Saturday, September 23, 2017

St. Paul runs -- and throws -- its way to first 3-0 start since 2008

The combination of St. Paul's three-back monster (Damien Rabis, Connor Bogdanski
and Chris Dionne) and its powerful offensive line led to a 46-32 victory over Watertown
and the first 3-0 start since 2008. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
St. Paul quarterback Kevin Ashworth attempted his first pass of the season during Friday night's home game against Watertown, and it turned out to be a big play in a 46-32 victory.
With just over a minute left in the first half and the Falcons up by just a touchdown, Ashworth dropped back and surprised the Indians with a deep ball to Ty Selinske. There wasn't a defender near Selinske, who hauled in the 27-yard touchdown toss from Ashworth.
St. Paul picked one heck of a time for its first pass attempt, and the result was a 22-7 halftime lead.
The Indians battled and never gave up even when down 20 points in the second half, but the Falcons were able to keep far enough ahead for the win. St. Paul is 3-0, its first such start since 2008. That team featured current Dallas Cowboy Byron Jones. Those Falcons played in the state playoffs and barely lost a quarterfinal round game at New Canaan.
Quarterback Kevin Ashworth looks at the sideline before putting the St. Paul
wishbone offense in gear. The offense had plenty of help from the big guys
up front. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
St. Paul breathed a sigh of relief Friday night when Noah Mendoza recovered an onside kick late in the fourth quarter with the score at 46-32. Mendoza stood in, took a big hit from a charging Watertown special teams player, and hung on to the ball.
As per usual, St. Paul's running game was full steam ahead. Whether it was long runs from Damien Rabis or shorter -- but strong -- efforts from Connor Bogdanski, Chris Dionne and Ashworth, the Falcons moved the ball on the Indians, sometimes at will.
Ashworth was his normal solid self as the engineer of St. Paul's wishbone attack. The junior signal caller knew when to pitch the ball or keep it on the option. When he pitched the ball, it found its way to Rabis, who took off downfield.
Of course, the St. Paul running game goes nowhere without a sound effort from all 11 guys. The big Falcon offensive line of Dom Aiello, Eric Langland, Joey Aiello, Ryan Parent, RJ Murphy, Garrett Gay, Kevin Charles and tight end Ryan Mikosz was tough to get around, and the running backs did a good job of blocking for each other. Parent, the team's center, left the game with an injury in the second half, but the Falcons were still able to move the ball on the ground. Wide receivers Selinske and Nick Stolfi provided blocks on the perimeter.
St. Paul went over 350 yards on the ground, and it hopes to keep that running game moving next Friday on the road at Derby.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Friday night's game.

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