BRISTOL – Four rushing touchdowns from Victor Rosa powered Bristol Central football past Wethersfield, 28-18, Friday at Bristol Central High School.
The senior running back rushed for 240 yards and accounted for each and every Rams touchdown to serve the Eagles their first loss of the season.
“We tried to take the heat off him a little bit because he’s obviously the focus,” Bristol Central coach Jeff Papazian said of Rosa. “We were able to do that a bit tonight with other guys, but when the chips are down, that’s where we’re going. He’s going to have the ball in his hands in important situations.”
During the Rams’ first drive of the game, Rosa recorded his first score with a five-yard rush at 9:14. On its very next possession, No. 2 capped off an eight-play march down the field for Central with a 16-yard score. The two point conversion made it 16-0 after one quarter of play.
Wethersfield responded early in the second frame on a rush from Jova’n Hill inside the red zone to make it 16-6, but Rosa and the Rams came right back and extended the lead to 22-6 on a 36-yard sprint from Rosa.
On the ensuing kickoff however, the Eagles brought it back 80 yards for a touchdown to give the visitors the momentum into halftime.
Penalties played a factor in Wethersfield’s comeback bid in the first 24 minutes as Central allowed the Eagles to continue their drives down the field on a couple occasions.
“To a certain extent, as weird and crazy as it’s gonna sound, I can live with that,” Papazian said. “Some of them are aggressive plays and I want guys playing that way. It’s going to happen. We cost ourselves 70-80 yards I think in the first half alone, so obviously some work to clean it up, but credit our kids who kept responding.”
Led by their dual-threat quarterback, the Rams registered one more touchdown on a rush from Rosa that measured 10 yards in the third to lead 28-12.
Wethersfield made it interesting late in the game as Mathyas Nieves caught a 10-yard touchdown from Wil Bankowski, and nearly tightened it again with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
Looking for some late game magic, Bankowski, the Eagles quarterback, tried gaining ground with his feet, but lost the ball courtesy of a strip sack from Central’s Johnny Rios that the home team recovered. The Rams held on to move to 2-1 overall.
“Rios played great defensively for us,” Papazaian said. “I thought Mason Stokes had some real big plays in the second half and our secondary held up too. We got some short stuff on us in the one bust at the end here but Wethersfield’s got some speed, good throws and good balls so I’m pretty happy all around.”
Bristol Central will take on winless Farmington on the road next Friday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m.
Bristol Central 30, Wethersfield 18
At Bristol Central
Wethersfield (2-1) 0 12 0 6 – 18
Bristol Central (2-1) 16 6 6 0 – 28
BC – Victor Rosa 5 run, 9:14 (2-point conversion good)
BC – Rosa 16 run, 2:01 (2-point conversion good)
W – Jova’n Hill 6 run, 9:45 (2-point conversion missed)
BC – Rosa 36 run, 6:26 (2-point conversion missed)
W – 80 kickoff return, 6:12 (2-point conversion missed)
BC – Rosa 10 run, 6:28 (2-point conversion missed)
W – Mathyas Nieves 10 catch from Wil Bankowski, 4:53 (2-point conversion missed)
Rushing – BC: Rosa 26-240-4 TDs
Passing – BC: Rosa 2-5-36-INT
Receiving – BC: Tre Blair 1-25