BRISTOL - Tonightâ€™s matchup between the St. Paul football team and Kennedy is a battle of two teams who beat who theyâ€™re supposed to and lose against better teams.
Last week was the same for the Falcons as they fell on the road 44-28 to a stronger Wolcott team.
Despite the loss, the agenda remains the same for St. Paul, who lost its chance of a winning season with the loss last week.
â€śThereâ€™s not a lot of difference week-to-week in terms of preparation with it but Kennedy is by far the best of the Waterbury city schools,â€ť Falcons head coach Jude Kelly said. â€śThe coach does a nice job, they have some nice athletes and theyâ€™re sound with what they do. We got to get ready to play a good football team.â€ť
The two teams are also similar in the fact that numbers are down and harder to come by now with Kennedy being a city school in Waterbury and St. Paul a smaller private high school.
With the lack of numbers, Kelly believes these final three games are big for the Falcons.
â€śI hope this final stretch is big for us,â€ť Kelly said. â€śBecause we need everybody. Our numbers are not high as far as the amount of players. Weâ€™re a small school and at the same time everybody has to buy in and do the best they can.â€ť
The Eagles best players are seniors Jake Desjardins, Elijah Nelson and Marquise Blagmon.
Desjardins and Blagmon make up the wide receiver position and Nelson is a running back on the offensive side of the ball. Desjardins plays corner back on defense, Nelson is at safety and Blagmon is an outside linebacker.
Those will be the three players to watch tonight and have been key in Kennedyâ€™s 3-4 start to the season with wins against Sacred Heart/Kaynor, Wilby and Waterbury Career Academy.
â€śObviously theyâ€™ve done well up to date here with the teams that theyâ€™ve played so that says a lot as well,â€ť Kelly said. â€śItâ€™s not going to be an easy game for us and we know that going in.â€ť
St. Paul is going to have to be able to run the football, no secret to its opponent.
Against Kennedy the opportunity to do so will be there as the two teams are similar in size.
But in order to have success in the ground game led by quarterback Kevin Ashworth as well as running backs Connor Bogdanski and Quentin Conner, the Falcons will need to show something thatâ€™s been lacking in recent games.
â€śWe have to be more disciplined with how we play,â€ť Kelly said. â€śWith the style of offense we do, itâ€™s so critical with that. Weâ€™re doing the things that I feel need to be done. We knew our line was inexperienced with it so we have to start over again and make sure weâ€™re sound in what weâ€™re doing.â€ť
Kennedy has given up just over 30 points per game this season so the opportunity to score points will be there for the Falcons.
Doing so is another thing and todayâ€™s game between the two should be a good contest.