A look at who did and said what during Week 6 of the southwestern Connecticut high school football season. Compiled by executive editor Gary Rogo and the Hearst Connecticut sports staff.
- Jack Shaban, Barlow: Junior quarterback ran for 135 yards with a touchdown and also threw for a score in the 6-0 Falcons’ 28-14 win over Bunnell.
- Joe Pacheco, New Fairfield: Ran for 238 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-21 win over Weston.
- Joe Piatnik, Bethel: Ran for four touchdowns (and passed for another) to lead Bethel past Stratford 49-32.
- Jim Vartelas, Seymour: Ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown in a win over Crosby.
- Vochan Fowler, Bassick: Ran for two touchdown, including the game-winner in the fourth to give Bassick its first win of the season in a 14-6 result against Harding.
- Chris Golger, Fairfield Prep: Ran 50 yards for the winning TD in the fourth quarter as the Jesuits survived Hamden 27-20. Golger also scored on a 7-yard pass from Strecker Backe.
- Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia: Returned from injury to run for 162 yards and 2 TDs on 10 carries in 49-21 victory over Watertown.
- Davell Cotterell, Westhill: Ran for 236 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries in a 24-20 victory over Danbury.
- Jake Kasuba, Foran: Threw for 298 yards on 20-for-28 passing, with two touchdowns in the Lions 50-35 win over ND-West Haven. He also ran for 65 yards.
- Liam O’Neil, Greenwich: Completed 14 of 15 passes for 261 yards and a career-high five touchdowns — all in the first half — in Greenwich’s 56-6 rout of Bridgeport Central. Even more impressive was the fact that he compiled these statistics in the first half, as he did not throw a pass in the second half.
- Mark Piccirillo, Shelton: Completed 8 of 12 passes for 158 yards and two TDs (35 and 12 yards to Kyle Drost) in a 42-2 rout of Lyman Hall.
- Kyle Jordan, McMahon: Ran for two touchdowns and caught an 86-yard score in a 27-7 win over Fairfield Ludlowe.
- Will Bonaparte, Ridgefield: Ran for 126 yards with two touchdowns and caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Connor Rowe in the Tigers’ win over Norwalk.
- Nick Weissauer, Foran: Caught nine passes for 111 yards and a touchdown in a win over ND-West Haven.
- Jack Massie, Staples: Junior quarterback completed 10-of-13 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns in a 57-14 win over Trumbull. He also rushed for 142 yards, with touchdown runs of 76 and 53 yards. Teammate James Frusciante,a senior wide receiver, had five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns in first half.
- Thomas Milone, Masuk: Do-everything Panther was a handful for Brookfield, scoring TDs on runs of 20 and 59 yards to put the finishing touches on a 42-14. victory.
- Marcus Esteves, Oxford: Scored all of Oxford’s touchdowns — three rushing, an interception return — in the Wolverines’ 27-0 win over New Milford.
- Andrew Matos, Ansonia: Caught TD passes of 5 and 48 yards from Jai’Quan McKnight and threw a 72-yard score to Rashaun Finney in a 49-21 rout of Watertown.
- Brian Wigand, Darien: Returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown in the Blue Wave’s win over Wilton.
- Matt Montani, Fairfield Prep: Made a fourth-quarter interception to seal Prep’s 27-20 win over Hamden.
- Cole Harris, New Canaan: Returned an interception 57 yards for a TD to rally the Rams over St. Joseph 27-21. New Canaan had trailed 21-12 at halftime.
VALIANT IN DEFEAT
- Devante Teel, Bunnell: Caught touchdowns of 83 and 53 yards in a loss to Barlow.
- Marc Cesare, Trumbull: Junior returned a kick 90 yards for a touchdown in 57-14 loss to Staples.
- Jake Pelletier, St. Joseph: Caught six passes for 136 yards vs. New Canaan.
“The guy actually has no class whatsoever. The guy was 100 percent wrong and he knows he’s wrong. The way I took it, I think he was saying [explicative] to the CIAC.”
–Stamford coach Bryan Hocter on NFA coach Jemal Davis after a 51-0 loss that broke the CIAC’s score management policy.
“I honestly don’t know. That’s for them to figure out.”
–Staples quarterback Jack Massie, responding to the question, ‘How do you top Staples’ offense?’ following a 57-14 win over Trumbull.
“Relieved is how I am, we came close to losing this. For some reason we didn’t give them the respect they deserve and we almost paid the ultimate price for it.”
-Fairfield Prep coach Tom Shea, on his team’s 27-20 win over Hamden
“This was about a bunch of kids from the city’s West Side who don’t get a chance to succeed in much, getting to get a win.”
–Bassick coach Derrick Lewis on his team’s 14-6 win over Harding, the Lions’ first win of the season.
“The team had faith in me to try it again. Ryan just threw it up and I knew I could get it. (Cory Chaffee) is a great player but I just came up with it.”
–Westhill’s Yveson Cassamajor, on the 33-yard pass from Ryan Coppola that set up the winning touchdown in Westhill’s 24-20 comeback win over Danbury.
“It’s been a difficult year in that we’re so young and dumb at times. … It just does my heart so good to see this young team getting better every week.”
–New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli on his team’s 27-21 win over St. Joseph
“I’m not quite sure what was going on out there, but we definitely gave one away.”
–St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia
“It’s an art form, maybe a dying art form in football, but an art form when you run it properly.”
–Barlow coach Rob Tynan on his team’s option offense, which has the Falcons 6-0 for the first time since 1974.
“This is a difficult time for us, but we’ll continue to fight to the finish like we always do.”
–Bunnell coach Craig Bruno on his team’s 5-game losing streak.
“He’s a special talent and I’m lucky to have him on my side.”
–New Fairfield coach Anthony Fata on standout tailback Joe Pacheco
“I’m just trying to enjoy every moment with Tyler. He’s a special, special player.”
-Weston coach Joe Lato on QB Tyler Hassett, who played with a nagging injury throughout the Trojans’ 42-21 loss to New Fairfield
“These kids were tired of losing the past three seasons. They want to play football. And they all want to win. This season has been a very great thing.”
–Trinity Catholic coach Peter Stokes on his team’s 6-0 start
Staples (5-0) at Darien (4-2), Saturday, 1:30: Staples continues to use the rest of the FCIAC as sparring partners in preparation for the bigger prize at the end of the season. Will Darien, whose playoff hopes are already on life support, put up any kind of resistance? The good news is Peter Gesualdi is back. The bad news is, Staples has a full head of steam barreling into this matchup.
Greenwich (5-0) at Westhill (4-2), Saturday, 1:30: Westhill’s having a dream season. Davell Cotterell and the Vikings keep finding ways to win and are inching closer to their first winning season in decades. But just how far is the gap between them and the FCIAC’s upper echelon? Lace up. Time to find out.
New Fairfield (4-2) at Oxford (4-2), Saturday, noon: Ace back Joe Pacheco and the Rebels are honing in on a fabulous season. They’d love to keep it going in this tough, competitive road game vs. Brennen Diaz and the Wolverines. It’s of minor significance on the state stage, with the winner moderately improving their faint chances. Still, this should be good.
Stratford (2-4) at Weston (5-1), Saturday, 1: It’s Weston’s homecoming, but the Trojans are limping back from their first loss of the season. With Masuk and Barlow still left on the schedule, their Class M playoff hopes depend on this game. Worse, the availability of star quarterback Tyler Hassett is in question after a groin injury suffered vs. New Fairfield. Stratford’s looking for a signature win to propel itself forward. Now’s the time.
Cheshire (4-2) at West Haven (5-1), Friday, 7 – West Haven’s up against it following its thrilling, but heartbreaking 21-20 loss to No. 1 Hand. With Xavier and Fairfield Prep looming, the Westies can ill afford any more losses in a tight Class LL race. But you knew that.
Fairfield Prep (5-1) at Amity (2-4), Friday, 7 – Fairfield Prep got some needed experience playing a close game. They’d be better off taking care of Amity quickly, resting up and continuing their drive for a Thanksgiving showdown.
Xavier (5-1) at Hillhouse (5-1), Friday, 3 — There’s a reason Hillhouse played Guilford without Harold Cooper: The banged-up standout back needs to be ready to take on the once-jilted, two-time defending Class LL champs. Yes, we all know how close ‘House came two years ago at Bowen…
Hand (6-0) at North Haven (4-2), Friday, 7 – North Haven’s Class L playoff hopes will live/die here. We say die. Valiant effort this year, Indians. (Maybe?)
Platt Tech (4-1) at Bullard-Havens (5-1), Saturday, noon – Both schools were handed their their first losses of the season and now sit a game behind the teams that beat them: Capital Prep and Prince Tech. The winner of this vastly important rivalry game will have a good grasp on third or second place. Also some state considerations here. Bullard-Havens in M, Platt Tech in Class L…