Playoff bids, home games on line for local teams today

The 2012 high school football regular season reaches its crescendo today with two local teams hoping to get home playoff games, and four others trying to extend their season.

Fitch and Norwich Free Academy have already qualified for the CIAC playoffs and both have a chance to host a home quarterfinal on Tuesday.

Ledyard, Montville, New London and Stonington are all hoping to qualify for the playoffs.

New London (7-2) can take care of matters itself by defeating NFA in the 151st edition of the nation's oldest high school football rivalry. The Whalers will earn a Class M berth with a win and have the slimmest of mathematical chances to make it with a loss.

NFA (9-0) is in the running for a home quarterfinal, but it's going to be close. The Wildcats must win and have either Southington or Xavier of Middletown lose. Should both win, then NFA would most likely take a road trip to Newtown.

NFA has four potential bonuses, the Falcons two.

Montville (8-2) concluded its season Wednesday with a 43-0 rout of St. Bernard/Norwich Tech. Its playoff hopes are now at the mercy of outside forces.

The Indians' best chance at qualifying in Class M is if three of the following four teams lose today - New London, Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton, Barlow of Redding and/or Weston.

Barlow and Weston play each another, which greatly helps Montville's cause.

Stonington (7-2) must beat Westerly in order to have a chance at a Class S berth. It also must hope that Trinity Catholic and Northwest Catholic both lose.

Ledyard (6-3) is the region's biggest longshot. It must beat Fitch and hope that all four of the following teams lose - Hillhouse, New London, Weston and Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton.

Fitch (8-1) could get a Class L home quarterfinal if it wins, Middletown and New Canaan both lose, and the Falcons get enough bonus points to pass Masuk.

Today's other local game is East Lyme at Waterford. All four of the region's games kickoff at 10 a.m.

n.griffen@theday.com

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