BRISTOL - With the home crowd behind it, the St. Paul football team will take the field tonight for its final game of the season against Oxford with the opportunity to accomplish something that the program hasn’t done in years, winning seven games.
The Falcons haven’t won seven games since 2009.
“We have the opportunity to have one of the better records we’ve had,” St. Paul senior defensive lineman Dominic Aiello said. “Don’t let this opportunity slip away because it’s the last time we’re ever going to have a shot as a St. Paul football player, so it’s now or never.”
The Falcons got off to a 5-0 start to begin this year before getting shut out by powerhouse and undefeated Ansonia.
After that loss, the Falcons’ struggles continued, losing their next two games before beating winless Wilby in their last game to get the sixth win of the season.
Getting to 7-3 won’t be easy against a Wolverines team that is better than their 3-6 record would indicate.
Oxford has lost to teams that are a combined 36-18 on the season.
On the offensive side of the ball the Wolverines have a sophomore quarterback in Cayden Mitchell that is capable of having a big game. He has 16 touchdowns passing this season with nine interceptions and has also thrown for 1,492 yards.
“I think their passing offense is really impressive,” St. Paul senior tailback and defensive back Damien Rabis said. “The quarterback I think is leading the NVL in passing yards so he’s a really good player.”
If the pass isn’t there, Oxford also brings a steady run game to the field led by senior tailback Matt Stordy.
He leads the team in rushing with 699 yards and has 11 rushing touchdowns.
Defensively for the Wolverines, junior linebacker Dylan Mavricz leads the team with 65 total tackles and has accounted for a team-leading four sacks.
While the win against Wilby serves as a good momentum builder for the Falcons having lost their previous three games, closing the season out with a win over Oxford is all about maintaining focus.
“I think it’s all just discipline and mentally preparing for the game,” Aiello said. “I think a couple games recently when we didn’t do that we didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for so we have to come in, be focused and ready to play.”
For St. Paul, it has seen both the highs and the lows of what football can offer a team as the Falcons went from being in the playoff hunt to fighting to finish with a winning season.
While a loss would still conclude in a winning season for St. Paul, finishing the season with seven wins is something fresh on the minds of the Falcons players and doing so in the last game for the seniors is important.
“Our seniors have worked hard over the four years,” Kelly said. “It’ll be their last game playing as a St. Paul high school football player so hopefully they can have a great finish to their careers.”
“It would be pretty awesome finishing our senior season successful and winning the final game at our home field would be nice for all of our seniors,” Falcons senior tailback and linebacker Chris Dionne said.
Dan Orencole can be reached at or On Twitter: @OrencoleDan