The Lonesome Polecat (state variant): YOUR #cthsfb QUARTERFINAL REPOSITORY
We have nothing wise or wacky to kick off this here blog, so let's just get to it.
These were Tuesday night’s top stories:
• Quarterback Jack Joyce played for Darien after sitting out the first two plays in the Blue Wave’s Class LL quarterfinal win over East Hartford, 30-10.
Joyce was suspended from Darien’s Thanksgrabbing Day game against New Canaan in connection with a Nov. 6 assault at a New Canaan home. Joyce, starter Brian Minicus (receiver-defensive back), a third teen who’s name was withheld because he’s 17, all turned themselves into the New Canaan Police last Wednesday.
Joyce, as Emery Filmer pointed out at The Ruden Report, wasn’t charged with assault. He was charged for interfering with an officer and disorderly conduct. Minicus and the unidentified teen were changed with third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint. Minicus, who was also suspended on Thanksgrabbing, didn't play last night.
Joyce and Minicus are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 5.
• The door was opened just a crack for four-time Class L champion New Canaan to make the playoffs.
Now everyone in Class L is going to pay.
Drew Pyne completed 15 of 22 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns and ran 14 times for 42 yards and a score as the eighth-seeded Rams downed top-seeded Middletown, 24-9.
New Canaan shutout then-No. 1 Darien on Thanksgrabbing, 27-0, to earn the last berth in Class L. It wouldn't have qualified with a loss.
• West Haven got its pound of flesh from Shelton and then kept ripping away at the latter’s hide. It scored FORTY SIX UNANSWERED POINTS in its 46-7 win.
This game was a REMATCHENING — Shelton, ranked fifth in The Day's coaches’ poll, beat the Westies, 38-28, on Oct. 27
• Two running backs rushed for over 300 yards (drools).
Spencer Lockwood ran for THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO YARDS and SIX TOUCHDOWNS as top-seeded Killingly mowed down Law in Class M, 57-21. KILLINGLY SMASH.
FURRER-MANIA is running wild, brother — Barlow QB Trevor Furrer ran for THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY YARDS yards and three touchdowns as the sixth-seeded Falcons stunned No. 3 Sheehan in another M game, 47-34.
We'll have more about the quarterfinals in a moment, but first, CONFERENCE SCORECARD:
CCC (7): 4-3 (including hot CCC-on-CCC action between Windsor and Maloney).
CTC (2): 0-2.
ECC (2): 1-1.
FCIAC (4): 4-0. Get used to it.
NVL (4): 1-3 (including HOT NVL-ON-NVL ACTION between Ansonia and Seymour).
Pequot (4): 2-2 (including HOT PEQUOT-ON-PEQUOT ACTION between, oh, man, did it have to be these two elbenty-hundred word teams — SMSA/University/Classical and Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial.
SCC (7): 2-5 (including a double shot of HOT SCC-ON-SCC ACTION — West Haven and Shelton, and Hand and North Haven).
SWC (2): 2-0.
Now, back to the games:
No. 1 Greenwich 27, No. 8 Fairfield Prep 6
Gavin Muir completed 22 of 32 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns as the Cardinals (11-0), YOUR No. 1 team in The Day's Top 10 poll, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Jesuits.
Will Lucas ran for a 12-yard touchdown for Prep (8-3).
To read more about this game, please visit Dave Ruden at his site, or David Fierro at the GameTimeCT/Hearst Inc. Monolith
No. 3 Darien 30, No. 6 East Hartford 10
Joyce threw touchdown paases to Alex Dehmel (19 yards) and Tyler Herget (17 yards) and ran for a 21-yard touchdown.
“Look, it was great to have him back,” Blue Wave head coach Rob Trifone told William S. Paxton of the Hartford Courant. “He had very little practice time, but he’s such a natural athlete and knows the system well, (so) he fit right in.”
East Hartford head coach Rick Milton had an. ... interesting take on the situation. He told Paxton, “I expected to see every single one of their players here. We knew they'd be here. We knew there wouldn't be any consequences.”
Mitchell Pryor added 20 carries for 113 yards for Darien, ranked sixth in The Day's poll.
Raquan Tompkins threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to UConn-bound Kevon Jones for the Hornets (9-2) and Ricardo Roberts kicked a 24-yard field goal.
To read more about this game, please visit Emery Filmer of The Ruden Report, Anthony E. Parelli of the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith, and William S. Paxton at the Hartford Courant (need to get you a middle initial, Emery).
No. 4 South Windsor 35, No. 5 Naugatuck 13
The Bobcats had a good ‘ol time in their return to states after a 29-year absence as they outgained the Greyhounds, 345-140.
Julian Ibes ran 29 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns for South Windsor (10-1).
Mike Plasky scored on a 3-yard run for Naugy (9-2).
No. 7 West Haven 46, No. 2 Shelton 7
Kyle Godfrey showed multiple times why he was voted the co-SCC Alpha Division Player of the Year.
Godfrey ran for 164 yards and three touchdowns (including a 98-yarder). His biggest play may have been when he intercepted a pass in the back of the end zone and returned it to the Gaels’ 20. It set up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jake Conlan to Chris Chance to give the Westies a 14-7 lead late in the first half.
Chance also scored on runs of 1 and 2 yards for the Blue Devils (9-2), who lost to Fairfield Prep on Thanksgrabbing (21-14).
Jake Roberts (no, not that Jake Roberts) completed 11 of 25 passes for 149 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass to Georgio Ghazal, for the Gaels (9-2).
We'll need some time to research the last time anyone beat Shelton that badly.
To read more about this game, please visit Tom O’Reilly of the Shelton Herald, and Joe-Joe Mo-rel-lio at the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith.
• • • •
No. 2 Hand 35, No. 7 North Haven 13
Hand was moved down to SCC Tier 2 this season.
The SCC might want to think about, like, moving the Tigers back up to Alpha Tier with the West Havens, Sheltons, and North Havens.
Brian Casagrande scored on runs of 1, 3 and 41 yards and helped the Tigers’ defense stuff North Haven’s single wing offense (NO-OOOOO).
Phoenix Billings threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Michael Tarantino, and a 27-yard touchdown pass to Chris Iannuzzi for Hand (10-1), ranked eighth in The Day's poll.
The Indians’ Mark Montano, co-SCC Alpha Tier Player of the Year, played after spending Monday night in the hospital with an ulcer (bleh). He scored on runs of 1 and 2 yards for, and this is, sadly, the last time this season that we can write this, GOD’S FATHER’S OFFENSE. The Indians finished 8-3.
No. 3 Windsor 36, No. 6 Maloney 0
The REMATCHENING was worse than the original.
Tomasz Johnson ran for 275 yards and four touchdowns as the Warriors beat Maloney again (they won 28-0 on Sept. 9).
OMEGA Cobb and Dohnjae Cassanova each had two sacks for Windsor (10-1), ranked ninth in The Day's poll.
The Spartans finished 9-2
No. 5 Masuk 43, No. 4 Fitch 7
Jack Roberge ran 22 times for 126 yards and a touchdown, caught a 38-yard touchdown from Matt Hersch, and had one of the Panthers’ four interceptions.
Hersch completed 13 of 19 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns for Masuk (10-1), ranked 10th in The Day's poll. Jack Duignan also scored on an 18-yard interception return.
Zach Lettelier blocked a punt and picked it up for the score for the Falcons (10-1). The ECC Division I champions finished the regular season unbeaten for the first time since 2001.
No. 8 New Canaan 24, No. 1 Middletown 9
Middletown was vicious on defense when it beat Windsor on Thanksgrabbing Eve, 24-7. It held the Warriors to 79 yards and didn’t give up an offensive touchdown.
Think about that as you read that New Canaan racked up 311 yards on the Blue Dragons, including 125 rushing.
Owen Shin ran 24 times for 71 yards for the Rams (9-2), ranked seventh in The Day's poll.
The Blue Dragons’ offense revolved around the run game. New Canaan held them to 55 yards rushing.
STONE Belzo threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to DeAaron Lawrence and Michael Aresco nailed a 37-yard field goal for Middletown (10-1), ranked fifth in The Day's poll.
To read more about this game, please visit Terry Dinan of The Ruden Report, and Scott “JINX” Ericson of the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith. Ericson went on the Twit on Monday and revealed that he was one of the two voters who picked the Blue Dragons No. 1 in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register media poll and his reasons for doing so.
Way to go, Scott. Way. To Go.
Don’t ever get on a plane with us.
• • • •
No. 1 Killingly 57, No. 8 Law 21
In addition to Lockwood's big night, Zach Caffrey ran 11 times for 64 yards and a touchdown and Luke Desaulnier kicked six extra points and a 31-yard field goal for Killingly (11-0).
Killingly ran 44 times for 527 yards. That’ll make up for throwing a pass (Zach Burgess caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Desaulnier).
Did we mention that Lockwood fella’ also had three interceptions? Well he did.
Hayden Hulme completed 13 of 26 passes for 215 yards with a touchdown and scored on a 5-yard run for the Lawmen (6-5).
To read more about this game, please visit Marc Allard of the Norwich Bulletin, and the cuddly Michael Fornabaio of the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith.
No. 4 Berlin 27, No. 5 Watertown 14
You say the Redcoats lost their last two games of the regular season? BIG DEAL. This is the playoffs. This is a new season.
Larry St. Pierre had six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown and scored on a 10-yard run for the Redcoats (9-2). Kevin Dunn was an efficient 12 of 15 for 203 yards with three touchdowns, and Alex Halkias ran 15 times for 132 yards.
Nick D’Elia completed 26 of 35 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns and ran 10 times for 76 yards for the Indians (8-3). Danile Graziano added 14 catches for 116 yards and a score.
No. 6 Barlow 47, No. 3 Sheehan 34
Alright, what else happened for Barlow other than FURRER-MANIA?
Alex Stillman (2 yards), Will Cusick (6 yards) and Cal Peterson (1 yard) all ran for touchdowns for the Falcons (8-3). Oh, Henry Richetelli caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Furrer.
Wes Terzi was 13 of 19 for 252 yards and four touchdowns for the Titans (9-2). Aaron Simmons added three catches for 87 yards and two scores.
No. 7 Sport Sciences/Univ./Classical 32, No. 2 Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial 29
Three of the night’s four REMATCHENINGS were yuck.
These two Pequot Uncas foes nearly made up for it.
Josh McLeggon ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns for the TIGERHAWKS. He also caught a 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-11 with three minutes, 21 seconds left in this athletic endeavor to give his team a 32-22 lead en route to their first playoff win.
The Patriots beat SMSA/U/C, 28-26, on Nov. 18. That was also the last game of the regular season for both teams.
Hill completed 10 of 19 passes for 115 yards and two TDs for the TIGERHAWKS (8-3).
Shaun O’Connell ran for 134 yards and three touchdowns for the MIGHTY PATRIOT BULLDOGS (10-1) and Jacob Carlson ran for 84 yards and a score.
To read more about this game, please visit the fantabulous Lori “Ratbag” Riley at the Hartford Courant. She’s absolute aces.
• • • •
No. 1 Ansonia 51, No. 8 Seymour 16
The good news was that this REMATCHENING wasn't as gruesome as the orginial (a 61-6 maiming by Ansonia). It was still ludicrously lopsided, though.
Markell Dobbs ran 26 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns for the Chargers (11-0), ranked second in The Day's poll. Darwin Amaya added 14 carries for 165 yards two touchdowns, and caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Justin Lopez.
Bobby Melms ran 22 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats (8-3). To read more about this game, please visit Dan “Gamblor” Nowak at the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith and Kurmudgeonly Kyle Brennan at the Waterbury Communist National.
No. 2 St. Joseph 62, No. 7 O'Brien Tech 0
As expected, St. Joseph laid waste to the Condors. It led 28-0 after the first quarter and 55-0 at halftime.
HATS OFF, though, to O’Brien head coach Nick “Shoulders” Aprea for having some perspective about it all.
“It was such a unique thing at halftime,” Aprea told John Nash of the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith. “We talked in there (trailing 55-0) and the kids were having fun and joking. We came here with 32 kids and they had a million. We knew we were going to be in for it — everybody in Connecticut knew we were going to be in for it. But what we accomplished this year is nothing short of remarkable. To get here on this stage after seven years, playing one of the top programs in the entire state, our kids learned something.”
The Condors (8-3) were 14-43 in their first six seasons.
David Summers completed 14 of 16 passes for 274 yards and six touchdowns for the Cadets (10-1), ranked third in The Day's poll.
To read more about this game, please visit John at the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith.
No. 3 Rocky Hill 34, No. 6 Valley Regional/Old Lyme 21
Rocky Hill had GOD’S OFFENSE in full effect as it ran SIXTY FIVE TIMES for FOUR HUNDRED AND NINE YARDS and five touchdowns.
The Terriers (11-0) had two 100-yard rushers and nearly had a third. Joe Catania ran 30 times for 171 yards and a touchdown. Joe Ferreira had 20 carries for 135 yards and two scores. Dan Cavallaro, the quarterback, even got in on the fun with nine carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Cullina completed 14 of 24 passes for 231 yards with three touchdowns for the WARRIORCATS (9-2). Ryan Santos (25 yards), Jake Kruszewski (37 yards) and Jean-Pierre (4 yards) were on the receiving end.
No. 5 Stafford/East Windsor/Somers 20, No. 4 Bullard-Havens 12
Anthony Pizzimenti blocked a punt for the go-ahead touchdown as the Bulldogs scored 13 in the fourth quarter for their first playoff win in just their second appearance.
"The Stafford Bulldogs just won a playoff game. I don't know if I ever believed I'd say that," Stafford/East Windsor/Somers coach Brian Mazzone told the Hartford Courant. "Somehow we're further than we were last year, and last year was a dream season. This must be a fairytale."
Colton Engel ran 25 times for 145 yards and a touchdown and completed 11 of 13 passes for 95 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Kology. John Kopek added 13 tackles and a sack for S/EW/S (9-2).
Tyrese Wright completed 14 of 21 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers (9-2).
To read more about this game, please visit at Aaron Jonhson at the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith or read this write-up at the Hartford Courant.
• • • •
We’ve written many times about how much we love Ned Freeman’s computer model over at CalPreps.com. It’s pretty good at sniffing out the top teams, including some two-or-three loss teams that may be overlooked during the season by voters in both Top 10 polls.
Just for hah-hahs, this is how the quarterfinals would’ve looked like if the CIAC used the computer’s rankings. You’ll notice that the computer digs the FCIAC and SCC (and for good reason).
No. 1 Darien vs. No. 8 Fairfield Prep; No. 2 Greenwich vs. No. 7 Southington (8-2); No. 3 Shelton vs. No. 6 Staples (6-4); and, No. 4 West Haven vs. No. 5 Ridgefield (7-3).
The computer only looks at data, thus it doesn’t know what went on at Darien last week.
The computer appreciates Ridgefield as much as everyone does here at Polecat Worldwide. All of its losses were to Top 10 teams — Darien (38-12), Greenwich (26-21), and St. Joseph (38-35).
Staples is a good example of how the computer model regards the FCIAC. The WRECKERS didn’t beat anyone from the league’s top tier with losses to Darien (32-6), Greenwich (31-14), Ridgefield (24-20), and St. Joseph (49-9). Their best wins were over Wilton (6-4) and Norwalk (6-4), good teams who have the misfortune of living in a league filled with apex predators.
Southington is proof that computers aren’t perfect. No disrespect to the Blue Knights, but they lost to South Windsor (30-27 in overtime) and East Hartford (27-20), which the computer ranked ninth and 10th, respectively. Their schedule was slightly better, but in real life, you couldn’t put them ahead of the Bobcats or Hornets. Especially when that duo each had one loss.
Naugatuck was ranked 15th.
No. 1 Hand vs. No. 8 Wilton; No. 2 Middletown vs. No. 7 Maloney; No. 3 New Canaan vs. No. 6 Windsor; No. 4 Masuk vs. No. 5 North Haven.
New Canaan was seeded five spots higher than it was in real life. THE COMPUTER KNOWS.
Wilton is eighth because the computer loves it some FCIAC (as should you).
Fitch was ninth as both its schedule and the ECC overall dragged its rating down. Its opponents were a combined 37-65 during the regular season. The only winning team the Falcons faced was East Lyme (7-3), and seven of its opponents had losing records.
Fitch's schedule wasn't its fault, though. You would've been laughed at a year ago if you said New London (4-6) and Notre Dame of West Haven (3-7) would have losing records this season. Fitch has to play New London because they’re both in the ECC Division I, and it was assigned ND as part of the ECC-SCC-SWC scheduling alliance. The Green Knights advanced to the Class L finals the last two years and played for the 2014 Class L-Small title.
All that in written, in real life, no way could an unbeaten team be left out of states. We don’t need another situation like 1994 Fitch and 1980 Trumbull, unbeaten beasts which didn’t make states (there were only state finals in those daze).
No. 1 Killingly vs. No. 8 Law; No. 2 Sheehan vs. No. 7 Harding (3-7); No. 3 Barlow vs. No. 6 Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial; and, No. 4 Berlin vs. No. 5 Foran (4-6).
This division is a great example of where the computer model can put too much emphasis on a team’s conference and competition.
Foran and Harding play in the SCC’s Tier 2, which should not be confused with the conference’s Tier 1. Foran (North Haven) and the Presidents (Cheshire) played one crossover against a Tier 1 team as mandated by the SCC. The Lions’ opponents had an absurd 61-39 record. Of the two, the Presidents had the best win (Hillhouse, 20-13) and gave Cheshire, Fairfield Prep, and North Haven a hard time.
Still, a team shouldn’t make states with a losing record.
Watertown was rated 11th and SMSA/U/C No. 16.
No. 1 St. Joseph vs. No. 8 Bullard-Havens; No. 2 Ansonia vs. No. 7 Griswold (7-3); No. 3 Rocky Hill vs. No. 6 Bloomfield (8-2); and No. 4 Seymour vs. No. 5 Capital Prep/Achievement First.
Cap/Ac’s rating needs an asterisk because all 10 of its games were inputted into the computer. It played a freelance schedule this season with eight games counting towards the CIAC playoffs (its games against the Hun School of New Jersey and Toronto Prep weren’t). The computer, however, was “told” the Trailblazers were 5-5 instead of 5-3, and factored in the strength of those two out-of-state schools.
We’ve heard Class S coaches rave about some of Bloomfield’s players. Saw the WARHAWKS live, too. They were legit.
Surprised that Griswold, from the ECC’s lowest division, got more love than the two Pequot League teams (Valley/Old Lyme and S/EW/S). The computer really downgraded the strength of schedule for Pequot teams. Then again, it rated the Connecticut Technical Conference as the state’s worst league and still ranked Bullard-Havens ahead of the Pequot duo (B-H had a worse SOS, too). We’d like to know what the computer was “thinking” there.
The WARRIORCATS were No. 11, and S/EW/S No. 13. O’Brien Tech was No. 25 because CTC.
• • • •
From the "No One Cares" Dept. — here’s how CalPreps.com’s computer model, GameTimeCT, and Polecat Worldwide did with their quarterfinal picks:
GameTimeCT/Hearst Incorporated: 10-6
Polecat Worldwide: 14-2 (talked ourselves out of picking Barlow for the win — we beseech thee for your forgiveness, Bill Yeoman, for shunning the team with the sexy triple option)
• • • •
Thanks for reading. More soon.
We won't wait until 24 hours before gameday to write the semifinal previews, either.
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