By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Here we are again, again, another week of scholastic football and three teams trying to get to the pay window.
Those squads will be put to the test this weekend as October is nearing a conclusion.
In a showdown from Bristol, Bristol Eastern hosts Hartford Public in a CCC Interdivisional challenge this Friday.
Also on tap, Bristol Central travels to Hartford for a contest against the Capital Prep/Achievement co-op from the Annie Fisher Turf Field in the insurance capital of the world.
And St. Paul Catholic looks for its second victory in a row, this time challenging an always tough Wolcott squad.
It’s a busy Friday and here’s what to look for:
Bristol Central (3-3) at Capital/Achievement (1-4)
Location: from the Annie Fisher Turf Field, Hartford
Date and Time: Friday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m.
The All-Time Series: This showdown marks the second all-time meeting between the schools with the Rams leading 1-0.
Last Season: On Oct. 27, Central hung on to defeat Capital/Achievement 35-28 from the turf field at BCHS.
Last Week: Central downed Newington 33-27 while the Capital/Achievement grouping enjoyed a duel “bye week” that came off a 2-0 forfeit to Caravel of Bear, Del. this past weekend. The squad hasn’t played since Oct. 5, losing to Westhill 32-12.
Quick Facts: Either the squad from Capital/Achievement is going to be well-rested or extremely rusty. It’s been weeks since the team has seen a competitive game and you know what happens when not playing “real games.” Competition is the key but speaking of competition, Central has been turning it on as of late and posting wins against a couple quality programs. The win against Maloney shouldn’t have been that surprising off the near-winning effort against Middletown. The Rams are putting the pieces together offensively to match an already good defense. Central’s ground game schemes are starting to pay off and when it comes to QB Justus Fitzpatrick, the o-line is helping him out tremendously. But when that seam doesn’t appear, the athlete can make one by himself. Then add in the rushing abilities of Darrell Payton and contributions from rising star Victor Rosa, Jose Navedo, and Orlando Baldwin offense gives the squad some options. Capital/Achievement could be in a for a long night if Central puts its offense into high gear.
Final analysis: Central earns it fourth win from Hartford. The Rams are certainly gaining momentum for November.
Bristol Eastern (0-6) vs. Hartford Public (0-6)
Location: from Alumni Field on the campus of Bristol Eastern
Date and Time: Friday, Oct. 26, 6:30 p.m.
The All-Time Series: It’s the fifth meeting between the schools and the Lancers hold a 3-1 advantage over the Owls.
Last Week: The Lancers fell at home to Platt 40-17 while Public was a loser at Farmington 25-7.
Last Season: Public defeated Eastern 24-14 from Hartford on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Quick Facts: Eastern is looking forward to its battle against Hartford Public and earning win No. 1. The Owls have scored 33 total points this year against the likes of Bristol Central, Middletown, Maloney, Farmington, and Wethersfield. Defensively, Public will turn to stoppers like Kahari Palmer and Malachi Randolph – two talented juniors – but the squad simply doesn’t have enough answers to slow down Eastern’s offense. This is the perfect opponent to, hopefully, jumpstart the second half of the season for the Lancers. Justin Marshall had a solid night at QB against Platt, Trinidad Gonzalez tackles everything in sight and Jack Bachand is the real deal at kicker – hitting a 31 yard field goal versus the Panthers. You win as a team and lose as a team and against Public, this all could equate to a victory if the squad strings together forty-eight minutes of quality pigskin.
Final analysis: This is the contest Eastern will finally see all of its hard work and effort pay off. Time to get to the pay window…
St. Paul Catholic (2-4) vs. Wolcott (4-2)
Location: McPhee Field on the campus of St. Paul Catholic High School
Date and Time: Friday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m.
The All-Time Series: It’s the second Naugatuck Valley League meeting between the schools. In the first contest back in 2015, the squads combined for 121 points with Wolcott emerging a 69-52 winner in Wolcott.
Last Week: St. Paul Catholic downed winless Crosby 28-0 while Wolcott sunk Watertown 53-18.
Quick Facts: Getting that second win was huge for the Falcons’ program and a chance to eventually get to .500 is still in the cards. A win against a very good Wolcott program keeps the Falcons on track for a .500 season – perhaps more. There aren’t any surprises with the Eagles as Anthony Ligi will be the guy to stop on the ground. The senior has over 100 carries for the season and about a dozen touchdowns. He’s quick and has four 100+ rushing yard games in 2018. The senior can also throw the football. Matthew Stoeckert is the squad’s other signal caller but the duo has not thrown for a TD to date and only average about nine yards per connection. Defensively, the squad does give up some points. In fact over its last four games, opponents have scored a combined 86 points on Wolcott. On the St. Paul Catholic side, that offensive line will continue to give QB Kevin Ashworth and backs like Connor Bogdanski and Quentin Conner a little daylight to run through and a couple passes by Ashworth will help keep that Wolcott defense honest. It’s a big game for the Falcons.
Final analysis: Slow down Ligi and see what happens. The Falcons could win this one but it’s going to be a close call.