East Catholic Falls To Berlin

By Nate Zielinski

MANCHESTER – One of the deciding factors in every football game is the turnover battle so it’s no surprise that three East Catholic fumbles doomed the Eagles Friday night.

East Catholic (2-1) fell to the Berlin Redcoats (3-0) 14-6 in a defensive struggle that came down to the final few ticks of the game clock.

The Eagles were able to apply pressure early and often against Berlin and kept the Redcoats from gaining any momentum on offense.

A huge pass break-up by Mark Zazzaro on a fourth down deep in their own territory enabled East Catholic keep the score at 0-0.

After a few four-and-outs for both teams, the trouble all started for East Catholic when a quarterback-center exchange was mishandled and Berlin was able to jump on the loose ball. A few possessions later it went from bad to worse. A botched option play between Jack Droney and Andre Brackett Jr. set up Berlin with great starting position for their final drive of the half.

Berlin’s junior quarterback Jack Lynch started the scoring for the night 10 yard scramble up the middle. After a successful two point conversion with another running play, Berlin edged out to an 8-0 halftime lead.

Andre Brackett Jr. and Jack Droney did all they could to atone for their earlier mistake and were all over the field on the defensive end. Both accumulated multiple tackles and their senior leadership shined with the constant communication with the rest of the defense.

East Catholic’s stout defense could not cover up for its mistakes on offense and another fumble on a run play put them in an even bigger hole.

The first big play came at the Eagles’ expense, as a 65 yard touchdown run by Owen Taylor was the highlight of the night for Berlin through three and a half quarters.

Andre Brackett Jr. was stuffed for most of the night, but on one drive he accumulated 20 yards and converted a big fourth down late in the 4th to keep the Eagles in the ball game. With East Catholic in desperate need of a big play Jack Droney came through in the clutch. Droney connected with a quarterback’s best friend, his tight end Scott Regan for a 22 yard touchdown that kept hope alive for the Eagles. After a failed two point conversion, the Eagles were still only one score away, down 14-6.

“It felt great, it felt like we could take that game,” said Droney of the confidence the late score gave his team.

After a failed onside kick the Redcoats needed just a few first downs to ice the game, and Jack Lynch completed a pass late and from there Berlin was able to run out the clock.

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