Gridiron Preview for Nov. 9



BRISTOL – Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and that means our local scholastic football squads are attempting to seize a little momentum going into the final game of the year.

Bristol Central is in the playoff hunt, in the top-10 of the Class L point standings, and will continue to remain in contention if the Rams pick off East Catholic this Saturday.

Bristol Eastern wraps up its home schedule with a CCC Interdivisional contest versus Manchester while St. Paul Catholic travels to Torrington for a Naugatuck Valley League tilt at Torrington high school.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s action:


Bristol Central (5-3) at East Catholic (3-5)

Location: at Cheney Tech High School, Manchester

Date and Time: Saturday, Nov. 10, 1:30 p.m.

The All-Time Series: Central is 1-0 against East Catholic. Last season, the Rams – with Dathan Hickey at the helm – whitewashed the Eagles 61-18 on November 9, 2017 from the turf field at BCHS.

Last Week: Central battled Platt, beating the squad 21-20 while Catholic lost at RHAM 38-0.

Quick Facts: In an interesting note for East Catholic’s 49-15 loss at Plainville two weeks ago, when Blue Devils’ quarterback Frankie Griffin ran for a school record 323 yards on 11 carries, it was a telling evening. On nine of those rushes, Griffin was basically untouched as he just trampled all over the Eagles. Makes you wonder how that defense will deal with the likes of running back Darrell Payton, quarterback Justus Fitzpatrick and other Central ball carriers. That offensive line from Central is young, talented, and will give those rushes plenty of daylight to attack. Do we need to talk about Central’s hungry defense? Catholic hasn’t won since posting a 42-7 win over a very young Rocky Hill back on Oct. 5. And the Rams are surging now, winners of four straight games and are going to be hard to stop. Central’s quest to make it into the state tournament fray will continue with a victory over East Catholic and then, well…

Final analysis: Bristol Central easily defeats East Catholic as Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Pretty good after a 1-3 start, huh?


Bristol Eastern (0-8) vs. Manchester (3-5)

Location: from Alumni Field on the campus of Bristol Eastern

Date and Time: Friday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m.

The All-Time Series: It’s the 17th battle between the schools – another CCIL opponent of old – as the Indians lead the series 12-4.

Last Week: The Indians lost against Simsbury 34-13 while Eastern fell at Wethersfield 34-14.

Last Season: Back on Nov. 9, Eastern held the lead at the half but ended up falling 25-20 on the road to the Indians. The last time the Lancers posted a win against Manchester was back in 1973 – a 14-13 victory over the Indians on Nov. 10.

Quick Facts: Manchester quarterback Logan Tomlinson can toss a football and through seven games this season, he’s made 86 throws for 1,309 yards and 15 touchdowns – averaging 12.3 yards-per-throw. That’s pretty good. He’s also the leading rusher with 364 yards on 56 carries, including five touchdowns. Tomlinson averages 6.5 yards-per-carry. Three receivers have over 300 receptions yards on the year in the form of senior AJ Alibrio, and juniors Trey West and Jaheim Carr. That’s a good offense but it’s up to the Eastern defense to take some of those elements away. Health is important for the depth-deprived Lancers as Alex Valley and QB Justin Marshall (14 passes, 195 yards versus Wethersfield) were hurt during game play versus Wethersfield. The Lancers need them both back to battle the Indians. Eastern’s defense did well against Wethersfield with Trinidad Gonzalez (10 tackles) leading the charge. Expect plenty of play action in this one as the Lancers would like to score a win on the seniors’ final home game of the season.

Final analysis: The Lancers have to get to the pay window sooner or later, right? Why not against Manchester?


St. Paul Catholic (3-5) vs. Torrington (3-5)

Location: from Torrington High School

Date and Time: Friday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m.

The All-Time Series: In NVL wars, this is the 10th all-time meeting between the schools. The Falcons are 5-4 over those battles, winning the last two.

Last Week: St. Paul Catholic beat Kennedy 32-24 while Torrington fell at home to Holy Cross 42-7.

Last Season: Back on Oct. 6, St. Paul Catholic was a 26-8 winner over Torrington in Bristol.

Quick Facts: Torrington has lost three out of its last four games, only nabbing a 46-0 win from Wilby. But over the past two weeks, opponents have beaten up the Raiders by a combined 97-7 score. Torrington can and will score points but the Falcons’ defense could be able to hold the squad in check. Torrington likes to run and expect rushes from Aladio Thompson, Ora Curry, and Christian Estefani. There’s going to be a lot of running in this one and the squad with the best defense will come out on top.

Final analysis: Torrington is ripe for the pickings. It’s time for another St. Paul Catholic win.

Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver. com.