BRISTOL - Off a devastating 50-0 loss Friday to Ansonia, St. Paul football must move forward.
The Falcons are still a 5-1-football team and the Chargers gave St. Paul some film to watch as Ansonia dominated the Falcons in every phase of the game.
Stopping the run had been something that St. Paul excelled in during the five wins to begin the year. That all changed facing Chargers running back Markell Dobbs.
It only took eight carries for Dobbs to pile up 283 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
“The line gets the big push and creates the openings,” St. Paul head coach Jude Kelly said. “And then he has the speed and we don’t have anyone that can come close to matching his speed. So once he gets into the open, no matter where we’re at or what angle we take, we’re not able to catch him.”
Dobbs wouldn’t have had as strong of a day if his offensive line weren’t opening up lanes for him to run in.
“They’re big up front, they block well and those backs are running downhill all the time,” Kelly said. “Once they get into the open nobody can catch them.”
For the Falcons on the offensive side, it was adjustments made by the Ansonia defense that altered the game.
“What they started doing in the second quarter is they started having their [defensive] line stunt and they picked up on all of our calls, so we had to make adjustments there,” St. Paul’s Dominic Aiello said. “It kind of threw everybody off and it made it tough to move the ball.”
In running the wishbone offense, playing from behind plays to the opponent’s advantage, as the Falcons don’t throw the football.
“The biggest problem was that we can’t put ourselves in the situations where we have to throw the ball,” Aiello said. “We can’t have the 15-yard personal fouls and the delay of games because things like that will shut down any good wishbone team, so we have to make sure we limit those things.”
Even with the big deficit, St. Paul continued to do what it has done all year, run the ball.
Doing so didn’t work out against a big Ansonia team.
Moving forward, work in the weight room is something Kelly hopes can translate to the field against a team the caliber of the Chargers.
“We have got to get a little bigger and stronger on the line for a team like Ansonia and we can’t make mistakes,” Kelly said.
The Falcons didn’t help themselves, either, making a few mental mistakes.
“The disappointing thing is that we hurt ourselves with the things that we pride ourselves on, discipline,” Kelly said. “As far as trying to draw them offsides and then we went offsides and a couple penalties that take us out of situations that we can’t come back from.”
Going forward, sustaining the confidence it had coming into the game is key for St. Paul as the season wears on.
“We’ve been playing great the first five games,” St. Paul running back Damien Rabis said. “We need to go 6-1, start from there and take it week to week.
“We’re still 5-1, but we’re upset with this loss and know we need to shake this off and do what we do.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan