SPB’s Elite 8: Week 3

We’re all shook up heading into Week 3 of the high school football season. Some surprising local results have us scratching our heads and thinking about what’s what. What to do with teams like Trinity Catholic, Stamford and Westhill. What do do with Brookfield, Weston and Barlow? Only so many spots, so many teams to consider.

It’s been trendy to pump up the underdogs who barked so loudly around here last week.

But we’re going slightly conservative on this week’s EE.

For now, we’ll give the establishment the benefit of the doubt while waiting to see what some of those hot-button teams do next before we frantically start pushing them.

So, here we go:

GREENWICH (2-0; Up next: bye); DARIEN (2-0; Up next: Saturday vs. St. Joseph); MASUK (2-0; Up Next: Friday vs. Immaculate)For the most part, all three teams mopped the floor with their Week 2 opponents. Greenwich handled Bassick, Darien beat Warde and Masuk beat New Milford.

All of them have moved up mostly because West Haven has moved down (we’ll get to that). Masuk takes the biggest jump into the No. 5 slot. Tough call between Masuk and Darien right now.

ST. JOSEPH (1-1; Up Next: at Darien, Saturday) The Hogs make their debut in the Elite 8 thanks to their dismantling of Wilton. Caught them in person and here’s what sticks out: They’re huge (QB Jordan Vazzano would be a tackle on practically every other high school football team in Connecticut) and they play tough defense.

Yeah, they’re 1-1, but we give them credit for making Staples sweat in Week 1.

Now comes the tough part: Staying here. They travel to Darien in the region’s biggest and best Saturday encounter.

TRINITY CATHOLIC (2-0; Up Next: Harding, Saturday); BROOKFIELD (2-0, Up Next: at New Milford, Saturday); BARLOW (2-0; Up Next: vs. Notre Dame-Fairfield); STAMFORD (2-0; Up Next: at Ridgefield, Friday) — These teams made the most noise in Week 3. Trinity, of course, nipped New Canaan. Brookfield blitzed Bunnell. Barlow hammered Bethel; Stamford crushed Norwalk.

Intriguing. But now here comes the Big Question: Are these teams for real? Maybe, but it’s not enough to leap them into the Elite 8 just yet. We have our eyes wide open.

Yes, Westhill is not on this list. They lost convincingly to Trinity Catholic in Week 1 and beat a Trumbull squad that hasn’t won since program patriarch Jerry McDougall died last October. It’s going to take a little more.

We also considered Derby or Weston among the missed. But we think Derby will have to beat Ansonia or, failing that, win a few more NVL games. Ditto Weston. We’ll just say they’re all close.

WEST HAVEN (2-0; Up Next: at Notre Dame-WH, Friday) — Think of this as a slap on the wrist. After giving our due respect to Guilford, which manned-up and didn’t back down to the big, bad Westies of SCC Division I, we were a little disappointed that West Haven found itself down 14-0. That kind of behavior is not befitting a Top 8 squad, boys.

You have been warned. Notre Dame won’t be so forgiving.

NEW CANAAN (1-1; Up Next: at Fairfield Warde, Saturday)Trinity Catholic’s 31-28 upset might be the first legitimate crack in New Canaan’s armor we’ve seen since… 2004? The Rams, who drop from No. 8 into the ‘Missed,’ have some work to do if they want to reclaim their mojo.

BUNNELL, WILTON, NORWALK have all dropped out of the ‘Missed.’ Now they’re just missing.

STAPLES (2-0; Up Next: vs. McMahon, Friday): Just crushed Central. Wow.

ANSONIA (2-0; Up Next: vs. Derby, Friday): Just crushed Woodland. Wow.

FAIRFIELD PREP (2-0; Up Next: at Xavier): We love Fairfield Prep’s spirit after winning its first two games. Well done. This next game is an entirely different story, altogether.

“It’s an entirely different story.

That was an ‘Airplane!’ joke.

RIDGEFIELD (1-1; Up Next: vs. Stamford): Ridgefield won their first game, handily taking care of Ludlowe. Now the Tigers get Stamford in what suddenly looks like a big test against Stamford. Can’t slip up now, guys.

SHELTON (1-1; Up Next: vs. Amity): See above. Insert ‘Foran’ for Ludlowe and ‘Amity’ for Stamford.

Sean Patrick Bowley

30 Responses

  1. John L says:

    SPB not for nothing but Guilford would beat Warde,Bassick and New Milford who the three teams you moved a head of WH beat up on.Guilford is a well coached solid team.Just my view on things love your articles and coverage.Westies are going to LL playoffs .Thats what counts.

  2. @John L – No doubt on Guilford. If they were in these rankings, they might het a mention.

    But as far as Westies are concerned, getting bit like that gives you a drop.

  3. John L says:

    Another little tidbit for you Sean.Guilford won 5 games last year including 4 td win over Branford .Didnt BHS just beat Trumbull from mighty FCIAC.Also Hamden who went 0-10 last yr almost beat Danbury on the rd.

  4. @JohnL – I would take a closer look at those teams you’re using to further your argument.

  5. Xhs says:

    Are we talking about a tough Guilford team? The same team who lost 28-0 to North Haven? The same North Haven team who lost 49-12 to Xavier and yet all the X men are hearing is the Westies will knock them off. Hand might be the game of the year but the Westies got some work to do. SPB a drop is more then a wake up call. I think it’s justified for the Westies.

  6. Right. Couldn’t remember who they played.

  7. WhopperJr says:

    I dont get it, you have two SWC teams in the top 8 who have beaten teams with zero wins? Newtown in their 2nd half to NM was outscored 7-0 and then Masuk rolls NM. Newtown and Masuk play the little sisters of the poor week in and week out and you act like they have an FCIAC schedule! It gets better, those two teams now play all class S and M teams with a sprinkling of L teams the rest of their schedule and then will battle for the league championship on Thanksgiving eve, what a league….

  8. Jay says:

    SPB why is NC v Warde at 10:30 AM? Strange time.

  9. @Jay – there are a few theories on that one…

  10. Jay says:

    Another trap game…?

  11. BHSFAN says:

    Regarding the SWC teams mentioned, Brookfield was very impressive against Bunnell and the game was not as close as the score indicated, but how good is Bunnell? By the way, where do they find these quarterbacks in Brookfield each year? Weston has been the beneficiary of a very easy schedule so far. It’s hard to imagine that they can be a real contender after losing the Rogers brothers. Barlow destroyed Bethel at Bethel and could be a 7 win team against a weak schedule, but I don’t think they have the horses to ever merit inclusion in the top 8. Yes, WhopperJr, the SWC does appear to be weaker than in years past, particularly at the top (the bottom is generally very poor). Masuk is tough, but does not appear to have the talent of prior years and it remains to be seen how good Newtown really is.

  12. SMASHMOUTH says:

    If New Canaan can be upset by Trinity catholic , why not Staples getting upset by the Senator’s of Brien McMahon ? I would love to see it go down. I have had enough of the richie rich teams of the fciac running the show year in and year out. Trinity catholic put up some points in their upset , showing that the defense from the next station to heaven was more like hell in a bucket. Go McMahon !

  13. SMASHMOUTH says:

    The Milone Panthers don’t have the defensive stopping power of previous years. They also seem to lack the size on their line also. But they have some speed and some playmakers to help even things out abit in their secondary. It remains to be seen what a good passing game the Panthers really have besides the break away speed of #22. This week should be like feeding time at the zoo with the fresh meat of Immaculate. It will be more like road kill than a road game for Immaculate.

  14. TheWise says:

    SPB what do we think about McMahon heading to Staples under the lights? Should be a great one with two strong rushing attacks. Which defense will show up?

  15. Should be interesting. …I’ll have the Guide to the Games up tomorrow morning.

  16. Bubba says:

    Cheshire @ Hand will be a good one at the Surf Club.

  17. R-MAC says:

    Friday Night lights at #1 ranked elite eight Wreckers of Staples taking on the underdoged Senators of BMHS. This has been a good contest in the past and should show us if Stables deserves its #1 ranking spb. The Senators like to run the ball and has been doing so well up to this point. The Wreckers likewise, with a good ground assault can also pound the ball. Good coaching on both sides of the field with the edge going to Staples. The weather is expected to be wet and sloppy. Whatever the case this is a big game for both teams more so for McMahon if they pull off the upset. Would that mean the Senators would become #1 Elite Eight bait. If it were only that easy.

  18. R-MAC says:

    I have seen Bullards Haven ground attack and its all that and more. Speed kills and it has so far this year. Besides their offensive talents and speed. The Bullards defensive side of the ball is lead by a solid line and fast pass rush. They also have a very good safety in thier secondary who covers the pass threat well. I see a lot of promise in Bullards season. This game is also at home on a good ole dirt field. Its gonna be down and dirty this saturday afternoon at one of the oldest beat up fields in the game. Techmo at its best !

  19. R-MAC says:

    The Masuk Panthers played sloppy ball at times last week before they put away the greenwave in the 4th. This week will give the Panthers a chance to work out the kinks and get into fighting shape. I am expecting a blowout by the halftime. The Panthers are well coached and are headed in the right direction with the talents and speed of Milone and Cummings on the field. The Masuk D will need to step it up if the Panthers are gonna play to thier expectations of pass years.

  20. Weasel says:

    Hey Whopper Junior…

    What happened the last few times Masuk played the mighty FCIAC?

    Masuk 41 Darien 0 (State semifinal)
    Masuk 50 New Canaan 20 (State final)

    Don’t squawk or rush to judgment. This is a very good program that has proven its ability to play with anyone in the state.

  21. Gminski Rules says:

    “I am expecting a blowout by the halftime”

    Way to go out on a limb!

    Masuk should just send JV for this one…Oxford and New Fairfieldwere both up 35-0 at half vs Immaculate…Masuk will have 40 in 1st quarter..hope Murph lets some freshman suit up…let them handle 4th Q…

  22. GHS1973 says:

    What exactly does Mike Gminski rule?…Tallest guy in line at Burger King?

  23. WhopperJr says:

    why does Masuk even play Immaculate? This is what is wrong with the SWC having L or LL teams play S teams over and over again each season. Masuk should be playing in the SCC or FCIAC which would challenge them every year and almost every single week. I just cannot imagine that people really enjoy watching them play the New Fairfields, NM, Immaculate, ND, Oxford, etc, or even the kids playing and trying to get up for those games. Newtown should also look to leave the SWC but their easy 7 or 8 game victories would lead to 3 or 4 at best.
    It seems as though CT is the only state out there that does not have big schools play big schools and little play little. Look at NY, VA, NC, etc. Doesnt make sense.

  24. Kyle says:

    I really don’t understand how Ansonia is behind staples, that offense is really good. Athletes all over the place. Matos is disgusting, if he was on Masuk or somethjng as the premier player he’d be the best in the state.

  25. @Kyle – I’d say it’s pretty close, honestly. Both teams great size, ridiculous athletes. Clearly our best-two area teams.

  26. John Flynn says:

    Tired of people disrespecting the SWC and Masuk its not there fault there in that conference they are well coached and care about football let the kids play. The SWC is having a great year so far, you mean to tell me the FCIAC as all powerhouse teams. Immaculate, NM, NF, Oxford all matche up with Harding, Bassick, Ludlow, Warde.

  27. WhopperJr III says:

    SWC gets disrespected because of the competition, or lack of competition. I agree, it isn’t Masuk’s fault and they are the best coached team in the SWC. Just look at some of the LL/L schedule in SWC, playing 3 or 4 class M teams along with 2 class S teams. How is that good for anybody?

  28. John Flynn says:

    whopper Masuk might play two S schools but so does New Cannan and those powerhouse fciac teams stop talking smack you probably have never played a minute of football in your life. Guarantee Newton, Masuk, Pomp (a few years ago), Brookfield and bunnel could all go through the “riged” fciac schedule. beating the likes of darien, new cannan, staples, st joes ridgefield. masuk did it in 2010 beating darien 42-0 and new cannan 50-20 but your right the fciac is SO tough

  29. BigPoppa says:

    St. Joes will make believers of all doubters this Sat. SPB was right…no one will want to meet them later in the year!

  30. JB says:

    @BigPoppa – like your handle! But your SJ team needs to take care of business … looking ahead of Darien is one huge mistake. Good luck, your boys will need it.