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When we last left you, we here at Polecat HQ were grousing how Friday's postponements pushed many of this weekend's games to Saturday.
Oh, man, was it worth the wait.
On a sunny and splendid Saturday, the games got better as the day got longer.
From Madison to Meriden, Danbury to Naugatuck, Canton to Trumbull, the day had some real beauties.
In Naugatuck, Kristian Harmeling ran a quarterback keeper for a 53-yard touchdown with over four minutes left as defending CIAC Class S champion Holy Cross of Waterbury survived high-scoring Naugatuck, 27-21. The win kept Holy Cross (4-2) from having its Class S playoff chances staked for good. Its postseason chances are still teetering on the edge, but it sure beats toppling into the abyss.
(Kyle Brennan has got your hook-up over at the Waterbury Republican-American.)
In Madison, Hand quickly learned the joys of being No. 1. In its first game since earning that ranking, it was nearly knocked off by No. 7 West Haven. The Westies' Ervin Philips scored on a 1-yard run to pull his team to within a point with three minutes, 32 seconds left. Head coach Ed McCarthy opted to go for the win, and Javon Taylor's pass to Philips went off the latter's fingertips. Hand won, 21-20.
(Pooch Diggity Dog was all eyes and ears for the New Haven Register.)
In Danbury, Tim Longo ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left, giving Westhill of Stamford a 24-20 win over Danbury. The Hatters had taken the lead with two minutes, 5 seconds left, but Westhill wouldn't stay down. It also continued what's been a season of rebirth for the Vikings (4-2). They've struggled greatly in the past, but have a new attitude under first-year coach Frank Marcucio.
(Read Emery Filmer's account at the Stamford Advocate.)
In Trumbull, New Canaan overcame a sluggish first half and rallied to beat St. Joseph of Trumbull, 27-21. New Canaan held the Cadets scoreless in the second half, capped off by Cole Harris' game-winning 56-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter. It was a gutsy effort by the inexperienced Rams. And the loss was doubly painful for the Cadets as quarterback Jordan Vazzano was injured to end the third quarter. He was later whisked away from the field in a golf cart holding the right side of his abdomen. It would be a shame if he were to miss any games, as with him, St. Joseph is a legitimate Class M contender.
(Let the Stamford Advocate's Dave Ruden tell you more.)
In Canton, the home team stopped a two-point conversion by Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton with no time left to win, 28-26. Canton trailed by as much as 14 points before rallying. Kyle Mullins ran for a game-tying 4-yard touchdown with 2:26 left in the game. He followed by running for a game-winning two-point conversion The Patriots' Kyle Wing ran for a 3-yard touchdown as time expired, but a two-point conversion run failed.
(Gerry deSimas Jr., the maestro of The Collinsville Press, witnessed the thriller.)
Finally, in Meriden, there was Saturday's coup-de-grace — unbeaten Southington took down No. 8 Glastonbury, 28-21, in both improbable and loco fashion.
Oh, yeah, THIS game. Yeah.
Glastonbury spent the first half playing like a team hell-bent on proving it would win a state title. It led, 21-7, with several offensive players putting on a show.
The Blue Knights pulled it together in the second half and tied it, 21-21, with over nine minutes left in the game.
A sack and fumble gave the Tomahawks the ball at the Southington 8-yard line with 3:20 remaining.
On third-and-goal from the 5, Glastonbury passed. .... and Blue Knights linebacker Zach Jamele intercepted the ball at the goal line. He rumbled to the Tomahawks 35-yard line with over two minutes left.
Jarrid Grimmett ran for a 17-yard touchdown to give Southington a 28-21 lead with 24.6 seconds left.
There was more — good grief, was there more — but we'll let Gentleman Bryant Carpenter of the Meriden Record-Journal take it from here.
(Polecat HQ will file a report on that game, and more, in the coming days.)
Man, football is the best. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
Below is an overview on how the teams in The Day of New London's Top 10 state coaches' poll fared this weekend.
The next Day Top 10 will be announced Monday on WFSB-3's six o' clock news. It will be published Tuesday in YOUR Day paper with all sorts of goodies.
Thanks for reading.
And away we go:
No. 1. Hand of Madison beat No. 7 West Haven, 21-20.
No. 2. Ansonia beat Watertown Thursday, 49-21. Mark Jaffee of the Waterbury Republican-American reporting.
No. 5. Xavier of Middletown beat Amity of Woodbridge Thursday, 52-17. The Middletown Press provided a few words on said game.
No. 6. Masuk of Monroe beat Brookfield Saturday, 42-14. Chris Brodeur of Hearst Inc. reporting.
Southington beat No. 8 Glastonbury, 28-21.
No. 9. Greenwich beat Bridgeport Central Saturday, 56-6. David Fierro of the Greenwich Time reporting.
No. 10. Berlin beat Rockville of Vernon Friday, 47-0. Chris McLaughlin of the New Britain Herald reporting.
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.