Ladies and gentlemen, your new and improved CIAC state football playoff pairings and schedule.
QUARTERFINALS — Tuesday, Nov. 30: 6:30 p.m. at sites of the highest seeds.
SEMIFINALS — Saturday, Dec. 4: at West Haven, 2 & 7 p.m.; Municipal Stadium, Waterbury, 2 & 7 p.m.; Finn Stadium, Shelton, 2 p.m.; Bulldog Field, Bunnell, 2 p.m.; Middletown, 2 p.m.; Jess Dow Field, 2 p.m.
CHAMPIONSHIP — December 10 & and Dec. 11 at Rentschler Field (times TBA).
The schedule has been approved by the CIAC.
- THE QUALIFIERS — 1. Xavier (10-0), 2. Norwich Free Academy (10-0), Trumbull (9-1), Glastonbury (9-1), Staples (9-1), Conard (8-2), Hall (8-2), West Haven (8-2)
- THE MATCHUPS — West Haven at Xavier, Hall at Norwich Free Academy, Conard at Trumbull, Staples at Glastonbury
- LEFT OUT — Southington (8-2), Newtown (9-2), Pomperaug (8-2)
- WHAT HAPPENED — Hall got just enough points to stay ahead of the pack, Cheshire defeated Southington, which dropped Southington into an eventual three-way tie with Newtown and West Haven. West Haven won the final berth with 98 tiebreaker points vs. Newtown’s 92 and Southington’s 86. Pomperaug finished a mere bonus away from making it a 3-way tie.
- RATING — Four star
- QUALIFIERS – 1. Masuk (10-0), 2. Hand (9-1), 3. Naugatuck (9-1), 4. Wethersfield (9-1), 5. Darien (10-1), 6. New Canaan (9-1), 7. North Haven (9-1), 8. Bristol Eastern (9-1).
- THE MATCHUPS — Bristol Eastern vs. Masuk (at Bunnell), North Haven at Hand, New Canaan at Naugatuck, Darien at Wethersfield
- WHAT HAPPENED — Maloney’s loss to Platt opened the door for Bristol Eastern to qualify with just enough bonuses. Naugatuck’s unexpected victory over Ansonia, however closed it to any 2-loss team in the division (and prevented a potential Darien-New Canaan rematch). New Canaan’s victory over Darien and North Haven’s win over Amity allowed those teams to join the field. Darien got unexpected help from Norwalk to claim the No. 5 seed over New Canaan.
- RATING – Five star
- QUALIFIERS — 1. Berlin (10-0), 2. New London (8-2), 3. Brookfield (8-2), Gilbert/Northwestern (8-2), Plainville (8-2), Lyman Hall (8-2), Platt (8-2), Hillhouse (7-3)
- THE MATCHUPS – Hillhouse at Berlin; Platt at New London, Lyman Hall at Brookfield, Plainville vs. Gilbert/Northwestern (at Torrington)
- WHAT HAPPENED — Platt’s upset of Maloney vaulted the Panthers into the field. Coventry/Windham Tech’s loss to Ellington/Somers and Cheney Tech’s loss to East Catholic knocked both of those teams out of contention and opened the door for Hillhouse, which held off Wilbur Cross 30-28 to qualify.
- RATING — Three star
- THE QUALIFIERS — 1. Valley Regional/Old Lyme (10-0), 2. Montville (9-1), 3. Ansonia (9-1), 4. St. Joseph (7-3), 5. Woodland (7-3), 6. Hyde (7-3), 7. Cromwell (7-3), 8. Sacred Heart (6-4)
- THE MATCHUPS — Sacred Heart at Valley Regional/Old Lyme, Cromwell at Montville, Hyde at Ansonia, Woodland vs. St. Joseph (at Ludlowe).
- WHAT HAPPENED — St. Joseph got enough bonus points to clinch a home game. Ansonia’s loss dropped it into a first-round matchup with Hyde. Sacred Heart, needing two bonus games to tie Coginchaug for the final spot, got exactly two (Crosby and Torrington). Sacred Heart then beat Coginchaug on tiebreakers for the final spot.
- RATING — Three star