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Thanksgrabbing Week is always about THE CRAZY.
This Thanksgrabbing Day, THE CRAZY went plumb loco.
■ Fairfield Prep trailed West Haven by 18 points. That's West Haven, the No. 3 team in The Day of New London Top 10 state coaches poll.
FINAL — Prep 29, West Haven 20.
■ New London began the season 1-2 after getting thumped by Capital/Classical/Achievement and Ledyard in back-to-back games. It played its old friends from NFA, ranked ninth.
FINAL — New London 9, NFA 7. The Whalers are headed to states for the sixth time in seven seasons.
■ Darien played at top-ranked New Canaan. New Canaan, which won the FCIAC championship last week. New Canaan, which beat St. Joseph twice, which beat Darien in Week 4 (28-14).
FINAL — Darien 28, New Canaan 24. Jay Harrison ran for a game-winning 1-yard touchdown with 58 seconds left.
The Crazy. THE CRAZY.
Here, then, are YOUR 2013 playoff pairings:
No. 8 Ridgefield (9-2) at No. 1 Newtown (12-0)
No. 7 Fairfield Prep (9-2) at No. 2 Glastonbury (10-1). Now THAT'S a game.
No. 6 West Haven (9-2) at No. 3 Hall (9-1). It's BLUE-ON-BLUE ACTION.
No. 5 NFA (8-2) at No. 4 Southington (9-1).
No. 8 Hand (8-3) vs. No. 1 Darien (10-1) at McMahon.
No. 7 North Haven (9-2) at No. 2 Platt (11-0). Over/under on combined pass attempts — 16. WE LIKE.
No. 6 Farmington (9-2) at No. 3 New Canaan (11-1). Reckon it ain't a good time to visit the Rams, Farmington.
No. 5 New London at No. 4 Middletown (10-1). It's a rematch of the Whalers' last-second win in Week 9 (23-21).
No. 8 Quinebaug Valley (9-2) at No. 1 Valley Regional/Old Lyme (11-0). Valley plays host to its former Pequot mates from Putnam.
No. 7 Ledyard (9-2) vs. No. 2 St. Joseph (10-2) at Trumbull. The ties that bind — Ledyard and the host Trumbull-ites both have livestock right next to their schools. Cut us some slack here — we haven't slept in a while.
No. 6 Gilbert/Northwestern Regional (9-2) vs. No. 3 Barlow (9-2) at Western Connecticut State.
No. 5 Brookfield (9-3) at No. 4 Bethel (9-2). AGAIN. Bethel beat the latter today, 20-0.
Bloomfield (9-2) at No. 1 Capital Prep/Classical/Achievement First (11-0).
No. 7 Coginchaug (9-2) at No. 2 Ansonia (12-0). The state's No. 1 ranking is yours again, Chargers. Take good care of it.
No. 6 Prince Tech (9-2) at No. 3 Rocky Hill (10-1).
No. 5 Morgan (10-1) at No. 4 Woodland (10-2).
Remember — all quarterfinals are Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
NOTHING is official, either, until the CIAC's football committee gives everything its A-OK on Saturday morn.
• • • •
Here are results from Thanksgrabbing Week involving teams in The Day Top 10 state coaches' poll, teams headed to states, or other notable results. What a wonderful mess:
■ Co-No. 7 Darien 28, No. 1 New Canaan 24, but you already knew that.
■ No. 2 Ansonia 66, Naugatuck 28.
Arkeel Newsome ran 40 times for a career-high 406 yards with seven touchdowns in the 115th game between the two. Roger Cleaveland and Kountry Kyle Brennan of the Waterbury Republican-American, Rich Elliott of Hearst Inc., and Pooch Diggity Dogg of JRC Amalgamated reporting.
■ Fairfield Prep 29, No. 3 West Haven 20
■ No. 4 Newtown 42, Masuk 7 (Tuesday)
Cooper Gold ran 24 times for 256 yards and five touchdowns. Doug Bonjour of Hearst Inc. reporting.
■ No. 5 Glastonbury had Thanksgrabbing Week off
It finished its season last Saturday with a 41-7 win over Simsbury.
■ No. 6 Platt 28, Maloney 8
Andrew McBride completed 10 of 18 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown and ran for another. Bryant Carpenter, proud father of Bean and The Bub, reporting for the Meriden Record-Journal.
■ Co-No. 7 St. Joseph 61, Trumbull 26
Mufasa Abdul-Basir had 19 carries for 241 yards and three scores. Doug Bonjour of Hearst Inc. reporting.
■ New London 9, No. 9 NFA 7
Orrin Parke ran for 108 yards and a touchdown and Garrett Burdick kicked a game-winning 40-yard field goal with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left in the nation's oldest rivalry (152 years, 1875 to present). Mike DiMauro of TEAM DAY reporting.
■ No. 10 Southington 38, Cheshire 6
Stephen Barmore completed 12 of 19 passes for 188 yards and two TDs and ran for another. Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant, Dave Borges of JRC Amalgamated, Carl Josephson of the New Britain Herald, and Ken Lipshez of the Meriden Record-Journal all reporting.
■ Barlow 46, Weston 14
Jack Shaban ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns and added an interception as the Falcons dropped 39 second-half points on the Trojans. Bob Birge of the Norwalk Hour and Rich Gregory of Hearst Inc. reporting. Gregory also blogged about Barlow's awesome triple option. Yes, that's redundant as awesome is implied when one talks about the triple option.
■ Bethel 20, Brookfield 0
QB Joey Piatnik directed the triple option masterfully (19 carries, 97 yards) for the Wildcats, who'll play host to Brookfield AGAIN next Tuesday. Kevin Duffy of Hearst Inc. reporting.
■ Bristol Eastern 21, Bristol Central 18
It was about the only thing that went right for the Lancers (9-2) as it was squeezed out of the Class L playoffs. Colin McDonough of the Hartford Courant, and Dave Greenleaf of the Bristol Press reporting.
■ Coginchaug 35, Cromwell 6
Jack Granger ran nine times for 101 yards and a TD. Shoreline Jimmy Zanor of Hearst Inc. reporting.
■ Fairfield Warde 44, Fairfield Ludlowe 20
T.J. Gallagher ran 27 times for a Fairfield-record 313 yards with five touchdowns for Warde and was named MVP. He kinda' had to win that honor. Mary Albl of Hearst Inc., and Ryan Lacey of Hearst Inc. reporting.
■ Farmington 34, Plainville 0
Five different players scored for Farmington, which finished ninth in the Class L rankings the last two seasons and missed states. Matt Straub of the New Britain Herald reporting.
■ Gilbert/Northwestern Regional 27, Housatonic Regional/Wamogo 22
Tony Ortiz ran 10 times for 139 yards and two scores. The Yellowjackets had already qualified for Class M and rested their first-team defense. Peter Paguaga of JRC Amalgamated reporting.
■ Greenwich 27, Staples 7
Austin Longi ran for 224 yards and three touchdowns as the Cardinals prevented the Wreckers from qualifying for Class LL. Mary Albl of JRC Amalgamated, David Fierro of the Greenwich Time, and Steve Geoghegan of the Norwalk Hour reporting. Wait — Mary covered two games?
■ Hand 41, Guilford 20 (Wednesday)
Tommy Wilson ran eight times for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Hunn of JRC Amalgamated reporting.
■ Holy Cross 39, Wolcott 38
Gerron Pendarvis caught a tipped 41-yard Hail Mary from Joe Kalosky with four-tenths of a second left to give the Crusaders the day's wildest win. Holy Cross trailed by as much as 26-6. Ed Daigneault of the Waterbury Republican-American reporting. He also wrote an awesome lead, too.
■ Ledyard 49, Fitch 19
Joe Carter scored on runs of 59 and 66 yards to break the game open. Some dude of TEAM DAY reporting.
■ Middletown 13, Windsor 6 (Tuesday)
■ Morgan 27, Old Saybrook/Westbrook 6
Jake Ward ran 40 times for 208 yards and two scores. The Hartford Courant has a blurb HERE.
■ North Haven 41, Amity 14
■ Quinebaug Valley 14, Killingly 6
John Sanderson ran 23 times for 121 yards and a score. An unidentified reporter reporting for the Norwich Bulletin.
■ Ridgefield 35, Danbury 6 (Wednesday)
Will Bonaparte ran 28 times for 292 yards and two scores. Rich Gregory of Hearst Inc. reporting.
■ Rocky Hill 21, Northwest Catholic 6
Chris Young ran 23 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns. GOD'S OFFENSE. Young also told Matt McDonough of the Hartford Courant that "the turf is lovely" at the Terriers' McVicar Field. That made us laugh.
■ Shelton 56, Derby 20
Mark Piccirillo ran 16 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 6 of 12 passes for 148 yards and two scores. The Gaels' (6-4) lost to three playoff teams — Fairfield Prep, Hand (44-41) and West Haven (35-26). Dan Nowak of JRC Amalgamated, and Lou Pintek of Hearst Inc. reporting.
■ Valley Regional/Haddam-Killingworth 48, Haddam-Killingworth 0 (Tuesday)
• • • •
Two features that you should read. The first is about Ansonia's Jack Williams written by Doug Bonjour. Williams' parents both died in a little over a year.
The late George Pinho was the subject of Kyle Brennan's feature for the Citizen's News. Pinho was the father of Woodland senior Jack Pinho, coached several youth sports in Beacon Falls, Prospect and Naugatuck, and later became a Woodland assistant. He passed suddenly last January.
• • • •
Chris Elsberry of Hearst Inc. reported on Thanksgrabbing that Harding dismissed Jack Cochran. The end. He coached just three games there.
• • • •
In-house note — an entry-level Polecat employee will join John Holt and Joe Zone of WFSB-3's Friday Night Football tonight to discuss the playoffs. They'll be yapping roughly around 11:15 p.m.
Thanks for reading. More later.
East Lyme returned just five players with any varsity experience and lost its first four games. It's made gradual improvement and downed Woodstock Academy last Friday, 42-7, its second-straight victory.