What we've learned: St. Paul football off to undefeated start behind offensive success

Published on Friday, 13 October 2017 23:00
Written by DAN ORENCOLE

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL - The St. Paul football team may not have that standout player that some other teams have.

Yet, it doesn’t need one, as the Falcons are a solid team overall and have excelled in most all phases of the game, leading St. Paul to a 5-0 start to this season.

The wishbone offense is as strong as ever and the Falcons have a close-knit group ready to come out of the bye just as sharp as they went in.

Here’s an inside look at what we’ve learned so far from this year’s St. Paul football team.

Junior quarterback Kevin Ashworth has been the main reason that the Falcons are off to such a strong start.

As the signal caller in the wishbone offense, it asks a lot out of the quarterback in regard to reading the defense at the line of scrimmage and making the right decision when the ball is snapped.

For Ashworth, his decision comes down to whether to keep it himself or hand the ball off to one of his three solid backfield options, Damien Rabis, Connor Bogdanski or Chris Dionne.

With Ashworth extremely comfortable in his role at quarterback, the St. Paul offense has tremendous potential for the duration of the season.

Its biggest test comes against Ansonia out of the bye week.

The St. Paul defense has given up some points this season, but the offensive production has overshadowed the defensive lapses.

Over the past four games, the Falcons’ defense has given up an average of 27 points per game.

With that number of points allowed, St. Paul must shore up the pass defense if it hopes to continue winning games.

Against a better team, the Falcons may go down early and be forced to throw the ball, something they haven’t done much, so it’s up to the defense to make sure St. Paul can continue doing what it does best.

Opposing quarterbacks have had their way with the St. Paul defense and that must change going forward in the season as the schedule gets tougher and state tournament games come.

In the Falcons’ backfield, one player in particular is becoming a star, Damien Rabis.

Rabis has led the St. Paul offense to dominant rushing performances to begin the season.

The first thing one will notice when watching Rabis run the football is his burst and speed through the line of scrimmage.

Rabis has game-breaking ability and has shown that this year with multiple rushing touchdowns over 50 yards.

In the last game against Torrington, Rabis had a 46-yard rushing touchdown and averaged 8.5 yards per carry.

Rabis will be the key to St. Paul sustaining success going forward behind a strong offensive line for the Falcons.

Connor Bogdanski is the opposite of Rabis. He is one that will run a defender over with no second thoughts as the power runner for St. Paul.

Bogdanski has broken some big touchdown runs for the Falcons this season, often up the middle and breaking multiple tackles before getting into open field.

As a downhill runner, Bogdanski adds a second dimension to the St. Paul offense with quarterback Ashworth and fellow running back Rabis being the speed options on the outside.

As Ashworth described it last week, the opposing defenses can choose their poison with the St. Paul run attack.

If they choose to stop the outside rushing attack, Bogdanski is and has been more than capable of putting up huge rushing performances for the Falcons.

Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or  dorencole@bristolpress.com On Twitter: @OrencoleDan



Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports, St. Paul on Friday, 13 October 2017 23:00. Updated: Friday, 13 October 2017 23:03.