WETHERSFIELD - Thereâ€™s only one word to describe Friday nightâ€™s matchup against the Bristol Eastern and Wethersfield football teams.
With chilly temperatures paired with wind and steady misting rain throughout, Eastern fell behind 13-0 in the gameâ€™s first six minutes and mustered 220 yards of offense in a one-sided 34-14 rout at Wethersfield High School.
â€śWethersfield is a very good team and theyâ€™re well coached,â€ť Eastern head coach Anthony Julius said. â€śThey are an excellent defensive team and we knew that going in. We struggled a little bit, but we were able to make some adjustments in the second half.â€ť
The Lancersâ€™ only score of the game came late in the fourth quarter on a seven-play, 95-yard drive ignited by quarterback Justin Marshall.
Marshall rushed for 27 yards on four carries, including the 1-yard touchdown run. He also connected with Bryce Curtin on a 47-yard pass to gain some ground.
But the Lancersâ€™ momentum was short lived as Wethersfieldâ€™s quarterback Matthew Silver rushed 33 yards into the end zone.
But the Lancers didnâ€™t give up, in the final seconds of the game, Eastern managed to score on a 5-yard pass from Bryce Curtin to Eli Gagliardo for the final score.
One big task the Lancers had to achieve was stopping Silver. In just the first half Silver ran for 30 yards on seven carries and in the air he connected on nine of his 17 attempts for 176 yards and a touchdown.
â€śFor us, we wanted to try to slow down Wetherfieldâ€™s run game,â€ť Julius said. â€śWe tried to give some different coverages to their big guy on the outside and we had some success. But unfortunately the big played us a little bit and thatâ€™s been kind of our Achilles heel.â€ť
Silver was a leading factor in the Eagles first two scores of the game. He first connected with wide receiver Connor Pace for a 15-yard passing touchdown with 7:41 left in the first quarter.
Then with less than two minutes left, Eastern turned over on downs at the Lancersâ€™ 3-yard line. Silver rushed the short yardage into the end zone, increasing Wethersfield lead to 13-0 at the end of the first.
The Eagles scored once more before the end of the half, on a short run of one yard by Mitchell Quadrato.
In just the first half, the Lancers allowed the Eagles to 206 offensive yards in just the first half alone.
Wethersfield sacked quarterback Justin Marshall causing a fumble. The Eaglesâ€™ Marcus Generis picked it up for a 40-yard fumble return, Wethersfield led 27-0 at the start of the third quarter.
â€śWe just need to continue to stay together as a team,â€ť Julius said. â€śI think we took a step forward tonight regardless of what the scoreboard said so I think we just need to continue to work at it, block better and tackle. Itâ€™s as simple as that, you block better, tackle better that how you win football games.â€ť
With this loss Eastern is now 0-7 on the season while Wetherfield improves to 5-3. The Lancers will have exactly one week to prepare for their next matchup, Manchester (3-4).