State Tournament Central: CIAC football semifinal updates

Five regional teams will by vying for state championship game berths today in the CIAC semifinals. From left: Weston's Tyler Hassett; Masuk's Thomas Milone; Ansonia's Andrew Matos; New Canaan's Nick Cascone; Staples' Joey Zelkowitz

Welcome.

Welcome to the War Room.

Welcome to our own personal NORAD for the Connecticut high school football world, the place where you can track everything happening in today’s state football semifinal round.

Today the hard-working staff of Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate and Westport News will be covering six state semifinal games involving our regional teams, complete with stories, photos and videos as the day goes on and complete recaps at the end of the evening.

If you’re stuck at home, can’t get to some of the games, just stick with us. We’ll get you all the information you’ll need, plus any links necessary to either listen to or watch the games online.

You can always follow the live blog at the bottom of the page for updates and analysis on every state playoff game and see what everybody’s talking about.

Previews

State semifinal preview capsules

As all the games finish head over to our high school football page to get game details, including photos and videos.

12:30 P.M. GAMES

CLASS LL

No. 7 GLASTONBURY vs. XAVIER
at the Maclary Complex, Cheshire

Radio/Internet: None? (maybe CNX radio)

Xavier is the two-time defending Class LL champions. Glastonbury hasn’t been to the state final since 2009, nor has it beaten Xavier in the last two playoff meetings. Can Ben Berey and the Tomahawks even keep up with QB Tim Boyle, Kris Luster or DeAngelo Berry? Not if the Xavier defense plays the way it typically does: bone-crushing.

NORWICH FREE ACADEMY vs. STAPLES
at Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven

Radio/Internet:
WELI 960-AM (960weli.com) | WWPT 90.3-FM (Wreckers radio)
TV:
MSG Varsity
Live Twitter updates: @DougBonjour |

Is this the best Staples team ever to grace a football field? Nobody’s touched the overwhelmingly talented Wreckers so far. Now here comes RB Marcus Outlow and the unbeaten Wildcats. Fresh off a 63-21 pasting of SWC champion Newtown in the state quarterfinals. NFA would love nothing more than to make believers out all Connecticut by munching on the FCIAC champions.

CLASS L

NEW CANAAN vs. WINDSOR
at Bulldog Field, Bunnell High School, Stratford
TV: MSGVarsity
Live Twitter updates: @DaveRuden |

A year ago, New Canaan broke Windsor’s heart by rallying from 17-points down and beating the Warriors on a last-second field goal. Robert Quinn Fleeting and his teammates remember. They want to even the score and get back what they lost a season ago. These Rams want to extend their string of seven straight state championship game appearances.

CLASS S
HYDE LEADERSHIP vs. ANSONIA
at Middletown High School, Middletown

Internet/TV: CIAC NETWORK |
CPTV Sports (check local listings)
Live Twitter updates: @WSPaxton

A matchup that pits two of Class S’ most successful programs. Hyde is good, but Ansonia is Ansonia. Will the Howling Wolves stop Andrew Matos, Arkeel Newsome and the Ansonia juggernaut? Twenty six of Ansonia’s previous opponents have all tried, but failed.

CLASS S
WOODLAND vs. NORTH BRANFORD
at Falcon Field, Meriden, 12:30 p.m.

Internet/TV: none
Live Twitter updates: TBA (follow updates on live blog below)

The second half of the Class S draw features two of the top passers in the state, Woodland’s Tanner Kingsley and North Branford’s Brandan Basil, who have almost 6,000 passing yards between them. Which defense will make the big stop and propel their team into the state championship?

5 P.M GAMES

CLASS L

MASUK vs. HAND
Internet Video: CIAC NETWORK
Radio:
WELI 960-AM (weli.com)

Live Twitter updates: @CTPostCardillo

It’s another rematch between the last two state champions from this class. But now the tables are turned. Masuk comes in as the decided underdog and Hand the defending Class L champion, not to mention the state’s No. 1 ranked team. Can Masuk do what Hand did to it a season ago?

CLASS M

WESTON vs. BERLIN
at Bulldog Field, Bunnell High School, Stratford

TV/Internet: None
Live Twitter updates:
TBA (follow on live blog below)

Fresh off the first state playoff victory in school history, the Tyler Hassett and the cardiac Trojans take their act to Bunnell to face No. 2-seeded and playoff veteran Berlin.

CLASS M
MONTVILLE vs. HILLHOUSE
at Middletown High School, Middletown

Internet/TV:
CIAC NETWORK | CPTV Sports (check local listings)

Eight-seeded Montville turned the bracket upside-down by defeating No. 1 Wolcott in the quarterfinals. Their challenge now is to stop Hillhouse’s one-two punch of Anderson-Cooper (the tailbacks, not the CNN personality). Can the Indians pull off another upset and reach their first state final since 2009? Or will Hillhouse make its second trip to Rentschler Field in three years?

LIVE BLOG

Sean Patrick Bowley