Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… Your Elite 8 for Week 2-3.
NORWALK - With a nice 25-12 victory over Stamford, the Bears have supplanted the Black Knights as the FCIAC flavor-of-the-week. The defense was strong, the offense opportunistic, the Bears’ determination to put 12 years of slow starts behind them unwavering.
Now the big question: Do Delshawn Wilson, Gil Arujo and the Bears have what it takes to stay here? They’re 2-0 now, with Westhill and Trinity Catholic up next before New Canaan.
WESTON — The Trojans have a sophomore at quarterback and no-names across the roster. But that was Brookfield committing seven turnovers. And Weston, not a couple years removed from an 0-10 season, showed the steely resolve of a veteran team in winning 21-20.
The Trojans responded to every Leaon Gordon strike with one of their own. Late in the game Zach Cannon, with his father visiting from Dallas, struck not once, but twice, he pounced on Brookfield’s final fumble of the day and then kicked 23-yard field goal as time expired.
“Oh, I was nervous,” Cannon said told Kevin Duffy of the News Times. “But I had my guys around me just telling me to do what I’ve been doing in practice. I had my family around me, so I tried to just let the muscle memory take over.”
Weston climbs into our radar. They were 2-0 last year before a 34-13 loss to Brookfield. With the Bobcats out of the way, this time the Trojans head to Newtown, looking to go 3-0 for the first time since Tom Bennewicz was at QB and Bob Zito stood on the sidelines.
FAIRFIELD WARDE — The Mustangs had it all Friday night: A 16-point lead, the defending FCIAC champions on the ropes. They trotted off Tetreau-Davis Field and into their locker room triumphantly at halftime. The squabbling Blue Wave players, meanwhile, sulked to their corner of the field, heads hanging.
Ah, but there was another 24 minutes to play. The Blue Wave returned emboldened and Fairfield Warde — down a receiver and a tailback to injuries — melted away as the rains came. Twenty-six unanswered Darien points later and Warde walked off crushed. The Mustangs’ chance at making a major statement in the FCIAC gone.
And now they get to face New Canaan.
Masuk had no trouble with New Fairfield, which, we’re told was playing without back Robbie Fiamengo (not that it would have mattered too much, honestly) … New Canaan was briefly in a dog fight with Trinity Catholic before pulling away 41-14. Tough loss for Trinity in that one with RB Shaquan Howsie going down with an injury. …Ansonia was in an even tougher fight with Woodland before finally finding its footing in a 36-6 victory. …West Haven handled Guilford. ….Jawad Chisholm and Bunnell torched New Milford. …James Frusciante and Staples took out Central. …Pomperaug‘s Eric Beatty had a big throwing night in a surprising 45-7 rout of Bethel. …And Darien, of course, rallied from 16-points down to stun Fairfield Warde. (Look for our game highlights from that one Tuesday.)
From the MISSED: Greenwich defeated Bassick 49-8. …Wilton jumped out to an early lead and moved to 2-0 with a 41-14 win over St. Joseph. …Newtown rolled past Immaculate 41-0. …Trumbull finally got a game under its belt and thrashed Westhill 47-13.
Of all these teams Darien (as mentioned) and Shelton had the most trouble. We’ve talked about Darien. As for Shelton, the Gaels were down 17-7 before realizing they could run, and run well, with Connor O’Brien and its huge offensive line. O’Brien went buck wild and Shelton survived a huge scare going into this week’s game vs. Notre Dame-WH.
WEEK 3 GAMES TO WATCH
- Ansonia (2-0) at Derby (1-1), Friday, 7 – Is it too much to hope this game is anything like last year’s barnburner?
- Cheshire (2-0) at Xavier (2-0), Friday, 7 – The SCC really should put these championship games at the end of the season. Bad enough Hillhouse-North Haven was played in Week 1.
- New London (1-0) at Greenwich (2-0), Friday, 7 — We finally have a venue. New London agrees to drive all the way across the state to play at Cardinal Stadium. You wouldn’t have believed it four years ago, but only the Whalers are ranked.
- Fairfield Warde (1-1) at New Canaan (2-0), Friday, 7 – Lost some luster when Warde blew a 16-point lead and the game to Darien. Here’s hoping the Mustangs put it behind them and put up a fight.
- Notre Dame-WH (1-1) at Shelton (2-0), Friday, 7 – It’s not Xavier-Cheshire, but an intriguing option for those unable to make the trip to Middletown.
- Weston (2-0) at Newtown (2-0), Friday, 7 – Game of the Week in the SWC. Weston proved it’s for real last week. Now, it has to prove it again.
- New Fairfield (1-1) at Bethel (1-1), Friday, 7 — Both teams followed up big wins with blowout losses. Now’s not the time to take another step back.
- Oxford (1-1) at Bunnell (2-0), Saturday, 3 — Not a make-or-break game for Oxford by any stretch. Still, we’re interested in how the Wolverines do.
- Staples (2-0) at McMahon (2-0), Saturday, 7 — Intriguing in the preseason, especially since McMahon played Staples tough a year ago. Then we watched the Wreckers overwhelm Central last week. Now we wonder if the Senators will even survive.