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Buono, Indians pick up steam in big 49-13 victory over Bristol Eastern – The Collinsville Press
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Farmington Valley Football

Buono, Indians pick up steam in big 49-13 victory over Bristol Eastern

Brian Buono ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns as Farmington won their first game by beating Bristol Eastern Friday night in their home opener.

Brian Buono ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns as Farmington won their first game by beating Bristol Eastern Friday night in their home opener.

FARMINGTON, Sept. 16 – A week ago, the Farmington High football had the lead against Wethersfield in the waning minutes of the game. The Eagles scored just six points in the first half but the Indians couldn’t convert on third down and couldn’t get their defense off the field.

Wethersfield scored a touchdown and took the lead with less than two minutes left in regulation and won the game by six points.

On Friday night, the Indians didn’t let a little adversity get them down. Visiting Bristol Eastern intercepted the first pass that Farmington QB Brooks Mihalek threw and scored three plays later to take a six-point lead.

Farmington roared right back, scoring 49 unanswered points to roll to a 49-13 CCC victory over Bristol Eastern Friday night. Running back Brian Buono scored two touchdowns and ran for a season-high 144 yards on 19 carries. Jack Beisel scored three touchdowns for the Indians, running for two and catching a six-yard touchdown pass from Mihalek.

Mihalek shook off his early mistake and completed 9-of-13 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Mihalek had a nice 33-yard pass to Kevin Dunst to set up a second quarter touchdown. In the third quarter, he threw a nice ball to receiver Dante Colagiovanni, who eluded one defender at the 20-yard line and sped away for a 42-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.

“We have a lot of weapons and when we get good (offensive) line play like we did tonight, it makes everything work,” Farmington coach Chris Machol said.

For the Indians, it was the most points they scored in a game since 2011 when they beat Bulkeley, 50-6.

Farmington's Andrew Hileman (28) and Luke Popolizio (20) close in for the tackle in Friday night's victory over Bristol Eastern in Farmington.

Farmington’s Andrew Hileman (28) and Luke Popolizio (20) close in for the tackle in Friday night’s victory over Bristol Eastern in Farmington.

“We really finished what we were doing and we ran the ball well,” Buono said. “We fought back. Last week (against Wethersfield), when we got down, we let them beat us up. This week, we got down but we came right back. We preached attitude and mental toughness all week. Everyone came out and got it done.”

With an experienced team on the field, the Indians are looking for their first winning season since 2009. They would love to make a run at the playoffs but it can be tough with Windsor and Middletown in the CCC Division II East Division. Windsor and Middletown both advanced to the CIAC tournament a year ago and both return veteran squads.

The 20-14 loss to Wethersfield stung Farmington, which led virtually the entire game. This week, the Indians worked hard. Machol frequently has a quick whistle in practice, stopping the action before anyone gets hurt. This week, he let the play go a bit longer.

“I swallowed (the whistle) and let them play,” he said. “That allowed them to finish blocks and finish tackles (tonight).”

After Connor Trowbridge’s interception and return, the Lancers (0-2) took a 6-0 lead on Ariza Kolloverja’s 30-yard touchdown pass from Justin Marshall. On Eastern’s next possession, the Indians didn’t give up a yard and forced a punt.

After a poor punt from the Eastern three, Farmington took over on the Eastern 20-yard line. Buono ran twice to the five-yard line. Beisel scored to tie the game. Farmington placekicker Connor Hillemeir, who was 7-for-7 kicking extra points, put the Indians ahead, 7-6.

Eastern lost five yards on its next possession. Farmington got the ball back and saw Buono rip off a 38-yard run to the Eastern seven-yard line. Beisel scored on a six-yard run for a 14-6 lead with 15 seconds left in the first quarter.

Farmington made it 21-6 on a six-yard pass from Mihalek to Beisel. On the drive, Buono had a 25-yard run and Mihalek completed a 33-yard pass to Dunst.

“We want to share the ball but at the same time, Buono is our player,” Machol said. “He makes our offense go and Beisel is benefiting from that right now. Buono is our workhorse.”

Buono’s seven-yard run with 1:14 left in the second quarter pushed the Farmington lead to 28-6. Dunst caught passes for 17 and 13 yards on the drive. On the 17-yard reception, he caught a pass that was tipped by an Eastern defender. He waited for it and then raced down the sideline. Dunst finished with three receptions for 63 yards.

Farmington limited Eastern to just 26 yards rushing on 22 carries and had several tackles for losses.

NOTES: There was a moment of silence before the game for the late Colin Callahan, who passed away in April on his way home from Ohio State. Callahan was the captain of the 2010 Indians and played quarterback. He threw 22 touchdown passes in his career and for more than 1,800 yards. … Farmington hosts E.O. Smith next Friday at George Bennett Field at 6 p.m. … Farmington beat Eastern for the fifth time in the last six years. … The last seven minutes of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter was played with running time after Farmington took a 35-point lead. … Buono’s career-high was a 193 yard rushing effort against Middletown last season.

Farmington 49, Bristol Eastern 13
At Farmington
Bristol Eastern (0-2)           6    0    0  7 – 13
Farmington (1-1)              14  14  14  7 – 49
First quarter
BE: Ariza Kolloverja 30 pass from Justin Marshall (kick fails), 8:36
F: Jack Beisel 5 run (Connor Hillemeir kick), 2:00
F: Beisel 6 run (Hillemeir kick), 0:15
Second quarter
F: Beisel 6 pass from Brooks Mihalek (Hillemeir kick), 4:52
F: Brian Buono 7 run (Hillemeir kick), 1:00
Third quarter
F: Dante Colagiovanni 42 pass from Mihalek (Hillemeir kick), 10:50
F: Buono 4 run (Hillemeir kick), 7:54
Fourth quarter
F: Mihalek 1 run (Hillemeir kick), 9:40
BE: Trinidad Gonzalez 8 run (kick good), 4:02
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Farmington – Brian Buono 19-144, Brooks Mihalek 4-18, Jack Beisel 2-11, Kevin Dunst 1-38; Bristol Eastern – Ariza Kolloverja 13-18, Justin Marshall 7-8, Trinidad Gonzalez 1-8
PASSING: Farmington – Brooks Mihalek 9-13-1, 138; Bristol Eastern – Justin Marshall 7-16-1, 78
RECEIVING: Farmington – Brian Buono 2-5, Kevin Dunst 3-63, Prince Phillip 1-6, Jack Beisel 1-6, Connor Hillemeir 1-16, Dante Colagiovanni 1-42; Bristol Eastern – Kolloverja 2-23

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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