BRISTOL - Bristol Eastern held a 19-12 lead, but Farmington was driving and had a 2nd and goal on the Lancers three-yard line. Indians quarterback Zac Conrad fumbled the ball and Justin Marshall recovered it with just 2:09 remaining in the game and Bristol Eastern took over with the game in hand.
The Lancers used its two long first half touchdown drives and the Indians committed 12 penalties and had five turnovers in the 19-12 win for Bristol Eastern over Farmington on Friday night.
“The first half is exactly how we wanted the game to go,” Bristol Eastern head coach Anthony Julius said. “We came out strong on offense pounding the ball we played mistake free and were able to force turnovers on defense with big plays.”
Coming into the game, the message was clear for Bristol Eastern football, one win wasn’t enough and to keep the wins coming the Lancers needed to start finishing drives.
They did just that in the first half with touchdown drives of 67 and 86 yards.
After getting the kickoff to start the game, Bristol Eastern’s first drive began at its own 33-yard line.
“Every time you touch the ball you want to score,” Julius said. “For us we’ve had success moving the ball against almost everybody we’ve played but hadn’t been able to cash in so being able to finish those drives tonight with touchdowns were huge.”
After a three and out, punter John McPhee kicked a booming 50 yard punt to pin Farmington at its own 20.
The Indians fumbled on the first snap of the game and right after Farmington quarterback Conrad was intercepted by Ariza Kolloverja.
On the Lancers second drive, they were set up in great field position on the Indians 11 yard line. After a five-yard run by Matt D’Amato and a four-yard run by Tyler Mason, D’Amato finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run and the McPhee kick put Bristol Eastern up 7-0.
Turnovers continued to be an issue for Farmington on its second drive. Again it was Conrad throwing the interception, this time by Marshall.
The Lancers took over from their own 33-yard line.
On a 2nd and 2 from the Indians 19 yard line, Marshall was sacked by Jermaine Carter, which forced a 3rd and 11 from the Farmington 30 yard line for Bristol Eastern.
Marshall came right back and put the ball up in the end zone for Kolloverja to get and he did just that ripping the ball from the Kolloverja with a pause before the ref signaled a touchdown for the Lancers.
McPhee missed the kick and Bristol Eastern was up 13-0.
On the Indians third drive, it was more of the same, this time a fumble by Farmington running back Jack Beisel turned the ball over the Lancers.
Bristol Eastern couldn’t capitalize though and McPhee kicked another 50 yard punt once again pinning the Indians at their own 20.
Farmington did its best to drive down the field, converting a 4th and 2 with a 5-yard pass from Conrad to Dante Colagiovanni. Although, the Lancers defense stood strong and forced a 4th and 7 that Conrad couldn’t convert on a pass attempt to Colagiovanni.
Taking over on its own 14-yard line, the Lancers ran all over the Indians defense and a 12-yard touchdown run by Mason capped off the impressive drive.
McPhee missed the kick and Bristol Eastern went into the half holding a 19-0 advantage over Farmington.
With the big lead for Bristol Eastern, the Indians knew they needed a big start.
In the first play out of the half, Farmington had a 57-yard run by Aidan Sposato negated by a holding penalty.
It seemed that it was going to be another one of those halves for Farmington but it bounced back and scored on the first drive with Conrad and Colagiovanni hooking up for a 12 yard passing touchdown.
The extra point was missed and the Indians trailed 19-6 with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter on a long yet productive drive.
After Bristol Eastern’s third and out, Farmington took over from its own 30 and Conrad connected on a 19-yard pass play to Max Bartholamay.
With the strong start to the drive, the Lancers needed a big play and got it when Conrad was looking deep but overthrew his receiver and Jaden Laprise intercepted the ball.
Once again, the Lancers went three and out, struggling to find any second half offense.
“We need to improve on our pass blocking and overall just fighting and fighting and take no breaks,” Marshall said.
Farmington capitalized with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Conrad to Colagiovanni for the duos second touchdown connection in the game.
With Farmington in control, time wasn’t on its side.
“Their success came a lot from their screen passes and I tip my hate off to them but that was it for them,” Lancers defensive end Rajon Collins said.
Bristol Eastern got the ball back and once again it led to a McPhee punt and a good one as Farmington took over at its own 10-yard line.
The Indians drove down the field and were about to get even closer before Conrad fumbled and Eastern took over with the game in hands and a first down run by Stephen Hopkins sealed the win.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan