Published October 24. 2013 11:30PM Updated October 25. 2013 5:42AM
The state has two less games this weekend as both Immaculate and the Housatonic Regional/Wamogo co-op forfeited their games.
Immaculate AD Jeff Castaldi told Sean Patrick Bowley of GameTimeCT.com on Wednesday that it's down to 15 players, seven who are freshman.
"We had 44 kids in the spring, but at our first day of (fall) practice, we were down to 26," Castaldi told Bowley. "The last couple of games we've played with 21. Then we lost three more kids to injuries during the Crosby game and they're piling up."
Chris Brodeur of the Connecticut Post reported Thursday that Immaculate coach Tom Taylor has left the team for the rest of this season for what Castaldi said were, "personal reasons."
"It's unfortunate," Castaldi told Brodeur. "I'm not happy about it."
The Mustangs were to play Stratford. The forfeit brings their losing streak to 43 straight games, third-worst in state history according to the Connecticut High School State Record Book. Their last win was over Barlow on Oct. 10, 2009 (28-21).
HR/W head coach Daron Bayer told Timothy W. Gaffney of the Waterbury Republican American on Thursday that the team was down to 14 kids at one practice this week due to injuries and illnesses. There were 33 players listed on the roster the program uploaded to casciac.org.
"We'll evaluate it on a week-to-week basis," Bayer told Gaffney. "We'll hopefully get some players back next week without losing any more and get back to football."
The forfeit gives Lewis Mills its first win this season.
As far as games that are being played this weekend:
Valley Regional/Old Lyme (5-0, 3-0 Pequot South) at Morgan (5-0, 2-0), today, 6:30 p.m.
The only two unbeaten teams left in the Pequot Football Conference. VR/OL has allowed a league-low 52 points, beating perennial powers North Branford (38-13), Avon (21-18) and Hyde (34-0). Junior linebackers Justin Cheverier (43), Tyler Cheverier (47) and Dan Figuenick (46) have been the leading tacklers for the WARRIORCATS. The Huskies have used their mas grande offensive line to overpower opponents. Jake Ward has averaged 242 yards a game with 20 touchdowns for Morgan while Alex Lipka has thrown for 616 yards and seven TDs.
No. 1 Ansonia (6-0, 2-0 NVL Brass) at Wolcott (4-2, 2-0), today, 7 p.m.
Wolcott had to play Newtown, the best team in the South-West Conference, last week and was ravaged 56-13. Now it gets to play the best team in the NVL. This is not helping the Eagles' CIAC Class M playoff chances.
Windsor (5-1, 1-1 CCC D-II West) at Bristol Eastern (5-1, 1-1), today, 7 p.m.
Windsor's offense was stuffed by Farmington in last week's 13-7 loss. That doesn't happen often. The Lancers have been a surprise in the CCC and began the season with a win over perennial power Berlin (21-14).
No. 9 Hand (5-1) at Shelton (5-1), today, 7 p.m.
Hand has returned to The Day coaches' Top 10 after winning five in a row, including victories over North Haven (21-6) and Fairfield Prep (35-27). It's also one game into its four-game Gauntlet From Hell as it plays Shelton, Xavier and No. 6 West Haven in succession. The Gaels fought until the end against Prep two weeks ago with the latter tacking on a last-minute touchdown. Quarterback Mark Piccirillo (leg) missed last week's game but is scheduled to start this game, according to Pooch Diggity Dogg of JRC Amalgamated.
Masuk (4-2) at Bethel (4-2), today, 7 p.m.
Both teams are on the brink of losing any chance at the postseason. Masuk has lost two in a row, including last week's beating at the hands of Ansonia (56-21), its worst loss since 1992. P.J. Kokkoros has averaged 76 rushing yards a game with six TDs and has 18 catches for 485 yards and three TDs. Joseph Piatnik (601 yards rushing, eight TDs) and Wildcats will use their triple option offense to play keep away.
No. 2 New Canaan (6-0) at Staples (5-1), today, 7 p.m.
This game makes the list simply because of name value. Staples was erratic in the first half of its last two games. It cannot do that against a Rams team that's blitzed teams at a dizzying pace (they scored on their first seven possessions in last week's 48-20 win over Chicopee, Mass.) New Canaan's Cole Harris leads one of the state's nastiest defenses.
Oxford (4-2) at Brookfield (5-1), today, 7 p.m.
Oxford has hit the "must win" stage as it's ranked 17th out of 38 Class S teams. Chris Van Kamerik has 27 catches for 471 yards and nine TDs for the Wolverines. The Bobcats are fourth in Class M and could likely withstand another loss, but it closes the season at third-rated Barlow and seventh-rated Bethel. Brookfield has averaged 320 yards a game with Bobby Drysdale (165 yards per game, 14 TDs) leading the way.
Gilbert/Northwestern Regional (4-1, 2-0 Pequot West) at Canton (4-1, 3-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.
G/NR is sixth in Class M, a division which might allow for a three-loss team to qualify. Tony Ortiz has run for 159 yards a game with nine TDs and has nine catches for 146 yards and two TDs for the Yellowjackets. The Warriors are rated eighth in Class S and enjoying perhaps their best season since reviving the program in 2007. A state playoff berth would make it the best season, but they likely need to win out.
Ridgefield (5-1) at Darien (5-1), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Both teams are in the FCIAC championship race and, more importantly, the state playoff races. Ridgefield is ninth in LL and would likely need a lot of breaks to qualify if it lost again. Ryan Dunn has completed 66-percent of his passes for 1,051 yards with 13 TDs. The Blue Wave are ranked eighth in Class M. Sophomore defensive end Mark Evanchick is a pain to block.
• • • •
JRC Amalgamated: Week 6 Plays of the Week.
Mary Albl, JRC Amalgamated: 'Underdog' Staples ready for another epic vs. No. 2 New Canaan.
Gentleman Jim Bransfield, Middletown Press: Jim Bransfield: Xavier faces 'must-win' against Notre Dame at Palmer.
Kountry Kyle Brennan, Waterbury Republican-American: His Week 7 questions; two games to watch; and his "bold" prediction.
Kountry Kyle Brennan and Remmington, NVL Blog: Week 7 predictions; and, their game of the week (Seymour at Derby).
Bryant Carpenter, Meriden Record-Journal: Pass and they receive; and, Week 7 capsules.
Gerry deSimas Jr., Collinsville Press: Farmington Valley previews.
Pooch Diggity Dogg, JRC Amalgamated: West Haven's McCarthy on brink of history; and, Pooch's Picks.
Mike "Wacky for Wacha" DiMauro, TEAM DAY: Week 7 previews.
Scott Ericson, Hearst Inc.: New Canaan ready for a 'donnybrook' at Staples Friday night.
Tom Evans, Norwalk Hour: Fraccaroli is Wilton's big man in trenches.
David Fierro, Hearst Inc.: Greenwich hoping to get back on track vs. Fairfield Warde.
Timothy W. Gaffney, Waterbury Republican-American: G-N gears up for two tough tests.
Dave Greenleaf, Bristol Press: No. 8 Farmington up next for Rams tonight.
Hearst Inc.: Midseason report; and, Week 7 guide.
Carl Josephson, New Britain Herald: Coming off overtime win, New Britain has tough test in Hall.
Chris McLaughlin, New Britain Herald: Berlin looks to stay hot against Northwest Catholic; and, Indians seeking second straight win against East Hartford tonight.
Chris McNamee, Hearst Inc.: Elite 8.
Norwich Bulletin: Game of the week (Killingly v. Montville); and, Week 7 previews.
Kevin D. Roberts, Bristol Press: Lancers face toughest test of season against Warriors.
Dave Ruden, The Ruden Report: FCIAC midseason report card.
Sean Patrick Starfish, JRC Amalgamated: Audibles; and, his midseason report. The latter is a must read, even if all the flash animation may likely cause your computer monitor to explode.
Some guy, The Lonesome Polecat: Top 10 poll truths, myths and bunkum, notables, STORYTIME, and 4,070 words.
Matt Straub, New Britain Herald: Plainville seeks key win over Terriers.
Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant: Notes; and, games to watch.
Non-high school stories worth reading:
Chris Brown of SmartFootball.com, Grantland: Feature on Baylor's Art Briles and his ridiculous offense.
John Marshall, Associated Press: Run game key to running the spread. Oh, the times we've seen coaches forget this point.
Howard Fendrich, Associated Press: Smash-mouth football a dying art in pass-happy NFL. We miss you, Chuck Knox and Marty Schottenheimer.
Vaya con dios….