Connecticut High School Football

High School Football news, analysis, commentary and features from the reporters of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

‘About Last Weekend’ Week 9: Answered prayers in Stamford and other craziness


Darien celebrates its 26-20 victory over Trinity Catholic won in the final seconds | Photo by Lindsay Niegelberg

So that happened Saturday afternoon.

Nick Lombardo hauls in the winning touchdown pass from Henry Baldwin in Darien's 26-20 victory over Trinity Catholic Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 | Photo by Lindsay Niegelberg

It was delicious, poignant high-stakes moment in the narrative of the 2012 high school football season. As we endlessly discussed through two football-free weeks, Trinity Catholic needed to beat Darien and St. Joseph to stake a claim to the FCIAC championship and, by extension, tick off the guys in Westport and Greenwich hoping to play for the whole shebang.

They never got past phase 1.

But, oh man, if Trinity was going to go down, Darien showed everyone how to do it right.

Darien was all but dead going into the game and we were chiseling the Blue Wave headstone when all-stater Peter Gesualdi — who’s had somewhat of a nightmarish season, all things considered — fumbled the ball on the 28-yard line with just over a minute remaining.

The Wave held and, on fourth down, Trinity Catholic coach Peter Stokes declined to have New Canaan hero John Benalcazar kick what would have been a long field goal on the sloppy Alumni Field turf.

It all went to shreds from there.

Freshman (yes) Mark Evanchick sacked Trinity quarterback Danny O’Leary on fourth and long, giving the ball back to the Blue Wave with a minute left.

Gesualdi atoned for his fumble with a big catch down the sideline. Nick Lombardo followed that by leaping beyond three defenders, catching the ball and falling into the end zone with, perhaps, the greatest play of the 2012 FCIAC season.

Maybe even the entire year.

It’s gotta be top 10, at least in terms of the situation and the significance.

Darien 26, Trinity Catholic 20: It aligned the stars for a potential Staples vs. Greenwich FCIAC championship on Thanksgiving.

[I was, of course, at my best friend’s wedding on Avery Point in Groton. Anyone want to upload a video of the final play?]

And when they read the news via Twitter on the bus heading back from their 49-14 victory over McMahon, the Greenwich players rejoiced.

Seriously, watch them rejoice.

Did I hear a ‘Danbury’ in there? Yeah, someone remembered: Greenwich still needs to beat Danbury. Staples still needs to take care of Westhill and star back Davell Cotterell (338 yards, five touchdowns last week, yow!)

It’s not over yet.

But… still. It’s looking mighty good.

(By the way, these types of late-season shenanigans is a major argument in favor of holding league title games. Like I said, I don’t mind the games. This is why. We just have to fix that criteria nonsense.)

Moving on…

Meanwhile, in the SWC: Milone, Masuk ends Barlow win streak

In a not-so-carbon-copy carbon copy of the Trinity-Darien game, Barlow’s unbeaten season came to a climactic close with a game 42-23 loss to Masuk Saturday at Bunnell.

Because Benedict’s Field is a disaster area, Masuk was playing at Bunnell for the second time this season and it was the ninth time in the last five years Masuk was playing a home game on the road.

And, at least early on, it didn’t feel like a home game. Barlow and tricky triple-option actually had a 10-7 lead and Masuk on the run, no thanks to a myriad of penalties.

But, of course, Masuk has Thomas Milone and Barlow doesn’t. Didn’t help that standout quarterback Jack Shaban left the game with a shoulder injury, but nevertheless Masuk whowed it is still boss in the SWC and clinched a playoff of spot in the process.

One more week remains and, like the FCIAC, we’re close to having ourselves a legit SWC championship.

Newtown rolled Bunnell Friday night to keep its unbeaten season going. But the Hawks might have lost standout back Danny Hebert. The senior all-state senior was carted off the field and taken to the hospital after severely injuring his wrist.

No word (yet) on what Hebert’s status is as of Sunday, but it would be a devastating blow to Newtown’s title aspirations to be without their awesome senior leader.

Update: Hebert broke his arm and will have surgery. His outstanding football career at Newtown is over. Our best to Dan as he begins his recovery.

The Legend of Pacheco grows

In a game I actually attended Joe Pacheco went ape on Brookfield. He ran for two long touchdowns and then returned a kickoff 88 yards for a back-breaking score in New Fairfield’s 34-19 victory.

The two long touchdowns were typical Pacheco. He found the hole, made a juke and was gone. The second one came just seconds into the second half and put New Fairfield in control 21-7.

The kickoff return touchdown, which followed a 5-yard strike from Brad Westmark to Boeing Brown that made the score 21-13, was ridiculous. Brookfield had been attempting to kick away from Pacheco. But with Brookfield within 21-13, the senior and one-year wonder took the kickoff, zigged and zagged through a several defenders, got some key blocks from his teammates and danced into the end zone.

Why, oh why do we only get one year of this kid?

New Fairfield’s playoff hopes were carted off when the Rebels lost to Oxford a couple of weeks ago. So enjoy Pacheco while you still can. He’s easily one of the state’s best tailbacks, closing in on a 2,000-yard rushing season with two games to play, hoping to break the single-season school record of 2,156 set by Rich Comizio in 1982.

He took a good measure of joy squashing Brookfield’s playoff hopes, as well. “We’ve been battling these kids since we were little kids,” he said. “This feels amazing. I don’t want to get into it — because we might get out of control.”

Earth to Fairfield Prep. Come in, Jesuits.

Prep’s state playoff hopes were knocked silly with its second-consecutive loss, this time to struggling rival Notre Dame-West Haven.

Though the Class LL field is already packed with (unofficial) qualifiers and near-qualifiers, the final spot remains up for grabs.

The Jesuits still have a slight chance to qualify. It would help if West Haven loses to Xavier on Monday night. The Westies would drop back to the pack with a loss to Xavier. Then Prep would have to beat the Westies on Thanksgiving.

Then they’d have to get into a chapel and pray.

Plenty of other crazy stuff happened in and around Shangri-La. [Week 9 Schedule/Results]

Davell Cotterell, the FCIAC’s version of Joe Pacheco, ran for 338 yards and five touchdowns (!!!) as Westhill hammered Wilton to guarantee itself a .500 season. Pure insanity. …Trumbull outlasted archrival Central in a wild affair at Kennedy Stadium. …Bullard-Havens was no match for Capital Prep, which won the Constitution State Conference championship and clinched a Class S playoff spot. …Weston beat Bethel to keep its playoff dreams intact. …Oxford did the same with a 40-20 win over Stratford on Sunday. The 6-2 Wolverines will officially be a winning team for the first time in its short history. …Derby crushed Crosby to clinch its first winning season since 1996. …Staples hammered Warde to stay abreast in the FCIAC race. …Abbott Tech earned its first three-game win streak. …New Canaan won its sixth straight game, 35-0 over Stamford. … Jake Kasuba and Foran blasted Branford in the SCC.

Just outside the region, Wolcott bludgeoned Woodland 54-12, to clinch the first playoff spot in Class M. By the way, Woodland, not Wolcott, is playing Ansonia in the NVL Championship game this Thursday.

We haven’t crunched the numbers, but here were your state playoff qualifiers in Week 9 according to Kyle Brennan of the Republican-American:

Here are your playoff standings.

Xavier plays West Haven tonight. A win will clinch a spot for the two-time defending champs. West Haven needs this one badly.

See everyone at Palmer Field.

Sean Patrick Bowley

59 Responses

  1. Whopper16 says:

    Tough loss for Brookfield, not much to play for now other than pride. Barlow game should be a good one…I really thought 8-2 was in the offing for Bobats this season.
    Pacheco is a very good running back, right up there with Milone as far as quickness, and this kid is stronger…Great season for NF. Based on what I saw Friday night, hard to believe they lost to Oxford.

    Drove up the road on Saturday night ( yes, no life) to watch Immaculate at New, Immaculate lost to that team by 35..Tom Taylor must have patience of a Saint..

  2. tj says:

    Great stuff!!

    It’s a shame to hear about Hebert, get well soon. Newtown had a team this year that could compete against all the LL Big Boys. Can’t replace his speed, especially on defense.

    Staples and Hand look to be the class of their divsions, but the rest of the fields are pretty even. Looking forward to some exciting playoff games.

  3. Brian says:

    Updated LL playoff scenarios based on my projections. After another week in the books many less 10 point games to project but anyway…

    1) Staples 147.78
    Joes 20 (TC and Trumbull)
    Central 10 (harding only not Ridgefield)
    Mcmahon 20 (stamford and Norwalk)
    Danbury 0 (GHS and Ridgfield)
    Trumbull 0 (NC and Joes)
    Darien 10 (Bassick not NC)
    Warde 0 (No Wilton or Ludlowe went conservative route here)
    Westhill 160 (150 from westhill plus 10 more for beating SHS)
    Greenwich 180

    total 1330/9=147.78 (even with cushion for Warde who might win 1 more)

    2) Southington=147.00

    East Hartford 0 (manchester)
    New Britain 0 (Berlin)
    Newington 10 (weathersfield. could go other way)
    Conard 0 (hall)
    Hall 10 (Conard)
    S. Windsor 10 (Rockville. could go other way)
    Gbury 10 (Simsbury)
    Simsbury 0 (Gbury)
    manchester 10 (East Hart.)
    Cheshire 160

    total 1470/10=147.00

    3) Xavier 143.00
    NDWH 10 (hamden not Hand)
    North Haven 20 (Amity and Lyman Hall)
    Prep 10 (Branford not WH)
    Hamden 0 (Amity and NDWH)
    Lost to HAnd
    Amity 10 (Hamden not N.HAven)
    House 10 (cross)
    Shelton 10 (Derby)
    West HAven 180
    Middletown 180

    total 1430/10=143.00

    4) NFA=137.00
    St. Bernard 0 (East Lyme and Montville)
    Woodstock 0 (Windham)
    Fitch 20 (Bacon acad and Ledyard)
    East Lyme (St. Bernard not waterford)
    Stamford 0 (mcmahon and westhill)
    Bacon 10 (RHAM not Fitch)
    Griswold 0 (plainfield)
    Waterford 10 (east lyme)
    New LOndon 170

    total 1370/10=137.00

    5) Greenwich 125.56
    Ridgefield 20 (central and danbury)
    Bassick 0 (DArien and Bullard HAvens)
    Ludlowe 10 (norwalk or Warde. gave one not both)
    Central 10 (harding not ridefield)
    trumbull 0(NC and Joes)
    Westhill 10 (Stamford not Staples)
    Mcmahon (Stamford and Norwalk)
    Danbury 120
    Lose to Staples
    total 1130/9=125.56

    6) Gbury
    NB 0 (Berlin)
    Newington 10 (Weathersfield. could go other way)
    Conard 0 (hall)
    Hall 10 (conard)
    Manchester 10 (E.Hartford)
    Maloney 0 (Platt)
    lost to Southington
    E. Hartford 0 (Manchester)
    S.Windsor 10 (Rockville. who knows could go other way)
    Simsbury 160

    total 1250/10=125.00 Very close to Greenwich. 10 point games are big!

    7) Newtown 118.00
    New Milford 10 (stratford not new ffld)
    Pomperaug 0 (New FFLD and Oxford)
    Stratford 0 (New Milford and Bunnell)
    Brookfield 10 (Bethel not Barlow)
    Oxford 20 (Bunnell and Pomperaug)
    ND FFLD 10 (Immac. not Bethel)
    Bethel 10 (NDFFLD not brookfield)
    Bunnell 10 (stratford not oxford)
    Immaculate 100. nothing more
    lose to Masuk. No Herbert No Win. If win they would be 4/5 close with NFA.

    total 1180/10=118.00

    8) West Haven
    Hamden 0 (Amity and NDWH)
    Guilford 0 (Foran and Hand)
    NDWH 10 (Hamden not Hand)
    Sheehan 20 (whitney tech and Lyman Hall)
    Amity 10 (Hamden not North Haven)
    Lost to HAnd
    Cheshire 0 (Southington)
    Cross 10 (East HAven not Hillhouse)
    Lose to X
    Prep 160

    total 1120/10=112.00. IF they beat X they can go up to 130.00 into he 4/5 depending on Newtown’s result with Masuk.

    Hope this helps everyone moving forward including u SPB.

    Go Big Red and FEAR THE BIRD!!


  4. Dave Lib says:

    You say “the rest of the divisions seem to be pretty even.” Have you not seen Ansonia? I don’t think any team will stay within three touchdowns of them in their Class.
    I follow the FCIAC the closest, and, believe me, Ansonia is can hang with Staples and Greenwich. (I didn’t say beat! LOL)
    My Super Six in the state right now:
    1- Staples
    2- Ansonia
    3- Daniel Hand
    4- Greenwich
    5- Masuk
    6- Xavier

  5. NF says:

    No chance at playoffs for NF even if they win out vs Pompy & NM? Looking at the teams above them in class M a lot of them have a great chance of losing one of their next 2 games

  6. @NF – There are still 11 teams with 2 losses or less, that number will need to drop below 8 if New Fairfield wants a solid chance to get in with 3 losses. Not impossible, but still ways to go.

  7. MAG says:

    I think the Mad Scientist is going to be pulling his hair out this year. Dave, I think you are dreaming if you rank Ansonia over Hand or Xavier. Now that playoffs are approaching, what are everyones thoughts on the Playoff point system? personally, I think that if you are not going to factor in Strenth of Schedule, then teams should play more Division opponents from outside of their area. Too many teams have soft schedules where they can basically count on 7 or 8 wins.

  8. Brian says:


    Have u not seen Ansonia in the past 20 years? They can play with anyone in the state almost every year and this is coming from a person who does not root for them just because some folks from up that way don’t give the time of day to anyone else. (I’m not saying its anyone on this blog lol). They have athletes all over the field and their program is second to none. That said I do think the conference they play in stinks and the class S offers them no competition to state their case. my top 5 are:

    Tie Ansonia/Greenwich. Both are strong teams but neiter has played anyone. Staples hasn’t either but I think in their case they are just that good.

  9. tj says:

    @ Dave Lib – I was just talking about the LL & L divisions. I can’t argue with your top 3, I’ve seen all three play and all are excellent. However, I think the LL is by far the toughest division this year. If an undefeated team wins the LL championship they will be the #1 team in the State. If not it will come down to Hand vs Ansonia with Hand getting the nod due to SOS (note: Windsor/NC/Masuk don’t have a prayer of beating Hand).

  10. Dave Lib says:

    The good news is that we’ll see Greenwich vs. Staples for sure.
    I’d love to see Ansonia play either of those two schools or Hand. Ansonia has such a special team this year. If they really wanted to, they would beat TCHS by forty. Yes, by forty. I really just said that. I’m able to take my “FCIAC blinders” off. No disrespect to TCHS. That’s just how good I think Ansonia is this year. Class S might be the only class this year that is not close when all is said and done. There’s Ansonia, and everyone else is playing for 2nd place.

  11. Tim says:


  12. Bubba says:

    Ansonia does not have the body of work to be considered #1. That is all you can evaluate when you rank the best in the State. They are doing their kids a disservice by playing in the NVL. Get out of that league, play better competition, and then you can justify that arguement.

  13. GHS1973 says:

    @Dave Lib…Watch out for Capital Prep, they’re pretty good, too…

  14. Dave Lib says:

    Some thoughts on some local Week 10 games…

    Trinity Catholic vs. St Joe (at Bunnell)……….great basketball game, now should be a great football game. The FCIACs only two private schools go at it with huge state implications on the line. Joe’s would appear to need the win more than Catholic, but Catholic could possibly be staring at THREE consecutive losses to end its dream season (yes, I’m saying that Wilton is no pushover in the finale) This game could go either way…slight edge to Joe’s.

    Westhill at Staples……great story out of Westhill this season….great year. Staples, however, is a freak show, and its excellent coaching staff will not allow the team to look-ahead to Thanksgiving morning. Staples rolls.

    Danbury at Greenwich…….there is NO REASON why Danbury should be this down in football. This game could get ugly early, allowing Greenwich to pull its starters for THE GAME on Thanksgiving.

    Barlow at Brookfield……injury to the Barlow QB might be the story here. Barlow the team with more to play for. But a tricky game up there.

    Masuk at Weston….as my friend SPB would say “Okay, Weston, whatdoyagot????” Probably not enough to beat Masuk, but Trojans have a safety net with a loss…Barlow in the season finale for the states…..some safety net!!

    McMahon at Stamford….Senators suddenly staring a winning season in the face at 6-4. Stamford and Norwalk are no “gimmes” for them, though.

    New Canaan at Trumbull……always a tough place for the Rams to get a “W”. This might not be easy. Trumbull playing better as of late. Lou will not let his team look ahead to the “Mink Coat Bowl” vs. Darien. Could come down to the wire. Rams praying they draw Avon in the Class L opener….at least they should be.

  15. Lebowski says:

    Multiple choice test so we all agree, Staples beats GHS by…
    A. 3 or less
    B. 4-9
    C. 10-14
    D. 15 or more

  16. mooncake says:

    Hey Dave Lib,
    I believe the Weston Trojans are at Masuk…

  17. mooncake says:

    I’m thinking everyone is buying The Show…

  18. GO NOLES!! says:

    Looked at that short clip of Milone’s TD. Who is the moronic public address announcer shouting and calling the play while its in progress?
    There are too many high school announcers behaving like ESPN-wannabes.
    Just tell us who ran it, threw it, caught it, kicked it, or made the tackle. There ain’t no scouts from Bristol in the stands listening to you.

  19. Kris1 says:

    Please explain how Ansonia doesn’t have the body of work to be ranked #1? Who has Staples played thus far? And although I think Hand deserves their ranking, I don’t think they would beat Ansonia.
    Ansonia has proven their worth year in and year out. They have the started longest winning streak (23 games). They have earned their state record 26th playoff appearance. They also hold the state record(s): 17 state titles, 16 undefeated seasons, 4 times voted the states top team, they have more wins in the last 42 years then any other team in CT, and the highest winning % during that span. They currently have 740 wins in school history. They have a chance to be one the winningest program in state history by seasons end. New Britain (3-6) currently sits at 742 wins with one game remaining (Berlin, 8-1). Ansonia has at the very least, three games left this season. It’s not unrealistic to think they will pass New Britain by the first round of the playoffs. You may not like the NVL, you may see Ansonia’s schedule as weak, but the numbers don’t lie. No program has better a argument. They are contenders every year. The coaches aren’t disrespecting their players. They are a state championship favorite nearly every season. They (coaches and players) could care less about #1 rankings, they want state championships. That’s their focus. Always has been, always will be.

  20. mueller says:

    Anybody know the severity of Dan Hebert’s knee injury?

  21. jeb says:

    Kris 1.
    No one is disputing the merits of this Ansonia team..they are that good! But Kris if a team like Hand goes undefeated playing the schedule that they do compared to Ansonia’s schedule then you have to give the nod to Hand. Staples who I feel is the best team in the state has had a very easy schedule but they will have to win four tough games in a row to capture the Class LL title and it won’t be easy. If Staples runs the table and beats Xavier then a case can be made for either Hand or Staples as the states top team providing that Hand wins the Class L. Not much separates Hand, Staples and Ansonia except strength of schedule.

  22. mueller says:

    Nevermind didn’t even get the body part right, damn shame for Hebert, also makes Newtown a weak team occupying a spot in LL even with a probable loss to Masuk. It is total b.s. that Bullard Havens will get in over St. Joes, those co-ops and tech schools need their own league, they keep much more deserving team out every year

  23. SJ Alum says:

    @Kris I think you answered your own question, Ansonia is a great program with many talented kids and an impressive winning percentage, However to deserve a #1 ranking you need to compete with tough teams EVERY week not just one or two a season. Injuries, mental toughness, the will to come from behind and be challenged determine that ranking. Unfortunately Ansonia only has bragging rights to compete with the big dogs when they participate in pre-season scrimmages. Until they join a league with stiffer competition they will amass State Championships but will never be recognized as a #1 powerhouse. It’s nice to display participation trophies but rewarding to earn and deserve that #1 Ranking.

  24. ranker says:

    Ansonia is a great Class S/M team but when the NVL doesnt produce quality teams yearly, then they make the states and play in a bracket with 3rd or 4th place teams from their league, it is hard to put them up with the LL/L programs. I would love to see Ansonia play some of the SCC and FCIAC teams each year but that wont happen as they love their little bubble of teams they play.

    Yes, Staples and Greenwich’s schedule isn’t as strong as it normally is, but Staples is a team that is almost completely back from last season and finished 2nd in states. They should get the respect they are getting now. You could argue about Greenwich and their schedule but we will see next week just how good they are.

    The NVL is just like the SWC, always one dominating team that isnt challenged all year, but Masuk at least plays in the the L division with quality teams each year. Ansonia will dominate the little league and Masuk will not be challenged until Hand. Dont say Newtown will challenge Masuk as M will win by 4 TDs

  25. Read the story. Updated: He’s done.

  26. Dr. Von Nostran says:

    If SJ and BH both win out, SJ will outpoint them.

    Also, if there were also a separate Catholic League, as many here have argued, that would also open up spots for schools that “can’t recruit”. Without the Tech/Catholic schools, Derby and Oxford would be playing for Class S playoff spots.

  27. Rob says:

    I honestly think that some people believe that Class LL or L shcools have physically bigger players then Class S schools. This is not the case. To field a good high school team, you only need to find 7 to 10 lineman and 6 to 8 difference makers at the skill positions. Even in a small school, this is not hard to do. The rest is scouting, coaching, and off season weight lifting programs. It is ridiculous to think Ansonia is not every bit the team that Staples, Hand, Masuk, etc are simply because they have fewer kids in the school.

    With that said, as an Ansonia fan, I understand why if Staples, Hand, and Ansonia all win state titles, that Ansonia will not be ranked #1 at the end of this year.

    In 2006, when they were ranked #1 at the end, Ansonia defeated Holy Cross who also won a state title. In 2007, in a bitterly debated battle with Greenwich over who was #1 that eventually went to Ansonia, the Chargers defeated Seymour who won a state title later that year. Ansonia’ best hope for a resume builder this year is for Wolcott to make some noise in Class M. We shall see.

    There is bias towards larger population schools in the state. I understand why people’s natural inclination is to think this way, but it really doesn’t make sense. Does anybody really doubt that Ansonia would absolutely destroy 95% of the teams in Class LL and L? And the top 5% would at least be contests, but I would still be confident.

    Going forward, it would help Ansonia (and the NVL as a whole) if Naugatuck and Torrington would improve to a consistent playoff level. In the past decade, Woodland, Holy Cross, and Seymour have all won state titles, some multiple times, but not in Class LL or L. If people are going to hold the view that Class LL and L rules everything, then it would be beneficial to the NVL if its larger schools improved to the point of getting state wide respect.

    And if Ansonia goes undefeated and wins Class S this year, and is ranked #3 in the final poll, well that is still pretty damn good.

  28. saw that says:

    Just a word about Newtown, clearly damaged by the loss of Hebert ,not just as a great player,but a leader,… That said, they are a very young and talented team, Hebert hasn’t had to carry them as some other players have had to carry their teams, he will be sorely missed vs Masuk and in the state tournament, and we will all be deprived of what could have been an outstanding showcase of two of the best players in the state… but don’t underestimate Newtown’s depth, they are young and they are talented, can they step up a season too soon?

  29. Brian says:

    I didn’t think Newtown was beating Masuk with Hebert. Masuk didn’t get the time of day this year since Casey left. That program is very good and playing in the SWC they will never be less than 8-2 in a bad year. Call me crazy, but I picked Masuk to win L before season began. I’m going to stay with that pick.

  30. ranker says:

    Hebert being gone will hurt Newtown! The young newtown players are not as good as you think they are, they just dominate weaker teams. You can play their JV players against the other towns in the SWC and have the same outcome. It gets old hearing how good they are and then they lay an egg once they play outside of their league.

    Masuk on the other hand, has a proven coaching staff that gets them ready every single year, and this year will be no difference. Just an fyi, this senior class for Masuk won the 8th grade national championships a few years back in pop warner so they have always won. Masuk’s future looks bright with their youth program dominating throughout NE this year. They start off young at Masuk, but they learn how to win at an early age.

  31. RAY BROWN says:

    before ansonia re-entered the nvl ,they played a independent schedule,which was loaded with top programs from housy,district and teams from across state.chjeck out their records in those years—do some research.every program in the state aspires to be ansonia—wether they admit it or not—-but it will nebver happen.

  32. GHS1973 says:

    @Ray…That’s interesting…didn’t know or remember that…Kinda like Notre Dame in College football…They play their share of patsies, but also some real good teams, too…It would be great to see Ansonia go back to being an “independant”…Then they could play some bigs from out of the NVL…That would be awesome for CT football…I think everyone would really like to see just how good Ansonia is against the best larger schools…Would the CIAC allow it though, in this day and age?

  33. another fan says:


    Never be recognized as a #1 powerhouse? Ansonia had like 4 #1 rankings ,isn’t that like powerhouses?

  34. Dave Lib says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Greenwich High School has never finished #1 in the state. Hard to believe with all the great teams they have had.

  35. Football Fan says:

    @ 31 Please let everyone know what the results were when Ansonia chose to play “up” in the larger division say in 1978 and 1979 ?Hint ,BIG winning steak ended.

  36. another fan says:


    2006:Greenwich,Ansonia,Holy Cross…123

  37. SJ Alum says:

    @ another fan, I believe your correct with 4 #1 rankings, and I also believe they have a decent program but there is an injustice to really know how good they are in the league they play in. Correct me if i’m wrong but I remember at least 12 undefeated seasons…To only be ranked #1 four times speaks volumes of their strength of schedule and that appears to be the consensus of the voters of the polls. There is no shame in producing a quality team but this is the instance where quantity rules.

  38. GHS1973 says:

    @Dave Lib…GHS has won 12 FCIAC championships, and 7 Class LL State championships since 1976 (CIAC History)…Whether or not they ever got to be voted #1 in state newspaper polls in the end, I have no idea, and don’t care…They are just polls by those who don’t play…

    They also have a QB in the NFL Hall of Fame, whose teams never won any FCIAC or CT State championships…lol

  39. another fan says:

    @SJ Alum

    In the last 9 years the only time was in 2006 when Geenwich was #1 with a 12-1 record and Ansonia was #2 13-0.I see your point but it has flaws,even an SWC team(Masuk) was ranked higher than Xavier in ’10 both 13-0.

  40. Dave Lib says:

    Oh, I know….you don’t have to explain to me the rich success of GHS football.
    Somebody told this stat a few years ago “Greenwich has never finished the season ranked #1 in the state”…and I was shocked.
    Just wanted to confirm if this was true or not.
    I was at the Greenwich @ Naples game in 2007….I guess they gave it to Ansonia that year, even though GHS was unbeaten in the state.
    I’m not a big “#1 in the state guy” but I found this very interesting. State titles STICK. Rankings don’t.

  41. Dave Lib says:

    oh…..I guess Greenwich won it outright in 2006? I was given bad information…..hence, why I asked the question if Greenwich has ever been ranked #1 before…it really surprised me when somebody said they’ve never been.

  42. Record Book says:

    NH Register Sportswriters Poll
    #1 Ansonia (20 first place votes)
    #2 Greenwich (1)

    NL Day Coaches Poll
    #1 Ansonia (10)
    #2 Greenwich (3)

    (My personal favorite)
    Walter Camp Football Foundation Connecticut Team of the Year

    I don’t believe that Greenwich has ever been voted #1 in the state poll.

  43. another fan says:


    Greenwich has a tremendous program and will play anybody .ANYBODY.All that knowledge and numbers and you don’t know if they were #1 or not?Also,nobody gives Ansonia nothing.They earn it.Oh,that QB ,he was an NFL MVP too,yeah ,go figure.

  44. GHS1973 says:

    Despite the outcome of the remaining games, never stop rooting for the all CT kids to get to the next step, College…Then it becomes more like a state-wide pride thing…

  45. kris1 says:

    You all make valid points and I don’t disagree that when all is said and done Hand and Staples will have traveled a more difficult road. However, that does not necessarily mean they are better then Ansonia. My point was this…history tells us that Ansonia has been ranked #1, even playing a relatively weaker NVL schedule during those seasons. You really have to look at Ansonia separate from the NVL, because they have been that dominant. This season is no different. This team is far better then I expected them to be and their talent level at the skill positions is borderline ridiculous. I can tell you this, no matter where they are ranked at seasons end, if they have another banner, it won’t much matter. I think we can all agree there is only one way to determine who’s truly the best team….Open Division.

    @35 Yes, Ansonia played up and lost twice. It was ’78 and ’80. Look at the scores of those games. They were competitive games and Ansonia had a chance to win both. That was also over years ago. The game and players have evolved since then. There is NO other small school that has or could do that.

    @36 Greenwich has never finished a season ranked #1. Staples (’75), Darien (’92), and New Canaan (’08) all have one. Trumbull has three (’77,’80, ’86)

    2006: Ansonia, Greenwich, Holy Cross…123
    2007: Ansonia, Greenwich, Bunnell…123
    Ansonia was ranked #1 in back-to-back seasons.

  46. @Libby – where were you the first — oh, I don’t know — half of the season?

  47. another fan says:

    Wow, I got that messed up I guess, I have on line right now and it says 2006 Greenwich #1 ? WT!@#$

  48. GHS1973 says:

    Greenwich probably has never been voted #1 in any newspaper poll other than their own…ever

  49. another fan says:


    What about Bloomfield?

  50. Dave Lib says:

    Had a lot on my plate. Nothing major, though. I come out when the games get bigger, later in the season!
    I’ll be in it for the long-haul next year.

  51. Brian says:

    GHS HAs never finished #1 in the polls but I’m am not a big poll guy anyway. They mean nothing. I don’t see #1 in the poll banners hanging from HS gyms just league and state champ ones with the second one being far more glamorous.

  52. mueller says:

    Rob you must be Remmy- Naugy tried to run with Ansonia this offseason and they got caught, Torrington’s coaches are doing the best they can but recruting plus great coaching and tradition is a tough obstacle to overcome

  53. kris1 says:

    @50 What about Bloomfield? The ’98 and ’99 teams were arguably the best team(s) CTHSFB’s ever seen. Specifically, the ’99 team. Those who’ve seen the ’68 West Haven squad will argue differently. From 1993 to 2001 they made nine straight playoff appearances. They never petitioned to play in a higher division during that span. They probably could have had the same success if they did. They were that good. But their success at that time is directly related to Jack Cochran. When he left for New Britain, the program lost it’s luster. They have made playoff appearances since then, however they aren’t as feared as they once were. Bloomfield has 12 state final appearances. They have a record of 7-5 overall. Between ’97-’01, they won 5 straight State Titles and had back-to-back #1 rankings in ’98 and ’99.

    1982: (MM) Win over Penney-East Hartford, 12-6
    1993: (SS) Loss to Seymour, 40-12
    1994: (SS) Loss to Ansonia, 54-14
    1995: (S) Loss to Ansonia, 7-0
    1996: (S) Loss to Darien, 21-16
    1997: (S) Win over Darien, 39-21
    1998: (S) Win over Ansonia, 40-7
    1999: (S) Win over Ansonia, 56-0
    2000: (M) Win over New Canaan, 55-6
    2001: (S) Win over North Branford, 40-7
    2003: (SS) Win over Brookfield, 34-14
    2006: (S) Loss to Ansonia, 34-12

  54. Brian says:

    Some of those illegal New Britain teams under Jack were great also.

  55. @Another – based on the Freeman computer rankings.

  56. RAY BROWN says:


  57. @RAY RAY – lol. Still lost that LL final.