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Boy-oh-boy, this weekend is going to be the ginchiest.
There's several state games that you should be scrambling to see. Consider it payback for last week's meh schedule, the Wolcott v. Seymour extravaganza nonwithstanding.
Here then are games that you NEED to see:
Avon (2-1) at Valley Regional/Old Lyme (2-0), Friday. 6:30 p.m.: The WARRIORCATS had a bye last week, ironically coinciding with the same bye week as coach Tim King's beloved Packers. Coincidence? Perhaps. It's worth going to this game just to watch Avon all-state linebacker Jimmy Murphy. He plays twice his size (5-foot-6, 175) and, judging from the way he throws his body around with reckless abandon, es una locura en el cerebro. And now he's playing running back, too. Justin Cheverier has rushed for 245 yards and five touchdowns on a meager 15 carries for VR/OL. He and Dan Figuenick have also averaged 13 and 12 tackles at linebacker, respectively.
Ledyard (3-0) v. New London (1-1) AT Montville, Friday, 6:30 p.m.: We're not sure what to make of either team yet. It's the first time this season that Ledyard is playing an opponent that can match its talent. The Whalers, meanwhile, got run in their last game by Capital/Classical/Achievement (53-14) on Sept. 21. The most intriguing part of this game is the development of each team's respective offensive line. Both are young and inexperienced, and their team's success hinges on their evolution. One last thing about this game: GRUDGE MATCH.
Naugatuck (3-0, 1-0 NVL Copper) at Woodland (3-0, 1-0), 6:30 p.m.: Woodland starts its home games at 6:30 instead of 7, which is good because fans will be getting into their cars at 11:30 instead of midnight. The NVL has been the state's most gonzo league through three weeks, and these two teams have been its most Baylor-rrific. Woodland's Tanner Kingsley threw a state-record 51 touchdowns last season. He's averaging 274 yards this season and has already thrown 14 TDs. Naugy QB Jason Bradley is getting to direct new head coach Craig Bruno's fun-and-stun offense. The state record for most combined points in a game is 130 (Norwich Free Academy 130, Bulkeley of New London 0, in 1902). Remember that if you go watch this sucker.
No. 4 Norwich Free Academy (2-0) at Glastonbury (2-1), Friday, 6:30 p.m.: The state's Friday night main event, LIVE at theday.com. SHILLING. Once more time — HATS OFF to both Jemal Davis of NFA and Glastonbury's Scott Daniel for scheduling one another. NFA was a bit sloppy and undisciplined for over half of last week's game against Fitch. Course NFA still won, 40-14. Davis believed the spotty play was the result of his starters playing so little the week before in a blowout over Montville. The Tomahawks have played in the last five CIAC Class LL playoffs and advanced to the semis four times. They lost a gut-buster to No. 5 Southington in their season-opener (16-9). Class LL hasn't had room for two loss teams in the past, so the Tomahawks are already close to the edge. QB Jalen Ollie prefers to toss it but is a slippery runner. End Andrew Cavanna leads the defense. The winner is going to get a load of playoff points.
Bloomfield (3-0, 1-0 CCC D-III West) at Rocky Hill (3-0, 1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: It's Week 4, and already a division title is going to be decided. Bloomfield has already knocked off two of the division's powers — Berlin (7-0) and Northwest Catholic (39-8). Norvel Stewart has thrown for 283 yards with a TD and INT, and rushed for 238 yards and three TDs. Travis Thompson has rushed for 329 yards and two TDs. Defensive end Jonathen Mumby already has 5½ sacks. The Terriers' ground-and-pound with GOD'S OFFENSE. They have two running backs averaging more than 100 yards a game — Chris Young (179, nine TDs), and Dave Sevigny (109, four TDs). Linebacker Nick Carducci has a team-high 20 solo tackles.
No. 9 Newtown (3-0) at Barlow (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Newtown's offense was a bit pokey the first two weeks, odd given that it returned NINE starters from last season's South-West Conference champs. They woke up last week, scoring the first 35 points in a 35-7 route of Brookfield. Drew Tarantino has averaged 223 yards with seven TDs and two INTs, and Cooper Gold has averaged six yards a carry with three TDs. Linebacker Tim Krapf (34 tackles) is going to make a few all-state teams. The Falcons are committed to the manly discipline of the running arts. QB Jack Shaban runs a triple option offense that's averaged 349 yards rushing a game with just 14 yards passing. Be still, our beating hearts. Shaban has averaged 7.3 yards a carry with five TDs. Teammate Harry Wilson has run 19 times for 280 yards and three TDs.
No. 5 North Haven (3-0) at Hand (2-1), Friday, 7 p.m.: It's North Haven's second big test of the season. Hand may be more vulnerable than years past, but it's still Hand, and it's playing on its home turf (the magical Surf Club). The game is also key to the Class L playoff ratings. North Haven has been the state's finest purveyors of GOD'S FATHER'S OFFENSE, led by Ethan Suraci (8.3 YPC, five TDs) and Michael Montano (11.5 YPC, three TDs). Linebackers Patrick Matos (nine tackles per game) Montano (9.7) and Suraci (9.7) key the D. The Tigers have been evolving around a young corps. Soph Nick van Dell has passed for an average of 159 yards a game with four TDs and three INT and scored on four runs. Senior Conor Dowd has rushed for 256 yards and three TDs, and senior linebacker Dan Rogers has averaged 12 tackles.
No. 7 Darien (3-0, 1-0 FCIAC East) at No. 3 St. Joseph (3-0, 1-0), Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: The Game of the Year of the Week. The game is also for FCIAC championship and Class L positioning. Darien has been a bit of a surprise given it graduated lots. Silas Wyper has thrown for 688 yards with nine TDs and two INTs. Nick Lombardo has been his top target (13 catches, 285 yards, seven TDs). Strong safety Jay Harrison has averaged nine tackles with three sacks. The stat crowd says that the best measure of a quarterback is yards per attempt. The Cadets' Jordan Vazzano has averaged 10.3 yards an attempt. Yeah, that's good. He's completed 54 of 89 passes for 912 yards with 12 TDs and ONE INT. Running back Mufasa Abdul-Basir (8.1 YPC, three TDs) makes defenses pay for dropping bodies in pass coverage. Linebackers Kevin Bortnik and Dylan Ryan have both averaged nine tackles.
• • • •
Tonight's non-Day broadcast schedule:
The affable George DeMaio will call North Haven at Hand: WELI (960-AM), 960WELI.com and iheart radio
Kountry Kyle and Steve Gesseck will be at Naugatuck v. Woodland on WATR (1320-AM) and watr.com. We hope neither of them plan on getting home before midnight.
Ledyard v. New London will be shown live at CPTVSports.
We encourage you to follow everything on Twitter at #cthsfb and #thedayct
• • • •
STORYTIME (and videotime):
The Day's Peter Huoppi and Carlos Diaz produced the following for tonight's NFA v. Glastonbury game:
Mike DiMauro, The Day: No. 4 NFA visits Glastonbury tonight.
Gentleman Jim Bransfield, Middletown Press: Middletown football preview: Defending champs Xavier, Hillhouse tangle again.
Kountry Kyle Brennan, Waterbury Republican-American: 50 shades of embarrassment —only in Connecticut is winning by 49 OK, but 51 a violation.
Kountry Kyle Brennan and Remmington of the NVL blog preview the Naugy v. Woodland game. Kyle, a proud Woodland grad, picked Naugy. DIPLOMA REVOKED.
Bryant Carpenter, Meriden Record-Journal: Area game capsules.
Rich Elliott, Hearst Inc.: Healthy Thompson sparks Shelton offensive machine
Scott Ericson, Hearst Inc.: Darien set to visit St. Joseph.
Carl Josephson, New Britain Herald: New Britain set for rematch of last season's OT thriller against Conard.
Chris McLaughlin, New Britain Herald: Berlin seeks second win tonight against Rockville, and, Newington set for another tough test tonight in Manchester.
Kevin D. Roberts, Bristol Press: Bristol Eastern football looks to get back on track against Bulkeley at Muzzy Field.
Paul Rosano, MaxPreps.com: North Haven emerges as a force in SCC, Connecticut football.
Sean Patrick Starfish of JRC Amalgamated has been an extraordinarily busy chap. He has penned notebooks for the FCIAC, SWC and state, posted plays of the week, has your games of the week and his Audibles.
Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant: Notebook, highlighted by Weaver stopping its 23-game losing streak.
Lastly, but not leastly, THIS two-point conversion.
Below is YOUR weekend schedule. Enjoy.
Thanks for reading.
Vaya con dios....
• • • •
CCC DIVISION I EAST
Newington at Manchester, 6 p.m.
South Windsor at East Hartford, 7 p.m.
CCC DIVISION I WEST
Conard at New Britain, 7 p.m.
CCC DIVISION III EAST
Berlin at Rockville, 6:30 p.m.
Platt at Tolland, 6:30 p.m.
CCC DIVISION III WEST
Bloomfield at Rocky Hill, 7 p.m.
E.O. Smith at Maloney, 6 p.m.
Bulkeley at Bristol Eastern, 7 p.m.
Farmington at Wethersfield, 7 p.m.
Hartford Pub. at Windsor, 7 p.m.
Middletown at Fermi, 7 p.m.
O'Brien Tech at Cheney Tech, 7 p.m.
Fitch at East Lyme, 6:30 p.m.
Bacon Academy at Killingly, 6:30 p.m.
Stonington at Waterford, 6:30 p.m.
Woodstock at Griswold, 6:30 p.m.
Ledyard at New London, 6:30 p.m.
Montville at Plainfield, 6:30 p.m.
Bassick at Wilton, 6 p.m.
Fairfield Warde at New Canaan, 7 p.m.
Bridgeport Central at Danbury, 7 p.m.
Staples at Stamford, 6 p.m.
Derby at Crosby, 7 p.m.
Watertown at Seymour, 7 p.m.
Wilby at Ansonia, 7 p.m.
Naugatuck at Woodland, 6:30 p.m.
Holy Cross at Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.
Wolcott at Torrington, 7 p.m.
Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton at SMSA/University, 6 p.m.
Ellington/Somers at Enfield, 7 p.m.
Granby at Haddam-Killingworth, 5 p.m.
Avon at Valley Regional/Old Lyme, 6:30 p.m.
Nonnewaug at Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby, 6:30 p.m.
Branford at Fairfield Prep, 6 p.m.
Cheshire at Sheehan, 6 p.m.
Amity at Lyman Hall, 7 p.m.
Hamden at Law, 7 p.m.
Hillhouse at Xavier, 7 p.m.
North Haven at Hand, 7 p.m.
Shelton at Foran, 7 p.m.
West Haven at Guilford, 7 p.m.
Wilbur Cross at East Haven, 7 p.m.
New Fairfield at Stratford, 7 p.m.
Bethel at Pomperaug, 7 p.m.
Masuk at Oxford, 7 p.m.
Notre Dame-Ffld. at Bunnell, 7 p.m.
Newtown at Barlow, 7 p.m.
NFA at Glastonbury, 6:30 p.m.
Ridgefield at Notre Dame-W.H., 7 p.m.
CCC DIVISION I WEST
Simsbury at Hall, 2 p.m.
CCC DIVISION III WEST
E.Catholic at Weaver, 2 p.m.
Plainville at Northwest Catholic, 2 p.m.
Bristol Central at RHAM, 3 p.m.
Wilcox Tech at Wolcott Tech, 1 p.m.
Whitney Tech at Vinal/East Hampton, 2 p.m.
Abbott Tech at Platt Tech, 2:30 p.m.
Prince Tech at Bullard-Havens, 2:30 p.m.
Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis at Capital/Classical/Achievement, 5 p.m.
Harding at Fairfield Ludlowe, 3 p.m.
Darien at St. Joseph, 2:30 p.m.
Greenwich at Trinity Catholic, 2 p.m.
Westhill at McMahon, 2 p.m.
Trumbull at Norwalk, 4 p.m.
St.Paul at Kennedy, 3:30 p.m.
Stafford/East Windsor at Cromwell, 2 p.m.
North Branford at Old Saybrook/Westbrook, 2:15 p.m.
Morgan at Coginchaug, 2:30 p.m.
Lewis Mills at Gilbert/NW Regional, 2:30 p.m.
Hyde at Canton, 3 p.m.
Brookfield at Immaculate, 3 p.m.
New Milford at Weston, 3 p.m.
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.