BRISTOL - St. Paul football knows that the 1-3 record of Torrington doesn’t indicate the caliber of team that it is facing on Friday.
Being from New Hartford, Falcons quarterback Kevin Ashworth knows that the Red Raiders have a lot of fight and coming out with a win won’t be easy.
“As the record shows 1-3 they’re better than that and they’ve played tough competition,” Ashworth said. “We have to go in there with a chip on our back because we want to go into the bye week hot.”
The Torrington offense is similar to St. Paul running the option. The difference between the two offenses is that the Red Raiders don’t line up as many backs in the backfield.
With the Red Raiders running a similar offense to the Falcons, practice should be more important in this game as St. Paul’s defense faces a similar scheme.
“It’s an option offense so we’re getting ready to stop what they would be stopping with us so we’re preparing for an option game,” Falcons linebacker Chris Dionne said.
The featured backs for Torrington are Dylan Myrie and Josh Maldonado. Both backs bring speed that will test St. Paul on the outside.
With Torrington featuring the running game, St. Paul’s defense will have the chance to again prove it’s a top team at defending the run.
“We should be in good position [defensively] but it is a tricky offense because you have to account for the dive the pitch and similar plays that people have to do against us,” St. Paul head coach Jude Kelly said. “It takes a little bit of extra coaching in that regard but we’ve never had an easy time with Torrington.
For the Falcons offensively, controlling the ground game should continue being a success but after last week’s miscues with ball control, that part of the game must improve.
“We worked about 25-30 minutes on Monday of just securing the ball and working on that so it’s been a focal point of this week’s practice,” Falcons running back Damien Rabis said.
With the St. Paul offense having the ability to pitch it to Rabis on the outside or Ashworth keep it while also using Dionne and Connor Bogdanski in the power run game is an advantage.
“We know they’re either going to try to take out the option or take the inside run away,” Ashworth said. “Most teams can’t do both so we’re going to go into the game with the best we can doing both of those and if we see they’re stopping one more than the other during the game then we’ll make adjustments.”
For the Falcons, sticking to the run game and maintaining the physical style that has gotten them off to the undefeated start must be there in order to advance to 5-0 on the season.
“Right now what we need to focus on the most and will focus on the most is keeping our cool, being calm under pressure and being able to think quickly and wisely on the field,” St. Paul center Jack Kurnik said.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan