Gridiron preview: Here comes November





BRISTOL – Game eight is upon the scholastic football programs in town as the month of November gets thrown into high gear.

Bristol Central does not leave the city again this year, squaring off against Newington on Friday, Bristol Eastern takes its shot against Platt while St. Paul Catholic travels to Waterbury to square off against Kennedy – its final road date of the year.


Here’s what to look for this weekend:


Bristol Central (4-3) vs Newington (5-2)

Location: from the turf field at Bristol Central High School

Date and Time: Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.

The All-Time Series: It’s the 30th showdown between the schools with the Rams leading 17-11-1.

Last time the teams played: Central flipped Newington, 33-27, from Alumni Field in Newington last year on Friday, Oct. 19.

Last Week: Central spun RHAM, 34-0, while Newington turned away Edwin O. Smith, 41-7.

Quick Facts: Newington is double-tough and easily could have been 7-0 coming into the contest against Central with its only setbacks to Amity (7-3) and Platt (35-33)…Those two setbacks ruined a near flawless ledger. And that’s two losses by a grand total of six points…QB Nick Pestrichello is a good one, completing 64-of-102 passes for 773 yards while throwing six touchdowns and just one pickoff for Newington…In the ground game schemes, John Amaning generated 433 yards (5.8 yards-per-carry) while running in six touchdowns over the team’s first five games…Pestrichello had five TD’s on the ground as well…So this Indians’ squad had some firepower but opponents have challenged the defense and made ground gains. Expect the same from the Rams with its running attack in full gear…Central out-gained RHAM 340-108 last week as Shawn Rodriguez had his best game in a Rams’ uniform…He gained 215 yards on 28 carries and four touchdowns while Galen Hickey “added” 100 yards on 15 carries and one score. Newington certainly has its hands full this Friday with that speedy duo…Here’s where the rubber meets the road: Newington is currently eighth in the CIAC, Class L standings. A Central wins knocks the squad out of playoff contention.

Final analysis: Central gets the nod here, posting its second victory over the month of November.


Bristol Eastern (3-4) at Platt (3-4)

Location: from Falcons Field in Meriden

Date and Time: Friday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

The All-Time Series: It’s the 57th match-up between the programs. Platt leads the series, 32-23-1.

Last Season: Eastern fell to Platt 40-17 from Alumni Field in Bristol back on October 19.

Last Week: The Lancers lost to Farmington, 54-14, while Platt fell in Windsor, 13-3.

Quick Facts: Eastern had such a great start against Farmington last week but 47 straight points later, the game was quickly lost…But the Lancers will regroup against a strong Platt squad that was officially eliminated from playoff contention with that tough 10-point loss at Windsor…And Platt was never in its game against the Warriors, with its running game completely shut-down in the end…Only a 25 yard field goal by Deaven Tanner was the offense mustered by the Panthers…Over its last two games, Platt has been limited to just 15 points as Bristol Central and Windsor has brought tough defense…If the Lancers can make that first tackle count, Eastern has a big chance on Friday to win the game.

Final analysis: The Lancers will hang around but the Panthers will pull it out in the end.


St. Paul Catholic (1-6) at Kennedy (1-6)

Location: at Municipal Stadium, Waterbury

Date and Time: Saturday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m.

The All-Time Series: The Falcons and Eagles are battling for the eighth time in Naugatuck Valley League play with St. Paul Catholic holding the all-time series edge, 6-1.

Last Season: St. Paul Catholic defeated Kennedy 32-24 from Waterbury back on Nov. 4.

Last Week: The Falcons fell at Wolcott, 20-6, while the Eagles were shutout by Ansonia, 42-0.

Quick Facts: Kennedy last won on opening week, sneaking by the Sacred Heart coop by a 18-14 final in a contest either team could have won…Since Week 1, the Eagles have scored just 34 points over the past six weeks (5.7 points-per-game average) and against its last three opponents, Kennedy has been outscored 131-0…The Waterbury team struggles against the run and if the Falcons’ ground game can gain a little traction, the Eagles are in for a long night.

Final analysis: The Falcons win its second game on the road against the Eagles on Saturday.