It’s that time of year again… the Greatest Sporting Day of the Year in Connecticut.
Rivalry Week. Thanksgiving Week.
A day where every game means something — be it pride, a winning season, a .500 season, precious playoff points, bragging rights — and it’s played in front of, most likely, your largest crowd of the year.
For most of you seniors, it’s your last game. For a few others, it’s your first playoff game. And for a select precious few, it’s the start of what you hope to be a glorious championship season.
And it’s your turn to tell us who’s going to win the games.
Pretty straightforward. Just read the preview, pick the winners.
Westhill at Stamford
WHERE/WHEN–Boyle Stadium, 6 p.m.
ON THE AIR — WSTC 1400-AM / WNLK 1350-AM
RECORDS — Westhill 1-8, Stamford 5-4
T-DAY SERIES — Stamford 10-4
LAST YEAR — Stamford 21-11
KEY STAT — Stamford junior Bryan Boderick (1,300 yards passing), has thrown for over 200 yards in four of his last five games. Ruben Pierre-Louis is tied for the state lead with 13 sacks. Westhill has given up 355 points, highest in the FCIAC.
AT STAKE — Bragging Rights. The City Championship trophy resides at Trinity Catholic.
Ridgefield at Danbury
WHERE/WHEN – Crotty Stadium at Clapboard Ridge, 6 p.m.
RECORDS — Ridgefield 6-3, Danbury 3-6
T-DAY SERIES — Ridgefield 5-3
LAST YEAR — Ridgefield 27-6
KEY STAT — Ridgefield senior Chris O’Dea has made 7 field goals, best total in the state.
AT STAKE — A 7-win season for Ridgefield, the last high school football game for Florida-bound OL/DL Tommy Jordan. The Hatters are playing their first home game since assistant coach Robert ‘Bo’ Williams died two weeks ago. This figures to be an emotional contest all around.
St. Joseph at Trumbull
WHERE/WHEN– McDougall Stadium, 7 p.m.
RECORDS — St. Joseph 7-2, Trumbull 8-2
T-DAY SERIES — Trumbull 20-5
LAST YEAR — St. Joseph 49-31
KEY STAT — St. Joseph senior Tyler Matakevich has scored 7 TDs and made 27 tackles in four games back from injury. St. Joseph QB Joe Della Vecchia is No. 2 in the state in total offense (2,500 + yards).
AT STAKE — Bragging rights, seeding (and home playoff games) in the Class LL and Class S playoffs for both teams.
Seymour at Woodland
WHERE/WHEN– Woodland High School, 6 p.m.
RECORDS — Seymour 0-9, Woodland 6-3
T-DAY SERIES — Seymour 6-2
LAST YEAR — Woodland 55-32
KEY STAT — Woodland senior Jack DeBiase leads the team in passing (806 yds), rushing (1,262), scoring (13 TDs) and interceptions (6).
AT STAKE — A Class S playoff berth for Woodland. Avoiding a winless season for Seymour.
Masuk at Newtown
WHERE/WHEN– Blue and Gold Stadium, Newtown, 7 p.m.
RECORDS — Masuk 9-0, Newtown 8-1
T-DAY SERIES — Masuk 7-6-1
LAST YEAR — Newtown 36-22
KEY STAT — Masuk has outscored its opponents by an average score of 51-7. It also leads the state in sacks (35). …Newtown doesn’t typically do well at home vs. Masuk, going 1-2 at Blue and Gold as opposed to 1-1-1 at Masuk the last six seasons.
AT STAKE — The SWC Championship, Newtown’s first since 1996, Masuk’s first since 2003. Class L seeding for Masuk. Class LL playoff spot for Newtown.
Weston at Joel Barlow
WHERE/WHEN– Barlow Field, 7 p.m.
RECORDS — Barlow 2-7, Weston 5-4
T-DAY SERIES — Tied, 5-5-4
LAST YEAR — Barlow 28-19
KEY STAT — Weston senior RB Eddie Hutchins has run for 1,042 yards, good for No. 2 in the SWC.
AT STAKE — Weston’s first winning season since 2002. Bragging rights.
Oxford at Pomperaug
WHERE/WHEN– Edward Arum Athletic Complex, Southbury, 7 p.m.
RECORDS — Oxford 5-4, Pomperaug 7-2
T-DAY SERIES — Pomperaug 2-0
LAST YEAR — Pomperaug 34-15
KEY STAT — Oxford RB Nick Donofrio is the SWC’s leading rusher, 1,248 yards (15 TDs). Pomperaug’s Kellen Croce is second in the league in total offense.
AT STAKE — Oxford’s first victory over Pomperaug and its first winning season. An outside shot at a Class LL playoff berth for Pomperaug.
Stratford at Bunnell
WHERE/WHEN– Bulldog Field, Stratford, 7 p.m.
RECORDS — Stratford 3-6, Bunnell 6-3
ALL-TIME SERIES — Bunnell 34-20
LAST YEAR — Bunnell 38-14
KEY STAT — Bunnell sophomore Bryan Castelot is 2nd in the state in passing yards (2,293 yds, 27 TDs, 14 INT). Stratford’s offense averages just over 14 points per game.
AT STAKE — The Harvey E. Manning Trophy.
Bullard-Havens at Bassick
WHERE/WHEN– Kennedy Stadium, Bridgeport, 6 p.m.
RECORDS — Bullard-Havens 6-3, Bassick 0-9
T-DAY SERIES — Bullard-Havens 4-1
LAST YEAR — Bullard Havens 22-13
KEY STAT — Bullard-Havens’ Nick Rodriguez leads the CSC with 1,100 rushing yards. Bassick has scored just 67 points this season.
AT STAKE — Bragging rights. Avoiding a winless season for Bassick.
Platt Tech at Abbott Tech
WHERE/WHEN– Stephen A. Kaplanis Field, Broadview Middle School, Danbury, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — Platt Tech 0-9, Abbott Tech 0-8
T-DAY SERIES — First Thanksgiving Day meeting
LAST YEAR — Platt Tech 44-20 (regular season)
KEY STAT — Abbott Tech has allowed 41 points per game this season, Platt Tech 47. But Platt Tech averages 19 points scored per game, Abbott Tech just 9.
AT STAKE — The first victory of the season for one of these lucky schools.
McMahon at Norwalk
WHERE/WHEN – Testa Field, 10:30 a.m.
ON THE AIR — WSTC 1400-AM / WNLK 1350-AM
RECORDS – McMahon 6-3, Norwalk 3-6
ALL-TIME SERIES – McMahon 31-17-1
LAST YEAR – McMahon 14-13
KEY STAT – McMahon has won four straight games, averaging 37 points per game. The Senators haven’t allowed more than 21 points to an FCIAC team since a Week 3 37-7 loss to Stamford.
AT STAKE — The Sam Testa Trophy. A victory for outgoing Norwalk coach Pete Tucci. McMahon’s first winning season since 2006.
THE TURKEY BOWL
New Canaan at Darien
WHERE/WHEN – Darien High School, 10:30 a.m.
ON THE AIR — MSG Varsity-Connecticut
RECORDS — New Canaan 8-1, Darien 10-0 (FCIAC Champions)
ALL-TIME SERIES — New Canaan 44-33-2 (New Canaan 9-4-1 on Thanksgiving)
LAST YEAR — New Canaan 14-7
KEY STATS — New Canaan leads the FCIAC in offense with 375 points (42 per game). No. 3 in the state for total offense (410 yards per game). …Darien leads the FCIAC in defense with just 87 points allowed (just under 9 per game) and is No. 2 in the state with 33 sacks.
AT STAKE — The Turkey Bowl trophy. Class L playoff seeding for Darien. Class L playoff berth or home for the holidays for New Canaan.
Trinity Catholic at Wilton
WHERE/WHEN – Fujitani Field, Wilton, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS — Trinity Catholic 3-6, Wilton 3-6
T-DAY SERIES — Trinity Catholic 3-2
LAST YEAR — Trinity Catholic 46-14
KEY STATS — Four backs have combined for the majority of Trinity’s 2,000+ rushing yards, led by senior Mike Rivas‘ 800+ yards. …Four, potentially six, of Wilton’s 10 opponents are going to the state playoffs this season. Wilton’s Marc Piedmont‘s 9 sacks puts him among the state’s top 10.
AT STAKE — A four-win season.
Central at Harding
WHERE/WHEN — Hedges Field, Bridgeport, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — Central 5-4, Harding 1-8
ALL-TIME SERIES – Harding 50-34-4
LAST YEAR – Central 49-0
KEY STATS – Central has won 11 straight series games, an all-time best. Harding broke a 2-year losing streak and 33-FCIAC game losing streak with a 12-6 win over Ludlowe at Hedges earlier this season.
AT STAKE — The John E. Johansen Trophy. The Bridgeport city championship.
Ludlowe at Warde
WHERE/WHEN – Tetreau/Davis Field, Fairfield, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — Ludlowe 1-8, Warde 4-5
T-DAY SERIES – Warde 8-7
LAST YEAR — Ludlowe 24-14
KEY STATS — Ludlowe coach Matt McCloskey is 2-0 vs. Warde so far.
AT STAKE — The Gallagher-Baryas Trophy. A .500 season for Fairfield Warde.
Staples at Greenwich
WHERE/WHEN – Cardinal Stadium, 10:30
ON THE AIR — - WGCH 1490-AM | WWPT 90.3 (Wreckers Radio) Live video feed
RECORDS – Staples 8-1, Greenwich 5-4
T-DAY SERIES – Staples 3-2
LAST YEAR – Staples 30-28
KEY STATS — Staples leads the state with 24 interceptions this year. Tyler Jacobs is 3rd in the state with 7. Teammate Pat Murray is 3rd in the state with 11 sacks. The Wreckers also average 49 yards per punt. …The losing team has been shut out in four of of the five Thanksgiving Day meetings.
AT STAKE – A berth in the Class LL playoffs for Staples. …For Greenwich, avoiding its worst record in more than four decades (not including a 4-7 forfeit season in 1985).
Amity at North Haven
WHERE/WHEN – Vanacore Field, 10 a.m.
RECORDS – Amity 4-5, North Haven 8-1
T-DAY SERIES — Amity 9-4-1
LAST YEAR – North Haven 21-19
KEY STATS – With 2,627 yards, North Haven is the third-best rushing team in the state (Chris Matteis leads with 850, Jalon White 732). Kyle Kalanta has rushed for 1,007 yards and 9 TDs for Amity.
AT STAKE — A Class L playoff berth for North Haven, its second playoff berth in four years. A .500 season for Amity.
Fairfield Prep at West Haven
WHERE/WHEN — Ken Strong Stadium, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS – Fairfield Prep 3-6, West Haven 7-2
T-DAY SERIES –West Haven 11-3
LAST YEAR — West Haven 36-14
KEY STATS — West Haven has lost two of its last three games and has been outscored 98-121 over that span (including a 57-42 win over Wilbur Cross). …Fairfield Prep has made four field goals this season. It has won just one SCC Division I game (vs. Hamden this year) over the past two seasons.
AT STAKE — A Class LL playoff berth for West Haven (must win and get plenty of outside help).
THE ELM CITY BOWL
Hillhouse at Wilbur Cross
WHERE/WHEN – Wilbur Cross Athletic Complex, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS – Hillhouse 6-3, Wilbur Cross 4-5
ALL-TIME SERIES — Hillhouse 30-23-7
LAST YEAR — Wilbur Cross 34-26
KEY STATS — Hillhouse’s Harold Cooper has run for 1,049 yards this season. Wilbur Cross’ all-purpose back James Ward has 938 rushing yards, close to 400 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns …Wilbur Cross has scored an average of 30 points in its last four games, but lost all four.
AT STAKE — The Elm City Bowl trophy. For Hillhouse, a chance at a Class M playoff berth (the Acs need to win and get help).
Law at Foran
WHERE/WHEN — Vito DeVito Sports Complex, Milford
RECORDS — Law 3-6, Foran 4-5
ALL-TIME SERIES – Law 21-16
LAST YEAR – Foran 44-37
KEY STATS — With 1,791 yards, Foran has the No. 2-rated passing offense in the SCC (Soph. Joe Zanghi had 354 yards passing last week). With 1,615 yards passing, Law is No. 3. The two teams are ranked No. 12 (Law) and No. 13 (Foran) in the state in total offense. Law’s Josh Patterson has run for 1,029 yards. …Law’s 312 points allowed is the most in the SCC. Foran’s 263 is the seventh most in the SCC.
AT STAKE — For Foran, a .500 season for Foran. For Law, ruining Foran’s .500 season and winning its first Thanksgiving game since 2007.
THE 60TH GREEN BOWL
Notre Dame-West Haven at Hamden
WHERE/WHEN — Hamden Field, 10:30 a.m.
ON THE AIR — SportingnewsCT.com OR GoGreenKnights.com (live video feed)
RECORDS — Notre Dame-WH 6-3, Hamden 0-9
ALL-TIME SERIES — Notre Dame 36-21-2
LAST YEAR — Notre Dame 31-15
KEY STATS – Notre Dame is ranked No. 10 in total offense in the state and averages 35 points per game. …Hamden hasn’t scored 35 points this season (29).
AT STAKE – Bragging rights. Hamden its first win of the season.
Bethel at Brookfield
WHERE/WHEN — Brookfield High School Stadium, 10 a.m.
RECORDS – Bethel 6-3, Brookfield 7-2
T-DAY SERIES –Brookfield 11-3
LAST YEAR – Bethel 42-14
KEY STATS – Brookfield’s Brian Kelly is sixth in the state in scoring (14 TDs, 33 XP, 1 FG, 120 points). He is also second in the state with 8 interceptions. …Bethel has the sixth-best rushing offense in the state: 2,484 yards, 33 TDs (Brandon Schmidt leads with 1,030 yards and 16 TDs).
AT STAKE – The Gavel-Swanson Trophy. For Brookfield, a spot in the Class M playoffs. For Bethel, a faint hope at the Class M playoffs.
Notre Dame-Fairfield at Immaculate
WHERE/WHEN – Immaculate
RECORDS — Notre Dame 1-8, Immaculate 0-9
T-DAY SERIES — Notre Dame 10-5
LAST YEAR — Notre Dame 7-0
KEY STATS — Notre Dame (347) and Immaculate (356) have allowed the most and second-most points in the SWC. ND’s Chris Drusbosky has made 88 tackles this season. Nigel Beckford has 813 rush yards and 11 TDs. …Immaculate’s Greg Wax has passed for over 1,200 yards and 7 TDs.
AT STAKE — Bragging rights.
THE CANDLEWOOD CUP
New Milford at New Fairfield
WHERE/WHEN – New Fairfield Rebels Stadium, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — New Milford 1-8, New Fairfield 3-6
T-DAY SERIES — New Fairfield 3-0
LAST YEAR – New Fairfield 26-20 (OT)
KEY STATS — New Fairfield’s Ardian Sahinovic is No. 2 in the state in punting average (45 yard average). The Rebels have had six tailbacks with more than 100 yards rushing for the season. …New Milford’s Karl Bradshaw has thrown for over 1,000 yards.
AT STAKE — The Candlewood Cup. Bragging rights.
100th meeting: Derby at Shelton
WHERE/WHEN – Finn Stadium, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS – Derby/O’Brien Tech 5-4, Shelton 5-4
ALL-TIME SERIES – Shelton 50-42-7
LAST YEAR — Shelton 33, Derby/O’Brien Tech 6
KEY STATS — Shelton’s Jonathan Groth has 1,191 yards of total offense and has kicked 4 field goals this season. Mike Georgalas has accounted for 31 of the team’s 76 receptions this season (for 311 yards and 4 TDs). …Derby QB Ray Kreiger is 10th in the state with 1,647 yards passing and has 1,905 yards of total offense. …Shelton’s Ray DeAngelis has returned from an ACL tear in the spring.
AT STAKE — Derby’s first victory in the series since 2002, its first winning season since 1996. Shelton, its 8th-straight series victory. Bragging rights.
111th meeting: Naugatuck at Ansonia
WHERE/WHEN — Jarvis Stadium, Ansonia, 10:30 a.m.
ON THE AIR — WELI 960-AM and WATR 1320-AM
RECORDS – Naugatuck 8-1, Ansonia 9-0
ALL-TIME SERIES – Ansonia 67-35-9
LAST YEAR – Ansonia 56-20
KEY STATS – Ansonia’s Montrell Dobbs, the team’s only senior, is the state’s leading rusher with 2,292 yards (286.5 per game) and scorer with 30 touchdowns and 188 points.
AT STAKE — For Naugatuck, a spot in the Class L state playoffs for the first time since 2001 and its first victory over Ansonia since 2001. For Ansonia, seeding in the upcoming Class S playoffs.
That’s all folks!
By the way, if your game has a special name or awards a special trophy let us know and we’ll include it in the capsules.