Could Saturday’s schedule change? Just how good is St. Joseph’s offense? And more…

On Wednesday, the CIAC held its annual state football final luncheon at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. Before we get to a few details on each team, we note that there could (yes, could) be a change to Saturday’s schedule. As of now, the day of events at Central Connecticut State’s Arute Field reads like this: St. Joseph-Brookfield in the M final at 10:05 a.m., Darien-New Canaan in the L final at 2:05 p.m. and Southington-Fairfield Prep in the LL final at 6:05 p.m.

Now, here’s where it could get tricky…The forecast for Saturday evening is calling for a 90 percent chance of snow, totaling 3-5 inches. Sunday’s outlook is for freezing rain. So, with the LL tilt sitting in a questionable weather window, CIAC executive director Paul Hoey said there’s a possibility the game will be moved up.

Per rules, the games must be completed by Sunday.

HELLO, AGAIN: Darien will meet New Canaan, again. New Canaan will meet Darien, again. The neighboring rivals first met this year, like always, on Thanksgiving. The Blue Wave stunned the previously unbeaten Rams that day, 28-24. Their next meeting will be in Saturday’s L final, but Blue Wave coach Rob Trifone wishes his team were facing someone outside of the FCIAC.

“I don’t care if it’s New Canaan, or anyone. I love playing Daniel Hand and Middletown,” Trifone said. “Show me a team somewhere up in the middle of the northern part of the state. I don’t care if they beat us 45-0. But, at least you’ve got an opportunity to see another program.”

“To play your Thanksgiving Day rival a second time,” Trifone continued, “I think, number one, is a tough task. Number two, you just don’t branch out.”

Let’s note that Darien beat Hand, 31-29, and Middletown, 12-7, along its road to the final.

New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said that the familiarity between the two teams should make for a well-played game.

“It kind of makes it easier than playing some guy you haven’t seen,” Marinelli said. “You’re trying to get film, you’re trying to break it all down. They have all our games, we have all their games.”

FAMILIAR WITH HISTORY: All eight state finalists have been here before. All of them have won as well.

Ansonia will be making its 27th all-time appearance in the CIAC final — and fourth in the last five years — when it faces Woodland Friday in the S final. The Hawks have made the fewest trips to the final of the bunch — two, in 2004 and 2005 — but have won both.

Here’s the rest of the list, with total finals appearances and records: St. Joseph (13th appearance, 10-2 in previous finals), New Canaan (13th, 8-4), Darien (11th, 4-6), Southington (7th, 1-5), Brookfield (6th, 2-3), Prep (5th, 3-1).

OFFENSE APLENTY: Darien is on a roll with nine straight wins. Ansonia’s as dominant as usual with a 14-0 record. And, how about that mighty St. Joseph offense?

The Cadets have always been talented, as evidenced by the 428 points (38.9 average) they scored in their first 11 games. Their 62-34 rout of Barlow in the M semifinals gave them 207 points over their last three games. Perhaps even more remarkable, they did all that scoring against Barlow after losing tailback Mufasha Abdul Basir to injury on the game’s third play.

The Cadets  got 190 yards rushing and four touchdowns (three on the ground) from wide receiver Shane Miller. Tailback Joe Civitella tacked on 114 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. Quarterback Jordan Vazzano even got into the act on the ground, sprinting to a 52-yard score.

“We just use other kids in different ways. We’re very diverse,” coach Joe DellaVecchia said. “We have a lot of kids that can do a lot of things.”

No one has done more on the ground this season for St. Joseph than Abdul Basir. He will return for Saturday’s M final against Brookfield after suffering a stinger in the semifinals.

“The St. Joseph offense is never just based off of one guy,” said Abdul Basir, who’s run for 2,315 yards and 28 touchdowns. “There’s so many good weapons on the team, from the receiving core all the way down to guys on the sidelines. Everybody’s ready to go.”

When asked Wednesday if he could recall a time when St. Joseph’s offense was this explosive, DellaVecchia pointed to the Cadets’ last state title season, 2010.

“In 2010 we scored at will,” he recalled, “but usually in the third quarter we were pulling everybody out of the games. The big thing is teams are scoring with us, so we’ve been playing a lot longer.”

The Cadets have allowed 109 points over the three games.

15 Responses

  1. ValleyFalls1 says:

    St Joe’s offense is good. But not good enough to compensate for defensive deficiencies, nor to beat New Canaan in 2 tries.

  2. Advocate for Children says:

    Why doesn’t the local media cover the concussion issue in the same way that the national media has done? Studies support that this issue is far more prevalent at the high school level and that these athletes are more vulnerable.

    Abdul Basir takes an obvious hit to the head in last game, an ambulance is called, the athlete reports himself that “he kind of got knocked out, I woke up and found myself on the field” and is carried off in a stretcher. But the head coach–same day– dismisses injury and says he will be playing in next game. And now it’s being called a “stinger”. Really???

    It’s obvious here that it’s OK to sacrifice a child for a W. No questions asked of anyone… Yep–this is football! Let the games begin!

  3. LaTxGuy says:

    that is what makes a team; diversity with many weapons and a strong defense. It is why StJ can compete in one of the state’s toughest conferences , unlike Ansonia with a single star in a cup cake district.

  4. LaTxGuy says:

    Valleyfalls, StJ was the only team that wanted to play NC twice. why they played more than once is crazy. NC is the best team in New England hands down and they will win the state. Darien says they do not like playing a local team? Hell right they don’t when it is NC or StJ. Notice that 3 teams are in for the finals. How many other teams from the Ansonia district are in? Maybe because the next highest ranking maybe is 50th in the state!! Give the FCIAC a little credit. Greenwich is having a tough year but is a top contender. NC wins the state championship!

  5. LaTxGuy says:

    what can one say. It is how things are. The ambulance maybe a safety thing and he was knocked out. I recall being hit as such in college from one who would later become all pro as a tight end for Houston. I was dizzy for weeks after! Slight concussion is what it was and I could not walk straight in the hall ways.

  6. GHS Fan says:

    LaTX guy –

    Greenwich is having a “tough year”… I have to say I disagree.

    They beat West Haven in the first game of the season – running back a partially blocked field goal to do it (a little precursor to Alabama-Auburn)

    In the last game of the season, they emphatically beat Staples to keep the Wreckers out of the playoffs and got this fan a little payback for Thanksgivings past.

    Bookend big wins on an 8-3 season! Cardinals rock!

    Also, we need to keep an eye on Southington/Fairfield Prep. If either one of those teams wins in a blowout, I think they got a legitimate claim.

  7. LaTxGuy says:

    you are correct to say this. Prep at the worse is top 5. Southington will have the right to yell number one. In the state of Connecticut it will be Ansonia for whatever their reason. Ansonia would be the devil if they could beat NC, STJ, Southington, Xavier, Hand, Prep, West Haven, Darien, and Greenwich as well as a list of others! they barely beat Seymour who is 6 -4 by 21 to 20. The CIAC is so politically blind to football and difficulty of schedule. I guess high school football and so they must try to transfer another hope from the Waterbury downs. A S small school in a cup cake division; they would be a joke to the nation to see this if the nation cared.

  8. GHS Fan says:

    I think the concussion frenzy is nothing more than a bunch of hyperbole generated by helmnet manufacturers looking to score a buck off adding a piece of plastic here and there and ramping up the price of the helmet as “safer” than the previous model, trial lawyers looking to score a buck off whateverdeep pockets they can find, and the dopey media looking to publish a story to ruin yet another American tradition
    “Medical studies” blah blah blah…
    I look at clinical studies for a living and I can tell you that the retrospective studies these jokers generate are not worth the paper they are written on. They sample population is faulty, the data is garbage, and the endpoints are rigged. The crap they generate with “imaging studies” are the same thing.
    The NFL settled with the players union because it is cheaper than lawyers fighting endlessly.
    I played football for 8 years, 4 at the college level, and watched teammates go on to become – literally – brain surgeons and rocket and rocket scientists. Same guys that got a conk in the head a couple of times in practice and games.

    All you dopes that want to kill football because it is a bunch of crazy people crahing into each other should shut up and watch a chess tournament, and quit trying to ruin other people’s good time.

  9. anotherfan says:

    Kind off expected this outcome ,Brookfield was 3rd best in SWC with 25 sophomores on the varsity, they will be back so look out St. Joe’s, btw Brookfield won midgets with those guys. Just sayin’

  10. anotherfan says:

    LATXGUY…you come here with bs credentials but you obviously are just another jealous ansonia hater, know one here said anything about ansonia being #1 but in fact you continue to trash the best program in the state with your jealous comments and accusations, grow up and deal with it already.

  11. LaTxGuy says:

    I guess you are an Ansonia fan; ok and fair enough but I feel for the teams and players who rightfully deserve the honor and not a bs right. Why not petition NC or schedule local Shelton to a game? Prove it. Play Xavier which is a walk away or Hand. prove it or does it worry you ? Southington, play them. I think not.

  12. LaTxGuy says:

    Good for Brookfield!! I like it as it reminds me when I was on a team dominated by 10th graders and when we grew into seniors then the scores changed. I like it.

  13. LaTxGuy says:

    it may sound like green envy to you but if they were rightfully the title holders I would be cheering them on. BS of my credentials? Maybe it is you that is the jealous one. I just do not like to see those that played hard and robbed by BS ignorance. Let them play for it and if they are the state champs then I say to you loudly I will brag them on. Nothing about jealousy here; fairness is it and if you are half as intelligent as you try to be then you would know this.

  14. anotherfan says:

    You are either intellegent or not, you can’t really try and sound it ,any way I am wondering about your’s as well,Ansonia has done their best at trying to schedule outside i.e. champion Hilhouse a few years ago (Ansonia dominated) Masuk this year what do yo want? Ansonia will play anyone, they DID prove that! they beat down West Haven this year (yeah i know scrimage ,but you DO know that game is more then a scrimage match also the teams from outside of the FCIAC are not as far apart as Maxpreps list as you see it by comparion NVL is not that far apart,SPB even said this to be true.A healthy Derby (Tyre, broken shoulder))would have beaten Darien yesterday!

  15. LaTxGuy says:

    a scrimmage? what do they mean? I coached and they are to see where your weaknesses are and not much more. Derby beat Darien? Ok dreamer keep thinking this, Derby against Shelton was what score? Please stop the crying that have no meaning. Play the teams and I will be the loudest supporter of them. Ansonia is a very good team and deserve the S title there is no question about it but leave it there.