eagles would be an impressive feat. Eastern quarterback Justin Marshall threw for 232 yards while Bryce Curtin, certainly critical in Eastern’s receiving schemes, nabbed seven passes for a team best 113 yards against Hartford Public. The Lancers were in the right positions defensively but just couldn’t make that first contact, that first tackle count. There’s improvement every week and the loss to Hartford Public was just as close as it looked. The Bristol squad will go back to the drawing board and make those alterations. Hopefully, we see senior Jaden Laprise back soon, injury free. Eastern is still looking for its first win on the road since Thanksgiving of 2014.
Final analysis: This is going to be an epic challenge. One play at a time. Anything is possible in this one but the Eagles have a good program and are better than that 4-3 ledger indicates.
St. Paul Catholic (2-5) vs. Kennedy (3-4)
Location: McPhee Field on the campus of St. Paul Catholic High School
Date and Time: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2:30 p.m. (Homecoming)
The All-Time Series: The Falcons have enjoyed plenty of success against the Eagles, going 5-1 against the squads in NVL play. The Falcons have won three straight. This is the first meeting between the schools since 2015 and that contest ended up being a 26-6 home victory for St. Paul Catholic. The Falcons were in it against Wolcott, knotted up at 14-14 before a tough third quarter did-in the home team.
Last Week: St. Paul Catholic lost to Wolcott 44-28 while Kennedy was blanked by Ansonia 43-0 on Thursday, Oct. 25.
Quick Facts: Kennedy fell to Ansonia last week – like everybody has this season – and was outscored over the last two weeks 99-0. The squad was 0-for-Oct. and hasn’t won a game since beating Waterbury Career Academy 40-22 from Municipal Field in Waterbury on Sept. 29. The squad has lost three in a row and the Falcons are hoping to make it four.
Final analysis: A .500 ledger is still in the cards and a probable win against Kennedy keeps the squad on track for that important and obtainable ledger.