H.S. football / Week 7 preview capsules

New London's Nick Fleetwood (3) looks for running room in a game against Fairfield Prep on Oct. 13 at New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
New London's Nick Fleetwood (3) looks for running room in a game against Fairfield Prep on Oct. 13 at New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Today’s games

 

Thames River at Vinal/East Hampton/Goodwin Tech, 6 p.m.

Records: Thames River (2-3); Vinal (0-5)

Last week: Thames River defeated O’Brien Tech 22-20; Vinal lost to ATI 36-14

Outlook: Thames River won its biggest game of the season last week, handing O’Brien Tech its first loss, rallying from a 14-point deficit at halftime. Xavier Wright's two-point conversion in the fourth quarter won it for the Crusaders, who also used Nathan Bastien’s 45-yard interception return for a touchdown.

 

East Lyme at Ledyard, 6:30 p.m.

Records: East Lyme (4-1, 1-0 ECC Div. I); Ledyard (2-3, 0-1)

Last week: East Lyme defeated Joel Barlow 28-20; Ledyard defeated Bassick 43-0

Outlook: Among other things, East Lyme has been a beacon for the ECC’s perception across the state this season. The Vikings have defeated two teams from the South-West Conference, including Barlow, a division leader. East Lyme and Fitch are the only unbeaten teams in ECC Div. I, perhaps inviting an unofficial division title game in early November. But first, East Lyme must keep winning. Ledyard snapped a losing streak last week.

 

Fitch at Waterford, 6:30 p.m.

Records: Fitch (5-0); Waterford (0-4)

Last week: Fitch defeated Branford 72-26; Waterford lost to Windham 38-32

Outlook: Fitch is unbeaten and Waterford is winless. And still, the Falcons figure to get Waterford’s best shot. The reason? The Falcons are coached by former Waterford coach Mike Ellis, some of whose former assistants are in charge of the Lancers now. Always makes for a bit of a rivalry game. Fitch, halfway through its schedule, has a chance to win its division, make the playoffs and perhaps play a home game in the states.

 

New London at Killingly, 6:30 p.m. (theday.com)

Records: New London (1-4); Killingly (5-0)

Last week: New London lost to Fairfield Prep 36-16; Killingly defeated Bacon Academy 35-0

Outlook: It’s been a long time since the Whalers traveled to Killingly as the underdog. But they are here. Killingly, which has yielded but 34 points in five games, may be the most complete team in the ECC, aiming itself at another playoff berth. The Whalers played better last week — Gio Lopez caught two long touchdown passes — and will need a similar effort here to keep it close.

 

Plainfield at Montville, 6:30 p.m.

Records: Plainfield (4-0); Montville (2-3)

Last week: Plainfield was idle; Montville lost to Griswold 14-10

Outlook: If East Lyme is the most pleasant surprise in the ECC this season, Plainfield isn’t far behind. The Panthers, off last week, are still unbeaten into mid-October. Montville has lost three straight since opening the season with wins over Bacon Academy and Woodstock.

 

Valley/OL at North Branford, 6:30 p.m.

Records: Valley/OL (4-1); North Branford (4-1)

Last week: Valley defeated Nonnewaug 48-0; North Branford was idle

Outlook: Valley resumed form last week, following a disappointing loss two weeks earlier to Old Saybrook/Westbrook. But if the Warriors are to make a return trip to the playoffs, they’ll earn it. It begins here. The Thunderbirds, who have one loss, precede other quality opponents (namely Cromwell/Portland) on the schedule.

 

Saturday’s game

 

Stonington at NFA, 1 p.m.

Records: Stonington (1-3); NFA (2-3)

Last week: Stonington was idle; NFA lost to West Haven 42-19

Outlook: Nothing against the Bears, but they’ll be a welcome sight for NFA. That’s because to date, NFA has seen Xavier, Cheshire, Fitch and West Haven, among the state’s most brutal schedules. NFA must win its remaining games to have a chance at the Class LL playoffs. The schedule softens a bit, except for a game at Windsor in November.

— Mike DiMauro

 

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