Before you read any further, here’s an excerpt of the capsule in Thursday’s paper:
If the Panthers’ defense could handle Stratford’s Torrey Mack and Octavious McKoy, it can handle Bunnell’s Smith. … This might be the best Bunnell team to ever take the field. But it’s still very one-dimensional by Masuk’s standards. These Panthers can score and are armed with better defense. Smith and Co, are good enough to make it a classic. But ultimately, Masuk wears them out.
PREDICTION — Masuk 35, Bunnell 26
And, in the Elite 8, which didn’t appear in the paper but did online (proving, once again, that the kids are all over the internet):
Bunnell’s good. Just not Masuk-good.
I knew I was in trouble the moment Bunnell took a 29-14 lead toward the end of the first half at packed Arum Field in Southbury (About, 2,000? 2,500? Close, I think).
“Hey, Sean, tell Masuk they’re playing with the Big Boys!
“They actually read that stuff?”
No problems as I walked through the Bunnell crowd to get to the pressbox to start writing my story of the first half.
Mike Madera of the New Haven Register: “Dude, they’re chanting your name.”
Sure enough, here they came:
“Seaaaan Pat-rick! Seaaan Pat-rick!”
That was the “Dawg Pound,” otherwise known as the Bunnell student body.
They laid it on thick for Masuk before the game, during the first half and at halftime.
Now, it was my turn.
I just smiled, laughed, tried to appease them with a few obsequious bows, to let them know that, so far, they were right.
No dice. What I got instead was a lot of derisive invectives. And when I tried to take the field, more Dawg Pound:
“Hey, hey? We’re not Masuk-good, huh?”
“That’s OK, everybody makes mistakes!”
“Go back to Monroe!”
I was geting killed.
The scoreboard might as well have read: Bunnell 29, Sean Patrick Bowley 14.
I felt some relief when Masuk scored twice in the third to pull to within 2 points. I even thought, “Ah, you spoke too soon fellas.”
But then Steve Smith, who was 1-for-7 in the second half one point, hit Davon Polite for a score to put the Dawgs up 36-27.
And when Mike Easley took that interception 90 yards to the house? This time it was the Bunnell players’ turn.
Ryan Everetts: “We’re not Masuk good, huh? Well, we’re better than that. And they’re not Bunnell good.”
Steve Smith: “We had something to prove tonight. We got cut up in the papers. Masuk could stop Octavious McKoy and Torrey Mack, but they couldn’t stop me.”
Well put, men. Well put.
For those of you keeping my score at home, Ansonia and Bunnell’s wins, coupled with a correct Greenwich pick, makes me 2-6 all-time picking league title games.
Bunnell assistant Jeff Coppola: “I am SO glad you’re awful at those picks.”
Bunnell 42, Masuk 27
A hearty Mea Culpa to the Dawgs. See you on Thanksgiving Eve.
Just don’t ask me for the final score.