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Thames River a win away from its first CIAC playoff berth

The Thames River cooperative program will take its first trip to the CIAC football playoffs if it beats rival Quinebaug Valley Wednesday night in Putnam.

Fitch, meanwhile, must beat Ledyard on Thanksgiving and get some help Wednesday night to qualify.

As for Ledyard, well, the Colonels need Christmas to come early to make the playoffs.

It’s the final week of the 2021 regular season and there are unofficially 15 playoff berths still available. The participants won’t be official until the CIAC’s football committee approves the pairings the day after the end of the regular season.

The top eight teams in each division qualify.

Maloney (8-1), St. Joseph (8-1) and Cheney Tech (9-1) have unofficially qualified in Class L.

Thames River (8-1) has the luxury of being able to earn a playoff berth on the field should it beat the Pride (7-2). The Crusaders are seventh in the Class L ratings and, should they qualify, will likely start the playoffs on the road.

The Crusaders can qualify with a loss but will need two of three teams to lose — Masuk (7-1) against Newtown (6-3) on Wednesday night, Hand (6-3) against Guilford (6-3) that same night and Fitch (7-2) against Ledyard (6-3).

FYI: Hand has owned the Grizzlies, 41-5-1, in one of the state’s most lopsided Thanksgiving week rivalries.

Fitch's best chance to qualify is if two of these three lose — Hand, Masuk and/or Thames River. The Falcons must also beat Ledyard (6-3). There’s a remote possibility that Quinebaug Valley can best them on points with a win over Thames.

CLASS S: Bloomfield (9-0), Ansonia (9-0), Cromwell/Portland (9-0), Holy Cross (8-1) and New Fairfield (7-2) have unofficially qualified.

Ledyard (6-3) is ranked 12th and must beat Fitch.

There’s a good chance that No. 6 Seymour (7-2) will outpoint the Colonels even if it loses Wednesday night at Woodland (5-4).

Ledyard’s best hope is that two of three things happen — No. 7 Morgan (7-2) loses to winless Old Saybrook on Wednesday night, No. 8 Notre Dame of Fairfield loses to winless Pomperaug that same night and/or No. 9 Sheehan (6-3) loses to Lyman Hall (2-7) on Thanksgiving.

Yep, it looks bad for the Colonels even if they beat the Falcons.

CLASS M: Killingly (8-0) is the only unbeaten team and has already clinched a top two seed. It will be No. 1 if it beats Woodstock Academy (7-2) on Thanksgiving.

Granby/Canton (7-2), Rockville (7-2) and Ellington (7-2) have also unofficially qualified.

CLASS LL: Darien (9-0), Fairfield Prep (8-1), New Canaan (8-1), Hall (9-1) and Shelton (8-2) have unofficially qualified.

n.griffen@theday.com

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