BRISTOL - The St. Paul football team has just come off its second win in the last six weeks and is hoping to continue that momentum tonight.
The celebration of Friday night’s 32-24 win over Kennedy was short-lived, because the next day it was right back to work. St. Paul knows what’s at stake over the final two weeks of the season, beginning tonight at Torrington and then finishing the night before Thanksgiving at Oxford.
Win out and the Falcons end the year without a losing record. Lose either one and they do.
“When we play together and are all on the same page and we’re working as a team we can be successful,” St. Paul head coach Jude Kelly said. “When we lose our composure and get a little riled up, we don’t, and that’s a pretty valuable lesson.”
This week in preparation for Torrington, the Falcons did what they do best, going back to the fundamentals.
“Our focus was just getting better,” Kelly said. “I don’t look at the record or scoreboard; I look at what we can do to get better. I look at fundamentals and being disciplined. They have to do their jobs, what they’re assigned to do. I’m big on discipline, staying on course, don’t let your mind wonder.”
The Red Raiders (3-5) have shown the ability to score points, but against poor teams. All three of their wins - Derby, Sacred Heart/Kanyor Tech and Wilby - have come against opponents with a combined 5-19 record.
In those games, Torrington has averaged 41.3 points per game. In their five losses, the Red Raiders have averaged just 5.4 points and have been shut out twice.
They’ll come into the game having lost their last two, routs by Naugatuck, 55-0, and Holy Cross, 42-7.
“Torrington, they always have good athletes,” Kelly said. “They play tough. We’ve won some and lost some, it’s always a tight game whenever we play. We need to be at our best and play our best. We just need to know our assignments, stay focused and take it one play at a time.”
The Falcons will have to contain the Red Raiders’ signal caller, Ora Curry. The senior is in his third year leading the offense and will look to throw the ball, compared to previous seasons when they would rely solely on the run.
His target will be Jacob Coleman, who is the most experienced receiver out of the group. Joining him will be seniors Josh Mildanado, Christian Ellafani and sophomore Aidin Traver.
“They have some speed and some guys they can run pretty well,” Kelly said. “They’re a good all-around team.”
St. Paul will also have to be able to dodge Torrington’s O-line, which includes seniors Jacob Allen, Dan Scheerer and Anthony Chiravolo and juniors Bryce Coudriet and Zach Sweeney.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org