Those around these here eastern Connecticut parts might not be familiar with Brookfield. It ain't exactly within walking distance of Chester, Deep River, Essex or Old Lyme.
Reckon that those of you who are part of the Valley Regional/Old Lyme community are wondering about these Bobcats, who you're WARRIORCATS face in today's CIAC Class M semifinal at Cheshire High School.
We here at Polecat Worldwide are always working to help YOU, so please allow us to give you a primer.
Brookfield is coached by Rich Angarano, one of the state's best coaches who you rarely hear about. He started as an assistant in 1987 and took over as head coach in 1999. He's led the Bobcats to four state championship appearances since 2003. That includes a 16-14 win over Ledyard in the 2008 Class M final.
The Bobcats were sort of the SWC's wild card to begin this season as they were going to start so many sophomores. Just five seniors start on offense and four on defense. Most of the others are sophs.
Brookfield's sophs are crazy talented, though — they led the town to the 2011 Pop Warner midget national championship.
"Against Bethel (in Tuesday's quarterfinals), out offensive line from center to tight end and wings were all sophomores," Angarano said. "And our two running backs are sophomores. That's six. And our other running back is a junior. We're pretty young. Then on defense, we play four seniors. There are probably 10 tenth graders that'll get a varsity letter. Three that have been critical to the team — the long snapper, a holder and a kicker — they don't play offense or defense, but are three vital cogs in our wheel."
The Bobcats started 2-0 when they met eventual SWC champion Newtown on Sept. 27. They were beaten, 35-7.
"I thought we looked young, and we got spanked pretty good there" Angarano said. "It was not a game that I thought we played well at all."
Brookfield rebounded and won seven straight games. That run culminated with a 28-26 win at Barlow (Nov. 15) that determined who'd play Newtown in the SWC final and earned the Bobcats a playoff berth.
"When you play a team like Barlow or Bethel, they're going to score a lot of points (with the triple option)," Angarano said. "The Barlow game, we had a two-minute span where both teams scored twice (to end the first quarter).
"(Defensive coordinator) Bob Drysdale and our coaches put in a great scheme (against Barlow), and I think we did a nice job against it. Of course you may be able to contain it once and a while, but he's (quarterback Jack Shaban) going to break off one."
Brookfield lost to Newtown again, 28-7, in the SWC final on Nov. 19.
Bethel beat the Bobcats, 20-0, on Thanksgiving to get it into the playoffs. Oddly enough, it would play host to Brookfield for the second time in five days.
"I thought we played well (against Newtown)," Angarano said. "The score may not indicate it, but I think anyone who saw the game would agree. Then we go to Bethel on Thanksgiving, which needs the win to get in, and we needed to win to host (a quarterfinal). … It was another game where we went from the 20-to-the-20, but didn't score. We gave up a blocked punt for a touchdown and in the last minute of the first half a Hail Mary. Before you know it, it's 20-0, and we're not able to get into the end zone.
"We lost the game. We lost a shot to host a state game, but that's all we lost. In all honestly, that's what I told my team. That's all you lost. Now you have an opportunity. I told the younger guys (the quarterfinal) was a statement game for the underclassmen and a defining game for the seniors."
Brookfield trailed Bethel by six points when it began its final drive at its own 23-yard line with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left.
Senior quarterback Brad Westmark, a two-year starter, drove the Bobcats down field. They converted twice on fourth down.
"I told him. … this was a defining moment for him," Angarano said. "He went out and executed."
Sophomore Bobby Drysdale ran for a 4-yard touchdown to tie the game with 38 seconds. Dane Borges made his first extra point of the night to give his team the lead.
"My offensive coordinators, Bryan Muller, who's also my assistant coach, and Billy Thompson, who was our quarterback in 2005 when we went to the state championship, they both did an outstanding job in that two minute drive on calling some very, very successful play," Angarano said.
The offense revolved around Westmark last season as Brookfield couldn't establish a consistent running game. He threw 318 times in 10 games for 2,427 yards with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions.
The Bobcats have evolved into a running team this year as they've used the wing-T and double wing to average 282 yards a game.
Drysdale (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) has rushed for 1,829 yards (9.53 average) and 25 touchdowns. Junior Danny Jackson has run for 642 yards and 10 touchdowns, and sophomore Austin Reich has 630 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
Brookfield will move into a spread set when needed. Westmark has thrown for 1,364 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.
"This year we have the run, and (Westmark) is just running the offense to perfection," Angarano said. "When we go into our 'NASCAR' no-huddle spread, we can do that. We can get in our wing. We're able to do both.
"Bobby, his numbers speak for themselves. He could easily run for over 2,000 yards. Austin Reich, our fullback, he's another sophomore, and Danny Jackson, boy, did he have a game against Barlow (five carries for 96 yards, 1 TD), he can run with the best of them. Those are three good runners."
Reich has a team-high 97 tackles at linebacker and sophomore defensive end Nick Sees has 81 and a team-high nine sacks. Junior safety Gabe Pompette has 68 tackles and five interceptions.
Senior nose tackle Justin Lyon has 66 tackles and eight sacks and Drysdale, another linebacker, has 69 tackles and four sacks.
• • • •
Stop. PREVIEW TIME:
(All games 2 p.m. — follow on Twitter at #CTHSFB)
NO. 4 SOUTHINGTON (10-1) VS. NO. 8 RIDGEFIELD (10-2)
WHERE: West Haven High.
WATCH: CIAC.tv (but you must pay).
MEET THE BLUE KNIGHTS: Sr. QB Stephen Barmore (2,550 yards passing, 64.4-pct., 35 TDs; 357 yards rushing, 3 TD); Sr. RB Tyler Hyde (889 yards rushing, 16 TDs); Sr. WR Alex Jamele (63 catches, 1,314 yards, 24 TDs); Sr. LB Zak Jamele (106 tackles); Sr. DE Zach Maxwell (74 tackles, 17 sacks).
MEET LOS TIGRES: Jr. Ryan Dunn (2,066 yards passing, 63.2-percent, 27 TD); Sr. Will Bonaparte (1,750 yards rushing, 19 TDs); Sr. WR-SS Andrew Chuma (9 TDs); Sr. OL-DL Lucas Goff; Sr. OL-DL Matt Kissell.
OUTLOOK: Honestly, we're a bit perplexed by this game. Ridgefield took down top-seeded Newtown (35-33) in the quarterfinals in a game that was closer than it should've been (the Tigers led by as much as 35-13 in the second half). Southington ransacked NFA (52-14) in its quarterfinal. The Yale-bound Barmore has made the Blue Knights' passing game their most effective weapon. A match-up to watch is if the Tigers opt to have the 6-foot-3 Chuma shadow Alex Jamele. Chuma gave uber-talented Julian Dunn (6-foot-2) fits during the Newtown win. Zak Jamele and Maxwell are so disruptive up front, and Southington's defense has been good against the run. That may force Ridgefield to have to throw more than it would like as Bonaparte is arguably its best threat.
A WINNER IS YOU: Southington.
NO. 6 WEST HAVEN (10-2) VS. NO. 7 FAIRFIELD PREP (10-2)
WHERE: Trumbull High.
WATCH AND LISTEN: MSGVarsity.com, WAVZ (1300-AM).
MEET THE BLUE DEVILS: Sr. HB Ervin Philips (24 rushing TDs; 6 receiving TDs); Sr. QB Duane Gary (15 rushing TDs); Jr. FB-LB Marshont Little (12 rushing TDs); Sr. LB Nyrell Moore; Sr. G-LB Jesse Ridgeway.
MEET THE JESUITS: Jr. QB Colton Smith (1,513 yards passing, 63.9-percent, 9 TDs); 1,649 yards rushing, 25 TDs); Sr. FB-ILB Nick Crowle (782 yards rushing, 14 TDs; 90 tackles); Jr. WR-S John DelliSanti (35 catches, 774 yards, 8 TDs); Sr. FB-LB Maxwell Trudeau (105 tackles, nine sacks); Sr. LB Anthony Johnson (90 tackles).
OUTLOOK: HERE WE GO AGAIN. YAY, FOOTBALL! Prep spotted the Westies an 18-point lead on Thanksgrabbing and still won, 29-20. There won't be too much passing — the Jesuits have rushed for 277 yards a game, West Haven 340 yards. The Jesuits have had the best three-game run of late as they've thrashed Xavier (46-27), beat then No. 3 West Haven, and won at No. 5 Glastonbury (33-23) in the quarterfinals. Smith has kept defenses guessing, and when he's not running or throwing, the 245-pound Crowle is trucking into someone. The duo is more dangerous because Prep's offensive line has ridiculous size. Gary, Little and the Syracuse-bound Philips are an electrifying trio made tougher because of all the misdirection in the Blue Devils' wing-T offense. The defense has found itself in a few shootouts.
A WINNER IS YOU: Fairfield Prep.
NO. 1 DARIEN (11-1) VS. NO. 4 MIDDLETOWN (11-1)
WHERE: Pomperaug High, Southbury.
MEET THE BLUE WAVE: Sr. QB Silas Wyper (2,819 yards passing, 62.8-percent, 19 TDs; 401 yards rushing, 4 TDs); Sr. HB-SS Nick Lombardo (41 catches, 1,446 all-purpose yards, 11 TDs); Sr. TB-SS Jay Harrison (11 rushing TDs); Jr. WR-DB Griffin Ross (76 catches, 1,014 yards, 19 total TDs); Sr. TB-ILB Andrew Nault (108 tackles); So. Mark Evanchick (96 tackles, 14 sacks).
MEET THE BLUE DRAGONS: Sr. QB-DB Dario Highsmith (2,565 yards rushing, 27 TDs; 895 yards passing, 9 TDs); Sr. LB Cody Carrillo; Jr. RB Isaiah Thompkins; Sr. C Jeffrey Woodcock; Sr. OL David Bednarz; Sr. OL-DL Anthony Bednarz.
KIND OF BLUE: Miles Davis.
OUTLOOK: Darien prefers to chuck it. The Blue Dragons prefer to run it. The Blue Wave have an offensive edge as they've run better than Middletown has passed. Furthermore, the Blue Dragons' defense hasn't faced a passing game as good as Darien's. Evanchick spends a lot of time in opposing backfields. Everyone here loves the run and endorses only throwing when necessary. The Blue Dragons will have to do that today. The Blue Wave have also faced better competition as they've beaten New Canaan (28-24) and North Haven (36-27), and lost to St. Joseph (28-14).
A WINNER IS YOU: Darien.
NO. 3 NEW CANAAN (12-1) VS. NO. 7 NORTH HAVEN (10-2)
WHERE: Law High, Milford.
WATCH AND LISTEN: CPTVSports, CIAC.tv, and Hersam Acorn Radio.
MEET THE RAMS: Sr. QB Nick Cascione (2,308 yards passing, 30 TDs; 541 yards rushing, 11 TDs); Jr. Frank Cognetta (1,028 yards, 14 TDs); Sr. WR Cole Turpin (35 catches, 596 yards, 9 TDs); Jr. WR Alex LaPolice (28 catches, 488 yards, 8 TDs); Sr. Michael Root (141 tackles); Sr. LB Cole Harris (143 tackles); Jr. Zach Allen (62 tackles, 10 sacks); Sr. DL Connor Buck (54 tackles, 7.5 sacks).
MEET THE INDIANS: Sr. Michael Halloran (665 passing yards, 8 TDs, 5 INTs; 814 yards rushing, 11 TDs); Sr. RB-LB Ethan Suraci (1,1131 yards rushing, 22 TDs; 114 tackles); Jr. Cole Pecora (817 yards rushing, 8 TDs); Sr. Mike Montano (748 yards rushing, 7 TDs); Sr. LB Patrick Mikos (136 tackles); Sr. OL-DL Austin Mahon (98 tackles, six sacks); Sr. OL-DL Michael Siwek (84 tackles); Jr. TE-DL Zachary Kastenhuber (83 tackles, 13 sacks).
OUTLOOK: Another awesome offensive styles clash. New Canaan has been one of the state's best throwing teams for several years, although it's run a little more this year. North Haven simply wants to hammer opponents with GOD'S FATHER'S OFFENSE and has thrown just 110 times to 590 rushing attempts (YAY). North Haven's best defense would be several obscenely long offensive drives because the Rams can score 42 in 20 minutes with their ludicrous-speed, no-huddle attack. Another concern for the Indians is that New Canaan has the depth to play two-platoon. New Canaan hasn't faced an offensive as physical as the Indians.
A WINNER IS YOU: New Canaan.
NO. 1 VALLEY REGIONAL/OLD LYME (12-0) VS. NO. 5 BROOKFIELD (10-3)
WHERE: Cheshire High.
MEET THE WARRIORCATS: Sr. QB Phil Cohen (1,775 yards passing, 68.2 percent, 27 TDs); Sr. WR-CB Dave Peck (27 catches, 574 yards, 12 TDs); Jr. RB-LB Justin Cheverier (900 yards rushing, 19 TDs; 108 tackles, 4.5 sacks); Jr. WR-DB-P Chris Jean-Pierre (37 catches, 1,005 all-purpose yards, 13 TDs; 6 rushing TDs); Jr. RB-CB Evan Smith (21 catches, 314 yards, 6 TDs); Sr. DE-TE Peter Barry (53 tackles); Jr. T-DE Tyler Cheverier (111 tackles, 5.5 sacks).
MEET THE BOBCATS: Sr. QB Brad Westmark (1,364 yards passing, 9 TDs); So. RB-LB Bobby Drysdale (1,829 yards, 25 TDs; 69 tackles, four sacks); So. FB-LB Austin Reich (752 yards rushing yards, 8 TD; 97 tackles); Jr. RB Danny Jackson (642 yards rushing, 10 TD); Sr. WR-DL-LB Liam Clancy (33 catches, 531 yards, 3 TDs); Sr. TE-DE Nick Seis (81 tackles, 9 sacks); Jr. WR-DB Gabe Pompette (68 tackles, 5 INTs).
LOL CATS: HERE.
OUTLOOK: Both teams had a starter injured in Tuesday's quarterfinals. Justin Cheverier injured his shoulder and will be a game-time decision. Clancy (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) injured his ankle, but Angarano is optimistic he'll play. Valley/Old Lyme would be drastically affected without Cheverier as he's its best runner and one of its top defenders. Jean-Luc Poulard, Tyler Jaynes and even Cohen would have to split carries. Pierre would likely get more snaps in the Warriors' Wildcat package, too. The Bobcats are the best team Valley/Old Lyme has faced this season. They're built to run (292 yards per game) using mostly the wing-T and GOD'S OFFENSE. Offensive lineman Louie Rodrigues (6-4, 296) is a large dude. Valley/Old Lyme's run defense has been a strength.
A WINNER IS YOU: Brookfield.
NO. 2 ST. JOSEPH (11-2) VS. NO. 3 BARLOW (10-2)
WHERE: Bunnell High, Stratford.
MEET THE CADETS: Sr. QB Jordan Vazzano (2,746 yards passing, 35 TDs; 6 rushing TDs); Jr. RB-DB Mufasha Abdul Basir (2,268 yards rushing, 28 TDs); Sr. WR Shane Miller (642 yards rushing, 7 TDs; 45 catches, 881 yards, 11 TDs); Jr. WR-S Lars Pedersen (54 catches, 967 yards, 14 TDs); Sr. G Peter Mestre (6-6, 295); Sr. T Steve Hashemi (6-6, 260); Jr. LB Kevin Bortnick (89 tackles); Sr. DE Mike Schuchmann (73 tackles, 4 sacks).
MEET THE FALCONS: Sr. QB-DB Jack Shaban (2,049 yards rushing, 36 TDs); Jr. RB-SS Harry Wilson (951 yards, 12 TDs); Sr. RB-LB Matt Falcone (80 tackles); Sr. WR-OLB Jarrett Gray (80 tackles); Jr. OL-DL Davis Bigelow (68 tackles); Sr. OL-DL Alex Gallaer (62 tackles, 9 sacks); Sr. FB-LB Steve Miller (58 tackles, 4 sacks); Sr. G-DT Nick Orticelli (56 tackles, 3 sacks).
OUTLOOK: St. Joseph just won a record-breaking 84-49 quarterfinal over Ledyard. We wouldn't be surprised if this game finished with an absurdly high score. The Cadets are so hard to defend because Vazzano and Basir are among the best at their respective positions. They're even more dangerous considering St. Joseph's bulk up front. One long-time coach said that the Falcons are the best pure triple option team he's seen in years (404 yards rushing a game), and St. Joseph has had its share of defensive issues this season. Shaban is worth making the trip to Bunnell because he'll make some outrageous plays. Barlow cannot get too far behind as it hasn't shown much of a passing game (it's thrown just 34 times this year). The Bunnell scorekeeper will be kept busy today.
A WINNER IS YOU: St. Joseph.
NO. 2 ANSONIA (13-0) VS. NO. 3 ROCKY HILL (11-1)
WHERE: Sheehan High, Wallingford.
MEET THE CHARGERS: Sr. RB-DB Arkeel Newsome (3,350 yards rushing, 48 TDs; 9 TD receptions); Jr. QB Jai'Quan McKnight (855 yards passing, 11 TDs; 489 yards rushing, 8 TDs); Sr. RG-DL Ryan Hovan (6-5, 230); Sr. LG-DL Antone Mack (5-10, 275); Sr. C-DL Corey Dzienkiewicz (6-5, 258); Sr. RT-DL Matt Simon (6-3, 260; Jr. LT Tyler O'Connell (5-11, 210); Sr. FB-LB Saiheed Sanders.
MEET THE TERRIERS: Sr. QB-S Andrew Jenkelunas (544 yards passing, 8 TDs; 57 tackles); Sr. RB-LB Chris Young (1,861 yards rushing, 33 TDs); Sr. G-LB Nick Carducci (96 tackles, 4.5 sacks); Sr. RB-LB Greg Marzilli (69 tackles); Sr. TE-DE Tommy Seaver (69 tackles); Sr. G-LB Jameson O'Connell (61 tackles); Sr. T-DT (60 tackles); Sr. T-DT Elio Nalbani (60 tackles, 7.5 sacks).
OUTLOOK: This will be the fastest game of the day as both teams play football the way God intended — running the ball with brute force. Ansonia will use a lot of the I-formation and some of GOD'S OFFENSE. It had Newsome take direct snaps out of its Wildcat package during Tuesday's 49-21 rout of Coginchaug because McKnight sat the game out with an ankle injury (head coach Tom Brockett said he could've played if necessary). The Terriers primarily run GOD'S OFFENSE. Rocky Hill is taking a big step up in competition here. Consider, too, that Tyzahn Leatherwood ran for 347 yards and four touchdowns behind Platt's hulking offensive line against the Terriers on Oct. 11. They're playing against a better running back and one of the state's top offensive lines this afternoon.
A WINNER IS YOU: Ansonia.
NO. 4 WOODLAND (11-2) VS. NO. 8 BLOOMFIELD (10-2)
WHERE: Wolcott High.
LISTEN: WATR (1320-AM).
MEET THE HAWKS: Sr. QB Tanner Kingsley (3,215 yards passing, 41 TDs); So. RB-DB Sean McAllen (1,520 yards rushing, 16 TDs; 511 yards receiving, 2 TDs); Jr. WR-DB Mike Kenney (53 catches, 972 yards, 15 TDs); Sr. Taylor Tucciarone (44 catches, 654 yards, 12 TDs); Sr. Levi Fancher (114 tackles, 8 sacks); Jr. Will Flormann (96 tackles, 6.5 sacks); So. WR-DB Coby Vaccarelli (84 tackles).
MEET THE WARHAWKS: Sr. RB-LB Norvel Stewart (8 TD passes; 16 rushing TDs); Sr. RB-DB Travis Thompson (1,234 yards, 8 TDs); Sr. LB Brandon Callender; Sr. G-LB Hakeem Messiah; Jr. G-DE Paul May; Sr. Jonathan Mumby; Sr. OL-DL Derek Hawkins (6-1, 335).
OUTLOOK: Credit Bloomfield for overpowering top-seeded and unbeaten Capital Prep/Classical Magnet/Achievement First during Tuesday's 27-3 win. No one had done that to the Trailblazers in three years. The Warhawks forced eight turnovers in its 27-3 win. The Hawks may find it tough to run against Bloomfield, which is fine given that its strength is the pass. They may opt to have Kingsley throw screens early to keep the Warhawks from charging into the backfield.
A WINNER IS YOU: Woodland.
• • • •
Perhaps you missed that Middletown quarterback-defensive back Dario Highsmith was named Connecticut High School Gatorade Player the Year on Thursday. You wouldn't have missed it had you visited the antisocial media and Innerwebs and saw a few folks flipping their wigs that Ansonia's Arkeel Newsome didn't earn the honor.
Polecat Worldwide has the upmost respect for Mr. Newsome, a red belt in the manly discipline of the running arts, but it shouldn't be THAT hard to tip one's cap to Mr. Highsmith for receiving the honor.
Back on point — the Gatorade award, "recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field."
Highsmith is a B student taking advanced level and Advanced Placement courses, according to Gentleman Jim Bransfield of the Middletown Press. Highsmith is also a youth football volunteer and mentor.
Highsmith has lived up to the family name statistically, too. He has 3,460 yards (rushing and passing). He also has 39 tackles, four interceptions and a fumble recovery.
"(Highsmith) definitely belongs on the top all-state team," New London coach Duane Maranda told Mike DiMauro of TEAM DAY after his team's 49-14 quarterfinal loss on Tuesday. "I don't care if you have to put four quarterbacks on there. You never seem to really get a good shot on him."
• • • •
So Tuesday's Class M quarterfinal between St. Joseph and Ledyard was kind of gonzo.
St. Joseph won, 84-49, in an offensive display of offense that threatened multiple milestones in the Connecticut High School State Record Book.
Behold, the ridiculousness:
■ The game's 133 points set a state record for the most combined points by two teams. The previous record was 130 points set by Norwich Free Academy and Bulkeley of New London in 1902. NFA scored ALL of those 130 points.
The "modern era" record (i.e. post-1930) was 120 points. That was set when Guilford beat Law, 67-53, on Nov. 5, 2010.
■ The Cadets' 84 points were the 15th-most scored by one team in a game.
■ The teams combined for 20 touchdowns. St. Joseph had 13 of them.
■ The Cadets had 806 total yards. That's second all-time in a game. Seymour had a record 830 yards against Branford in 1969.
■ The Colonels had 422 total yards. Both teams, then, combined for 1,228 yards.
■ There were six touchdowns in the game's first 5 minutes, 16 seconds.
■ Seven touchdowns were scored just 6:55 into the game. At this point, Trumbull High's P.A. announcer should've cued up "Yakety Sax".
■ St. Joseph ran 42 times for 629 yards. It's the fourth-most rushing yards in a single game. Hillhouse ran for a record-setting 652 yards against Lyman Hall last year.
■ The Cadets never punted. The Colonels punted twice.
■ St. Joseph scored on 13 of their 14 possessions. The only time it didn't score was because of a first-quarter turnover.
■ Three times St. Joseph scored in two plays. Seven of its touchdowns drives were four plays or less.
■ A Cadets' personal foul gave the offense a second-and-38 from their 26-yard line. Shane Miller and Mufasha Abdul Basir had runs of 34 and 21 yards, respectively, to give St. Joseph first-and-10 from the Ledyard 19. Jordan Vazzano followed with a 19-yard touchdown to Miller to end the third quarter.
■ Ledyard had eight offensive plays of 20 yards or more. The longest was JoJo Shumaker's 62-yard run to the Cadets' 3-yard line in the first quarter. Ty Ebdon scored from 3 yards out two plays later.
Ebdon threw a beautiful 37-yard touchdown to Jordan Kowalski on a fourth-and-7 play with 5 minutes, 42 seconds left in the second quarter. Luke Saccone's extra point gave Ledyard a 35-34 edge, its only lead of the game.
River Thomas accounted for another of the Colonels' long plays. A defender grabbed one of his arms for pass interference, but Thomas caught Ebdon's pass one-handed for a 43-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.
■ The Colonels had the longest play of the night — Joe Carter scored on a 90-yard kickoff return to tie the game, 14-14, with eight minutes left in the first quarter.
And now, the longest and daffiest football box score you'll ever see.
Pack a lunch:
Ledyard 21 14 7 7—49
St. Joseph 28 19 25 12—84
S—Mufasha Abdul Basir 51 run (Kevin Bortnick kick).
St. Joseph 7, Ledyard 0, 11:13
L—Jordan Kowalski 3 run (Luke Saccone kick).
Ledyard 7, St. Joseph 7. 9:06.
S—Shane Miller 52 run (Bortnick kick).
St. Joseph 14, Ledyard 7. 8:15.
L—Joe Carter 90 kickoff return (Saccone kick).
Ledyard 14, St. Joseph 14. 8:00.
S—Abdul Basir 29 run (Bortnick kick).
St. Joseph 21, Ledyard 14. 7:36.
L—Ty Ebdon 3 run (Saccone kick).
Ledyard 21, St. Joseph 21. 6:44.
S—Joey Civitella 3 run (Bortnick kick).
St. Joseph 28, Ledyard 21. 5:05.
L—River Thomas 22 TD pass from Ty Ebdon (Saccone kick).
Ledyard 28, St. Joseph 28. 10:22.
S—Abdul Basir 2 run (kick failed).
St. Joseph 34, Ledyard 28. 8:23.
L—Kowalski 37 pass from Ebdon (Saccone kick).
Ledyard 35, St. Joseph 34. 5:42.
S—Shane Miller 27 pass from Jordan Vazzano (Bortnick kick).
St. Joseph 41, Ledyard 35. 4:27.
S—Lars Pedersen 12 pass from Vazzano (pass failed).
St. Joseph 47, Ledyard 35. : 19.1.
L—Thomas 43 pass from Ebdon (Saccone kick).
St. Joseph 47, Ledyard 42. 8:49.
S—Miller 52 run (Bortnick kick).
St. Joseph 54, Ledyard 42. 8:27
S—Abdul Basir 12 run (kick failed).
St. Joseph 60, Ledyard 42. 6:43.
S—Abdul Basir 26 run (kick failed).
St. Joseph 66, Ledyard 42. 3:52.
S—Miller 19 pass from Vazzano (run failed).
St. Joseph 72, Ledyard 42. :00.
S—Civitella 45 run (kick failed).
St. Joseph 78, Ledyard 42. 9:50.
S—Christian Trefz (took knee).
St. Joseph 84, Ledyard 42. 3:11.
L—Jordan Kowalski 20 run (Saccone kick).
St. Joseph 84, Ledyard 49. 1:49.
• • • •
There are five players who have rushed for over 2,000 yards this season. They are:
■ Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia: 3,350 yards. That ranks fourth all-time according to the Connecticut High School State Record Book. He needs 414 yards to break the state-record he set in 2011 (3,763).
■ Jake Ward, Morgan: 2,576 yards. That's ranks ninth all-time — until Dario Highsmith gets two-or-so carries today.
■ Dario Highsmith, Middletown: 2,656 yards.
■ Mufasha Abdul Basir, St. Joseph: 2,268 yards.
■ Jack Shaban, Barlow: 2,049 yards.
Brookfield's Bobby Drysdale (1,829 yards) and Chris Young of Rocky Hill (1,861) are closing in on 2,000, too.
Southington's Alex Jamele has caught 24 touchdowns. He needs one more to tie Anthony Scirpo of Woodland. He caught 25 in 12 games last season.
Daly Herbert of Darien and Peter Swindell of New Canaan have both kicked nine field goals this season. The state record is 12, set by Santiago Cuartas of Staples in 2009.
• • • •
STORYTIME (and vid-dee-watching).
■ Mary Albl, JRC Amalgamated: Dynamic Smith leads Fairfield Prep into Class LL semifinals vs. West Haven.
■ Doug Bonjour, Hearst Inc.: Abdul Basir happy to be back in St. Joseph uniform; Battle-tested Fairfield Prep set for rematch with SCC foe West Haven; and, Svatik steps down as Stratford coach.
■ Jim Bransfield, Middletown Press: Class, schedule matter in playoffs; and, his semifinal picks for the locals.
■ Kountry Kyle Brennan, Waterbury Republican-American: Woodland in familiar territory.
■ Kountry Kyle Brennan, solo. He jibber-jabbers about the state semifinals with John Holt and Joe Zone on CPTVSports' Gametime. He also shed his flannel for a sports jacket. HE SOLD OUT TO THE MAN.
■ Kountry Kyle Brennan and Mark Jaffee, Waterbury Republican-American: Semifinal predictions. Kudos to Kountry's use of Microsoft Paint.
■ Kountry Kyle Brennan and Remmington, NVL Blog: They preview Ansonia and Woodland's Class S semifinals and make their playoff picks. Remmington picks St. Joseph to beat Barlow, 84-49. That made us chortle.
■ Roger Cleaveland, Waterbury Republican-American: Ansonia eyes 27th state final berth.
■ Gerry deSimas, Jr., JRC Amalgamated via Collinsville Press: This Farmington Valley season was unforgettable.
■ Scott Ericson, Hearst Inc.: Hebert kicks Darien into state semifinals; and, Offensive line key to New Canaan's success.
■ Tom Evans, Norwalk Hour: New Canaan, North Haven set for Class L semifinals; and, No. 4 a vital 'Cog' in New Canaan's offense. No. 4 is running back Frank Cognetta.
■ Emery Filmer, Hearst Inc.: Ridgefield facing potent Southington in semifinals.
■ Richard Gregory, Hearst Inc.: Brookfield set to tackle top-seeded Valley Regional/Old Lyme.
■ John Holt and Joe Zone, WFSB's Friday Night Football: They interviewed coaches Rich Angarano (Brookfield), Kevin Callahan (Ridgefield), Ty Outlow (Bloomfield), and Rob Trifone (Darien).
■ Mark Jaffee, Waterbury Republican-American: After watching in 2012, Hawks' Vaccarelli ready to answer call; Drury continues Southington's tradition of excellence; Southington eyes berth in LL.
■ Carl Josephson, New Britain Herald: Southington goes up against Ridgefield with Class LL title berth on the line.
■ Ken Lipshez, Meriden Record-Journal: Blue Knights see a mirror image in Ridgefield.
■ Mike Pucci, JRC Amalgamated: North Haven has evolved into state title contender; and, Ridgway, West Haven experience triumph, tragedy in journey to LL semifinals.
■ Pooch Diggity Dog and Sean Patrick Starfish, JRC Amalgamated: Capsules for Class LL, Class L, Class M, and Class S.
■ Lori Riley, Hartford Courant: Valley Regional/Old Lyme stingy on defense.
■ Kevin D. Roberts, New Britain Herald: Rocky Hill faces tough test in Ansonia. Yep.
■ Dave Ruden, The Ruden Report: Record-breaking night an acceptable pain for St. Joseph's DellaVecchia; Darien and Ridgefield travel similar paths to state semifinals; and, New Canaan linebacker is the Root of all good. He's talking about Michael Root.
■ Sean Patrick Starfish, JRC Amalgamated: Mark Robinson resigns as Law coach.
■ Jason Sonski, Hearst Inc.: Barlow's Shaban makes triple option look easy. And how.
■ Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant: Zach Maxwell leads Southington's defense; and, semifinals capsules.
■ Shoreline Jimmy Zanor, JRC Amalgamated: Valley/Old Lyme meets Brookfield in Class M semifinals.
• • • •
Thanks for reading. More later. Enjoy your Saturday.
Vaya con dios….