HIGH SCHOOL Football Bunnell starts fast to remain undefeated
MILFORD — It had the appearance of the proverbial “trap” game for Bunnell High School. The Bulldogs were undefeated after four football games and were playing a struggling Foran team that is basically in a reboot under first-year coach Tom Drew.
There was also no way Bunnell coach Sean Mignone could keep it from his team that the biggest SWC games on the Bulldogs’ schedule are coming up the next two weeks. But less than 20 minutes into Friday’s game Bunnell led by 25 points before eventually settling for a 31-7 victory.
“It was a concern,” Mignone said. “It was the same situation two weeks ago at New Fairfield. We came out flat then and our goal tonight was to make sure that didn’t happen.”
Bunnell will host perennial SWC and state powers Masuk and Newtown the next two weeks. If the Bulldogs play like they did in the first 20 minutes, they have a shot of remaining undefeated.
“The defense played phenomenally the whole game but the offense played well only through the middle of the second quarter,” Mignone added.
Bunnell had outscored its first four opponents (Notre Dame of Fairfield, Ledyard, New Milford and New Fairfield) by a combined 137-23 margin. Friday they were led by quarterback Brian Carrafiello, who tossed two first-quarter touchdowns, and running back/linebacker Jovan Eggleston who scored on offense and defense, and was the best player on the field.
“It was Eggleston’s best game of his career,” Mignone said.
The two quick first-quarter scores was a punch to the gut for Foran (1-4), which was coming off back-to-back losses to Harding and Lyman Hall. The Lions are still recovering from the loss of long-time head coach Jeff Bevino, who stepped down after last season.
“We are building and trying to do it the right way,” said Drew. “We knew we couldn’t get off to a slow start against such a physical team, but we played physical football in the second half.”
The Lions did a fine job in the final minutes of the second quarter and second half keeping its a relatively close game. They outscored the Bulldogs 7-6 over the final 28 minutes.
Bunnell (5-0) rode the passing arm of Carrafiello to two quick first-quarter scores and then used the running game and defense to build the 25-0 lead.
The Bulldogs went 64 yards on eight plays with Carrafiello capping the drive with a 35-yard scoring pass to Eggleston on a 4th-and-2 play.
On Bunnell’s next possession Carrafiello hit Eli Alexandre on a 12-yard scoring strike capping a 58-yard drive. The key play was a 34-yard Carrafiello to Josh Lisi pass on a 4th-and-8 fake punt.
Tyreek Smith ran eight yards for a score in the second quarter for Bunnell before Eggleston picked up a bad snap on a punt and ran 22 yards for a 25-0 lead.
Before the half, the Lions managed to get on the board when Andrew Janik and Max Tavilian connected on a 14-yard scoring play late in the second quarter.
Bunnell’s Christ N’Dabian’s 1-yard TD run with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter completed the scoring.
BUNNELL 31, FORAN 7
BUNNELL 12 13 0 6 — 31
FORAN 0 7 0 0 — 7
B — Jovan Eggleston, 35 pass from Brian Carrafiello (kick failed)
B — Eli Alexandre, 12 pass from Carrafiello (run failed)
B — Tyreek Smith, 8 run (run failed)
B — Eggleston, 22 fumble return (88 kick)
F — Max Tavitian, 14 pass from Andrew Janik (Rich Piscatelli kick)
B — Christ N’Dabian, 1 run (pass failed)
Records: B 5-0, F 1-4.