(Senior wideout Matt Osgood has helped open up Rocky Hill's passing game)
Cromwell/Portland, Middletown, and Rocky Hill have all crossed the midway point of the season with perfect records. The Panthers and Terriers seem to be on a collision course to an undefeated showdown on the eve of Thanksgiving and the Blue Dragons have a revengeful eye on unblemished Windsor, who they play the night before Turkey Day. Here’s a look at how the area’s teams look halfway through the regular season.
Cromwell/Portland: The Panthers are crushing opponents to the tune of nearly 37 points per game. Bryce Karstetter has the offense humming, averaging 47 points through the first five games, and the Panthers ground attack has been churching out over 200 rushing yards per game. Defensively, the team is surrendering just over 10 points per contest and has a shutout under the belts. Seniors Dianta Highsmith, Liam Coleman, and Matt Wolak have solidified all three levels of the swarming Panthers defense. Next up is a challenging home test at Pierson Park against fellow undefeated Old Saybrook/Westbrook on Friday, Oct 20 at 6:00 p.m.
Newington: The Indians had back-to-back wins to begin the Jason Pace era, but have since dropped three straight. The offense, which scored 68 points over the first two weeks, has struggled during the three-game skid, averaging just 11 points per game. The team has a chance to get back on a winning track at Bristol Central (2-3) this Friday, Oct 20 at 6 and then play the following three games at home.
Middletown: It’s hard to determine if the Blue Dragons have been more impressive on the offensive or on the defensive side of the ball. The team has demolished their first five opponents, outscoring those teams by nearly 30 points per game. Stone Belzo has been nearly flawless in his first season under center, throwing for five touchdowns without an interception, and adding four more scores on the ground. Junior running back Xzavier Reyes is averaging 122 yard rushing per game and has found the end zone nine times. Stephen Hill Jr., Greg Davis, and Derrick Vereen are leading a stout defense, which has blanked two of their five opponents. Next up is a home game against E.O. Smith (3-2) on Friday, Oct 20 at 7 p.m.
Rocky Hill: It’s been over a year since the Terriers lost a game in the regular season, winning their last dozen contests. The team has been simply dominant this season, including outscoring their last two opponents by a combined 94-0. The running game and defense have been overwhelming teams all season and Danny Cavallaro and the air attack are coming off their best outing. Cavallaro connected on eight of nine passes for 176 yards and three scores, two to Matt Osgood (5-139) and the other to Jack Hansen in a 45-0 win over Tolland. Winless East Catholic comes to town on Friday, Oct 20 for a 7 p.m. kick.
Wethersfield: The Eagles stumbled coming out of the gate, losing their first three games but have since rebounded with back-to-back wins, including a convincing victory over Hartford Public last Friday. Ro DiGiacomo and Mitchell Quadrato have helped lead a defensive resurgence for a unit that surrendered 83 points in the first three games but has allowed only seven and six point, respectively, in the past two games. Maloney (4-1) comes to Cottone Field this Friday, Oct 20 at 7 p.m.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin