Connecticut High School Football

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

‘About Last Night’ Week 10 Thursday: Deja Vu all over again

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Greenwich players celebrate a recovered fumble in their 54-8 FCIAC and state playoff-clinching victory over Danbury Thursday. The Cards will face Staples for the FCIAC championship on Thanksgiving.

Through rain, snow, gale-force winds, hurricanes/superstorms, Nor’easters, you name it we’ve been through it this high school football season. We’ve also seen the attack of the creatures from the pits, those typically downtrodden clubs who suddenly rose from the wreckage of it all to produce some memorable moments this year.

Barlow, Trinity Catholic, Weston, Westhill, Derby, Oxford, New Fairfield…

But in the end, the more things changed around here, they all wound up the same.

It’s Greenwich vs. Staples in the FCIAC championship.

Ansonia's Arkeel Newsome drags Woodland defenders on his way to 222 rushing yards and four TDs in the NVL Championship game Thursday night. Newsome won his second title game MVP award.

It’s Masuk vs. Newtown for the SWC title.

Ansonia won the NVL championship behind some guy named Arkeel Newsome.

Rinse.

Repeat.

Anybody remember how we fretted about how our poor local leagues would somehow fit in enough games on the off-chance Trinity Catholic or Barlow earned the right to play for league titles.

How naive we all were.

Not only are the same teams lining up for league championships, they’ve all clinched playoff berths as well.

Greenwich flirted with ‘Score Management’ while hammering Danbury, 53-8.

Staples overwhelmed Westhill 49-7.

Like Newtown and Masuk before them, Greenwich and Staples have both clinched playoff berths. The FCIAC and SWC title games are for seeding purposes only.

[Here's the latest from Matt Fischer's H.A.L. Supercomputer playoff calculations] In addition to Greenwich and Staples in Class LL, Fitch (8-1) clinched a Class L playoff berth, leaving two spots in both playoff classes. See ‘The Clinch’ graphic, below.

Meanwhile, our small-school underdogs and heroes are fading fast.

St. Joseph's defense swarms over Trinity Catholic's Randy Polonia in their 49-14 victory Thursday night. St. Joseph kept its Class M playoff dreams alive in Class M, while Trinity Catholic must beat Wilton on Thanksgiving to grab a berth in Class S.

Trinity Catholic has now lost two straight since beginning the season 7-0. The Crusaders were hammered by determined St. Joseph, 49-14, and now must (m-u-s-t) beat Wilton to reach the state playoffs for the first time since the 1993 championship season.

St. Joseph, meanwhile, stayed in the Class M playoff race with this eye-opening effort (600 yard of offense!). The Hogs must beat Trumbull to qualify in a Class M field that would be pretty upset to see them there. (Unless I’m Hillhouse, I wouldn’t want to play the Hogs).

Weston was no match for determined Masuk, losing 49-0 and dropping below the fold of Class M.

Barlow, the Trojans’ Thanksgiving Day rival, fared better Thursday night. Alex Lockwood ran for 175 yards and a pair of scores as Barlow knocked off Brookfield 29-22 to keep its dreams of a first state playoff berth alive.

But the Falcons (8-1) remain in a precarious spot, especially now that we understand sterling junior quarterback Jack Shaban is lost for the remainder of the season thanks to a shoulder injury suffered in last week’s loss to Masuk.

Both teams must win on Thanksgiving Day or their playoff goose is cooked.

Two teams enter. One team leaves.

Forget Greenwich-Staples. Masuk-Newtown.

Barl0w-Weston IS the biggest Thanksgiving Day game in Shangri-La.

(Does this game have a name? Somebody come up with one quick.)

Beyond the region, Platt Tech couldn’t do a favor for teams like Woodland, Derby, Oxford, even Trinity or themselves. They had a 14-12 lead, but lost to Prince Tech, further tightening the Class S playoff race.

Fairfield Prep set up a big Thanksgiving Day showdown with West Haven by beating up on Branford. The Jesuits snapped a 2-game skid. …Ludlowe (Ludlowe!) won its third straight game by nipping Norwalk 21-20. The Falcons haven’t lost since coach Matt McCloskey announced he’d be resigning at the end of the season. Master Motivator. …McCloskey’s old haunt, Jonathan Law, buried Plainville 60-27.

Read all about those games in the regional roundup.

Oh, by the way New Fairfield fans! Your Rebels, who play Pomperaug tonight and finishe with New Milford, remains very much alive and kicking in Class M. Could we possibly see Joe Pacheco in the playoffs? Two wins, and enough help from above (the standings, and the clouds) could make that a reality.

Finally, we leave you with the NVL Championship. Arkeel Newsome is back, baby, and the Chargers warmed up for their Thanksgiving Day clash with Naugatuck with a 56-26 victory over Woodland. Newsome, who’s been injured for a majority of the year, looked like his old self, chugging 222 yards and scoring four times to win the MVP award and Ansonia the title for the second straight season.

With Newsome back and the rest of the gang making their usual plays, Ansonia is just chugging along as normal.

It is the first and only team to reach 10-0 (this doesn’t count in the playoff standings, though, kids). They’ll host a state quarterfinal game. They’re the favorites to win it all in Class S.

Life’s pretty good in Ansonia, eh?

Onward…

Sean Patrick Bowley

37 Responses

  1. eddysuds00 says:

    Sean,
    Love all your videos…The video mixed with the music is awesome..
    If someone watches any of you clips, of any of the games you cover, you can’t just help yourself but to get pumped for HS Football…
    wish you could do more on some of the SCC clashes…
    Keep up the good work..
    Thanks for the great entertainment.

  2. Thanks… just wish we had time to do all games we’ve shot video of. Just no time. We also have St. Joseph-Trinity highlights. Coming at some point

  3. R-MAC says:

    It looks like Masuk will roll through the playoffs as well as Daniel Hand in the class L . Masuk shut out Weston , showing me that their defense is in good form going into the SWC Championship with the Nighthawks. The LL is gonna most likely end up Xavier and Staples. Ansonia is no doubt gonna be the Class S Champions. The M class might surprise us but I would say Hillhouse is gonna be the M Champions. It just goes to show us how good these Highschool programs really are . I would like to see some diversity in the playoffs but all I see are the same teams playing the same teams. No surprises this year. As for playing the finals at the Rent, I don’t like it for Highschool ball , that’s my opinion from my own experiences of seeing the games there. My only prediction is that Hand gets beat by Masuk in the final.

  4. Jamison says:

    Barlow-Weston game –
    The “Can You Believe This is An Important Game?” Bowl
    or
    The “Relevant Once in a Generation” Bowl
    or
    The “RedEastWest” Bowl (Redding/Easton/Weston)
    or
    The Saugatuck Bowl

  5. Brian says:

    I saw the Greenwich Danbury game last night and it was total destruction. Staples from what I read did the same to Westhill. I have seen both teams play and I don’t really know what to think. I think Staples will beat Greenwich as I think their line play is bigger and the skill guys faster. I think both of them will struggle to beat Xavier. Not saying they can’t or won’t but either of them are going to have to play their A+ game to win. One of those 3 will win LL. The other 5 teams have NO shot.

    L. I love Masuk. No one gives them a chance vs Hand and I think Windsor and NC will be players in that class. I think Milone is a kid who will make a play when they have to have one.

    Lastly, I know the TC fans will have my head but Wilton is going to “upset” them on Thanksgiving and knock them out of Class S. TC is still stunned from that Darien ending and obviously didn’t come to play last night as they gave up over 600 yards of Offense. I know Wilton isn’t Joes but I don’t like the mental state of TC right now.

  6. SWC fan says:

    The Jaquar Bowl, lots of nice cars in the parking lot. Good football this year,too.

  7. PatPatriot says:

    Real interesting battle for the 8th slot in LL between RHS and Prep. Could very well end up a tie. How are “Tie Breaker Points” calculated on the CIAC site?

  8. Bubba says:

    Masuk will get beat in the quarterfinals: 3-6 matchup Masuk vs. New Canaan. Sorry R-MAC

  9. Bubba says:

    Hand will play Windsor in the Final. No prediction in final. But I see the L finishing like is: Hand, Windsor, Masuk, Avon, Fitch, New Canaan, Middletown, Platt.

  10. Trojan says:

    Barlow Weston game= The Reservwar (Saugatuck Reservoir divides the two schools)

  11. Thecrusade says:

    @Brian.. I agree that they are still stunned from Darien and they didnt show up at all last night (Hats off to St. Joes though, they have some real good players, watch out class M). But, respectfully, I disagree about losing to Wilton. I see where you are coming from however. I think they will be too strong for Wilton. The 2 losses were tough but this group of seniors is special. They will be fine

  12. JJJJ4 says:

    Class LL Prediction:
    Staples beats Greenwich
    WH beats prep
    Newtown beats Masuk
    Southington, Xavier, NFA and Glastonbury all win.

    Seedings
    1 Southington
    8 West Haven

    4 NFA
    5 Newtown

    2 Staples
    7 Greenwich

    3 Xavier
    6 Glastonbury

  13. Brian says:

    I hope you are right crusade as I would like to see another FCIAC team make states. Good Luck!

  14. JJJJ4 – Staples has a slight edge for that overall top seed. If Wethersfield beats Newington, I’d almost bank on Staples No. 1 if they beat Greenwich.

  15. Brian says:

    GHS will more than likely finish as the 6th seed and play at Xavier depending on what Newtown does with Masuk. Staples should be the 1 seed ever so slightly over Southington. Much of it has to do Mcmahon giving both Greenwich and staples 20 big bonus points. I see Newtown losing to Masuk so I got:

    1. Staples vs 8 WH
    2) Southington vs 7 Newtown
    3) Xavier vs 6 Gbury
    4) NFA vs 5 Greenwich

    If Newtown wins they would play NFA and Greewich would play X. Gbury to Southington.

    If Prep wins vs West Haven Prep seems in line as I think Cheshire would lose to Southington. Ridgefield needs help. Prep got 10 huge points last night from Hamden beating Amity. Prep lost to Amity. I have done at 99.00 with a win and Ridgefield at 97.00. Don’t like Ridgefields bonus potentional. Stamford High plays a big role in it as does Wilton.

  16. Brian says:

    I would love to see Newtown lose to Masuk and NFA lose to New London. Would more than likely give GHS 4 seed and a home game. I don’t want to have to drive to NFA on a weeknight!! lol

  17. Brian. I have what you have.

  18. John Q says:

    as of right now, i think the only team with a chance against masuk in L is Hand. Both teams are capable of beating each other however i think masuk would have to play near perfect. i dont trust NC or Windsor to beat either team.

  19. Brian says:

    Good work SPB keeping up with the all the classes for us. I focus on LL the most as my team is in that class. Many scenarios still but we have a handle on it. Crazy to think Prep is still alive after that NDWH debacle. Very much alive I might say.

  20. jeb says:

    News bulletin….Newtown has no chance of beating Masuk

  21. SMASHMOUTH says:

    Ansonia gets the class S, in my opinion they have one of the best programs in state history. Xavier is the real powerhouse of the LL and Staples is the powerhouse of the FCIAC. Staples is the real deal this year and should give the X-Men a great game. I dont see any blowout in the LL final this year as both teams match up well on paper, who is gonna coach the better game might be the x-factor in the outcome. I will go with R-Mac on Hillhouse being the best M class team, but its still too early to pick them as state champions. Would love to see Ansonia play Masuk as my pick for a dream bowl game. Oxford to leave the SWC is not a surprise to me and would fit in with the NVL, besides Ansonia can use all the competition it can get. I am also on board with getting rid of the SWC and make up one big conferance like the CCC and SCC. It just might spice things up for a more diverse overall league with a lot less predictability in the future of our state playoff point system. Its been the same old same for too long. Great job Sean as always with all that you do year after year in maintaining this blog and giving us fans an outlet for our opinions and love for CT. Highschool Football. Nobody does it better !

  22. SMASHMOUTH says:

    Let me not forget the class L, Masuk and Hand are the two favorites. Windsor is no push over and has a very good chance of pulling off the upset on any L team in the playoffs. Avon, Middletown, Farmington, Fitch, and New Canaan are all in the mix but I dont think their offenses can keep up with Masuk or Daniel Hand. Hand is the team to beat they are #1 in the state and Masuk is the only class L team that has the offense in my opinion to get the job done. Thomas Milone is the best all around MVP in the state !

  23. The Dude says:

    I’m going to check out New Fairfield tonight based on the recommendations here. Pacheco sounds like he’s the real deal.

    Also, New Canaan does clinch if they win tonight correct?

  24. Dr. Von Nostran says:

    Pat,

    The following five steps will be used in breaking ties in pairings if two or more schools finish with the same
    point value in the same division.
    1) In the event there are exactly two schools tied at the point value and the two schools have met during the
    regular season, the winner wins the position in question (head-to-head).
    2) The wins and ties of each of the opponents are added (2 points per win and 1 point per tie) and the team
    with the greatest number of points wins the position in question. This includes each opponent regardless
    of whether the game was won or lost.
    3) The team that defeated the highest rated (CIAC point system) team wins the position in question.
    4) The team with the best winning percentage wins the position in question.
    5) Each team will be assigned a computer-generated random “tiebreaker number” two weeks prior to the
    end of the season. If there is still no winner after the first ten criteria in this section are applied then the
    team with the highest random tiebreaker number will be the winner of the position in question.

    Tiebreaker Notations:
    1) * – Head-To-Head
    2) + – Opponents Wins and Ties
    3) % – Highest Ranked Opponent Defeated
    4) @ – Winning Percentage
    5) ^ – By Lot

    And this will give you the “random lot #” for any two teams within a given class:

    http://www.casciac.org/scripts/fbminmax12.html

  25. j says:

    I still like Xavier in LL, Hand in L, and Hillhouse in M…SCC. Repeat of last year. I think these teams have just enough this year still to win. Closer however. Alot of talk of Staples and Masuk. Staples has everyone back but plays 1 game a year vs Greenwich (don’t give Staples the W quite yet …Good teams, but soft schedules..they didn’t respond last year. I think the SCC still is the most dominant conference. Obviously. The WH vs Prep winners in and would play Staples in qtrs. I like X vs Staples rematch in final in LL. Hand and Windsor in L depends on seeding if they play in final or semis. Middletown is good too! Watch out! Skill players and speed. JaKur West!Exciting times! Thank you all for the passion for hs football!Cant wait for the playoffs!Great job SPB and the others!!

  26. Dave K says:

    Good job Sean. Class M is a BIG Bubble. But, assuming Barlow beats Weston, NFA beats New London, SJ beats Trumbull and Bassick beats BH Tech. Looks like New London could still get in with 3 losses.

    Here’s what I have:

    New London at Wolcott
    Montville at Berlin
    SJ at Ellington Somers
    Hillhouse at Barlow

    If BH beats Bassick, the scenario is:

    Montville at Wolcott
    BH Tech at Berlin
    SJ at Ellington Somers
    Hillhose at Barlow

    Last scenario, if Weston wins on Thanksgiving Montville will most likely edge out Barlow but they would still have a shot. SJ Hillhouse could be interesting.

    Montville at Wolcott
    BH Tech at Berlin
    Weston at Ellington Somers
    SJ at Hillhouse

  27. panther man says:

    job, I agree that Newtown has ZERO chance against Masuk. Seen them both and two very different teams. Newtown will end up playing X or Staples which also doesnt give them a chance. This isn’t the patsies of the SWC they are used to playing, but the big boys now.

  28. popz95 says:

    ha! reservwar – like that

    it usually is called the turkey bowl I believe, but maybe that’s every t-day game…

  29. tj says:

    I don’t see an L projected seeding, here’s how I see it:

    1-Hand
    2-Windsor
    3-Masuk
    4-Avon
    5-Fitch
    6-Middletown (NC sucks)
    7-Platt
    8-Farmington

    Semis:
    Hand over Fitch
    Masuk over Windsor

    Final:
    Hand over Masuk (Hand replaces Bunnell as the bane of Masuk)

  30. notfromridgefield says:

    Dude – Pacheco is an old school running back. Big, strong and fast – nothing fancy. Well worth the trip and wouldn’t be surprised if he runs for 300+.

  31. chetz says:

    29 TJ nice call see u in the playoffs NC pride

  32. tj says:

    @ chetz-

    My parenthetical reference had more to do with my disdain for the town than the likely outcome. Ohh those one percenter Mitt & Ann Romney clones, how do you like Obama now!

    While I’m at it, for me, the Coach comes off as a pompous phony. “They were happy we were coming. I guess they’re happy we’re leaving now.” Humor is dangerous – not very gracious. When he loses it’s backhanded compliments “They don’t practice all week to make you look good.” Nice guy. Lastly, the wise sage bullied the continuance of the inane, humiliating 50 point rule. “He” knows better – its for our own good. Well Coach your not in Class MM anymore!

    P.S. – reminder to self to confirm therapy appointment – or is it to cancel it.

  33. chetz says:

    tj anger will get you nowhere. Actions speak louder than words. Oh by the way last I checked NC seems to make it to the states year in and year out, Lou is a class act, keep your shallow hatered to yourself and let kids play football out on the field. A reminder its about kids and not you, you probably never even strapped on a helmet, wish you well in the playoffs whoever you might root for….

  34. Crusader Jor says:

    What a classless jerk Dellavecchia was on Thurs nite….ST Joes totally dominated the game total – ass whooping, but,,, throw a half back option pass up 35 – 14 for a touchdown and then on side kick? and then after TC put in sophmores, still had his starting line in with 4 minutes left…. a total jerk….Good luck TC on thursday – be ready as Wilton is a tough place for us to play…

  35. Reggie palmer says:

    Coach Lou definitely a class act and quite possibly the best coach in the state… But its equally clear that NC doesnt want any part of Staples or Greenwich since It might hurt their chances of making the playoffs. Plus, what luck… NC may get Avon in the first round = free pass to the semis.

  36. mooncake says:

    hey tj #29: On Rs vs Ds… Greenwich and NC voted R, Westpt-Staples voted D. Love the Wreckers!

  37. chetz says:

    36 Ds and Rs dont mean a thing. HS-Kids on a field not you……..

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