New London, NFA inch closer to Top 10 in football poll

The New London High School and Norwich Free Academy football teams continue to climb in The Day of New London's Top 10 state coaches' poll.

New London (3-0) is ranked 11th, 56 points behind fellow CIAC Class M contender Berlin. The Whalers are off to one of the state's hottest starts and haven't allowed more than seven points a game.

NFA moved up after handing Fitch of Groton its first loss of the season Saturday, 34-27. The Wildcats (3-0) could rise higher if they win Friday at Ledyard (2-1).

Ledyard is the only other area team to receive votes.

Xavier remains the top-ranked team and received 12 of 13 first-place votes. Ansonia received the other first-place vote and is second.

Hand of Madison, Staples of Westport and Windsor round out the top five.

- Ned Griffen



The Day of New London Top 10 state coaches football poll

First-place votes in parentheses, record through Saturday, points tabulated on a 30-28- 26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis, and last week’s ranking:

1. Xavier (12) 3-0 388 1

KNOW THIS: D’Angelo Berry returned the opening kickoff for a 90-yard touchdown. He scored on a 54-yard run on Xavier’s first offensive play, giving it a two touchdown lead one minute, 53 seconds into the game. The Falcons went on to win, 35-14. NEXT: at Hamden, Friday, 7 p.m.

2. Ansonia (1) 3-0 346 2

KNOW THIS: Arkeel Newsome injured his ankle last week against Derby and only had six carries. It didn’t matter — receiver Andrew Matos filled in and ran seven times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. NEXT: at Holy Cross, Friday, 7 p.m

3. Hand 3-0 340 T3

KNOW THIS: We’re less than two weeks away from Hand at Xavier. Joy. NEXT: at Wilbur Cross, Friday, 4 p.m.

4. Staples 3-0 324 T3

KNOW THIS: The Wreckers scored 35 of their points in the first quarter of last Friday’s 55-14 win over McMahon of Norwalk. NEXT: at Danbury, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

5. Windsor 3-0 278 5

KNOW THIS: It was the same old, same old for the Warriors last Friday — Robert Quinn Fleeting completed 23 of 31 passes for 310 yards and five touchdowns and ran six times for 60 yards as Windsor crushed Bristol Eastern, 41-0. NEXT: at Simsbury, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

6. Masuk 3-0 221 T6

KNOW THIS: Frank Bacarella and Thomas Milone both had three touchdowns in last Saturday’s 53-8 thumping of Immaculate. NEXT: at Bunnell, Friday, 7 p.m.

7. West Haven 3-0 218 T6

KNOW THIS: Ervin Philips ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns and Duane Gary added 124 yards rushing and a touchdown as the Westies beat Notre Dame of West Haven last Friday, 34-13. NEXT: at Sheehan, Friday, 7 p.m.

8. Greenwich 2-0 200 8

KNOW THIS: The Cardinals enjoyed a bye week. NEXT: vs. Trumbull, Friday, 7 p.m.

9. Glastonbury 3-0 193 9

KNOW THIS: The Tomahawks travel to fellow unbeaten Manchester Friday in one of the week’s more intriguging games. NEXT: at Manchester, Friday, 6 p.m.

10. Berlin 3-0 156 10

KNOW THIS: Justin Gombotz had 10 carries for 105 yards and three touchdowns as the Redcoats routed Tolland Saturday, 55-13. NEXT: at Weaver, Friday, 3 p.m.

Also receiving votes: New London (3-0), 100 points; Tie, Middletown (3-0) and Southington (3-0), 91; Norwich Free Academy (3-0), 71; Hillhouse-New Haven (2-1), 63; St. Joseph-Trumbull (2-1), 46; Tie, Cromwell (3-0) and Newtown (3-0), 24; New Canaan (2-1), 20; Trinity Catholic-Stamford (3-0), 16; Tie, Brookfield (3-0) and Holy Cross-Waterbury (2-1), 14; North Branford (3-0), 12; Manchester (3-0), 10; Derby (2-1), 9; Barlow-Redding (3-0), Darien (2-1), Ledyard (2-1) and Torrington (1-2), 8; Tie, Avon (2-0) and Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (3-0), 7.

The following coaches voted: Tom Brockett, Ansonia; Jim Buonocore, Ledyard; Craig Bruno, Bunnell-Stratford; Steve Filippone, Hand-Madison; Rob Fleeting, Windsor; Tanner Grove, Montville; Jude Kelly, St. Paul-Bristol; Tim King, Valley Regional-Deep River; Sean Marinan, Xavier-Middletown; John Murphy, Masuk-Monroe; Marce Petroccio, Staples-Westport; Bob Zito, Maloney-Meriden.

Note: Go to www.theday.com to read Ned Griffen’s state high school football notebook.

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