Itâ€™s back to the drawing board for the Bristol Central football team. After an exhilarating win last week, the Rams were outplayed in nearly every aspect of the game Friday by Wethersfield as the Eagles took a 33-8 victory to improve to 4-1.
Central dropped to 2-3 on the season and will have two weeks to recoup as it prepares for the second half of the season. The Rams have their bye week next week before traveling to take on Platt, another playoff team, in two weeks.
The Rams held a tenuous one-point lead for much of the first half and were only down 14-8 at the half, but the Eagles came roaring out of the gate in the second half to completely dominate the game and put it out of reach well before it showed on the scoreboard.
â€śThey are a good team,â€ť said Central coach Jeff Papazian, â€śand I thought for most of the first half we did a decent job of holding our own. But the second half they played a little harder than us. They came out with a lot more energy and put their foot to the gas and never let up.â€ť
Quarterback Matt Silver led the attack for the Eagles with 108 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He completed six of 11 passes for 111 yards and found his favorite receiver, Connor Pace, when he needed him most. Pace caught four passes for 98 yards. Two of his catches came on third-and-long situations and the last came on a fourth down play that brought the Eagles to the Central 2-yard line.
The Eagles set the tone for the game early as they stopped the Rams and quarterback Victor Rosa on a fourth and one on the first series of the game. It was one of many big stops for a Wethersfield defense that did a very good job of bottling up the Ramsâ€™ sophomore playmaker.
Rosa had 21 carries for 82 yards, but a good portion of those yards came on the Ramsâ€™ final drive after the game was out of reach. Rosa completed five of 13 passes for 62 yards, most of those to Tre Jones, to keep his team alive in the first half, but the Wethersfield defense shut down the Central passing game in the second half and keyed on Rosa in the backfield all night long.
â€śItâ€™s no secret that Vicâ€™s a very good player and other teams are going to do what they can to take him away,â€ť said Papazian. â€śWe have two weeks to try to find some other answers for when that happens.â€ť
Wethersfield jumped out to an early lead after stuffing the Rams on the fourth down play. Aided by a big 38-yard completion from Silver to Pace, the Eagles covered 59 yards in five plays to take a 7-0 lead on Silverâ€™s three yard run and a Jay Socha extra point.
The Rams were able to counter that score with their only sustained drive of the night, aided by three passes from Rosa to Jones. Central covered 63 yards in 10 plays, with Rosa scoring from four yards out with just under two minutes left in the opening period.
Rosaâ€™s two-point conversion run gave the Rams a one-point lead that they nursed well into the second quarter before Silver scored from two yards out to put the Eagles up 14-8 with 2:12 to play. It was all Wethersfield from there.
The Eagles came out strong in the second half, especially on the defensive side, as they stopped the Rams on their first possession and blocked a punt at midfield to set up their next score. It was Silver on six straight running plays, including a touchdown from three yards out, who gave his team a 21-8 lead.
The Eagles added fourth quarter scores on a two-yard plunge by Silver after the big fourth down pass completion early in the final period and a three-yard run by Johnny Orsini, who needed four tries from inside the 4 to put the final points on the board.
The Rams were never able to get the offense going in the second half as the Eagles dominated the line of scrimmage. Central netted just 72 yards in the second half, 30 of those coming on a meaningless drive in the final minute.
â€śThey controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,â€ť said Papazian. â€śWhen you control up front you have a pretty good shot of winning the game. They had their way with us tonight for most of the second half.â€ť
â€śThereâ€™s not much they did tonight that we didnâ€™t expect and prepare for,â€ť he added. â€śIt just becomes a matter of playing football â€“ holding your blocks, making the tackles and winning the one-on-one balls in the air. They did that a whole lot tonight and we didnâ€™t.â€ť
Wethersfield 33, Bristol Central 8
Wethersfield 7 7 7 12 - 33
Bristol Central 8 0 0 0 - 8
W â€“ Matt Silver, 3 run (Jay Socha kick), 7:44
BC â€“ Victor Rosa, 4 run (Rosa run), 1:56
W â€“ Silver, 2 run (Socha kick), 2:12
W â€“ Silver 3 run (Socha kick), 4:13
W â€“ Silver, 2 run (run failed), 9:26
W â€“ Johnny Orsini, 3 run (kick failed), 3:58
Rushing: Wethersfield - Matt Silver 23 â€“ 108, Johnny Orsini 19- 72. Central - Victor Rosa 21-82, Shawn Rodriguez 5-10, Galen Hickey 4-12, Eli Rodriguez 1-1.
Passing: Wethersfield â€“ Silver 6-11-0 for 111 yds. Central â€“ Rosa 5-13-0 for 62 yds., Hickey 0-1-0.
Receiving: Wethersfield â€“ Connor Pace 4-98, Rory Stickley 2-13. Central â€“ Tre Jones 3-48, Shawn Rodriguez 1-6, Hickey 1-8.