Hand in, Southington out of The Day's state H.S. football poll

An old, familiar face makes its return to The Day's state high school football coaches’ poll this week, and it should be of great interest to Fitch.

Hand makes its season debut at No. 10 after a win, coupled with a controversial overtime loss by Southington, the former No. 10.

The Tigers (8-1) thrashed Wilbur Cross on Saturday, 34-10, to clinch a berth in the CIAC Class L playoffs. Fitch is trying to earn a spot in that division and needs to win one of its final two games to do it.

It’s been a return to form for Hand after enduring the worst season in program history. It finished 2-8 last year playing against a harsh Southern Connecticut Conference Tier 1 schedule. The Tigers lost four of those games by six points or less, including two in overtime.

Longtime head coach Steve Filippone announced before last season that it was his last. Filippone was just the second coach in the program’s 46-year history and one of the best in state history, leading the team to seven of the program’s 11 state titles. Only Ansonia (20), New Canaan and St. Joseph (12 each) have won more.

The Tigers, now coached by Dave Mastroianni, have won seven in a row. They lost to No. 7 Shelton, 21-19 (Sept. 15), after their two-point conversion failed with a little over two minutes left in the game.

Hand’s defense hasn’t allowed two touchdowns since that loss.

Southington, a top 10 constant, lost to South Windsor in overtime Saturday, 30-27. Southington had an overtime touchdown waved off due to a live-ball foul away from the play. It turned it over on the next down.

Two-time Class LL defending champion Darien (9-0) once again earned all 13 first-place votes. Fitch (8-0) is the only area team receiving votes and is just one of 20 teams in the poll.


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