HEBRON – For the first time since 2013, Bristol Eastern football team hold a 2-0 record to start the season but almost fell on the wrong side in Friday afternoon’s road clash with RHAM .
The Lancers beat the Raptors 13-7, matching their winning tally of the 2019 season, but almost gave RHAM the winning touchdown as time came to a close in the fourth quarter. A fumble by Eastern late in the final period allowed RHAM to pull the ball back 46 yards out of the end zone. By the time the clock reached two minutes to go, the Raptors had the first down and 10 on the 18-yard line.
RHAM continued to move towards the goal line and almost reached third, when a pass from quarterback Ryan McLaughlin to Jimmy Hulland put the Raptors on the one yard line. The pass hit the ground and should have been deemed incomplete, but the referee called the game completion, giving RHAM fourth place and a one-yard goal with four seconds left and a stopwatch.
RHAM’s timekeeper stopped the clock, however, which gave the Raptors time to line up and call a play in progress for Max Nylen that the referees disagreed with he had. marked or not. After judging that the clock should never have stopped, the referees called off the final game because RHAM had no time-outs and no other method of stopping the clock in fourth position, leaving the victory in the hands of the Throws.
“The referee decided a full pass in bounds with four seconds left, it’s impossible to time the ball, it’s impossible,” said East head coach Anthony Julius. “I’m lucky the refs got together and made the right decision. I know RHAM doesn’t feel that way and if I was on their side I would feel exactly the same. Their kids played incredibly hard, it’s a great football team. We were fortunate enough to come out of it with a win today.
East defense in the red zone kept the team competitive throughout the game, keeping RHAM off the scoreboard until the last seven minutes of the game. The Lancers force the Raptors to attempt a failed field goal for the first time inside the 20-yard line, then stuff them on a fourth down with a yard to go next time around.
“The defense was really up to par,” Julius said. “We didn’t make the ground game go the way we wanted it to. We had guys getting fucked up throughout the game, we had to put guys through different places and I’m incredibly proud of the effort our defensive guys put in. We made a lot of big plays when we had to, we really folded and didn’t break most of the game.
Eastern’s second stop in the red zone turned into a drive that resulted in his first score of the game. After a scoreless first quarter, the Lancers forced back-to-back saves and took over from their own 12-yard line. They came up the field in 10 games and senior running back Alex Marshall finished the run with a three-yard rush into the end zone.
Practice was about to end much earlier as the East faced third base with nine yards to go, but first-year quarterback Kamden Laprise teamed up with senior tight end. Conor McCormick on a corner drive down the right side of the field for a 33-yard gain to keep practice alive, a play call that proved fruitful for Eastern as the game progressed. Marshall broke a 29-yard run two plays later and the Lancers were in the red zone and scored five plays later.
“I felt like we were a bit stagnant to begin with,” Julius said. “We had a few mistakes on the offensive side, some execution mistakes. Once we had that big passing game against Conor, it kinda woke us up in the second quarter. It started the attack for us.
Eastern’s defense inside the 20-yard line remained formidable on RHAM’s ensuing drive, which lasted 14 games before being blocked five yards from the end zone at the end of the first. half time. The Raptors converted a fourth down and 16 yards to go earlier in practice, but failed to achieve the same offensive success once the goal line was within reach.
The Lancers started the second half with the ball and added another touchdown to their score six games later. Laprise and McCormick connected twice on the same corner layout, gaining 29 yards on the third down and 10 yards to go the first time around, then scoring 18 yards the second time around. Eastern gained another 15 yards after the first pass due to a brutal passer penalty against RHAM, which put them 29 yards from the end zone. McCormick finished with three catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. The Lancers had to end the game without him after suffering an ankle injury that prevented him from playing.
“Conor McCormick is a great player for us,” said Julius. “Unfortunately he was hit in the second half and we couldn’t use it and take advantage of some of the opportunities we thought we had. He’s a tough kid and hopefully that’s a minor thing, we’ll find out more this week. Our freshman quarterback stepped up, made some really big shots and hit [McCormick] on some really nice pieces, so I couldn’t be happier with their efforts.
The score subsequently slowed as the Raptors offense struggled to move the ball consistently. Senior safety Nate Shorette intercepted McLaughlin in the third quarter, which returned the ball to Eastern.
“I was just standing there and saw the top hand of the quarterback, and then the ball was in my hands when I came up,” said Shorette. “I was like ‘let’s go. “”
RHAM avoided the shutout with a score midway through the fourth quarter on a long haul that highlighted the connection between McLaughlin and Hulland. The top two connected on a 40-yard play on the third down to continue their practice with a diving catch from Hulland. McLaughlin found Hulland in the end zone three games later, but the touchdown was canceled due to an illegal substitution penalty, the second time RHAM lost a touchdown in that game. The duo scored for real from 27 yards shortly after the penalty, bringing the Raptors within six points of Eastern.
With almost seven minutes to go, the Lancers gave RHAM the opportunity to add more points and avoid some damaging Raptors play. After a three and a pullout from the East, the Raptors then stalled when they failed to convert a fourth and 20 yard down that every RHAM coach and player disagreed with. with the spotting of the ball by the referee.
The Lancers lost a fumble and returned the ball to the Raptors two games later with four minutes on the clock and 46 yards between them and the end zone. They ended up missing by a meter because they had no way to stop the clock as the time passed in the fourth quarter.
Marshall finished with 100 yards on 27 carries as the Lancers faced a tougher battle on the line of scrimmage than the one they faced against EO Smith the week before, allowing Marshall to run over 240 yards. and four touchdowns.
Eastern will be home for his next game when he takes on Wilbur Cross at 7 p.m. on September 24.
” It feels good [to win], it’s not the best way to get it, but we definitely got there, ”Marshall said. “We’re going to work hard to fix a lot of things that we messed up this week. The snap was a problem, we basically tried to lose the game when we groped at the [end]. We have a lot of things to work on next week against Wilbur Cross. ”
Matt Hornick can be contacted at (860) 973-1811 or [email protected]
BRISTOL EAST 13, RHAM 7
Bristol East (2-0) 0 7 6 0
EO Smith (0-1) 0 0 0 7
SUMMARY OF RATING
BE – Alex Marshall’s 3-yard run (Gavin Damboise kick), 5:27
BE – 18-yard pass from Conor McCormick of Kamden Laprise (Gavin Damboise’s kick blocked), 8:21
RHAM – 27-yard pass from Jimmy Hulland to Ryan McLaughlin (PAT is good), 6:46
Passage – Bristol East: Kamden Laprise 6-6-90-TD.
Rushing – Bristol Eastern: Alex Marshall 27-100-TD, Brady Brown 2-2, Kamden Laprise 1 – (- 7) -FUM
Reception – Bristol Eastern: Rayshon Andrews 2-5, Jeremy Kolloverja 1-5, Conor McCormick 3-80-TD