Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thoughts - Greenwich at Trumbull

As the so-called "Voice" of the Cardinals, or my new nickname "Captain Greenwich" (courtesy of Chris Erway), I am not really fond of making predictions involving the team that I cover.

Tim Parry, both on Facebook, and on the FCIAC Football Blog, wrote that he believes Greenwich will fall at Trumbull tomorrow night. He writes:
Greenwich is ranked something like third in every state poll, and they have walked all over teams with a combined 2-14 record (I’ll credit Sean Patrick Bowley of Hearst Connecticut for coming up with that stat first). Trumbull shuts down a Central team that had averaged 47 points per game, and still can’t crack the Top 10, even though the Eagles have pitched three consecutive shutouts.

Yet all I’m hearing is that Greenwich is going to run away with this one?

As someone posted in the comments last week, never bet against Trumbull at home. Last week I did, and boy was I wrong. As someone else keeps posting, Greenwich quarterback Mike Lefflbine has only played in the first half of his team’s games so far. And that tells me even more about who to take.

The Bird to Fear is the Eagle: I’m going with battle-tested Trumbull in this one.
I'm not here to tell you that he's wrong. All I can do is make a case for Greenwich, because I have seen every minute of every game. First, I have been pretty consistent with voting for Trumbull weekly on the Bill Gonillo Five, so I have a very healthy respect for coach Bob Maffei's troops.

So let's start with that strength of schedule thing. Greenwich has taken on Norwalk (beat them 35-14, and the Bears are 1-3), Stamford (41-7, 0-4), Harding (41-0, 0-4), and Danbury (47-6, 1-3). So yes, that's a combined 2-14. And for the record, Norwalk and Danbury both scored "garbage time" touchdowns, while Stamford ran back the opening kickoff for a score. In other words, the first-team defense has yet to be scored on.

As for Trumbull, they've faced the offensive juggernaut Wilton (13-7, 0-4), Westhill (35-0, 1-3), Norwalk (26-0, 1-3) and yes, they blasted Bridgeport Central with all second-half points (21-0, 3-1). That makes for 5-11 total among those opponents. I don't see that as a huge difference. Now, for the record, exactly who has Central beaten? Ludlowe (1-3), Bassick (1-3), and Danbury (1-3). So I think we can take the strength of schedule and throw that out.

I know of one person who thinks Greenwich will run away with this one. One. Others think it will be a close game. I don't have a bigger sample.

And Mike Lefflbine (and the first-team offense) has started the third quarter of each game. True, most of the starters were gone by the end of the quarter. The accurate thing to say is that Lefflbine and company has yet to finish a game. I suspect he will be out there for four quarters tomorrow night.

Look, it's not my job to pick games. Tim has the "marbles" to do so, and I appreciate that he does so with an unbiased eye. Let me tell you the simple reason to give Greenwich a strong chance to win:

Trumbull hasn't seen an offense like Greenwich's yet. By the same token, GHS hasn't seen a defense like THS.

Yet Greenwich is not only going to come at the Eagles with Lefflbine, but with Mike Dunster, who is emerging as the feature back, with Camryn Ferrara a threat to both run it and catch it. And Peter Cavini will gladly run somebody over. Then there are the receivers - PJ Schwabe, Evan Kavanagh, Jack Zimmerman, David Josephson, etc. Up front, the Cardinals have plenty of beef, with James Utton anchoring line at center, and monstrous play from Nic Longo, as well as Anthony Scheppis, Jason Zivic, and Jeff Wilson.

Defensively, this group has played pretty well, as I mentioned. Jonathan Root (it was Jon, but it was requested that we call him "Jonathan"), Schepis, and Jim Barrett work up front, with Ben Ceci, Schwabe, Michael LeRose and others. Ferrara and the Colins (Bawol and Dunster) are part of the secondary.

I love the play of Colin Bawol. Somebody with talent and a huge heart on the field. And a great family (I'll admit his mom has become a favorite of mine, along with the mothers of James Utton and Mike Lefflbine). It's another special group at GHS.

So, long story short, what am I saying? I'm not predicting a Greenwich win or loss. I'm just making the case - on paper - for the Cardinals to take care of business.

Incidentally, Lefflbine has the chance to ascend to the throne of best quarterback in the FCIAC tomorrow night. Let's see if that comes to be.

Either way, I'll be behind the mic tomorrow night at McDougall Stadium for the call. Our pregame show begins at 6:50 on WGCH.

No comments: