Defenses come alive as St. Paul falls short against Wolcott

Published on Saturday, 23 October 2021 00:13
Written by MATT HORNICK

@MNHornick

BRISTOL - Defense was everywhere at McPhee Field on Friday night as St. Paul and Wolcott combined for three touchdowns in a hard-nosed game for NVL supremacy.

Wolcott was the team fortunate enough to score twice in the contest, sneaking out of Bristol with a 13-8 win over the Falcons. Both teams had success moving the ball in the middle of the field but often stalled upon crossing the 50-yard line.

St. Paul went three-and-out on five drives in the game and failed to get a first down after a fumble gave the team possession on Wolcott’s 25-yard line in the fourth quarter. The Falcons forced two turnovers in the game, but struggled to convert defensive success into points.

“You have to give credit Wolcott, they played hard, they played their butts off,” St. Paul coach Joe Cianciolo said. “We just have to execute better. We’re going to get better at the things that we do so we can learn to finish more consistently.”

One touchdown was scored in each of the first three quarters before the defenses held strong for a scoreless fourth quarter. Wolcott took its final lead on its second drive of the third quarter, traveling 52 yards over 10 plays and found the end zone on a one-yard run from Anthony Bell.

Wolcott opened the second half by moving the ball well, but gave the ball back to the Falcons after failing to convert on fourth down. St. Paul punted the ball back to the Eagles almost instantly after three short runs forced it into a three-and-out.

St, Paul had five drives in the second half and failed to gain any first downs. Following Bell’s touchdown, there were three minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Falcons’ last four drives ended with two punts, an incomplete pass on fourth down and one, and the end of the game.

The incomplete pass on fourth down squandered St. Paul’s best opportunity to score in the game. The Falcons forced Bell to fumble and recovered it on Wolcott’s 25-yard line, but only gained nine yards over four plays on the ensuing drive. They needed one yard on fourth down and chose to pass, but Ryan Kilpatricks’ throw did not connect with his receiver.

“We didn’t get open on our routes,” junior tight end Erik Suzio said. “[Wolcott’s] defensive line is impressive. They’re a bunch of good athletes, not the biggest out there, but they can pull. Our offensive line was giving our quarterback time, but I had a couple of drops that can’t be drops if we want to win more football games.”

St. Paul’s offense moved the ball better in the first half, but struggled to get the necessary push at the line of scrimmage to pick up quality yardage consistently. A giant kick return from Jeremy Teveras started the Falcons on the opposing 43-yard line and set them up for their only score of the day. Kilpatrick kept it himself and crossed the goal line from five yards away and then connected with Erik Suzio on a two-point conversion to take the lead, which they protected deep into the third quarter.

Wolcott opened the scoring on the possession before with a six-play, 48-yard drive. The Eagles started with such good field position after they partially blocked St. Paul’s punt and earned a short field. A 31-yard run from Bell on the first play of the drive put them in the red zone and Mitchell Matyoka was in the end zone five plays later, scoring on a three-yard run.

The Falcons will stay at home for their next game when they host Crosby at 1 p.m. on Oct. 30 at McPhee Field.

Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or mhornick@bristolpress.com.

ST. PAUL 8, WOLCOTT 13

At St. Paul

St. Paul (2-3) 0 8 0 0 - 8

Wolcott (3-3) 7 0 6 0 - 13

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

W - Mitchell Matyoka three-yard run (Sebastian Polkowski PAT is good), 2:10

Second Quarter

SP - Ryan Kilpatrick five-yard run (Kilpatrick passes to Erik Suzio for two points), 10:09

Third Quarter

W - Anthony Bell one-yard run (Sebastian Polkowski PAT is no good), 2:56

Fourth Quarter

None.



Posted in The Bristol Press, St. Paul on Saturday, 23 October 2021 00:13. Updated: Saturday, 23 October 2021 00:15.