Titans going with senior-led lineup for senior night
Senior night at Wethersfield Memorial Stadium tonight also brings a chance for the Annawan/Wethersfield Titans (4-3, 4-1) to reach playoff eligibility and extend their current win streak to three games.
The Titans enter tonight’s game on the heels of back-to-back home wins over Ridgewood (36-16) and Mid-County (38-19) and will wrap up a three-game home-stand against West Central.
“I was pretty pleased overall,” A/W head coach Brandon Johnston said of last week’s win. “There was a little spurt there late in the third, or early in the fourth, where things got a little shaky. Outside of that few-minute span, I thought we played pretty well. I think we’re trending in the right direction at the right time.”
A common theme in A/W’s four wins this season has been strong play from running back Bryan Ponce. In Titan victories this year, the senior back has gone over 100 yards each time, averaging 120 yards per win.
Last week, Ponce had arguably his strongest game of the season, piling up a season-high 158 yards and a pair of scores.
“He’s been as consistent as anybody on the offensive side,” said Johnston of Ponce. “He’s a great leader for us. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s still our work horse. When we need tough yards, we know we can rely on Bryan. He’s had a heck of a year for us.”
West Central, which is 0-7 on the season, leapt out to a 14-0 lead over Ridgewood last week, before suffering a 42-14 bashing by the Spartans.
While the Heat are winless on the season, they’ve been in most of their games. Princeville, which beat them 53-0, is the only team to put a running clock on them.
“The big thing that stands out to me is their physicality and they’re very aggressive defensively,” the A/W coach said. “Offensively, they’re very run-oriented and I’ve said it several times now, we have to match that physicality.”
Thanks to a tough non-conference schedule giving A/W a high playoff point total, a win tonight would lock up the 12th playoff appearance in a row for the Titans.
“Hopefully another step in the right direction,” Johnston said of what he hopes to see tonight. “It was a bit of a roller coaster for the first half of the season for us. We talked after week five that we’re really hoping to put three to four weeks together where we’re heading in the right direction and hopefully earn the opportunity to play week 10.”
Senior night introductions will begin at 6 p.m. tonight and the game is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
A/W will go with a more senior-heavy starting line up tonight, giving the opportunity for seniors to play more on what could be the last time they step on the turf at WHS.
“We try to reward those kids as much as we can and get as many seniors on the field as possible,” Johnston said. “We’ll get some guys that stuck it out and guys that have decided to try it out some playing time. We certainly think those guys deserve a chance.”
Coltin Quagliano will be starting at quarterback and he will be flanked by Ponce and Zac VanOpdorp in the backfield.
The receivers will be seniors Isaac Frank and Dylan Thurston, with Kale Nelson at tight end.
The offensive line, from left to right, will be Drake VanHyfte, Tyler Nichols, Cole Sawickis, Logan Troxell and Ty Rashid.
The defensive front will feature Andy Foster, Sawickis and Rashid. The linebackers will be Nichols, Nelson, VanHyfte and Tuker Miller.
The secondary consists of Isaac Shaw, Quagliano, VanOpdorp and Ponce.