Monday, September 18, 2017

RUSH JOB: St. Paul football ground game strong so far

Strong play up front has helped St. Paul (blue helmets) run the ball with much success
in the first two games of the season. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
When talking about the St. Paul football offense, start with this
That's the number of passes quarterback Kevin Ashworth has thrown in two games this season. Zero.
Here's another number...two. As in 2-0, which is the Falcon record after two games.
St. Paul is off to that 2-0 start because it has been strong running the football. The Falcons are running the wishbone again under head coach Jude Kelly, and Ashworth is at the controls.
Through two games, St. Paul is averaging 277.5 yards on the ground. Four runners have 86 yards or more, led by 193 from Damien Rabis and 174 from Ashworth. Connor Bogdanski has 102 yards and Chris Dionne has 86. Bogdanski and Ashowrth have each rushed 23 times, Dionne has carried 17 times and Rabis has 11 attempts.
St. Paul can pick at you yard by yard on a long drive, or it can gain big territory in one chunk. Rabis had a 61-yard run in a 38-0 win over Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech in the season opener. There was also a 19-yard run from Ashworth.
St. Paul battled for a 36-33 win at Holy Cross on Saturday. There were runs of 36 yards from Ashworth, 31 from Bogdanski and 28 from Dionne. Rabis had a long kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter.
What do all those rushing numbers mean? It means St. Paul has been controlling games with its running attack. The Falcons can't do this of course without the help of a strong offensive line. Defensive fronts have to get around the likes of Dom and Joey Aiello, Eric Langland, Dylan Gagnon, Jack Kurnick and Ryan Parent before they have a chance to tackle a St. Paul running back. The backs also block for each other, and any receiver or tight end that is in the game must also do their part to free up the running game.
Everyone has been doing their part in the first games. At least that's what the numbers tell you. St. Paul wants to run, and so far, the Falcons have been able to do so with a high level of success. 
The next test for the Falcons is fellow undefeated Watertown (2-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. at home. The game is the home opener for St. Paul.

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