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Hey humans — the CIAC Class LL final WILL BE PLAYED. TONIGHT.
HATS OFF to West Haven High School facilities manager Chris Everone, his merry band of grounds keeping commandos, and "Sparks", Everone's trusty flamethrower, for making sure that we can all enjoy tonight's game.
Truly, they are angels among us.
The game has been delayed for so long that it's worth refreshing YOUR memory about both teams and the game.
LET'S DO IT.
WHERE: Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven.
TIME: 6:35 p.m.
HISTORY: Fairfield Prep 3-1 (1988 Class LL, 1982 Class L, 1977 Class L); Southington 1-5 (1998 Class LL).
MEET THE BLUE KNIGHTS: Sr. QB Stephen Barmore (2,742 yards passing, 38 TDs; 370 yards rushing, 3 TD); Sr. RB Tyler Hyde (1,052 yards rushing, 18 TDs); Sr. WR Alex Jamele (69 catches, 1,393 yards, 26 TDs); Sr. LB Zak Jamele (116 tackles, 4 sacks); Sr. DE Zach Maxwell (78 tackles, 17 sacks).
MEET THE JESUITS: Jr. QB Colton Smith (1,588 yards passing, 9 TDs; 1,736 yards rushing, 27 TDs); Sr. FB-ILB Nick Crowle (878 yards rushing, 15 TDs; 102 tackles); Jr. WR-S John DelliSanti (41 catches, 831 yards, 8 TDs); Sr. FB-LB Maxwell Trudeau (119 tackles, 10 sacks); Sr. LB Anthony Johnson (98 tackles).
OUTLOOK: A curious game, this. Southington was one of only two teams to beat Glastonbury (16-9). The other — Prep (33-23). Southington splattered Norwich Free Academy (52-14) and Ridgefield (45-0). The matchup that interests us most in Prep's offense vs. the Blue Knights' defense. Smith has made a helluva debut this season, enough so to be considered the state's top quarterbacks (ditto Barmore). Just try to contain Smith and Crowle (6-foot-3, 246 pounds). Then factor in that the Jesuits' offensive line look like ubermensches. The Blue Knights don't have that bulk (who does) and will counter with their speed. You can bet that the Prep o-line has been familiarized with the two-headed terror known as Zak Jamele and Maxwell. The Jesuits have played a far tougher schedule than Southington. It's beaten West Haven (twice), Glastonbury and Xavier, and lost to Class M champion St. Joseph (36-34) and Hand (35-27). Being challenged so often always prepares a team well for states.
A WINNER IS YOU: Fairfield Prep.
• • •
NVL (two teams, two finalists): 5-1 (Ansonia beat league-mate Woodland in the Class S final).
FCIAC (four teams, three finalists): 9-2 (One of the losses was due to FCIAC-on-FCIAC action — New Canaan beat Darien in the Class L final).
SCC (four teams, one finalist): 4-3 (that includes Fairfield Prep beat West Haven in the Class LL semifinals).
SWC (four teams, one finalist): 3-4 (including a SWC-on-SWC battle).
CCC (eight teams, one finalist): 5-7.
Pequot (four teams): 1-4.
CSC (three teams): 0-3.
ECC (three teams): 0-3.
• • • •
■ Bob Birge, Norwalk Hour: Wilton's DelliSanti, Prep seek Class LL state title.
■ Pooch Diggity Dogg, JRC Amalgamated: Preview capsule.
■ Kevin Duffy, Hearst Inc.: Fairfield Prep's Shea moves 'harder, faster, smarter'.
■ Carl Josephson, New Britain Herald: History one win away for Southington football; Pair of brothers have Southington rolling; Record-setting year for Southington; Southington rallied after one loss of season to Hall; Smick a kicking weapon for Southington; and, Southington finally gets to play for LL football title tonight.
■ Sean Patrick Starfish, JRC Amalgamated: T.J. Cavaliere to become next Stratford football coach.
■ Matt Straub, New Britain Herald: Fairfield Prep has plenty of motivation, talent for Class LL title game; Father-son combo part of Southington success.
■ Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant: Southington's Tyler Hyde won't rest until he has a championship.
• • • •
That's all for now. We hope you'll be at tonight's game. The season ends when the game ends, and you're going to miss it when it's gone.
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.