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New Canaan new No. 1 in Day coaches' poll

This year has been arguably the craziest high school football season of the millennium.

It's perhaps apropos, then, that four teams received first-place votes in The Day Top 10 state coaches’ poll this week with the CIAC playoffs beginning Tuesday.

New Canaan usurped Darien as No. 1 after beating the former on Thanksgiving, 12-7. The Rams (9-1) were ranked fourth prior to the game and received five first-place votes this week.

The Blue Wave (9-1) had averaged a state-best 43.8 points through their first nine games. New Canaan held them to 204 yards offense and had six sacks, a safety, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

What’s curious is that the Blue Wave dropped to third below St. Joseph (9-1), which they beat 42-14 on Oct. 30. Darien received three first-place votes and the Cadets two but six coaches voted the latter ahead of the former, giving it a slight 348-346 edge in points. By comparison, St. Joseph dropped from first to second after being thumped by the Blue Wave.

The Cadets are the top seed in the Class L playoffs and seek their fourth straight state title.

Fairfield Prep (9-1) received the other three first-place votes but dropped one spot to fourth because it was pushed down by New Canaan’s ascension to number one. It’s the top seed in the Class LL playoffs.

To get an appreciation for the jumbled mess that coaches had to sort through when putting together their ballots this week, New Canaan beat Darien, which beat St. Joseph, which beat Greenwich (24-20), which beat Fairfield Prep (14-7), which beat Notre Dame of West Haven (28-22), which beat Wilton (36-35, OT), which beat New Canaan (20-17).

Got all that?

Maloney (9-1) and Windsor (9-1) held steady at five and six, respectively.

Greenwich (7-3) moved up three spots to No. 7 after beating Staples in overtime on Thanksgiving, 34-28, to both earn the eighth and final berth in the CIAC Class LL playoffs and eliminate the latter from contention. Voters have looked past the Cardinals’ three losses because of their schedule. They beat the likes of Fairfield Prep, Staples and Trumbull (44-12), all of which received votes this week. Their other two losses were to New Canaan (14-7) and Shelton (35-14).

Bloomfield (10-0) and Killingly (9-0) were pushed down one spot to eighth and ninth, respectively, by Greenwich. The Warhawks are the top seed in Class S. Killingly is the top seed in Class M for the third time since 2015.

Shelton (8-2) moved back into the Top 10 despite being idle. It did so because former No. 9 Ansonia (9-1) dropped out after being beaten by Naugatuck on Thanksgiving, 14-7. It was the Chargers’ first Naugatuck Valley League loss in 104 games. Naugatuck was the last NVL team to beat them (38-20, Nov. 25, 2010).

The state playoffs start Tuesday with the quarterfinals. The semifinals are Dec. 5 and the state finals will be played on Dec. 11 at Trumbull High School and Veterans Stadium in New Britain.


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