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    Thursday, February 02, 2023

    H.S. football / Week 6 preview capsules

    Waterford head coach Zeth Nolda talks to his team on the sideline before facing Branford in high school football action Friday, September 9, 2022. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Friday’s games

    Ledyard at Waterford, 6 p.m.

    Records: Ledyard (4-0, 1-0 ECC Div. II); Waterford (3-1, 1-0)

    Last week: Both teams were idle

    Outlook: This should be among the best games in the state. Ledyard is unbeaten, but plays its best opponent of the season to date. Waterford has won three straight since an opening night loss to Branford. Ledyard runs the ball with efficiency, led by senior James Green, while Waterford’s quarterback Nate Hynes has beaten opponents with his legs and right arm this season. The winner keeps its hopes alive to win ECC Div. II. The game will be streamed live by GameDay on theday.com (Casey O’Neill and Jose Sanabria) at 6 p.m.

    Thames River at Montville, 6 p.m.

    Records: Thames River (3-0); Montville (1-3)

    Last week: Thames River defeated VG Techs 56-0; Montville was idle

    Outlook: Thames River is emerging as a playoff contender for the second straight season, outscoring its opponents 134-6 thus far. The Crusaders, also a contender in the Connecticut Technical Conference, defeated former ECC football member Plainfield earlier this season. Montville has lost two straight since snapping a 17-game losing streak in Week 2 vs. Bacon Academy.

    Griswold/Wheeler at East Lyme, 6:30 p.m.

    Records: Griswold/Wheeler (2-2); East Lyme (1-3)

    Last week: Both teams were idle

    Outlook: It was a happier bye week for the Vikings, who won their first game two weeks ago at Woodstock. Junior Aidan Patterson ran for 257 yards, sustaining coach Rudy Bagos’ belief that the slow start was more a function of a tough schedule (Hand, Windham, Law) than insufficient talent. East Lyme still has plenty of season left, including divisional play (already a 1-0 record) and the annual Thanksgiving Day game with Waterford.

    NFA at Shelton, 7 p.m.

    Records: NFA (0-4); Shelton (3-1)

    Last week: Both teams were idle

    Outlook: This is not the sight a winless team wants to see. Shelton is 3-1, coming off an 18-10 loss to North Haven two weeks ago, after earning top five votes in both state polls in previous weeks. The Gaels don’t have fond memories of NFA, having defeated the Wildcats during the 2019 season, but losing the final spot in the Class LL playoffs to NFA, which had an identical 7-3 record – but more playoff points.

    Saturday’s games

    Weaver at New London, noon

    Records: Weaver (0-4); New London (1-3)

    Last week: Both teams were idle

    Outlook: This appears an opportunity for the Whalers to play better and get a win. Weaver has struggled (46 points in four games). New London has played well in spurts, but has a major issue with turnovers. The Whalers did find bright spots in a loss at Waterford two weeks ago in Tyree Barnes, who took a screen pass 90 yards for a touchdown.

    Woodstock at Bacon Academy, noon

    Records: Woodstock (1-2); Bacon (0-4)

    Last week: Both teams were idle

    Outlook: Might this be the week for Bacon? The Bobcats, who nearly won in Week 2 at Montville, have shown signs of improvement. Woodstock is coming off a loss against previously winless East Lyme. Bacon has moved the ball more effectively than last season, but has 31 points in four weeks.

    Fitch at Xavier, 1:30 p.m.

    Records: Fitch (3-1); Xavier (1-3)

    Last week: Both teams were idle

    Outlook: In the “it’s never too late to speculate” department, the Falcons were denied a playoff spot last season despite an 8-2 record. This is a huge game for them, given tough games with Killingly and Ledyard looming. Xavier has struggled offensively (28 points all season) but has played a brutal schedule, including New Canaan and Fairfield Prep.

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