Brunswick School has kept an eye on Saturday’s matchup for a while and not only because it marks its Homecoming football game. The Bruins are hosting Avon Old Farms School, a squad that like them, are undefeated in the Erickson League.
“There is a lot on the line,” Brunswick coach Jarrett Shine said. “Two undefeated teams playing for first place in the league — it should be a great football game.”
Though there are several games remaining in the regular season, Saturday’s outcome could go a long way in determining who finishes first in the Erickson League.
Coached by Bill Mella, Avon Old Farms is 5-0 overall and in league play. The Bruins meanwhile, are 4-0 in the Erickson League and 4-1 overall, their lone loss coming against Cheshire Academy.
“When you look at this matchup both teams are very comparable,” Shine said. “Both teams have talented receivers and quarterbacks and both have big tight ends. It’s going to be a battle of who can slow each other’s offense down.”
The Bruins and Winged Beavers have also produced similar results, as they have each defeated Hotchkiss School, Taft School and Kent School in convincing fashion.
The Winged Beavers’ offense is led by junior quarterback Taisun Phommachanh, who is both a passing and running threat. He threw four touchdown passes in last week’s 42-29 win over Taft.
“Their quarterback has a very quick release and is mobile — he can hurt you with his feet,” Shine said. “We really have to play well pass coverage and put pressure their quarterback.”
Senior wide receiver Nico Ragaini and junior wideout Marquis Wilson are Avon’s top receiving threats. Ragaini caught seven passes for 135 yards a week ago against Taft.
Avon, of course, must be primed to conted with Brunswick’s offense, which once again, is flourishing under senior quarterback Nick Henkel. The Bruins’ signal caller is approaching 1,000 passing yards for the season and is coming off a 338-yard three touchdown game against Salisbury School.
Senior Sean Amill and junior Cornelius Johnson have excelled all season and last week, senior tight end Harrison Caponiti had a breakout game, catching six passes for 117 yards.
“Harrison is a big part of our offense,” Shine said. “He’s a great defensive player, so we’ll be watching his snaps, so he can get a break to play on offense a lot too.”
Last season saw the Bruins roll past Avon, 47-14. Yet the Winged Beavers are much improved this fall.
“We have to be able to slow down their passing game, cover their receivers and we have to put points on the board when we have opportunities to,” Shine said.