Thanksgiving Football 2012: Thursday’s Game-by-Game Previews (and pick the winners!)

Greenwich football players gather before facing Staples in last year's FCIAC Championship game in Westport. A year later, the Cardinals and Wreckers will do it all again Thursday morning, this time in Greenwich.

Here’s the complete run-down on all of the games played on Thanksgiving morning, including the FCIAC Championship between Greenwich and Staples, the ultra-important Barlow-Weston clash (seriously!) and the longstanding traditions: Ansonia-Naugy, Derby-Shelton, The Green Bowl.

Click here for the TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY slate, which includes St. Joseph-Trumbull and the SWC Championship, Newtown vs. Masuk.

Same as before. Just scroll through, read through the previews and pick the winners.

(Most of the statistics provided are via teams on, many teams do not provide statistics.)

For complete state playoff scenarios, give the Mad Playoff Scientist a visit. He’s got all the goods for you:


Everybody ready?

Let’s go…

Thanksgiving Day

O’Brien Tech at Platt Tech

WHERE/WHEN– Law Field, Milford; 10:30
Platt Tech 5-4, O’Brien Tech 1-8
T-DAY SERIES — Platt Tech 1-0
LAST YEAR — Platt Tech 48-8
KEY STATS — Lamont Barham, Angelo Genovesi and Anton Graham have shared the team’s rushing duties for Platt Tech. Soph. WR Zatrell Lyons leads the team with 10 TDs. …Nick Coppola leads O’Brien in total yards. …Platt Tech averages almost the same points (224) as it allows (222). …Platt Tech has allowed 343 points, scoring just 118.
AT STAKE — School record 6-wins for Platt Tech; O’Brien Tech’s first victory in the new rivalry.

Who will win O'Brien Tech at Platt Tech?

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Abbott Tech at Wolcott Tech

WHERE/WHEN – Pop Warner Field, Middle School Street, Torrington, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — Abbott Tech 5-4, Wolcott Tech 2-6
T-DAY SERIES — First meeting
KEY STATS — Abbott Tech upset playoff-contender Prince Tech 17-14 in October. …QB Greg Ramos has run for almost 500 yards and 11 TDs. …Dave Cartisano has run for almost 500 yards and 7 TDs. …Jake Ruggiero lead the team with 5 sacks.
AT STAKE — The first winning season in Abbott Tech’s short history.

Who will win Abbott Tech at Wolcott Tech?

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Weston at Barlow

WHERE/WHEN– Barlow High School Field I, Redding, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — Weston 7-2, Barlow 8-1
T-DAY SERIES — Weston, 7-5-4
Weston 29-23
KEY STATS — Weston’s Tyler Hassett has amassed over 2,000 yards of total offense and accounted for 24 touchdowns. …Justin Schaffer has caught 55 passes for 903 yards and 5 TDs. Austin Gomar is a state leader with 12 sacks. …Weston is balanced with 171 yards passing, 193 yards rushing per game. …Barlow has amassed 3,688 yards rushing, but only 199 yards passing in its triple option offense. …Alex Lockwood has run for 1,037 yards and 17 TDs. William Wilson has 10 TDs. …QB Jack Shaban, who ran for over 1,000 yards and 13 TDs, was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. …Cooper Brown will start at QB.
AT STAKE — Barlow’s first state playoff berth. Weston’s first state playoff berth since 1989, second overall. Loser likely goes home (though Barlow has outside shot with a loss). Bragging rights.

Who will win Weston at Barlow?

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Bethel at Brookfield

WHERE/WHEN — Brookfield High School Stadium Field, 10 a.m.
RECORDS – Bethel 3-6, Brookfield 5-4
T-DAY SERIES –Brookfield 12-4
LAST YEAR – Bethel 40-21
KEY STATS – Bethel QB Joey Piatnik has run for 1,250 yards and 15 TDs, Cal Daniels has caught 34 passes for 342 yards and 5 TDs. Peter Serenscics lead the team with six sacks. …Brookfield junior QB Brad Westmark is one of the top passers in the state with 2,172 yards and 15 TDs. …Boeing Brown and Liam Clancy both have over 500 yards receiving. …Kory Brown has run for over 500 yards. …Though dominated in the series, Bethel has won two out of the last three meetings.
AT STAKE – The Gavel-Swanson Trophy. A winning season for Brookfield.

Who will win Bethel at Brookfield?

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New Milford at New Fairfield

WHERE/WHEN – Rebels Stadium, New Fairfield, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — New Milford 1-8, New Fairfield 5-4
T-DAY SERIES — New Fairfield 3-2
LAST YEAR – New Milford 31-28
KEY STATS — New Fairfield back Joe Pacheco is the state’s leading rusher with 2,101 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is 155 yards away from breaking Rich Comizio’s school record of 2,156 set in 1982. That total will also be an SWC record. …New Fairfield averages 305 rushing yards per game. …QB Mike McCourt has thrown for 543 yards and a touchdown since replacing starter Mike Jamieson during New Fairfield’s loss to Masuk. …New Milford has won two consecutive games since beginning the season 0-7. …Connor Shannahan has thrown for 1,532 yards and 13 TDs vs. 13 INTs for New Milford.
AT STAKE — The Candlewood Cup. Bragging rights. A winning season for New Fairfield.

Who will win the Candlewood Cup?

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Trinity Catholic at Wilton

WHERE/WHEN – Tom Fujitani Field, Wilton, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — Trinity Catholic 7-2, Wilton 4-5
T-DAY SERIES — Wilton 4-3
LAST YEAR — Wilton 49-14
KEY STATS — Trinity has reached seven victories for the first time since 2008. Another win will be its highest total since going 8-3 in 2002. A victory would also put the Crusaders into their first state playoff game since beating Putnam to win the Class S final in 1993. …Shaquan Howsie has run for 843 yards and 12 TDs, leading a ground game that averages 224 yards per game. Trinity only passes for 75 yards per game. …The Crusaders have lost two straight after starting year 7-0. …Wilton snapped a three-game losing streak with last week’s 14-0 win over Warde, reportedly with 27 players on the roster. …Wilton has won two straight in this series, which began in 2005.
AT STAKE — Trinity Catholic’s first state playoff berth since the 1993 state championship season. A .500 record for Wilton, and third-straight Thanksgiving Day victory.

Who will win Trinity Catholic at Wilton?

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Westhill at Stamford

WHERE/WHEN — Robustelli Field at Boyle Stadium, Stamford, 10 a.m.
RECORDS — Westhill 1-8*, Stamford 2-7
T-DAY SERIES — Stamford 12-4
LAST YEAR — Stamford 34-6
KEY STATS — Westhill Senior back Davell Cotterell has over 1,600 yards rushing, putting him in the Top 5 in the state’s recorded rushers. Despite its winning record, Westhill has been outscored 207-245. …Westhill was forced for forfeit four games due to the use of an ineligible player. …Stamford began the season 2-0, but hast lost seven straight. The Black Knights have won four straight in the series.
AT STAKE — Bragging Rights. Westhill’s first winning season since 1987.

Who will win Westhill at Stamford?

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Hillhouse at Wilbur Cross

WHERE/WHEN – Wilbur Cross Athletic Complex, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS – Hillhouse 7-2, Wilbur Cross 2-7
ALL-TIME SERIES — Hillhouse 32-23-7
LAST YEAR — Hillhouse 48-12
KEY STATS — The Academics have a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Harold Cooper (1,162 yards) and Andrew Anderson (1,005). …Cooper missed several games at midseason. …Hillhouse has won two straight in the series. …The Academics haven’t defeated a Division I team this season, falling to No. 1 Hand 37-19, and later blew a 49-21 fourth-quarter lead in a 50-49 loss to Xavier. …Wilbur Cross’ 323 points allowed is most among SCC Division I teams, third-most in the league. The Governors snapped a four-game losing streak last week against East Haven.
AT STAKE — The Elm City Bowl trophy. A Class M playoff berth for Hillhouse.

Who will win the Elm City Bowl?

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Amity at North Haven

WHERE/WHEN – Vanacore Field, North Haven, 10 a.m.
RECORDS – Amity 4-5, North Haven 6-3
T-DAY SERIES — Amity 9-6-1
LAST YEAR – North Haven 27-10
KEY STATS – North Haven senior RB Jalon White is among the top leading rushers in the state with 1,544 yards and 21 touchdowns. …North Haven has run for 3,087 yards on 496 carries, and thrown for just 354 yards on 16 completions (46 attempts). …White is also the team’s leading passer with 123 yards and a TD. …North Haven lost to the No. 1 team in the state twice this season: then-No. 1 Xavier 49-12 in September, No. 1 Hand 24-7 in October. …Amity’s Dave Attolino is close to 1,000 yards. He has 955 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing. …Amity has scored one more point than it has allowed this year: 293-292.
AT STAKE — Only a slight chance for a Class L playoff berth for North Haven. A .500 season for Amity.

Who will win Amity at North Haven?

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Fairfield Prep at West Haven

WHERE/WHEN — Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven, 10:30 a.m.

RECORDS – Fairfield Prep 6-3, West Haven 7-2
T-DAY SERIES –West Haven 12-3
LAST YEAR — West Haven 42-39
KEY STATS — West Haven’s Ervin Phillips has run for 847 yards and 19 TDs, he’s added another 300 yards receiving and has scored 22 touchdowns. …But backfield mate Eddy Williams has been just as good with almost 700 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing. …Behind the tandem West Haven’s averaged 37 points and allowed 20 per game. …West Haven’s only losses were to No. 1 Hand 21-20 and Xavier 42-7. …Fairfield Prep has run for 2,219 yards and 37 touchdowns, as opposed to just 639 yards through the air. …Sophomore John Moten leads Prep with 500 yards rushing and 12 TDs. …Prep has lost two of its last three games since starting the season 5-1. …West Haven has won 10 of the last 11 meetings. Fairfield Prep hasn’t won since 2007, the last time the Jesuits reached the state playoffs.
AT STAKE — The No. 8 seed in the Class LL playoffs. West Haven will clinch the final spot with victory. Fairfield Prep needs to win and pray, thanks to the Westhill forfeits.

Who will win Fairfield Prep at West Haven?

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Foran at Law

WHERE/WHEN — Vito DeVito Sports Complex, Milford, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS — Law 4-5, Foran 5-4
LAST YEAR – Foran 48-13
KEY STATS — Foran sophomore QB Jake Kasuba is ranked third in the state in passing yards with 2,258 yards and 17 TDs vs. 12 interceptions. …Fellow sophomore Nick Weissauer has 66 catches for 780 yards and 5 TDs. …Foran averages 255 passing yards and 226 rushing yards per game. …Law junior QB Tim Maher has over 1,000 yards of total yards and has accounted for 15 TDs. Law averages 266 rushing yards, but only 46 passing. …The Lawmen have been outscored 305-255, but have won two of their last three.
AT STAKE — Bragging rights in Milford. Winning season for Foran. .500 season for Law.

Who will win Law at Foran?

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McMahon at Norwalk

WHERE/WHEN – Sam Testa Field, Norwalk, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS – McMahon 5-4, Norwalk 2-6 3-5
ALL-TIME SERIES – McMahon 31-19-1
LAST YEAR – Norwalk 17-0
KEY STAT – McMahon’s Kyle Jordan has run for 930 yards and 12 TDs this season. Teammate Trevon Forney has added 553 and 8 TDs. … The Senators have won three of their last four games, including an upset of playoff contender Ridgefield, since starting season 2-3. …Norwalk, which reached last year’s Class LL quarterfinals, has scored just 91 points (an average of 10 per game), while allowing 200 (22.2 points per game). …Norwalks picked up a third victory from Westhill’s forfeit.
AT STAKE — The Sam Testa Trophy. The FCIAC Central Division title and a winning season for McMahon.

Who will win the Sam Testa Trophy?

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Central at Harding

WHERE/WHEN — Hedges Field, Bridgeport, 10 a.m.
Central 1-7 2-6, Harding 0-9
Harding 50-34-4
Central 28-20
Central has won 13 straight series games, an all-time best. Central picked up a second victory with Westhill’s forfeit. …Central has scored 166 points, but has allowed 337, the second-most in the league behind Bassick. …Xavier Hardison is the team’s quarterback. …Harding QB Tashon Ballard has thrown for 741 yards and 4 TDs. Jahaad Williams has caught 31 passes for 343 yards and a score. …Harding has scored just 44 points this season, least in the FCIAC and second least in the state. …Not counted is last week’s 75-42 loss to Hamden Hall (a non-CIAC school).
AT STAKE — The John E. Johansen Trophy. The Bridgeport city championship for Central.

Who will win Central at Harding?

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Ludlowe at Warde

WHERE/WHEN – Tetreau/Davis Field, Fairfield, 10 a.m.
Ludlowe 4-5, Warde 1-8
T-DAY SERIES – Warde 10-7
Warde 52-13
KEY STATS — Ludlowe has won three consecutive games since coach Matt McCloskey announced his resignation before the Falcons played Stamford. …Quarterback Matt White has accounted for 12 TDs, he threw the winning touchdown pass both times in one-point victories over Stamford and Norwalk. …This is Ludlowe’s first three-game win streak in three years. …The Falcons have been outscored by an average 24-16 this season. …Warde has allowed 314 points, third most in the FCIAC. The Mustangs have won the last two meetings.
AT STAKE — The Gallagher-Banyas Trophy. A .500 season for Fairfield Ludlowe.

Who will win the Gallagher-Baryas Trophy?

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New Canaan at Darien

WHERE/WHEN – Darien High School Stadium Field, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS — New Canaan 8-1, Darien 6-3
ALL-TIME SERIES — New Canaan 46-33-2 (New Canaan 13-4-1 on Thanksgiving)
New Canaan 42-21
KEY STATS — Darien hasn’t won this game since 2001. ..Dueling New Canaan QBs Nick Cascione and Ted Bossidy have combined to throw for 1,548 yards and 20 touchdowns. …Cascione leads with 956 yards and 14 TD passes. He is also the team’s leading rusher at 554 yards and 8 TDs. …New Canaan has won seven straight games since a 35-28 overtime loss to Trinity Catholic. …New Canaan has clinched a playoff spot and will be making in its 8th consecutive playoff appearance. …The Rams have won their previous three games by an average of 35-7. …Darien QB Henry Baldwin has thrown for the most yards in the FCIAC, 1,830, and thrown 22 TD passes vs. 12 interceptions. …Darien averages 203 yards passing and 192 yards rushing, led by Christian Bognar’s 837 yards and 7 TDs.
AT STAKE — The Turkey Bowl trophy. FCIAC East title for New Canaan. Class L playoff seeding for New Canaan (the Rams will likely reach No. 5 or No. 6). Faint hopes at Class L playoffs for Darien.


Notre Dame-West Haven at Hamden

WHERE/WHEN — Hamden Field, 10:30 a.m.
ON THE AIR — (live video feed)
RECORDS — Hamden 2-7, Notre Dame-WH 3-6
ALL-TIME SERIES — Notre Dame 38-21-2
LAST YEAR — Notre Dame 42-14
KEY STATS – Notre Dame has won five straight in the series… Cameran Tucker is one of the state’s rushing leaders with 1,450 yards and 15 TDs. He’s led an attack that averages 251 rush yards per game. …Senior Jordan Williams has eight sacks. …Since starting the season 1-5, the Green Knights have won two of their previous three games, including an upset of Fairfield Prep. …Hamden snapped a three-year SCC Division I losing streak with last week’s 26-24 victory over Amity. …Their only other win was 30-6 over Law.
AT STAKE – Bragging rights.


Staples at Greenwich

WHERE/WHEN – Cardinal Stadium, Greenwich 10 a.m.
ON THE AIR — WGCH 1490-AM | MSG Varsity-Connecticut
RECORDS – Greenwich 8-0, Staples 8-0
T-DAY SERIES – Staples 5-2
LAST YEAR – Staples 31-27
KEY STATS — Staples has amassed 4,000 total yards, it averages 365 rushing yards per game, fifth best in Connecticut. Four players have run for over 400 yards, led by Joe Zelkowitz’s 636 yards and 10 TDs. …Senior James Frusciante has accounted for more than half of the team’s receiving yards, he has caught 31 passes for 552 yards and 8 TDs. …Defensive linemen Pieter Hoets and Jared Levi have 5 sacks apiece. ….Greenwich QB Liam O’Neill has thrown for 1,060 yards and 17 TDs in just five games after missing the first three due to a finger injury. … Senior Alex McMurray lead the team with 17 TDs. …End Joe Kelly has 603 yards and 12 TDs receiving. …Staples has won 6 FCIAC titles, Greenwich has won 12. …The schools have faced off three times for the league title, Greenwich has won two (1974, 2007), Staples one (2011). …Greenwich’s last title was 2007 (37-0 over Staples). Staples is the defending champion.
AT STAKE – The Jerry McDougall FCIAC championship Trophy. Class LL playoff seeding and a home quarterfinal for the winner, road game for the loser.


102nd meeting: Derby at Shelton

WHERE/WHEN – Finn Stadium, Shelton, 10:30 a.m.
RECORDS – Derby 6-3, Shelton 5-4
ALL-TIME SERIES – Shelton 52-42-7
LAST YEAR — Shelton 26-19
KEY STATS — Derby is having its best season since the 1990 state championship year. It has clinched its first winning season since going 6-5 in 1996. …Led by Tyrae Small’s 952 yards, Derby is averaging 214 rushing yards per game. …First-year starting QB Mike Kreiger has thrown for just over 1,068 yards and 16 TDs vs. just 3 interceptions. …Dillon McMahon has caught 29 passes for 540 yards ans 8 TDs. …Shelton has been balanced with 185 yards rushing and 165 yards passing per game… Sophomore QB Mark Piccirillo has thrown for 1,432 yards and 14 TDs and leads the team in rushing with 440 yards. … Shelton has lost two straight: to No. 1 Hand and former No. 1 Xavier. ….Derby hasn’t won since 2002.
AT STAKE — A 10th-straight series victory for Shelton. Derby’s first victory in the series since 2002 and its first 7-win season in two decades. Bragging rights.

113th meeting: Naugatuck at Ansonia

WHERE/WHEN — Jarvis Stadium, Ansonia, 10:30
RECORDS – Ansonia 10-0, Naugatuck 6-3
ALL-TIME SERIES – Ansonia 68-36-9
LAST YEAR – Ansonia 49-14
KEY STATS – The Chargers have been more balanced, with 271 yards rushing and 104 yards passing per game (in contrast to a 367-67, run-pass advantage). …Back Arkeel Newsome has still run for 1,499 yards and 23 TDs. …Due to a nagging injury, that’s almost 1,000 yards less and 18 TDs less than he did at this time last year…Sr. Andrew Matos has covered the Chargers with 960 total yards and 19 touchdowns. …Jai’Quan McKnight has thrown for 960 yards and 20 TDs. …Ansonia is No. 9 in the state in total yards. …Naugy’s Mick Pernell has run for 907 yards and 16 TDs, caught 29 passes for 651 yards ans 10 TDs. …Sophomore Jason Bradley has thrown for 1,328 yards and 25 TDs. …Naugatuck is 2nd behind Ansonia in the NVL in total points scored (406), but its 223 points allowed is almost twice as much as Ansonia (120). …Ansonia is the two-time defending NVL champion.
AT STAKE — For Ansonia, the top seed in the Class S playoffs.

Sean Patrick Bowley