BRISTOL - Over the past two weeks, St. Paul football has seen both its playoff hopes and offensive success that got the Falcons off to a 5-0 start begin to vanish.
Now sitting at 5-2 and on the outside looking in for the Class S playoffs, St. Paul will need to catch some breaks from teams ahead in the standings.
“We know Seymour is the biggest game of the season,” Ashworth said. “We’ve been practicing like it’s the biggest game of the season and everyone’s been with each other to go out and play even harder than we’ve ever played in order to get this win.”
Maintaining focus and finishing the season strong is the goal for St. Paul after the two losses and every game is a must-win game starting tonight at home hosting Seymour.
“This is pretty much our Super Bowl,” Falcons running back Damien Rabis said. “It will tell whether or not we’re in playoff contention or not.”
With the Wildcats, the big thing is speed. Seymour has shown big play ability throughout the course of the season. It all starts with Wildcats senior Bobby Melms.
“He’s probably the fastest player in the NVL other than Markell Dobbs,” Ashworth said. “He moves around depending on situations. He’s probably one of the biggest keys.
On Melms six catches, three have gone for gone for touchdowns with long catches of 49, 51 and 70 yards.
His primary position is running back and he’s had runs of 25 yards or more in every game this year, the longest a 71-yard run against Wolcott earlier this season in a game that he ran for 245 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Offensively, Seymour primarily lines up with one back and four wide.
Getting Chris Dionne back at linebacker will be big for the Falcons to slow down Melms in the run game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Seymour has averaged 24 points per game in six games.
The Wildcats have two upperclassmen at linebacker that have been impressive this year, Andrew Nimo-sefah and Cade Klarides-Ditria.
The combo is the two leading tacklers for Seymour, combining for 118 tackles.
Both players will be important if the Wildcats hope to shut down the run offense for St. Paul.
St. Paul gets another test in terms of speed, similar to that of Ansonia.
They’re very aggressive on defense,” Jude Kelly said. “They get off the ball quick and run to the ball.”
The biggest thing for the Falcons is going to be controlling the line of scrimmage in order to get pressure in the backfield and limit the opportunities for Melms to get to the outside and break long runs.
Getting a win this week won’t come easy for the Falcons against Seymour but a loss would end their playoff hopes.
“They’re probably the second or third best team in the league,” St. Paul coach Jude Kelly said. “Obviously Ansonia’s in their own league and Naugatuck is very good but I think Seymour could be rated up there too.”