Connecticut High School Football

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

2012 Class L championship preview: Windsor vs. Hand

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Windsor's Lance Ormsby (11) bears down on New Canaan quarterback Nick Cascone during the Class L semifinals. Windsor will try to win its first state title when it takes on No. 1-seeded and No. 1 ranked Hand in the state championship.



No. 2 Windsor vs. No. 1 Hand


WHERE/WHEN – Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Saturday, 5:35 p.m.
ON THE AIR — Radio:
WELI 960-AM | TV: CPTV Sports | Online: ESPN 3, Watch ESPN app
TICKETS —
$10
COACHES — Windsor:
Rob Fleeting (4th year, 38-5); Hand: Steve Filippone (24th year, 200-61-5, 6 state titles).
RECORDS –
Windsor 11-0 (CCC Division II West champions); Hand 12-0 (SCC Division I East champions)
HOW THEY GOT HERE —
Windsor: def. Fitch 38-7; def. New Canaan 27-21; Hand: def. Platt 55-26; def. Masuk 42-23
STATE TITLES –
Windsor (0-1): None. Hand (10-6): 1976-M, 1977-M, 1982-MII, 1984-MI; 1989-MM; 1997-L; 2003-M; 2004-M; 2005-M; 2011-L

Hand LB Matt Walsh loses his helmet making a tackle vs. Masuk in the Class L semifinals. He required stitches on his head, but will be ready to go when the defending champion Tigers take on Windsor Saturday. (Photo: Brian Pounds)

TOP PLAYERS — Windsor: Sr. QB Robert Quinn Fleeting (2,488 yards, 32 TDs, passing; 655 yards, 10 TDs rushing); Sr. RB Devonte Dillon (674 yards, 5 TD rushing); Jr. RB Jalen Berry (496 yards, 7 TD rushing through 10 games); Sr. WR Ryhieme Moore (771 yards, 8 TD receiving through 10 games); Sr. LB Cole Ormsby (14 sacks through 10 games); Sr. WR/DB Terrell Huff (451 yards, 4 TDs; Sr. LB Chris Traore. Hand: Sr. FB/LB Matt Walsh (10 TDs); Sr. DL Peter Gerson; Sr. WR Kyle Anderson (504 yards, 4 TD receiving); Sr. WR Caleb Ewald (936 yards, 9 TD receiving; Sr. QB Brendan Bilcheck (2,125 yards 17 TD, 11 INT; 696 yards, 10 TD rushing); Sr. SS Alex Tuccero; Sr. RB Ian O’Toole (858 yards, 15 TDs rushing); Jr. LB Dan Rogers.
WORTH NOTING –
Hand has won the second-most CIAC titles (10), tied with St. Joseph (10) and behind Ansonia (17). …Filippone has won six titles, including last year’s Class L title over New Canaan. His 42-23 victory over Masuk was his 200th career victory. …LB Walsh is a UConn commit. DE Gerson will attend Yale. …Hand has been the No. 1 team in Connecticut since a 40-20 victory over Xavier on Oct. 12. …The Tigers have won 25 straight games dating back to last season. …It’s last loss was to New Canaan in the 2010 Class L semifinals. …Windsor is making its second appearance in the championship game. It lost to Ridgefield 14-13 in the 2002 Class L final. …Robert Quinn Fleeting is the son of coach Rob Fleeting. …The Tigers average a balanced 176 passing yards and 168 rushing yards per game. …Windsor allowed just 8 points per game in the regular season, the second-least in Connecticut. Overall it’s allowed 10 per game. …Cole Ormsby is committed to UMass and twin brother Lance is committed to Central Connecticut.

Windsor QB Robert Quinn Fleeting

OUTLOOK — Windsor comes in as the once-jilted, now redeemed power from the north. The Warriors are a year older and wiser than a season ago when New Canaan rallied to knock them out of the running. This time, they held their ground and have advanced to their first final since losing to Ridgefield in 2002. Fleeting has established himself as one of the state’s best passers, and Windsor’s stable of backs and receivers are all tough to defend. The Ormsby twins lead a defense that’s perhaps a bit overshadowed by Quinn Fleeting’s fireworks. They’re a tough opponent. But Hand will be the most talented, most physical team Windsor has seen all season. The No. 1-ranked Tigers aren’t particularly huge up front, but they’re fierce, virtually flawless and just as determined to grab a state championship. Quinn Fleeting figures to have his hands full trying to stave off Hand’s fearless defense, led by Walsh and Gerson. If he can escape, he’ll have Tuccero and the Hand secondary with which to contend. Of more concern is how Windsor will stop the Hand offense. It was perfect in Sunday’s state semifinal vs. Masuk, especially the Bilcheck-to-Ewald combo which torched the Panthers for 185 yards and two TDs. Sheer talent and experience as seniors will allow Windsor to hang around. But by the second half, as the hits began taking their toll, it’ll be all Hand, all the time.
OUR PICK —
Hand 38, Windsor 21

FURTHER READING

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Hand defeats Masuk 42-23 in Class L semifinals

WFSB Friday Night Football: Windsor defeats New Canaan in Class L semifinals

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Sean Patrick Bowley

29 Responses

  1. ciacfollower says:

    SPB – i have yo agree with your outlook on the L match, you’re pretty much dead- on here.

  2. @ciacfollower -not to tempt fate, but I typically am. Check last year’s Capsule previews out. Other than picking the wrong winner in Cromwell-Holy Cross (I had the game scenario correct, however), I pretty much nailed all four finals.

    Same with 2010, nailed those too except maybe the score of Class m. But who woulda predicted 7-0 between those teams?

  3. ciacfollower says:

    @SPB – how do you pick the correct game scenario but pick the wrong winner?
    “Pretty much” nailed all four or came dang close to it? lol

  4. @ciacfollower – Because I picked it to be a shootout, and it was with Cromwell winning late. As it turned out, their last pass attempt was picked off to end the game. They were driving, but Holy Cross stopped them.

  5. MXR says:

    Ansonia 35, North Branford 21 — The other way would be a great story, but how can you pick that?

    Hillhouse 42, Berlin 21 — Second piece of SCC sweep.

    Madison 35, Windsor 21 — Uncle; Tigers get all the hardware this year.

    Xavier 42, NFA 21 — Great run, but midnight approaches.

  6. ciacfollower says:

    @SPB – i cant seem to pull down the comment box on the LL game so i’ll do it now while i have your full, undevided attn. I agree with your emphasis on the NFA wins on Newt & even more on the, “we’re invincable, a big-box school from FCIAC, we shoulda been #1 but got leap-frogged by Hand, Staples.
    But there’s too much emphasis on X’s win over the House. I think this was more of a complete sieze-up of the House than a big feat on X’s part.
    I think the Academy will exploit the flaws that the X has. I’m still not sure why everyone would call this an upset, except that its due to the fact that they’re located waaay out on the opposite, eastern end & “nobody” see’s them play.

  7. gur says:

    didn’t you all learn your lesson from the NFA / Staples game? NFA wins by two touchdowns….

  8. @Gur – Apparently not. I feel much more confident about Xavier than I did Staples. I had a sinking feeling about that one, but stayed with the party line.

  9. gur says:

    The difference in this one is going to be speed, not size. NFA is going to run all over them. The only thing i worry about is Boyle getting some protection and making some throws, but NFA D-backs should shut down X receivers if the D line can apply a little pressure. You should switch your pick to NFA dude, just saying

  10. @gur – Can’t. Won’t.

    Would I rather see a new champ and a great story? Yes.

    But I just can’t pick against these guys.

    I’m sure NFA prefers it that way.

  11. gur says:

    @spb…good point about NFA’s preference. The underdog thing AND their dedication to the injured player are both intangible’s that will also work in their favor. i was just joshing about changing your pick. your a journalist, you can’t flip flop!

  12. ciacfollower says:

    Journalists NEVER flip flop ?

  13. ciacfollower says:

    BTW, u failed to mention a key player for Windsor – Huff
    & your Welcome…Get it ?
    ive heard they’re fast but jeez, they big too

  14. Dale says:

    Hahah someone up there thinks hand leap frogged them? Give me a break, they are defending champions and have won 25 straight in the toughest division in the state of Connecticut. They trampled Xavier who was on a huge winning streak as well. I’d worry about just trying to beat Xavier before you say you deserve to be number 1.

  15. Huff? Right. Added.

    And they are big. We shall see.

  16. ciacfollower says:

    @Dale – no, there’s actually still “FCIAC people crying over Staples getting leap frogged by Hand, back in Oct.
    Windsor peeps have been quiet. I dont think they blog….At least down in that corner of CT.

  17. another fan says:

    Ansonia would be #1 right now if Hand didn’t leap frog them last year.

  18. Football Fan says:

    Hand/Windsor play for #1
    Xavier/NFA play for #2
    Ansonia plays for #3 vs North Branford plays for #4-#6
    Hillhouse plays for #4 and Berlin plays for #4-#6

  19. steve says:

    Much respect to Hand as they manhandled Xavier. Still Windsor is well prepared and ready to win this Championship. We can put up some serious points on any defense and our line is big and our Defense is top notch. Tremendous speed like our chances. Should be a shootout.

  20. The Dude says:

    Hand 34 Windsor 21- Windsor is much better than most people give them credit for. They have definitely been the standard for the CCC the last couple of years. But with that being said Hand is on another planet right now. The Warriors are talented, athletic, and fast enough to hang around with Hand for a half. But Hand is much bigger and will wear them down and cruise in the end.

  21. ciacfollower says:

    Windsor are gonna be believers in why Hand is ranked where they are by the end of the night Sat. Bowley’s got’em by 17, I’m gonna go further & call Hand by a full 3 TD’s

  22. Tale of The Tape says:

    QB: Hand kid is the better runner. Windsor kid has stronger arm. Hand kid is tougher. Slight advantage Hand.

    RB: Hand has quick little dudes. So does Windsor. Hand’s seem to get up faster after getting whacked. Call it even.

    LINE: Windsor is much bigger. Hand is much quicker off the ball. Windsor more effecive running outside, while Hand more effective running inside. Slight advantage Hand as they seem to be more aggressive up front.

    WR: Windsor’s are fast and can jump for balls. Hand’s are quick with sure hands. Slight advantage Windsor.

    LB: Hand’s are big and will whack ya. Windsor’s are fast and run to the ball. Advantage Hand.

    DB: Windsor is fast and athletic and make plays. Hand covers well enough and hopes the pass rush gets to the QB. Slight advantage Windsor.

    LINE: Windsor is enormous and #50 is very good. Hand is quick and physical and doesn’t get moved off the ball. Slight advantage Hand.

    COACH: Fleeting has done a nice job coaching up his team. Filippone is a master at getting average players to play above their abilities. Big advantage Hand.

    SKINNY: Windsor has speed advantage which could cause a little trouble for Hand. Windsor’s size is actually a disadvantage because Hand will win battle of leverage and will not get pushed around. If Windsor turns the ball over like they do in every game it could get ugly early. Hand has toughness and aggressiveness advantage. They just whack ya and keep coming at ya and don’t stop until it is too late in the game.

    Hand 45
    Windsor 21

  23. Rob says:

    Does anybody know if The Rent will allow you to bring umbrellas into the stadium?

  24. jeb says:

    Hand does not mistakes or penalties…Windsor does!! Final score Hand 35 Windsor 7.

  25. ciacfollower says:

    Rob – i hope so, Warriors’ offense is gonna need’em when Hands defense pours on them!

  26. Steven says:

    Are you nuts. Hand 45 points on Windsor’s D. Windsor’s skilled position players are superior. Who’s stopping the Ornsby brothers rush. Can’t run much on Windsor’s D line. Try passing you will get picked.They just don’t give up big plays. Lock down defenders all over the field. Good luck trying to stop Berry and Dillon. Moore can’t be stopped best WR in the state. Agree on Hand’s toughness because of experience in the big game, but Windsor will be in this game until the very end. This game will be determined on the Line. Expect Windsor to win and be #1 in the State.

  27. Bob woodbridge says:

    No umbrellas .. Same rules they use for uconn games. Also no reentry

  28. Lou Lange says:

    Sean – Was it you or someone else writing for the Post that said Windsor comes from a “weak conference”? CCC football has always been tough. Having had 2 kids go through MHS in band, I got to see many of the CCC opponents at Manchester High. The conference would match up very well with SCC. I think Windsor will give Hand a good fight but this Hand alumnus (Class of 1978) sees another title for Hand.

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