St. Joseph begins the season No. 1 in The Day coaches' poll

St. Joseph proved Saturday that you don’t need multiple major college prospects to have the better team.

The prevailing thought around Connecticut was that New Canaan would be the state’s best football team this season. A big reason why was that it has four players committed to Football Bowl Subdivision programs such as Boston College, Michigan and Notre Dame.

The Cadets' defense did the unthinkable as they both shut down and shut out New Canaan, 28-0. That performance earned St. Joseph the No. 1 ranking in the season debut of The Day of New London Top 10 state coaches’ poll.

It was the second straight year in which St. Joseph beat the Rams in a season opener. It was also the second straight year in which New Canaan was ranked No. 1 in the preseason GameTimeCT/New Haven Register media poll.

St. Joseph, which won the CIAC Class S title last season, received seven of 13 first-place votes.

The top three spots all belong to teams from the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Three-time defending Class LL champion Darien was second and received three first-place votes. It plays at St. Joseph on Sept. 22.

Class LL runnerup Greenwich was was third and earned the other three first-place votes. Greenwich and St. Joseph are not scheduled to play one another this season.

Hand, the reigning Class L champion, was fourth and Shelton fifth.

East Hartford, New Canaan, Ansonia, defending Class M champion Killingly and Southington round out the top 10.

Norwich Free Academy is the only area team in the poll. It received one 14th place vote after beating Xavier on Friday, 26-13.

St. Joseph also moved to No. 1 in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register media poll.

n.griffen@theday.com

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