Hearst Connecticut’s sports staff rates the top regional high school football programs (record and first-place votes in parentheses):
1. New Canaan (7-0) (7): Rams facing toughest test of the year in St. Joseph.
2. Ansonia (8-0) (3): Chargers crush Watertown for 36th straight win, tying a school record.
3. St. Joseph (7-0): Cadets have faced some big-time teams, but none as good as the Rams.
4. Newtown (7-0): Nighthawks dominating both sides of the ball.
5. Darien (6-1): Upset-minded Wilton coming to visit for Wave’s last home game.
6. Barlow (6-1): Oxford next up to try and slow Barlow’s march to state playoffs.
7. McMahon (6-0): Senators look to remain unbeaten against Ludlowe, their first opponent with a winning record.
8. Trumbull (6-1): A win against Staples and Eagles are step closer to FCIAC championship game.
— SCOTT ERICSON
Also receiving votes: Shelton (5-2), Bethel (5-2), Brookfield (6-1), Fairfield Prep (5-2)
Members of the Hearst Connecticut staff who were balloted: Doug Bonjour, Chris Brodeur, Scott Ericson, Dave Fierro, Rich Gregory, Ryan Lacey, Chris McNamee, Gino Moretti, Gary Rogo and Reid L. Walmark.