Archive for December, 2006
Gotta love those unscientific polls on our site.
In spite of our loyal readers’ attempts to suggest otherwise, Ansonia will be your No. 1 team in the state.
Despite their best efforts to keep it silent, the word is out over at Ansonia and the Reg, who runs the poll. They’re shooting the Ansonia photo today.
Sorry Greenwich, despite an incredible season, Ansonia is No. 1.
As a poll voter, I cast my vote with the Chargers.
And I’ll be one of many, from what I understand. Like, almost all.
Yes, the Cardinals beat up on previously unbeaten Southington pretty convincingly.
A couple of things worked against the Cards, who had the No. 1 spot in their hands until last week.
1. They lost to Staples
2. They got shut out against Staples
3. Yes, they were without Jim Dunster and Nick Edwards and Sean Bannon in that game. But a loss is a loss. In voters minds, there are no excuses.
4. Staples, the team that beat the Cardinals, lost to Bunnell in the Class L title game. A Staples win would have given the Cardinals a little more oomph for their case.
5. Ansonia pretty much romped over an exceptional Holy Cross squad. Don’t forget that that was Holy Cross’ only loss of the season, the Crusaders shut out explosive Stratford, have a Boston College recruit on their roster, and a offensive and defensive lines that, in my estimation, are about as good as Staples, if not bigger and better.
6. Yes, being in the NVL hurts. It’s a top-heavy and weak league. However, the Holy Cross win stands out again. Also, the Chargers were really never challenged and rightfully overwhelmed everybody. If they had played in or two close games, and Greenwich would have had another good case.
7. This one is undisputed: Ansonia is 13-0, the only team with a goose egg in the loss column.
Holy Cross, from what I gather, will make a serious run at No. 2 but not quite get there.
For everyone It was great season nonetheless. For the champs, revel in your title, not a ranking… unless you’re Ansonia :P
Steve Smith throws 19 passes, completes 11 for 214 yards and four touchdowns, two on fourth down, three to Sam Stringfellow, and then picked off a 2-point pass with 4:10 left to smack down the two-time defending champion–and FCIAC heavyweight–Staples 28-26.
Don’t think you’ll see a result like this in a long, long, looooooong time.
Best game of the night…
Best game of the day…
Best game of the playoffs…
Best game of the season.
It was simply Incredible to watch. If you weren’t there, we really feel sorry for you.
Bunnell 28, Staples 26
It still looks crazy just looking at the score.
The Dawgs were heavy, HEAVY underdogs, yet they nailed the Wreckers tonight. Smith tossed a pair of early TDs, had the Wreckers on their heels, hung tough on defense and came away with the biggest upset since in the state semifnals in a looooong time.
A looooong time.
Bunnell coach Craig Bruno has been all over the SWC’s slight 8-7 (or whatever it is) edge over the FCIAC the two-year crossover started. The biggest knock, I told him, was that the SWC hadn’t played the FCIACs large schools.
Now they have.
…and here’s the result:
Bunnell 28, Staples 26
I picked Staples to win 35-16. And, I’ll tell you, I got killed by the Bunnell people after the game.
But, honestly, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.
Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY said the same thing I said:
“Staples rolls ‘em.”
And, if the schools played tomorrow that’s what it could have been. But Smith dazzled from Bunnell’s first possesion until the final play, running head-first into Staples’ front line for yardage. Andrew Kennedy? Francois Auzerais?
He just didn’t care. He danced out of Kennedy’s tackles. He side-stepped Alex Cion. He uncorked long touchdown passes. He ran for first downs. Though those guys got their hands on him a few times, just not when it mattered most.
It got dicey in the second half, with Staples finally asserting itself toward the end of the game. But Smith picks off Marsilio on a 2-point play and then Bunnell’s defense just needed one stop. Lots of plays to go around.
Just an incredible, incredible result. I’m an FCIAC fan, but, honestly? The FCIAC can have all of your blogs and headlines. Bunnell just knocked off one of your heavyweights.
Wave that SWC banner, Bunnell.
You’re the state champions.
No fluke. You guys deserve it.
Wow. Wow. Wow.
After about three sleepless nights, not only for the coaching staffs and players, but for us as well trying to put together all the advances possible, we’re finally here.
It’s only 3 1/2 hours to the first kickoff so I’m not sure how many of you out there will be seeing this. (I only live in Hamden a few minutes away from WH, so no worries for me).
But as much as I’m exhausted, I’m fired up to get these suckers started. I’ll be at West Haven all day, all night, to see our Stratford schools and Staples play for state titles.
Just an FYI, I love our Stratford photo that appeared in Friday’s paper:
Not many people realize how much work went into it. Our staff photog Autumn Pinette not only had to deal with a tight five-minute window (both Steve Smith and Torrey Mackhad to get moving to practice), but she also had to deal with me.
I was antsy and worried it wouldn’t work out. I desperately wanted the shot to illustrate the comraderie between the two players and the two schools despite the growing division of politics and demographics in town. (And it’s there, believe me, we deal with it every day even in sports).
Anyway, I was being a pain, asking for alternate positions and then saying stuff like: “We’ll do that and then get out of here.”
At one point Smith says: “Dude, she’s going to kill you in a second.”
It reminded me of a photo shoot I tried to coordinate at Syracuse with a bunch of clowns named Donovan McNabb, Rob Konrad, Kevin Johnson, Kyle McIntosh and Dee Brown . I had D-Nabb hold out a football and had the other guys reach for it, to show there’s only one ball to go around to all of these great players…
McNabb (laughing): “That’s dumb.”
Me: “I’m just thinking here, Don. What do you want to do???”
Then KJ and Kyle and D-Nabb started making goofy faces. (sigh).
It looks simple in print, but it’s never easy.
I will say that Steve and Torrey were a lot more cooperative than McNabb and Co. (Steve didn’t care, he just wanted to make sure he looked good). Coaches Craig Bruno and Duane Shirden were very accomodating despite their busy, short-week schedules.
And the shot was tremendous, really captured the essence of what these games are about to Stratford.
Now, of course, they’re talking about the cover jinx in Stratford from what I hear. But, since I picked against both squads, so doesn’t that off-set the jinx?
C’mon people, which jinx is the real jinx?
Regardless of what happens, it’s been a tremendous season in Stratford. Though I picked ‘em both to lose, here’s hoping they can make it close… if not win.
Good luck to Staples and Holy Cross as well. Two fine teams with great coaches and players. Should be a couple of good games.