Upsets rule the night in H.S. football on Thanksgiving Eve
'Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all hell broke loose in the CIAC football playoff races.
All the chaos also impacts Fitch’s chance at hosting a CIAC Class L quarterfinal next week.
Middletown, ranked eighth in The Day Top 10 state coaches’ poll, dominated No. 5 Windsor on Wednesday night, 24-7, in a game involving two of the top teams in Class L
No. 6 Masuk, another Class L contender, was upset by Newtown, 14-7.
Middletown (10-0) clinched the top seed in Class L. Hand (9-1) needs one bonus to be second (bonuses are the 10 points a team receives for a win by any team it defeated).
Fitch (9-0) is third in the rankings and would have a chance to host a home quarterfinal with a win at Ledyard (2-7) on Thanksgiving.
The Falcons would be seeded anywhere from three-to-five with a win, depending on bonuses.
A win would give Fitch 1,330 points. It could get as high as 1,360 if it all three of its bonuses came through.
Windsor (9-1) is fourth (1,320 points) and Masuk fifth (1,300). Both teams have four bonuses, so they could tie or beat Fitch for a home quarterfinal. They’d both beat the Falcons on tiebreakers, too, but it will be difficult for Masuk to catch them.
The quarterfinals (Tuesday, Nov. 28) and semifinals (Sunday, Dec. 3) will be played at the higher seed. The finals will be played Saturday, Dec. 9 at sites to be determined.
Off-the-field, Darien starters Jack Joyce (quarterback) and Brian Minicus (receiver-defensive back) were both arrested by warrant by the New Canaan Police on Wednesday in connection with an assault earlier this month, according to the Connecticut Post.
Dave Ruden of The Ruden Report tweeted Wednesday night that Darien athletic director Chris Manfredonia texted that he could not comment on whether or not Joyce and Minicus would be suspended from the Blue Wave’s Thanksgiving Day game against, perhaps appropriately enough, New Canaan.
Darien (9-0) has been ranked No. 1 all season, but would be hard-pressed to beat four-time Class L champion New Canaan (7-2) without Joyce and Minicus.
New Canaan would likely miss its chance to defend its Class L title if it lost to the Blue Wave, which have won the last five Thanksgiving games.
East Hartford (Class LL) and the Stafford/East Windsor/Somers co-op (Class S) both unofficially clinched berths with wins on Wednesday night. The seeds aren’t official until the CIAC football committee approves them the day after the end of the regular season.
There are seven berths still available with eight teams qualifying in each division. The following teams have unofficially clinched:
CLASS LL: Naugatuck, Darien, Shelton, Greenwich, South Windsor, West Haven, and East Hartford.
CLASS L: Middletown, Hand, Fitch, Windsor, Masuk, and Maloney.
CLASS M: Killingly, Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial, Sheehan, Berlin, Watertown, and SMSA/University/Classical.
CLASS S: St. Joseph, Rocky Hill, Ansonia, Bullard-Havens, Stafford/East Windsor/Somers, and Valley Regional/Old Lyme.
— Ned Griffen
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