Bacon earns a berth in Class M quarterfinals
Here’s hoping that the Thanksgiving Day high school football games provide more thrills and chills than what transpired on Wednesday night.
It won’t be hard because Wednesday’s games provided all the drama of a trigonometry textbook. The majority were maulings and left just seven CIAC playoff berths left among the four divisions.
Bacon Academy (Class M), East Catholic (Class S), Notre Dame of West Haven (Class L), and Seymour (Class S) all unofficially qualified. The playoff pairings won’t be official until the CIAC football committee approves them on Friday.
Here, then, is one last look at the playoff races, starting with the division that has the most local interest — Class M.
Qualified: Abbott Tech/Immaculate (8-1), Killingly (8-1), New Fairfield (8-1), Ledyard (8-1), Brookfield (7-2), and Bacon Academy (7-2).
Contenders: St. Joseph (6-2), East Haven (7-2), Stratford (6-3), and Foran (6-3).
Ledyard earns a home quarterfinal with a win over Fitch (5-4). The quarterfinals (Tuesday, Dec. 1) and semifinals (Monday, Dec. 7) will be played at the higher seed. The finals will be played on Saturday, Dec. 12 at neutral sites. Trumbull, West Haven and Willow Brook Park in New Britain are among the sites that will be be considered.
St. Joseph and East Haven qualify with wins. St. Joseph plays host to Trumbull (5-4) and could still qualify with a loss should it earn enough bonuses. A bonus are the 10 points a team receives whenever an opponent it beat wins a game.
The Yellowjackets travel to Branford (4-5).
Stratford and Foran both need to win and hope either St. Joseph or East Haven lose, preferably the latter as it would be mathematically eliminated.
Stratford plays host to Bunnell (4-5). Foran heads across Milford to play Law (1-8).
Projected bracket: No. 1 Killingly (9-1) vs. No. 8 East Haven (8-2); No. 2 New Fairfield (9-1) vs. No. 7 St. Joseph (7-2); No. 3 Ledyard (9-1) vs. No. 6 Bacon Academy (8-2); No. 4 ATI (8-1) vs. No. 5 Brookfield (8-2).
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Qualified: Shelton (9-0), Southington (9-0), Darien (8-0), Newtown (9-1), Glastonbury (8-1) and Conard (8-2).
Contenders: Ridgefield (7-2), Staples (6-2), West Haven (6-3) and Trumbull (5-3).
Ridgefield beat Danbury Wednesday night, 48-20.
The other three teams play on Thanksgiving — Staples plays host to Greenwich (4-4), West Haven is at Fairfield Prep (5-4), and Trumbull plays at St. Joseph.
Tiebreakers would determine the final two berths if Ridgefield, Staples and West Haven all won. Staples and West Haven have the best chances to qualify as each has a higher point ceiling than Ridgefield.
Trumbull needs West Haven or Staples to lose and collect enough bonuses to qualify.
Projected bracket: No. 1 Darien (9-0) vs. No. 8 West Haven (7-3); No. 2 Shelton (10-0) vs. No. 7 Conard (8-2); No. 3 Southington (10-0) vs. No. 6 Staples (7-2); No. 4 Newtown (9-1) vs. No. 5 Glastonbury (8-1).
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Qualified: Harding (9-0), North Haven (9-0), Windsor (10-0), New Canaan (8-0), Torrington (8-1), Wethersfield (9-1), Notre Dame of West Haven (7-2).
Contenders: Avon (8-2) and Middletown (8-2).
Avon and Middletown finished the regular season.
Middletown has the best chance at the final spot as it has a 1,070-1,050 point edge on Avon prior to bonuses.
Middletown has four bonuses, the Falcons three.
Adding intrigue is that the teams have conflicting bonus games — Rockville at South Windsor, and Farmington at Plainville. Middletown needs wins by Farmington and South Windsor. Avon is sending happy thoughts to Plainville and Rockville.
Projected bracket: No. 1 North Haven (10-0) vs. No. 8 Middletown (8-2); No. 2 Harding (10-0) vs. No. 7 Notre Dame-West Haven (8-2); No. 3 Windsor (10-0) vs. No. 6 New Canaan (8-1); No. 4 Torrington (9-1) vs. No. 5 Wethersfield (9-1).
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Qualified: Ansonia (9-0), Bloomfield (10-0), Granby (10-0), Trinity Catholic (7-1), Seymour (9-1), and East Catholic (8-2).
Contenders: Morgan (8-1), Cromwell/Portland (8-1), Capital Prep/Achievement First (7-2), and Rocky Hill (7-2).
Morgan and Cromwell/Portland clinch with wins.
Morgan plays at Old Saybrook/Westbrook (6-3).
Cromwell/Portland plays at Rocky Hill in what is almost a play-in game.
Capital/Achievement finished the regular season last week.
A Rocky Hill win would put it and Capital/Achievement in line for the final spot with bonuses deciding it. Capital's maximum average is 116.67 if Thames River beats Woodstock Academy, and Bullard-Havens tops Bassick.
Rocky Hill's max average is 118 with a win and wins by Plainville and Rockville.
Projected bracket: No. 1 Ansonia (10-0) vs. No. 8 Rocky Hill (8-2); No. 2 Bloomfield (10-0) vs. No. 7 East Catholic (8-2); No. 3 Granby (10-0) vs. No. 6 Seymour (9-1); No. 4 Trinity Catholic (8-1) vs. No. 5 Morgan (9-1).