H.S. football capsules / Thanksgiving week

Valley Regional/Old Lyme QB Phil Cohen (12) will try to lead the Warriors to an 11-0 regular season tonight at Haddam-Killingworth. Valley/OL will also clinch the No. 1 seed in Class M with a win.
Valley Regional/Old Lyme QB Phil Cohen (12) will try to lead the Warriors to an 11-0 regular season tonight at Haddam-Killingworth. Valley/OL will also clinch the No. 1 seed in Class M with a win.

Today's Games

Valley/Old Lyme at Haddam-Killingworth, 5 p.m.

Records: H-K (0-10, 0-5); Valley/Old Lyme (10-0, 0-5).

Last week: H-K was idle: Valley/Old Lyme defeated Gilbert/NW Regional 35-0.

Outlook: Very little stands between Valley/Old Lyme and the top seed in the Class M state playoffs. Valley/Old Lyme was quite impressive last week dispatching Gilbert/Northwestern Regional, the first-place team in the Pequot Football Conference's West Division. It's possible Valley/Old Lyme draws Stonington in the quarterfinals. The Warriors can also win the PFC South Division outright (Morgan is 4-1) with a win. This game was orginally scheduled for Wednesday night, but was moved up a day due to the threat of inclement weather on Wednesday.

St. Bernard/Norwich Tech at Montville, 6:30 p.m.

Records: St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (1-9); Montville (6-4).

Last week: St. Bernard/Norwich Tech lost to Bulkeley 34-7; Montville was idle.

Outlook: The town championship doesn't appear to have much drama, not with St. Bernard/Norwich Tech having lost eight straight. But Montville senior Jeremiah Crowley needs 73 yards to eclipse 2,000 for the season and 218 overall to move into the top 25 in state history for single season rushing yards. Crowley enters the game with 1,928 and needs 218 to surpass UConn running back Max DeLorenzo of Berlin for 25th on the state list.

Thursday's Games

(All games 10 a.m.)

Waterford at East Lyme

Records: Waterford (4-6); East Lyme (5-5).

Last week: Waterford lost to Ledyard 41-20; East Lyme lost to New London 44-24.

Outlook: Could this game the day's most competitive game in the region? East Lyme needs this one for a winning season. Waterford has been competitive with virtually all opponents this season. East Lyme, despite missing several starters last week, ran for nearly 400 yards against New London, while the Lancers and quarterback Seth Hoagland have a solid passing game. East Lyme and Waterford close the football season against each other and open the boys' basketball season next month.

Westerly at Stonington

Records: Westerly (3-7); Stonington (7-3).

Last week: Westerly was idle; Stonington defeating Killingly 41-18.

Outlook: The nation's longest continious Thanksgiving Day football game is the most well-attended game in the region even if the teams are winless. But this is a must for Stonington and its playoff hopes. The Bears are ranked ninth in the Class M state playoff rankings (the top eight teams qualify). They must win this game and hope for outside help to qualify. The Bears' best hope is for either Killingly to beat the eighth-rated Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech co-op (8-2), or for No. 3 Brookfield (9-2) to win at No. 7 Bethel (8-2), and to get the maximum amount of bonus points.

Fitch at Ledyard

Records: Fitch (4-6); Ledyard (8-2).

Last week: Fitch was idle; Ledyard defeated Waterford 41-20

Outlook: This season probably hasn't progressed the way first-year Fitch coach Jordan Panucci planned. But the Falcons could fly into the offseason with a win here, denying Ledyard a playoff spot. Ledyard must win to return to the Class M playoffs, although it is unlikely the Colonels would earn a home game in the quarterfinals. Coach Jim Buonocore said he expects senior Khary Childs, who injured his ankle last week, to play. Childs is among the league's best overall players.

New London at NFA

Records: New London (8-2, 2-0); NFA (9-1, 2-0)

Last week: New London defeated East Lyme 44-24; NFA was idle.

Outlook: The nation's longest running high school football game (this will be the 152nd meeting) could be a beauty in 2013. New London needs a win to qualify for the Class L playoffs and could earn a home game in the quarterfinals. NFA would earn a home game in the Class LL quarterfinals with a win. New London quarterback Danny Maranda has thrown for 1,892 yards and 26 touchdowns, while Jose Garcia (797 receiving, 618 return) has more than 1,400 all-purpose yards. Orrin Parke leads the Whalers with 1,096 yards rushing. But can New London's suspect run defense stop Boston College-bound Marcus Outlow (1,211 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns) and Khaleed Exum-Strong (549, 8 TDs).

Mike DiMauro


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