BRISTOL - When the Bristol Eastern football team travels to Newington for tonightâ€™s game it will yet again be looking to snap a losing streak.
The Lancers defeated the Indians 9-7 at home last season to end a 17-game drought. Bristol Eastern enters tonight with a 0-4 record, having lost nine straight dating back to last year.
That history isnâ€™t setting the tone though.
â€śOur kids are taking every opponent very seriously and trying to put in the preparation for each team we play,â€ť Bristol Eastern head coach Anthony Julius said. â€śIt doesnâ€™t matter who they played or how they played, Newington is a good football team.â€ť
Newington has been in a rebuilding year and itâ€™s showed with two losses against Farmington and Platt by a combined 59 points. The Lancers also lost to Farmington, 40-34, on Sept. 29 after blowing two double-digit leads.
The Indians have picked up a pair of wins as well, but both have come against winless opponents. Newington beat Amistad, a school in its first varsity season, 41-0. The Indians other win was 20-13 against South Windsor (0-5).
Newingtonâ€™s scored a total of 48 points this season and has given up 79, while Bristol Eastern has given up 164 points through four games and scored 68.
Offensively, the Indians feature a first-year starting quarterback in Nicholas Pestrichello and with some key skill players being wide receiver Izayah Ciarcia and running back Dylan Nees-fair.
With the four opponents faced up to this point in the year, the Lancers giving up 41 points may be a result of superior competition but tonight against Newington will be a good test to see if thatâ€™s the case.
With Justin Marshall likely out again with an illness, the Lancers secondary will be without a key starter and the offense will rely on Bryce Curtin again at quarterback if thatâ€™s the case.
If he gets the call, Curtin will be looking to build off of his first varsity start when he threw for over 200 yards and four touchdowns.
â€śIf Bryceâ€™s number is called again we have all the confidence in the world that Bryce will do a great job,â€ť Julius said. â€śHe prepares like a starter so weâ€™re confident in his abilities if heâ€™s back there and we expect the other guys that take his place at receiver to step up and fill his shoes if he were going to have to play quarterback again.â€ť
Against Farmington, Bristol Eastern expected a better result and having lost a pair of double digit leads in it was an emphasis during the Lancers bye week.
â€śWe have to execute better throughout the game,â€ť Julius said. â€śAnd we talked to the kids that itâ€™s about having mental toughness and finishing out those games and I think weâ€™re going to continue to get better as the season goes on.â€ť
The Indians present the Lancers with a good opportunity to get the second half of the year off with the first win on the board. But Bristol Eastern had a similar opportunity to win against Farmington and let it slip away.
Still, the Lancers are entering the second half with a specific goal.
â€śAs a team our goal is to win the second half,â€ť Julius said. â€śWe talked about it that we canâ€™t look at it as a whole we have to look at it week by week. We just have continue focusing on what we can and control what we can control and play our best football.â€ť
Tonight against Newington will be a good indicator of where the Lancers stand as a team.
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org