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So, yeah, this grand-spanking new football season hasn't gotten off to the best start. All six games played so far devolved into blowouts, although Ledyard v. Waterford was close for three quarters before Josiah Shumaker began running for touchdowns on every fourth carry.
The average margin of victory in said six games — 33 points.
It can only get better, good reader, so here's a list of the games that YOU should attend to see a hotly contested, um, contest.
All these games are being played tonight (i.e. Friday, Sept. 14, in case you happen to read this in December):
New Britain at Glastonbury, 6:30 p.m.: New Britain made itself respectable last year after a rare losing season. Now it wants to be a playoff contender again. Glastonbury already has that status as it seeks its sixth-straight Class LL postseason berth.
Ansonia at Torrington, 7 p.m.: Torrington returns 13 starters from last year's seven-win team. The Chargers graduated almost every starter from their 2011 Class M championship team. They do have one key player back — record-setting tailback Arkeel Newsome.
Gilbert/Northwestern Regional at Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton, 7 p.m.: A contest between Pequot Uncas contenders and Class M hopefuls. GNRCWTB has a promising backfield in juniors John Lippincott (quarterback) and Tony Ortiz (running back). The Patriots have one of the state's top recruits in UConn-bound tight end/linebacker Tommy Myers. They also have a cool windmill at their home field.
Greenwich at Ridgefield, 7 p.m.: THE game of the weekend. Both FCIAC contenders are loaded. Ridgefield quarterback Connor Rowe threw for a school-record 1,974 yards with 18 touchdowns last fall. Sam Gravitte ran for a team-high 856 yards (7.38 YPC) and 13 touchdowns. Greenwich will be without QB Liam O'Neil (fractured finger) for five-or-six weeks. It does have 37 seniors. Some teams don't have that many players.
St. Joseph at Staples, 7 p.m.: St. Joseph was inexperienced last season and got knocked around the majority of the time. It begins this season playing at one of the Class LL favorites. It's also Staples' first home night game as it added lights. St. Joseph's fortunes will get better eventually. If we could be serious for a moment, St. Joseph returns enough talent to make the playoffs, so it might as well put said talent to the test A.S.A.P.
Shelton at Cheshire, 7 p.m.: Back in the good 'ol days (the late nineties), the entire Southern Connecticut Conference season led up to these two perennial state title contenders playing on the final Friday night of the year. Now they're playing Week 1. Nothing is sacred. The Gaels have a lot of promising young 'uns. It's Cheshire first game under interim coach Don Drust, who takes after the resignation of four-time state championship coach Mark Ecke.
Valley Regional/Old Lyme at North Branford, 7 p.m.: VROL ran the Pequot Sassacus the past two years. That could change this season as North Branford has one of the best offenses in the league.
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As advertised, we have a hyperlinks smorgasbord featuring league previews and capsules from Sean Bowley and the Connecticut Post, Mark Jaffee and the Waterbury Republican-American, the Hartford Courant, the New Haven Register, and you're beloved Day paper.
Enjoy your football weekend.
Vaya con dios.
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