Redemption Rankowitz: Staples stuns Central, 14-10, to win FCIAC championship

Christian Abraham/Staff photographer FCIAC football action between Staples and Central in Trumbull, Conn. on Friday Nov. 20, 2009. Staples defeated Central 14-10.

Christian Abraham/Staff photographer FCIAC football action between Staples and Central in Trumbull, Conn. on Friday Nov. 20, 2009. Staples defeated Central 14-10.

FCIAClogo 3aYou wouldn’t have believed it unless your saw it with your own eyes.

Brendan Rankowitz was wide open. He had the game-winning touchdown pass in his hands with nothing in front of him but the winner’s podium. But the senior dropped the pass thrown by Keith Gelman with over two minutes remaining.

Central pretty much had its dream FCIAC championship wrapped up.

“I was so disappointed with myself, I thought I left the team down with that pass,” Rankowitz said.

Central's #23 Isaiah Flores kneels dejected on the field after Staples defeated them in the final moments of the game, during FCIAC football action in Trumbull, Conn. on Friday Nov. 20, 2009.

Central's #23 Isaiah Flores kneels dejected on the field after Staples defeated them in the final moments of the game, during FCIAC football action in Trumbull, Conn. on Friday Nov. 20, 2009.

Amazingly enough. Staples’ defense — which bent early, but toughened in the second half — got the ball back for Rankowitz and the offense one final time with 1:36 remaining.

After a Central time out, which came while the clock was running, Staples faced a second and 2 from its own 34.

Gelman found Rankowitz in the left flat and, from there, the senior scripted one of the most memorable finishes in FCIAC history not to mention one heckuva tale of perseverance and redemption.

The senior side-stepped one tackle and then turned on the jets down the left sideline, untouched, for an incredible, inconceivable touchdown with 1:05 left. “I just tried to run as fast as I could,” he said.

Just a couple of plays later, Rankowitz added to his FCIAC legend by picking off a desperation heave by Central quarterback Christon Gill to secure the 14-10 victory and Staples’ first FCIAC championship since 2003.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done in my life,” Rankowitz said of his drastic transformation from goat to superhero.

Central, which had a 10-0 halftime lead and dominated Staples in the first half, just couldn’t score against the Wreckers defense in the second half.

Still, the Hilltoppers had this game won.

Instead, the players left heartbroken and crying.

“It’s a brutal way to lose,” Central coach Dave Cadelina said. “It’s something that happens. But it’s not supposed to happen.”

Here’s how the final 2 minutes went down in the FCIAC championship tonight.

Watch it, rub your eyes and then watch it again.

Update: If you saw it once, watch it again. We’ve added postgame interviews and replays.

Despite the overflowing emotional fallout from this battle — one of the top defensive games I’ve ever seen — there must be quick turnaround for both teams.

The Class LL playoff race is as tight as ever and both teams need to win to get in in just six days. There’s still time for redemption for Central if enough goes their way (Cheshire travels to West Haven in the “Swine Flu Bowl,” tonight at 7 in a key game for the Hilltoppers and Wreckers’ state hopes).

Staples, which struggled to score in this one, will have its hands full with Greenwich. The Cardinals, who are all but out of the Class LL playoff race, would absolutely love to take the newly-crowned champions down with them. Staples can’t afford to lose next week, or it’s most likely out.

But for now, the wild emotional swings on both sides are going to take some time to get over, especially on the Central side.

An amazing game. One of the best I’ve seen.

And yes, I owe Marce Petroccio and Jack McFarland a steak dinner. You might want to bring Brandon along too.

He deserves it. You deserve it. You’re the champs, Staples.

Sean Patrick Bowley

135 Responses

  1. hmmm spb…did staples play defense…eh

  2. Remmy says:

    Allow my Tweets in the chat next time so people can view video as it happens, ha ha.

    Nice to see ya.

  3. Steve says:

    Amazing and heartbreaking ending. Certainly a tale of two games as Central’s mis-disrection and pure speed dominated the first half. Staples defense dominated the 2nd half.

    Personally, I felt Staples was very tight in the first half while Bridgport showed a lot more emotion. Players were flying all over the place.

    In the 2nd half, especially after the first Staples score, I felt Bridgeport was really tight and Staples was flying all over the field.

    Great game and perhaps the most dramatic/heartbreaking since McMahon defeated Wilton by going for 2 in the Kansas City tiebreaker.

  4. theruler says:


  5. Jack Cochran Wannabe says:

    Worst timeout call in the history of high school football. The clock was running, and Staples got a chance to regroup and get the proper play in. I’m not sure the better team won. Central actually outhit Staples. Central’s pass defense was non-existant. The better athletes were on the Central sideline. The muffed punt by Central’s Gil was also a big play.

  6. Manny says:

    1- This game was an exhibition…it doesn’t count toward anything.
    2- Staples won this game because the refs screwed Central out of a touchdown on a fumble recovery.
    3- Staples won this game because Central’s coach called a stupis timeout which nobody can explain on defense on the fianl drive.
    4- Greenwich will beat Staples.
    5- Staples will not qualify for what is REALLY important…the state playoffs.
    6- New Canaan will once again win what is reall important…the state championship.
    7-If New Canaan has a wins a state title and Staples only wins an FCIAC title, who had a better year? New Canaan, of course. That’s why they are played LAST.

  7. jim says:

    Manny- 42-7

  8. Manny says:

    Staples should be in the FCIAC title game EVERY year. They don’t play New Canaan. They don’t play Darien. They don’t play Greenwich (until after the FCIAC season is over!). Staples should win it again next year…as thay again play the EXACY same schedule!! Imagine never having to play Greenwich during the FCIAC regular season?

    Jim….talk to me when your program has the history or success as New Canaan’s…either in the leagues’ or the state’s! Who won the last time these two teams played? That’s right….New Canaan did.

  9. Remmy says:

    I am not a fan of either squad. I just wanted to see a good football game tonight.

    I must agree with the statement that Central was screwed-over by that missed-call on the fumble recovery for TD. I was standing right on the sidelines and videoed the entire thing. When I got home, I viewed the video…The Staples player was clearly not down. Refs missed that call for sure.

    I also thought that Central’s inability to pass the ball efficiently hurt them badly tonight. Staples’ defense stepped-it-up in the second half and held Central pretty tightly.

    Congrats to both squads for making the title game. The Wreckers made a big play in the nick of time.

  10. jim says:

    Are u seriously trying to trash talk, the night Staples wins FCIACS. And I’m not a Staples fan, I just hate sore losers like you.

  11. jjs says:

    Wow!! What a great game played by two terrific teams. It was a tale of two halves. Staples had no first downs in the first half and was completely dominated and Central had no first downs in the second half and the Staples defense shut them down.

    Central was too conservative on offense-all they needed was a first down several times and could never get it. Credit Staples.

    On Centrals first possession they drove down to the Staples three yard line-first and goal and rather than give it to their QB they ran wide and lost several yds. Poor play calling.

    NOw it’s on to the STATE tournament for one or both of tonights teams. Staples can qualify with a win over Greenwich or a Cheshire loss. Central needs to beat Harding and hope that either Cheshire or Staples loses.

    To my friend CLYDE: Congrats to you and Staples for a hard fought win. Now answer this question honestly. Would you rather beat CEntral to win the FCIAC title or the STATE title. I’m waiting for your response. You know my feelings about it.

    ONE observation. STaples played to win the game and Central played not to lose.

    Two questions: 1. Why did Central call a timeout with the clock running? If you wanted a time-out then let Staples come to the line and waste a few seconds and then take time. The next play Staples scores.

    2. Why didn’t you let Gill run from the shot-gun on short yardage situations.? He was gaining four or five yards at a clip.

    The Staples defense was awesome in the second half.

  12. Martha Barrett says:

    Wow, no one can say Staples hasn’t played a tough team now. I’m amazed at the results of this game.

    It’s VERY tough coming off a huge victory and all the press to play your best, tho, maybe that’s what happened to Central tonight.

    Hooray for the change in FCIAC rules for next fall!!!!!!

  13. staples 7 says:

    listen manny stop being a sore loser i’m sorry if central sucks and they blow it in every “big” game because this game counts much more than the others they played this year and now there out of the playoffs booo hooo. Sorry your team is undisciplined and cannot win when there winning 10-0 at the half. Too bad

  14. Jeff says:

    Let me see if I understand: NC gives up six TDs to Central while Staples gives up one before the butterflies have settled and then zip after that, yet somehow NC is still better than both of them because they can beat up on teams with “Tech” after their names in Class MM. OK, whatever gives you comfort.

    Central is one heck of a talented team. Staples defense flat out made the stops it needed. The passing game was wide open for Staples but the offense didn’t execute until it absolutely had to, or else Staples probably pulls away. Gelman showed incredible courage and character under fire and refused to give up. Rankowitz could have folded but instead turned doubly determined. We should all root for Cheshire to lose tomorrow so both Staples and Central make the LL playoffs and perhaps get another shot at each other.

  15. Clyde says:

    What a game,big time heavyweight fight,Staples defense is the real deal,Central punted 7 straight times in the 2nd half,the action was hard hitting,this was Ali-Frazier,Central has some serious athletes,but it appeared Staples wore them down, Staples made some great halftime adjustments including some mis-direction and the “wildcat”,the atmosphere was electric,the FCIAC put on a big show tonight,and made some serious coin! Both teams did themselves proud,this was a “REAL” football game .


  16. Tony Slez says:

    Congratulations to both Staples and Central for a fine season and what appears to be a hard-fought competition this evening.

    The question about the referees missed calls seems accurate. However, on the whole, “the non-calls” seem to balance out. The missed fumble call is balanced by the one, and possibly two, interferences against Staples and the “roughing the passer” that could have been called against Central. While I personally feel it may have gone a little too far, my opinion is that it is based on the fact that the refereeing corp made a decision to “just let them play.”That’s part of the game too.

    I usually stay away from “ad hominem” arguments, but apparently Manny brings out the worst in me. Manny, you should take the advice of Mark Twain who said, “It’s better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove it absolutely.” I’ll put it another way, your arguments are so illogical that only two conclusions can be drawn — you’re either ignorant or the most mean spirited person I’ve run into. Oh, you’d better get your money back the anger management course doesn’t appear to have work. You have some very serious “people skill” problems.

    Again, congratulations to Central a hard-fought game and to Staples for its FCIAC championship.

  17. FallFBFanatic says:

    Funny thing about these Blogs……
    I’m sure Manny is in bed now wearing his NC jammies after drinking some more NC Kool-Aid. Central and Staples showed why they deserved to be in the Championship Game tonight. For a Football Fan, you couldn’t have asked for a better game!
    Staples won tonight, period!
    Appreciate the game, and be proud that the FCIAC was represented tonight by two programs that proudly represented our conference!
    Congratulations to Staples for their FCIAC Crown!!!!

  18. Guys. Enough bickering. It’s pointless here.

  19. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    SPB, I’m curious to know what your predictions are for Staples-Greenwich on Thanksgiving morning. Staples showed a lot of heart in the second half of tonight’s classic; do they have what it takes to beat the Cardinals?

  20. Bunnell Backer says:

    SPB, now that the dust has settled (and I’m sure the Staples’ faithful doesn’t want this question addressed too soon), who is your pick to be higher in the state polls – Pomperaug or Staples?

  21. Joe L says:

    Can somebody tell me why the game was held a Trumbull? Just curious? When its 2 out of town teams?

  22. JASMINE says:

    Great post by #9 Remmy…For all that does not know Remmy he runs the NVL Blog.Remmy has found out the last two nights that there is tremendous football being played outside of the Valley.Please google his article at NVL blogosphere…Remmy-Thanks for enlightining the Valley folks and getting out to watch some real football being played.Please bring Steve with you the next time so he stop talking about Holy Cross and the rest of the wannabe’s…..

  23. fciacfootballfan says:

    It was obvious that Staples made some halftime adjustments and Central did not. Central pushed Staples around in the first half, yet played the second half looking to just try and hang on. Central can wear you out with the run, but needs to find some type of passing game. There’s not one kid at Central like Rankowitz, who will catch everything (OK…alomost eveything) thrown to him?

    But, hey, Central — if’s it any consolation — there is no other team in this league that could have knocked off Greenwich, New Canaan, and come within a minute of knocking off Staples…

  24. Vince says:

    Incredible. Hope Central learns from this one.

    A buddy and I (he a former HS player and coach)made the trip to see a great football matchup, and honestly, left at the half. But as usual, he made a good observation toward the end of the half, the last time they had the ball – that Central was playing a little too conservatively. That’s something the coaches might look back on.

    But there was something else… A loudmouth, clearly intoxicated, in the middle of the Central crowd. Somebody should have shut him up. He disgraced Central’s program and all it’s supporters. You have to believe the Staples players could hear him, and certainly the Central players, coaches and everyone else did, too. No one will blame him for the loss, but I bet they want to kill him now.

    Letting the loudmouth go should be a lessen to the fans, especially the younger ones.

    Recognizing actions and attitudes on and off the field would be helpful in continuing to build a great program. To the Central players, coaches, and the school – chin up, keep rising. Congrats to both teams.

  25. c.j.c. says:

    What a game, but i think central at the end played not to lose instead of playing to win,, but that fumble was very big,also another big play was the one when staples went deep and the staples player tackle the central player before he made the pick,that was certainly offensive pass interference, and why did cadelina call time out…..

  26. samwells says:

    staples 7 central is not out of the playoffs.they are 4th in dont know what your talking about.And how could FCIAC play title came before teams finish there schedules?

  27. Miz says:

    Centrals coach, coached a bad game. Very conservative playcalling & what a terrible timeout. Practically gave the game away. There is such a thing as “over coaching”. Congrats to staples.

  28. Jeff says:

    To use a baseball analogy, Central came out throwing heat and dared Staples to hit it. You can watch all the film you want on Central but until you’re trying to stop their amazing athletes you can’t truly appreciate their talent. But you can’t throw triple digit heaters the entire game; hitters adjust. And adjust Staples did, forcing Central’s potent offense into seven consecutive three-and-outs. Meanwhile, Staples was throwing every pitch in the book at Central in an effort to keep them off balance and see what was working that particular day. You sit fast ball they throw a change-up; expect curve-ball and you get the heater. While Staples didn’t pitch a pretty game, they outgained Central 199-22 in the second half.

    You can’t prepare for Staples by saying you just need to stop this guy or that, you have to worry about beating their entire system of coaches and kids that are meticulous is practicing every aspect of their game because every team is different and the weather is unpredictable. I’ve not seen the SWC teams play in person but it’s hard for me to imagine any team having the sheer talent of Central—a team that destroyed New Canaan. Someone mentioned Ali-Frazier. I think Ali-Foreman is more apt: Staples allowed Central to punch themselves out in the first half, came out swinging, and just wore them down. The best teams know there is more than one way to win a fight and have the ability to adjust accordingly.

  29. MasukRules says:

    Congratulations to the 2009 FCIAC champions. However, I don’t think any of these Staples players have been on the field for a state-playoff win. Am I correct? Could a lack of playoff experience hurt the Wreckers in LLs?

  30. roto says:

    Be careful what you wish for. Being the #1 team in SPB’s mind (and the state polls) has been the kiss of death this season. I would not be surprised…actually I am fairly certain… that both Staples and Pomperaug will lose a game before its all over.

  31. tj says:

    Cadelina may have thought the player was out of bounds on the far side line and that the clock had already been stopped when he called the TO.

  32. tj says:

    Manny, in athletics, championships mean everything. May it be in a rec league, pop warner or the FCIAC/SWC evidenced the last two nights by the rapturous behavior of the winners and utter despair of the losers.

  33. TB says:

    Congrats to both teams on a well-played, exciting game.
    I must agree with what Manny is saying…he is just speaking the truth. Why are Staples fans so annoying and so whiney? Their kids seem alright.
    Your goal in early September is to win a STATE title. Staples has not accomplished that yet this year. Nor will they. New Canaan will. The Rams FOURTH straight.

  34. tj says:

    If Staples loses to Greenwich and Bridgeport Central beat Harding, the min-max point totals for LL state qualify would be:

    BC 1240 to 1290: Staples 1210 to 1250

    They both have Ludlowe as an unguaranteed win so that game is a wash. So if Ludlowe wins, BC min moves to 1250 and Staples max stays at 1250. If Ludlowe loses then BC min stays at 1240 while Staples max is reduced to 1240. If it ends tied Staples would get in on tiebraker points 84 to 80, or 82 to 78.

    So, Staples has to have all of the their unguaranteed teams win plus have Brien McMahon beat Norwalk (this game is a gaurantee win for Staples while McMahon in an ungauaranteed game for BC), plus have Bassik lose to BH and NC lose to Darien to get in.

    I like Central chances. GO CARDINALS!!!

  35. MTJ says:

    Staples7, not a very good way to represent your school. Saying Central sucks, is the farthest thing from the truth. They lost yes, but if you where at the game, or any game that Central played for that matter you would know very well that Central far from sucks. You have no idea the challenges that Inner city schools face to develop athletic programs, the fact that in the past 5 years Central has been to the FCIAC champonship game twice is one heck of statement. You need to check your Westport attitude and know that this game could of gone to either team and if Cadalina stays with this program, they will be winning championships very soon. Until that point you need to respect your opponent a little bit more and realize that BC is a premier football program. And also congratualtions on a nice win :).

  36. jjs says:

    Two outstanding defensive teams who did the FCIAC proud. It would be a shame if these two teams don’t get into the State tourney.

    Staples made some timely adjustments at halftime which seemed to confuse Central

    Central is the hardest hitting team I have seen this year and I have seen them all.

    I would hope that the FCIAC would do something about their scheduling for next year. Let the best teams play each other and reward them for strength of schedule. Imagine having STaples, Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, ST. Joes and Central playing head to head each week. The coaches wouldn’t like it but the players and the fans would go crazy.

    Great crowd last night. Staples was well represented but everyone else not connected to Staples was rooting for Central. It had nothing to do with Staples-if it was Greenwich, Trumbull, New Canaan etc. Central still would have been the fans favorite because they had never won it before and they were a better story.

    If I were an athletic director I would hire the Staples defensive coach in a heartbeat.

    Dream Matchups: Pomperaug vs Staples

    Masuk vs. New Canaan

    Central vs. Glastonbury

    NDWH vs Greenwich

    New London vs. Cheshire

    Ansonia vs.Hamden

    Anyone who could pick the six winners of these games is a highschool genius.

  37. ray brown says:

    great year by both schools——-masuk should be ranked higher!

  38. Remmy says:

    Miz #27, I don’t think that timeout was bad by Central. Had Central won the game, no one would be talking about it. I hate to say it, but, the Central corner SHOULD have made that tackle. That would have more certainly ended it. He didn’t make the tackle, so how can you blame the Central head coach for taking the timeout? It’s not like Staples drew-up a crazy play during the timeout. That was a simple play coming out of the huddle and a great play by Rankowitz.

    The missed tackle by the Central player is what made the Central head coach look bad for taking the timeout.

    I felt really bad for those Central kids after the tough game they played and the great effort they put forth last night. It was tough to see those kids walking with their heads down and pounding the turf after Staples took a knee to kill the clock.

    Both teams impressed me, though.

  39. FallFBFanatic says:

    MTJ, Central has an outstanding program and played a great game! They do not “suck” as Staples7 poorly commented. Please check your inferiority complex before commenting about “Westport Attitude.” No one person represents the whole!
    Great game last night, enjoyed watching both teams!

  40. TB says:

    mark it down….Staples will NOT win what is REALLY important…a STATE title. Heck, they might not even make the states! I can’t believe the Central coach called a timeout! What the heck was he thinking!? Pompy would beat Staples by two touchdowns and New Canaan would put up 28 points on Staples.

  41. Jack Cochran Wannabe says:

    I think if you want to beat Staples you need to do what Bunnell did in the states a couple of years ago. They spread the field and let Steve Smith run wild. Very few times are you going to run the ball at Staples and be successful. If Central opened it up and let Gill determine the outcome of the game, they could of won this game. They were definitely too conservative. The big plays in this game were the fumble that the referees ruled was not a fumble (what were they looking at?), the dropped TD pass by the Rankowitz and the muffed punt by Gil. If Gil doesn’t muff that punt, Central gets the ball at midfield and more importantly, their defense gets a blow. Also, those were not pass interferces on behalf of Central. Both players got their feet tangled incidently. Great game by both teams. I still think NDWH is the best team in the state.

  42. jjs says:

    I agree that New Canaan would put up 28 on Staples but Staples might put up 35 on New Canaan.

    Looking back I think the Central coach did think the clock was already stopped on a previous play. I agree with one of the above posts. Otherwise he should have let Staples come to the line and then call time if he wanted it. Whatever the coach told his defense did not work because Staples scored on the next play. NO excuses coach.

    Staples deserves a lot of credit for trying to win the game. They went for a first down in their own territory on fourth down. They had a few trick plays that almost worked. Centrals offense did nothing from the MID second quarter and the play calling was right out of Rush Limbaugh. He would have been proud. Conservative to being nauseating and boring.

  43. FallFBFanatic says:

    Sean, Thanks for the video! Great to hear the emotions and respect the kids have for one another.

  44. frankiefiveangels says:

    I am watching the YALE vs HArvard football game. Fourth and 22 from their own 30yd line up 10-7. Yale fake punts and tries for the first down. SHORT. Harvard who was dead in the water goes on to win the game.

    This is one of many coaching mistakes I have seen in the past few weeks.

    1. Greenwich has New Canaan beat and the coach starts throwing the ball rather than running out the clock.

    2. Pomperaug is ahead 31-10 and stops running and starts throwing allowing Masuk to get back in the game.

    3. Central of Bridgeport has first and goal from the three yard line and a monster QB and they don’t give it to him.


  45. CENTRAL FAN says:

    great game last night questionable call that was a fumble bad early whistle bye the refs but hats off to staples never gave up kept on pushing. central out played them on both sides central depened on there defense last night too much in the second half they were tired. i tell you something if central gets’ in i think they will win it. Greenwhich will beat staples . GREAT GAME CENTRAL KEEP YA HEAD UP IT’S NOT OVER YET WATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. ELSEWHERE: Glastonbury, down 27-14 with 6 minutes left, scores twice ties the game, but the extra point goes wide left. Overtime…

  47. jjs says:

    I have just seen the worst coaching decision in the history of college football. Harvard against Yale. I won’t tell you what happen it will be the lead story on sports center.

  48. Glastonbury goes for two, and the win, in overtime. Stuffed a foot short. Simsbury 34, Glastonbury 33. Notre Dame fans… not happy.

  49. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    It is one thing to believe that Staples will not win states. But to diminish the importance of the Wreckers’ victory is absurd, particularly for New Caanan fans. Don’t lie to yourselves; an FCIAC title is far more meaningful than a state title in Class MM. Also, NC would not put up 28 points on the Wreckers; Staples is far more physical and has the league’s (if not the state’s) best pass defense. The Rams had their chance to face Staples, and they blew it (big time). So please stop posting these sour grapes comments; they are a poor reflection on the New Caanan program.

  50. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    Any updates on Chesire-West Haven?

  51. Jack Cochran Wannabe says:

    Can’t give you that one on an Fciac title being more meaningful than a state title. That is ridiculous. If Notre Dame doesn’t make the states, that will be a crime. They would of beaten either Staples or Central.

  52. carl swanson says:

    Amazing win by Staples. I am not truly sure the best team won however. Central was the more efficient and athletic but the Wreckers were in better shape at the end of the game (duh!) I would love a rematch in the states. New Canaan may whine but they are not into defense and the Big “D” wins championships I concur on the fact that the FCIAC game means nothing. They need to make it at the end of the season with the winner going to the state playoffs. And please “Friday Night Lights” wannabes, we Texans play in the sunshine or indoors in November!! Hook ’em Horns and Go Wreckers!

  53. GHS Fan says:

    Missed the game – dang – sounds like an epic slugfest. Will look for it on MSG.

    So, the refs blew a fumble call that went against Bridgeport? Then the refs “made it up” to Bridgeport by blowing calls against Staples/ making non-calls?

    Does anyone know if the refs were the same refs for the GHS-NC game? Since the GHS-NC refs were supposed to be the “best refs” in FCIAC, I would be surprised if it were not the “best refs” calling the FCIAC championship.

    Too bad no one publishes stats on the refs! But since it is only a kids game and is meaningless in the grand scheme of things, and since it is sour grapes and poor sportsmanship to demand excellent officiating, I guess we will never know.

  54. GHS Fan … give… us… a… break.

    One more time: publishing “stats” on referees is — quite possibly — the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard.

    Doubly so for a high school football game. Give it up.

  55. And, no, they weren’t the same referees.

  56. wreckerfan says:

    central put up a good fight but their strength and weakness is that theyre a team of a few very strong athletes. this is great for the first half but you could see as the game progressed they were just worn out and staples took advantage of it. just because central is an inner-city team doesnt mean they deserve to be fciac champs. staples has been weightlifting and preparing for this since the devastating loss to greenwich last season. theyve given everything they have to this game and it payed off in the end. staples isnt just a team of a few good athletes. they work as a team and are well coached and thats what helped them win in the end. the defense was just amazing and every defensive player on the field for staples could make a tackle when they had to. it was a great game and both teams put up a good fight but in the end the better trained team won.

  57. Better trained? Central won the state weightlifting title. Worn out? They were hitting fast and hard right up until the end. They were one tackle from pretty much winning that game.

    Game could have gone either way. The difference was this: Staples’ defense toughened in the second half, and Rankowitz made two huge plays late.

  58. Bunnell Backer says:

    Staples7, did you ever play Bunnell?

  59. big guy says:

    spb who would win Pompy or Staples?

  60. Jeff says:

    Let’s just agree to say that Central played with such high intensity from the get-go that it would have been superhuman of them to have been able to maintain it for just one half, let alone the entire game. Let’s also just agree that in a close game it should be no surprise that the lack of one play here or there *may* have changed the outcome. Good teams find a way to win. Winning teams find a way to be on the right side of game changing plays. Luck is the residue of design. And so on.

  61. TB says:

    fciac footballfan
    LOL….ask ANY coach in the state and they will tell you that winning a state title is more important than winning a league title. You are clueless. The SCC (the best league in the state) doesn’t even bother playing a conference champioship game, as they want their teams healthy for what really matters…the state championships. Talk to me on the evening of December 5th..when New Canaan win another championship and Staples is watching without a state trophy, again!

  62. Greg says:

    In other news, Staples JV remains undefeated as well with a win over Greenwich.

  63. K.Gill says:

    Great game last night. But congrats to Staples on their win.

    **Sidenote**With that being said, wreckerfan #57, no need to compare the 2 teams. (inner-city school FIGHT for everything, so we pretty much earn everything)

  64. Jack Cochran Wannabe says:

    Agreed. Central outhit Staples. Rarely do you see a team outhit another team and lose.

  65. Brian says:

    Central 2 biggest fans right now are greenwich and southington. one must lose for central to make LL’s. i’m in shock simsbury beat glastonbury at home. NDWH might be the best team in the state and won’t go to class L playoffs.

  66. Brian says:

    NDWH fans, root root for the nighthawks. Oxford is not beating pomperaug and conard is finished as is simsbury. NDWH would leap Masuk is they lost to newtown. I don’t think it will but that is ND’s only hope.

  67. We have “scientists” — apparently with more time than you, which scares me — saying ND and Simsbury are in a foot race for bonus points. It’s gonna be a photo finish.

  68. Brian says:

    ndwh is chasing 20 points if it beats hamden. thy need every opponet of theirs to win and hope some of simsbury’s or conards don’t. its possible that NDWH could beat out 10-0 conard !!

  69. Yes… but it can beat out Simsbury. Don’t worry. We have our top men on this.


    “Top… Men.”

  70. Brian says:

    yes, they can beat out simsbury as well but it’s close. some the games on simsbury side can go either way but have the chance to hurt simsbury. it’s crazy. LL is a mess also. gbury, xavier, and cheshire could all finished tied but I really think gbury and xavier will !

  71. Brian says:

    in my projection central eekes past staples if greenwich wins. stamford westhill game is huge as is NC/darien for central.central wants shs and NC to win. Staples wants westhill and darien. central also wants mcmahon while staples wants norwalk. trumbull for staples is big to.

  72. It’s close. Too close to start praying for Masuk to lose.

    Our current projections — based on predicting the probability of bonus games (for example Windsor-Bloomfield [50-50]; Abbott Tech-Farmington [probable Farmington] — say Simsbury and ND will most likely tie at 1330, in which case ND Will win the tiebreaker.

  73. There are about 10 of us writers emailing back and forth on this. Our projections are coming soon.

  74. Brian says:

    agreed but that is ND’s easiest way in for sure though LOL. Masuk won’t lose though in my opinion. Cheshire is beating southington as well meaning only staples or central will go. Greenwich’s LL final against the number 1 team is turkey morning.

  75. honest abe says:

    SPB please don’t talk about physical missed the boat. You win a state weight lifting title and and you are the best conditioned team…and carl Swanson…if Central was the most efficient team…they wouldn’t have punted 7 times in the second half…based on coaching wits it may be safe to assume that the staples staff will be more apt to out coach the hilltoppers again in a rematch…Can Staples win a big game hmmm 4 fciac appearances 3 wins…5 state finals..3 wins…I wish i’d had those numbers as a coac

  76. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    In any given year, there are three teams tops in class MM (including NC) that can be considered legitimately good football teams. Compare that with the FCIACs, where
    NC, Staples, Greenwich, Central, St. Joseph, Ridgefield, and Trumbull duke it out season after season. For teams in other classes (LL, for example), you could argue that a state title outweighs a league title in importance, but for NC, the FCIAC Championship is the pinnacle of the season. Had NC won it this year, you would not be making your argument. And by the way, what makes you so sure NC will win states after its embarrassing loss to Central? NC proved in that game as well as in its victory over Greenwich that it has no defense whatsoever; a team with a powerful running game can easily overpower the Rams. If I were you, I wouldn’t be looking too far ahead; if NC overlooks Darien like it did Central, it may wind up going home with no rings at all.

  77. What? I didn’t bring that up. The guy said Staples was better conditioned, i.e. Central was gassed late in the game. I disagreed. Those were two every evenly matched teams. Staples defense hung tough and gave its team a chance to win late. Central’s defense played great, too. It only one or two plays away from winning it.

  78. butch says:

    FCIACFOOTBALLFAN, YOu feel the Fciac title is a lot more important than winning a state title. i’m sorry but i will have to disagree with you. Our league champ, Staples, will have to win three tough games in a row to win the state title. If they lose to Greenwich there is a strong possibility that we won’t even qualify. If we do qualify we would have to beat a solid Xavier or Cheshire team.

    last year our league champ, New Canaan, had to win the MM tourney which at the time had the three top ranked teams in the state. New Canaan, Darien and Hillhouse . New Canaan did beat Darien to win the Fciac and then had to turn around and beat them again in the state final.

    i know you are a huge Fciac fan as I am but deep down wouldn’t you rather be called state champs.

    I go to Florida every year and I brag abut my old high school team from Ct. When i tell them we won the FCIACS they say ” What the hell is that” Win the states and then we will talk.

  79. So, if you don’t think Masuk will lose, Brian, then you have to assume the worst. Therefore, ND and Simsbury are in a race for bonus points.

  80. Brian says:

    correct, I was just thowing it out there as a scenario that could get ND in. Thy are also in a race with conard and might have a little more chance beating them out and they are 10-0 !

  81. Clyde says:

    S.P. are you saying a 9-1 NDWH and a 10-1 Staples may not make the States? That would be ludicrous! btw, IF Central beat Staples and didn`t make the States with 1 loss everyone would be going nuts,but the Fciac Champions with 10 wins may not make it and everyone is good with that ? also in your blog article you refernce that Central “OUTPLAYED” Staples for MOST of the game?What game were you watching? Central punted 7 STRAIGHT times in the 2nd half and had ZERO net yards to almost 200 yards for Staples,one team went in at halftime and came up with a plan to take the trophy,the other team came out with the same plan from the 1st half! The NC fans who keep referencing their MM titles are comical,didnt you get one 1 year at 6-3-1?Good Luck against Vinal-Godwin- Technical School in the finals,will that be tackle or flag football?


  82. Clyde says:

    Has a 10 win team every NOT made the States?


  83. jjs says:

    Dear FciacFan,

    If the Fciac title was more important why do you have the best teams playing each other after the FCIAC title game.

    example: New Canaan vs. Darien
    Greenwich vs. Staples
    St. Joes vs Trumbull

  84. Clyde says:

    The Conference Championship is huge for 1 major reason, you cannot win the Kelly Trophy for the #1 Team in the State with out winning your own Conference,this is what Masuk fans didn`t understand last year,you need to be the best team in your conference to be the best team in the State!


  85. Clyde, it’s all semantics. You’re getting worked up about that? Easy. Easy. Two evenly matched teams. By the end, it was anybody’s ballgame and Staples found a way.

    And, yes, if Staples loses to Greenwich it’s pretty much Good Night, Irene.

    …the problem here is, technically speaking, Staples is a 9-0 team. If they lose, they’ll be 9-1 alongside four or five others atop Class LL. Their regular-season strength of schedule will most likely drop them below most of the those other teams (except, perhaps, Ridgefield). It’s the schedule that does it. So they have to win to get in.

  86. jjs says:

    Clyde, Why are you knocking NC. They have been a class program for years and have put many outstanding teams on the field. Just because a few immature fans say some stupid things should not paint a broad brush over the whole program. Let’s give credit to all the teams that win state titles in every class.

  87. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    For Staples, I agree with you, the state championship would be a more significant accomplishment than the league title because Staples plays in class LL, which is perhaps the most competitive bracket in the state. But that does not make the FCIAC championship insignificant; in winning, Staples has established itself as the unofficial top team in the league (I’m sure others will dispute this point) and has succeeded in taking home a trophy that has a long and prestigious tradition.
    Also, I agree with you that last year, NC faced two formidable opponents in Darien and Hillhouse (though I’m not sure you could consider the three teams collectively the top-ranked trio in the state). However, the rest of MM was pretty much bogus, as it is again this year, so getting into the MM state tournament is a relatively insignificant feat in comparison to getting into the FCIAC title game, where the Rams always face stiff competition from several other teams.
    By no means am I trying to diminish the success of last year’s NC unit, nor would I ignore the significance of a Rams state title this year, if they win it. But it severely annoys me when bitter NC fans attempt to put down Staples’ hard-earned FCIAC title when they themselves know how badly they craved it.

  88. Clyde says:

    I understand that Staples is 9-0,and 10-0 overall,but the question stands,has any team w/ 10 wins ever not made it into the States? When was the last time the Fciac Champions didnt get in?


  89. jjs says:

    Clyde, Some conferences don’t even have league championship games so you are off base with the “KELLY” award-which by the way i have never heard of.

  90. He’s talking about the Joseph Kelly award from Walter Camp. Given to the No. 1 team voted by the state media poll. They are, however, unaffiliated.

  91. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    It is indeed unfortunate the FCIAC title game is played before the Thanksgiving Day rivalries. However, this is the only way the championship can occur; it cannot be played after because it would interfere with state playoffs.
    Again, I am not saying that for all teams, the FCIAC title is a more significant accomplishment than the state championship. But in my opinion, it should be for New Canaan, Darien, and any other FCIAC team that has the misfortune to play in class MM.

  92. Clyde says:

    every year the Walter Camp Foundation gives out the Kelly Award at their awards banquet to the top team in Ct., its a huge accomplishment to be recognized as THE best team in the State,I believe New Canaan got the recognition last year,Ansonia in 2007.


  93. Jeff says:

    Assume Central and Xavier, each playing weak opponents, both win. If Cheshire loses to Southington (a team that lost to each of Glastonbury and Simsbury by three points and should be highly motivated to beat its rival), Central and Staples are both in. If Cheshire and Staples both win, Central is out. If Cheshire wins and Staples loses, the eight games with any meaning all have to go in Staples’ favor for them to overtake Central.

  94. ctfootballfan says:

    did you know there is life outside of fciac football? might not evem be the best team in it’s own COUNTY! It’s probably Pomperaug. State titles mean more.

  95. Jack Cochran Wannabe says:

    What are bonus points?

  96. Jack Cochran Wannabe says:

    Also, please tell me that Yale didn’t really fake a punt today from their own 20.

  97. tj says:

    ctfootballfan-I hear ya, but Pomperaug is in Southbury which is in New Haven county.

  98. PatPatriot says:

    To change the thread a bit. I made it up to Glastonbury to see the Simsbury game yesterday. Unbelievable game. Coming on the heals of Monday’s FCIAC’s this was an amazing weekend of football to see. I would encourage more folks in Fairfield County to get out and see games like this to get some perspective.

    Gutsy play calling by both sides, OT shootout, great stuff. Bottom line was that after the first quarter Simsbury ran Glastonbury all over the field. This was not the great show of defense from Friday night. Glastonbury has a big bruising (OLB/DE) quarter back who has a great arm and can run but not a whole lot more.

    I hope both Staples AND Central make it to the LL playoffs because their ability to run the ball and play defense will make for a great showing by southern CT. Maybe even an incredible rematch in the finals.

  99. Hogwatcher says:

    Sean, you haven’t mentioned this, but St. Joes getting into the play-offs isn’t looking good. If Bullard Havens beats Bassick and St Joes beats Trumbull (probably by 3 TDs I might say), it’ll go to bonus points. How about putting some data around this match-up?

  100. Mike Ronemus says:

    I don’t understand the trash talk. 2 great teams. Great win for Staples. Tough and sad loss by Central. But there’s a lot of football ahead. My favorite part of the video was Staples lineman 75 grabbing Rankovitz after he dropped the ball and pulling him back to the huddle. Then fittingly enough when Rankowitz scored the winning TD, 75 was running down the field behind him. And also Staples coach Jessie jumping up and down on the sidelines like a lunatic. One other comment, why cheapen the great New Canaan/Staples rivalry. they have had some of the best games the last few years. Let the winners be decided on the field, not by blowhards online.

  101. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    This is the last time I will say it: A STATE TITLE WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL TO STAPLES THAN A LEAGE TITLE. I don’t dispute that, and I doubt any sensible Connecticut high school football fan would. But that does not diminish the importance of the FCIAC title to the Wreckers; as someone previously noted, one must only look at the emotion demonstrated by Central and Staples before, during and after the game to see how seriously the two teams took it. My argument is this: FOR NEW CAANAN AND OTHER CLASS MM FCIAC TEAMS, AN FCIAC TITLE IS MORE MEANINGFUL THAN A STATE TITLE. That does not mean a state title for NC is insignificant. New Caanan is clearly one of the best-run programs in the state; otherwise, it would not be a contender and often a winner in the state playoffs every season. IF NC wins again this year, which they have a legitimate chance of doing, I would consider that a highly successful season for the Rams. But because of the weakness of the MM bracket, in my opinion (and you are entitled to disagree with me), an FCIAC Championship is more meaningful to NC than the State Championship.

  102. roto says:

    Not to nitpick ctfootballfan, but Southbury is in New Haven County.

  103. roto says:

    The last FCIAC champion not to make it to the state playoffs was Brien McMahon in 1995. FCIAC champions do not have a great track record in Class LL. Before Greenwich did it in 2006 and 2007, the last FCIAC champion to go on to win Class LL was Greenwich in 1991.

  104. GHS Fan says:

    SPB – no “breaks” from me.

    Again, in a single game, a ref’s call account for out and out yardage – one interesting stat.
    A ref’s call can determine if a 3rd down conversion is overturned – another interesting stat.
    A ref’s call can determine whether points were awarded or not – another interesting stat.
    A ref’s calls can be disputed by one coach or the other – another interesting stat
    A ref’s non-call can be disputed by one coach or the other – antother interesting stat

    I speak as someone who was told by his former offensive lineman son that “a hold could be called on every play of every single game.” From my own experience playing football I know that to be more or less true. Not that all the linemen are holding on every play, but somewhere in that massive scrum that occurs on every play, I am reasonably confident that someone is getting away with something. It would be interesting to see who catches what.

    Your fans above indicate that there was a blown call on a fumble turned touchdown. They then indicate that the refs “blew” calls deliberately to “make it up”. to me, that sounds like a dangerous level of skepticism regarding current refereeing, and if true, a dangerous level of trust regarding how refs decide to “make up” for bad calls.

    However, a logical, well thought out plan of statsitical analysis regarding actual calls made by refs, as well as an index of coaches confidence in a given ref’s calls, would do much to dispel doubt about whether a good ref made a bad call, or whether a bad ref made a bad call. It would provide a lot of comfort to fans about whether a ref had a pattern of calls against a single team, or whether a team could “trust” that ref.

    I am not saying I even know all the stats to collect or publish. But you think it is asinine to provide ANY accountability and/or sense of comfort and/or visibility regarding the performance of people on the field in football – a game which is all about using statistics to gauge performance.

    Sheesh – and you – a great football fan AND a member of the fourth estate. What a shame.

  105. tpl says:

    GHS Fan- This is high school football.

  106. jjs says:

    Very disappointed to hear some Staples and New Canaan fans knock one anothers program. These two great teams have given us lots of thrills throughout the years so lets give credit to both for having classy players, coaches and fans.

    Dear FciacFootballFan#1 LAST TIME!! You say that an FCIAC title would be more meaningful to the Class MM schools like New Canaan and Darien than winning the State Championship. Not so fast my FRIEND. IN 1999 and 2000 New Canaan ,a class MM school, beat Greenwich, a class LL school, to win the FCIAC titles in back to back years. Two great games. New Canaan now goes to the States and gets beat by Darien who didn’t even make the Fciac and to Bloomfield who beat New Canaan 56-6 in the State title game. Greenwich , who New Canaan beat to win the FCIAC then goes on to beat Southington for the Class LL Tittle. It would have meant a lot more to New Canaan and the entire state of Connecticut,to beat a great team like Bloomfield in the MM than to beat Greenwich again in the FCIAC’s. Bloomfield was a much better team than Greenwich though most people in the FCIAC would never believe that. This is the mentality most people in the FCIAC think. How can you lose to Bloomfield and beat Greenwich. Darien the year before won the FCIACS and lost in the MM title game. You can’t have it both ways. Now have there been times when also rans have qualified for the State Tourney and went on to win the title and did poorly in the FCIAC league YES. Some New Canaan and Darien have advance with 2 or 3 loses. Few and far between.

    I like your enthusiasm though. Lets hope that Staples, St. Joes, New Canaan, CEntral and Darien have an opportunity to qualifiy this year.

    SPB__Thank you for letting us fans vent on this blog. I admire the great job that you do for all of us and high school football in general.

  107. CardinalDynasty says:

    please tell me you are not the same roto that plays softball and posts all the time as jeff mets fan on the new england message board.
    Ask any New Canaan coach..and I know the VERY well….and they will tell you that winning a Class MM title is FAR more important than winning an FCIAC title. And they are right. Would you rather be champions of your state or of your league?

  108. CardinalDynasty says:

    also…CLass MM was thr toughest baracket in 2008..and NC went 14-0..including a win over 6-5 Staples

  109. roto says:

    Dynasty: No. I don’t know that roto, nor am I am Mets fan. It is bad enough I post on here. Slowpitch softball message boards…yikes.

  110. Mr. D says:

    If I hear one more person say they would rather win the NVL, SCC,SWC CCC, PEQUOT or FCIACLeague rather than a state title I will personally escort you to BELLVUE MEDICAL hospital for the insane.

  111. fb44 says:

    In sum, Staples won a great game against Central and are happy in their victory. Their fans are happy in their victory of the FCIAC Championship. All the disrespect towards this particular playoff game is not going to change the fact that they are HAPPY and from this point forward can be very proud of their season (as should Central). Lets all look forward to some great Thanksgiving day “friendly” rivalry games, and exciting State playoffs, whoever the opponents.

    Move on about whether the FCIAC game was significant. It was to those that played in it, and the dessention falls on deaf ears..

  112. ray brown says:

    how is greenwich a dynasty when they dont win anything?

  113. tj says:

    GHS fan, perseverate much?

  114. John D says:

    Clyde, In 1994, Fitch was 10-0 and didn’t make the playoffs. Different system back then though, no playoffs, just two teams made it per division. it was changed in 1995.

  115. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    On a different note…
    SPB, do you still consider this a down year in CT football? In addition to a number of D1-caliber recruits, we have seen three of the most exciting FCIAC games in recent years: Greenwich-Central, NC-Greenwich, and now Staples-Central. There are also several non-FCIAC games (off the top of my head, Hamden-Xavier and Glastonbury-Simsbury) that bear mentioning, but I won’t even begin to list all of them.

  116. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    Also, SPB, I remember earlier in the season you expressed disappointment with attendance at games and the enthusiasm of crowds. Though they were league championship games and were thus particular causes for excitement, both Pomperaug-Masuk and Staples-Central were extremely well-attended and full of enthusiasm by the fans. I was also at NC-St. Joes and NC-Greenwich, and both of those games had vibrant atmospheres as well.

  117. State’s still down overall. The crowds have been pretty good lately… FCIAC wasn’t tremendous (3,500 or so — all in the stands), but very good. New Canaan-Greenwich was also pretty well attended.

  118. John D says:

    I didn’t agree with you early on SPB, but I’ve changed my mind. I’ve seen enough football this year to agree with you. I’m just not seeing any super fantastic teams this year. Great games, great football, but just not the same as some of the vintage years. Not to change the subject but I remember watching the 2003 LL championshi game NB v. Westhaven, and thinking how fantastic those teams were, I haven’t seen anything like that this year.

  119. theruler says:

    thnaks for the refreshment john d-tht was the last season danburys been competitive.

  120. ChrisL says:

    This guy Jeff surely captures it with the posts below. For those that watch Coach Petroccio and his staff work year round, it is amazing what they do with the “raw materials” they have to work with. The physical match-ups that presented themselves on Friday night serve as evidence of such.

    Yes the Staples staff does have the occassional D-1 player to work with i.e. Sean M., Dave K, Jimmy H, Charlie E. However, the system grows players and chicken salad is amazingly made year in/year out of chicken *&^%.

    The league better hope that this staff never finds its way somewhere down the road in likes of a Trumbull, Ridgefield, McMahon, or Central for that matter.


    Comment by Jeff — November 21st, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

    To use a baseball analogy, Central came out throwing heat and dared Staples to hit it. You can watch all the film you want on Central but until you’re trying to stop their amazing athletes you can’t truly appreciate their talent. But you can’t throw triple digit heaters the entire game; hitters adjust. And adjust Staples did, forcing Central’s potent offense into seven consecutive three-and-outs. Meanwhile, Staples was throwing every pitch in the book at Central in an effort to keep them off balance and see what was working that particular day. You sit fast ball they throw a change-up; expect curve-ball and you get the heater. While Staples didn’t pitch a pretty game, they outgained Central 199-22 in the second half.

    You can’t prepare for Staples by saying you just need to stop this guy or that, you have to worry about beating their entire system of coaches and kids that are meticulous is practicing every aspect of their game because every team is different and the weather is unpredictable. I’ve not seen the SWC teams play in person but it’s hard for me to imagine any team having the sheer talent of Central—a team that destroyed New Canaan. Someone mentioned Ali-Frazier. I think Ali-Foreman is more apt: Staples allowed Central to punch themselves out in the first half, came out swinging, and just wore them down. The best teams know there is more than one way to win a fight and have the ability to adjust accordingly.

    Comment by Jeff — November 21st, 2009 @ 9:09 am

    Let’s just agree to say that Central played with such high intensity from the get-go that it would have been superhuman of them to have been able to maintain it for just one half, let alone the entire game. Let’s also just agree that in a close game it should be no surprise that the lack of one play here or there *may* have changed the outcome. Good teams find a way to win. Winning teams find a way to be on the right side of game changing plays. Luck is the residue of design. And so on.


  121. ronny6 says:

    In the end, staples is a bunch of scrubs. the fciac was at an all time low this year and staples didnt even play new caanan or central in their regular season. how can a team with a backup quarterback who hasnt gotten a snap in his life take home the fciac championship. if this staples team was playing back in 06 or 07 they would most definitely be a .500 team.

  122. D. Simpson says:

    I appreciate SPB for actually doing his job. The words of gassed referring to Central is crazy talk!! If you know anything about high school football in Connecticut you would know how well we train and condition. Do your research and see how many times we have won the state weightlifting title!! Those kids weren’t gassed the just fell a few plays short of winning the game. SPB keep doing the good work. I wish you wrote more articles!! The article for Greenwich v. Central wasn’t that great.

  123. FallFBFanatic says:

    ronny6, these are such stupid statements with no evidence of intelligence. SPB should screen you out of any adult conversation.

  124. jordan says:

    Ok here me out on this one. Everyone goes onto these sites and complains about who is better. It’s so childish. Anyone can say anything they want behind the safety net of a computer screen. Big tought guys. In high school football, it’s any given friday/saturday. That’s what is so great about it. And let’s not forget exactly what it is…high school football! The kids go out there to play the game they love. Yet there are people who come onto these sites and need to make themselves feel better and give themselves an ego boost.

    “We can stay up all night, on the blogsite, spread vicious lies and nasty rumors we could all write.

    But it’s all right, let the nerds hate, cuz in my face tho, the words git ate.”

  125. jordan says:


  126. fciacfootballfan1 says:

    Totally agreed with jordan…
    ronny6 – Say what you want about Staples’ chances of beating Greenwich or winning a state title, but your mean-spirited criticism of the Wreckers’ character this year is both malicious and unfounded. The Wreckers certainly didn’t play like “a bunch of scrubs” against Central, overcoming a 10-0 halftime deficit to win with less than a minute-and-a-half to go in the game. And I most certainly wouldn’t call Rankowitz a scrub; he dashed down the field past a host of athletic Central defensive backs for the go-ahead score and picked off a Christon Gill pass to end the game, all after having dropped an easy touchdown pass earlier in the fourth quarter. He could have easily sold it in after his mistake; instead, he played like a man and won his team a championship. If I were you, I’d watch your mouth; these are high school football players you are offending, not pros.
    As for your comment about how this year’s Staples team would fare back in 2006-7: perhaps they’d struggle, or perhaps they’d win FCIACs all over again. There is really no way of telling; all Staples can do is play the teams on it is scheduled to this year, a feat it has accomplished to perfection so far.

  127. Mr.DoWop says:

    Staples is the FCIAC champs! Thank you for a job well done by its players and coaches.

    I pray that we beat Greenwich because as much as I enjoy winning the league title I argue everyday with my upstate friends. They put all their stock in the state cahmpionships. they don’t have a league title game so they never see the importance in it.

    Lets get to the states so we can once and for all shut-up the nay sayers . The Fciac has a chance to make a bold statement in the coming weeks. We can have maybe four teams representing our league. Staples, Central, New Canaan, and St.Joes. If we should lose to Greenwich their is a strong possibility we won’t even make the states.


  128. rainman says:

    Dear comment # 111,

    Could not agree with you more. Don’t get me wrong it’s always nice to win your division or your league but never take your eye off the ultimate prize.

  129. FallFBFanatic says:

    SPB, The CIAC Playoff Standings shows Central in the Fourth position. If both Central and Cheshire win on Thursday, how does Cheshire leap frog Central?

  130. Easy.
    Central’s game against Harding is only worth 100 points (Harding has no victories to contribute to Central’s point total).
    Cheshire’s game against Southington is worth 150 points (Southington is 5-4, contributing an extra 10 points per win to Cheshire’s total).

    Central right now is only 10 points ahead of Cheshire. So if they both win, Cheshire will be ahead by 40 points and it would then come down to bonuses. Central has 70 60 potential bonuses and Cheshire has 50, plus the tiebreaker points in its favor (that means Cheshire wins if the teams tie in points). So Central would need to beat Cheshire by 50 bonus points (i.e. get 5 of its 6 bonus teams to win, and Cheshire to get none of its 5 bonus games) just to pass the Rams… which is a statistical improbability.

    So, Central’s best chance is for either Staples, Cheshire or Xavier to lose.

  131. Amazing. See kids, you DO need math in the real world.

  132. ghsgrandpa says:

    Way to set them straight, Sean…I’ve been gone for a few days, and just read this entire thread…Wow, CT High School football can really get contentious with the fans…

    I do have a problem with Ray’s comment #113 “Why is Greenwich a dynasty when they don’t win anything?”…Well they have done their share of winning, Ray…They have been in more Class LL state final games than any other team in the state by far…14 of them to be exact…Now, I’ll give you that they are only .500 (7&7) in state finals, but you still have to win a lot of games to get to the state championship to even have a chance to win or lose…Maybe they aren’t a “dynasty”, but they are not “one hit wonders” either…They usually always have at least a competitve team year after year…The only team in the State that has more appearances & wins in CT state championships than the Cardinals, is Ansonia in Class S…Ansonia is in a league of their own in their class, and you could call them a
    “dynasty”…But, Ansonia is the only team I can come up with, after looking at State Championship results over the last 30+ years…

  133. Dr. Von Nostran says:

    Click on “2009 HS football record book” on the left side of the page, then skip down to page 47-48.
    Granted, these are not all “LL” schools, but Cheshire’s 6 in a row, SJ and Ansonia in the 80’s and that Bloomfield run all qualify as “dynasties”.

    School Total Years
    Cheshire 6 1992-97
    St. Joseph-Trumbull 5 1980-84
    Bloomfield 5 1997-01
    Ansonia 4 1981-84
    Ansonia 3 1987-89
    St. Joseph-Trumbull 3 1988-90
    Hand 3 2003-05
    New Canaan 3 2006-08

  134. FunAndGun says:

    Mr . Do Wop-

    You must be JOKING!

    I am from down here (New Canaan) and the upstate coaches have it right! STATES mean FAR MORE than FCIAC’s. If you belibe otherwise, you need to be checked into a mental facility. The SCC, the best conference in the state, doesn’t even play a conference championshp game!
    My school, New Canaan, has won 6 FCIAC titles, and those mean next to NOTHING to me or its coaches. It’s the SEVEN STATE titles that mean EVERYTHING!
    I’m an FCIAC guy and I’ll be the first one to tell you that it is overrated.
    You play for the states, not your league!
    Your upstate freinds are right. They get it. The bigger the trophy, the better! Duh?!