Are you ready for some football?

Members of the senior class at New London High School gather Wednesday on the middle of the basketball court at the John T. Conway Gymnasium for the start of a pep rally.
Members of the senior class at New London High School gather Wednesday on the middle of the basketball court at the John T. Conway Gymnasium for the start of a pep rally.

Ledyard High School and New London - today is your last chance to qualify for states.

Stonington, you're still in the hunt, too.

The high school football season reaches its zenith this Thanksgiving morning as 44 games will be played across the state, many of which will impact the CIAC's four playoff divisions.

There's a chance some games may be postponed after Wednesday's heavy rains. Seymour's home game against Woodland was postponed from Wednesday night to Friday morning.

A Woodland win on Wednesday would've sent both Ledyard and Bethel into the Class M playoffs.

One of the biggest games in the state involves New London and Norwich Free Academy in the 152nd edition of the nation's oldest rivalry.

New London (8-2) is ranked sixth in a very crowded Class L field. Six teams are fighting for four spots.

The Whalers would head to states for the sixth time in seven seasons with a win. They'd earn the fourth seed and a home quarterfinal, too, if unbeaten New Canaan beat Darien (9-1), and unbeaten Ansonia beat Naugatuck (9-1). They cannot be seeded any higher than fourth.

New London's season would be all but over if it lost. It would need two of the three things to qualify - Plainville (4-5) over Farmington (8-2), Bristol Central (4-5) over Bristol Eastern (8-2), or Amity (5-5) over North Haven (8-2).

New Canaan (11-0), Platt (10-0) and Middletown (10-1) have unofficially qualified in Class L.

NFA (8-1), ranked ninth in The Day of New London Top 10 poll, has already qualified for Class LL and would earn a home quarterfinal with a win. It would need two of three bonuses to clinch the second seed - East Lyme (5-5) over Waterford (4-6), Stonington (7-3) over Westerly (3-7), or Killingly (4-6) over Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech (8-2).

A quick explanation of bonus points:

• A team receives 10 points for every win and five points for each tie earned by any opponent it beat.

• A team receives five points for each victory and 2.5 points for each tie earned by an opponent it tied.

A loss drops the Wildcats no lower than sixth.

Five teams have unofficially qualified for Class LL - Newtown (12-0), West Haven (9-1), Glastonbury (10-1), Hall (9-1) and NFA.

The participants aren't official until the CIAC's football committee meets approves them. They're scheduled to meet Saturday morning, provided that games don't get pushed to that day.

A look at the other two divisions:

Class M: Three local teams could make this field.

Valley Regional/Old Lyme (11-0) has earned the top seed. St. Joseph (9-2), Brookfield (9-1), Gilbert/Northwestern Regional (8-2), and Barlow (8-2) are also in.

Ledyard (8-2) qualifies with a win over Fitch (4-6). The Colonels would also qualify if the following happened:

• It earned two of four bonuses - Waterford over East Lyme, Killingly over Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech, New London over NFA, or Plainfield (5-5) over Griswold (5-4).

• Westerly (3-7) beat Stonington (7-3), and Holy Cross (7-3) beat Wolcott (7-3).

• Stonington loses two of three bonuses - Killingly over Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech, Bacon Academy (2-8) over RHAM (3-7), or Griswold over Plainfield (oddly enough, the Bears would lose their other bonus if Ledyard lost.) The Colonels would also need Wolcott to lose one of its three bonuses - Crosby (1-9) over Kennedy (2-8), Derby (5-5) over Shelton (6-4), or Seymour (6-4) over Woodland (9-2).

Stonington's best chance at qualifying is a win over Westerly, a Killingly win, and either a Wolcott loss, or beating Wolcott on bonuses.

The Bears and Wolcott would both have 1,130 points if they won.

Class S: Montville has the slimmest of chances to qualify for Class S.

The Indians (7-4) finished its season on Tuesday night and need the following breaks today to slip in as the eighth and final seed:

• Cromwell (4-6) over Coginchaug (8-2). Coginchaug would get the final berth with a win.

• Coginchaug failing to earn any of its three bonuses - Lewis Mills (2-8) over Nonnewaug (3-7), Old Saybrook/Westbrook (4-6) over Morgan (9-1), and winless Housatonic Regional/Wamogo (0-10) over Gilbert/Northwestern Regional (8-2).

• Wolcott (7-3) over Holy Cross (7-3).

• Rocky Hill (9-1) over Northwest Catholic (7-3).

Bloomfield became the seventh team to qualify when Wilby beat Sacred Heart on Wednesday night. That denied Holy Cross a bonus point and any chance it had to catch the Warhawks.

Capital Prep/Classical Magnet/Achievement First (11-0) is the top seed. Ansonia (11-0), Rocky Hill (9-1), Woodland (9-1), Morgan (9-1) and Prince Tech (9-2) are the other six teams that have earned berths.


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