The Lonesome Polecat (state variant): mercifully, the final week of BRACKETOLOGY~!

Howdy,

Full disclosure — we picked a bunch of games WRONG this weekend, which short-circuited some of our previous BRACKETOLOGY~!

Hey, this ain’t easy.

It’s been that kind of year for Connecticut football, too, because there hasn’t been as much separation as usual.

It's even flummoxed CalPrep.com’s computer model more than almost any other state. It’s generally pretty good at picking games, but it’s only picked two states worse than Connecticut this season (Nevada and New Jersey).

It’s a good thing that this is the last week of the regular season because we don’t need to extend our failure any further. That and math is our cruel nemesis.

Our hope is to keep BRACKETOLOGY~! updated after Tuesday and Wednesday’s games in order to keep YOU updated as to who has made states and who needs to do what to qualify. We write “hope” because actual results may vary.

You're following football all wrong if you're not keeping an eye on Twitter at #cthsfb. It's like 24/7 news without screaming studio hosts.

Also note that we’re trying to make these playoff explanations as simple as possible.

We could break down every minute permutation for every team, but that would bore you fast and would make us flip our wig even faster.

Enough jibber-jabber. Onto BRACKETOLOGY~!

GROUND RULES

1. We’ve listed a team’s high and low point totals as well as their bonuses.

Bonuses are the 10 points a team receives for a win by an opponent it beat.

2. A team is all but hosed if it has four losses. Law is the only team in the 42-year history of CIAC playoffs to qualify with that many (Class M, 2017).

3. We’re going to be wrong about a bunch of these predictions because crazy stuff happens this of year and it's awesome. Surprises are (usually) FUN.

4. Just because we didn’t pick your team to qualify doesn’t mean we hate you. Hell, we don’t even know you, man.

5. Matt Fischer, the CIAC’s Professor Frink, built the ROBOABACUS so that you may stay updated on all the playoff races in real time. He even tricked it out by adding a color bar to update the current playoff status. USE IT.

6. No one officially qualifies until the CIAC football committee says so. They’ll rubber stamp everything the day after the end of the regular season, whenever that is.

7. We’ve added a high and low category to represent the most and least playoff points a team may earn.

8. This is an exhibition, not a competition. Please, no wagering.

The state quarterfinals (Tuesday, Nov. 27) and semifinals (Sunday, Dec. 2) are hosted by the higher seeds. The finals are on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Willow Brook Park in New Britain and Trumbull (3-6) High.

The following have (unofficially) qualified:

CLASS LL: Darien, Newtown, Cheshire, Southington, Simsbury, and Greenwich.

CLASS L: St. Joseph, Hand, Maloney and Berlin.

CLASS M: Rockville, Abbott Tech/Immaculate, and Killingly.

CLASS S: Bullard-Havens, Ansonia and Bloomfield.

SIXTEEN teams in. SIXTEEN spots left.

HEY, HO — LET’S GO!

• • • •

CLASS LL

(Why can’t you other three divisions be more like LL?)

IN

1. DARIEN (9-0)

NEXT: vs. New Canaan (7-2), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,530.

LOW: 1,270.

BONUSES (90): TRUMBULL (3-6) over St. Joseph (9-0); NORWALK (4-5) over McMahon (2-7); TRINITY CATHOLIC/WRIGHT TECH (2-7) over Wilton (6-3); DANBURY (5-4) over Ridgefield (7-2); FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE (6-3) over Fairfield Warde (4-5); WESTHILL (1-8) over Stamford (3-6); SOUTHINGTON (8-1) over Cheshire (8-1); GREENWICH (8-1) over Staples (2-7); BRIDGEPORT CENTRAL (0-9) over Harding (3-6).

Clinches the top seed with a win and one bonus, or Cheshire and Newtown losing one bonus. Cannot drop lower than fifth with a loss.

2. NEWTOWN (9-0)

NEXT: at Masuk (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,440.

LOW: 1,230

BONUSES (50): DANBURY (5-4) over Ridgefield (7-2); NEW MILFORD (4-5) over New Fairfield (7-2); POMPERAUG (1-8) over Notre Dame-Ffld. (5-4); BARLOW (6-3) over Weston (8-1); SHELTON (6-3) over Derby (2-7).

Earns at least a top three seed with a win and cannot drop further than sixth with a loss. Note that the Nighthawks’ floor is higher than Cheshire, but their ceilings are the same. One edge they do have is that they share a bonus (Shelton), and that Cheshire needs Masuk to beat Newtown to collect one of its other six bonuses.

3. CHESHIRE (8-1)

NEXT: Southington (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,440.

LOW: 1,200.

BONUSES (60): SHEEHAN (7-2) over Lyman Hall (6-3); FAIRFIELD WARDE (4-5) over Fairfield Ludlowe (6-3); MASUK (6-3) over Newtown (9-0); EAST HAVEN (7-2) over Branford (5-4); SHELTON (6-3) over Derby (2-7); HARDING (3-5) over Bridgeport Central (0-9).

The Apple Valley Classic is the game to see on Thanksgrabbing because it both shakes up this division and is the only one involving two top 10 teams in The Day coaches' poll. The Rams earn a top three seed with a win. Can fall as far as sixth with a loss.

4. SOUTHINGTON (8-1)

NEXT: at Cheshire (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,370.

LOW: 1,170.

BONUSES (20): SIMSBURY (8-1) over Avon (2-7); GLASTONBURY (3-6) over Bloomfield (9-0).

Earns a home quarterfinal with a win. The Blue Knights can finish as high as second with a Newtown loss, or far down as seventh with a loss.

5. SIMSBURY (8-1)

NEXT: vs. Avon (2-7), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

HIGH: 1,290.

LOW: 1,140.

BONUSES (30): AMITY (4-5) over North Haven (5-4); GLASTONBURY (3-6) over Bloomfield (9-0); MANCHESTER (4-5) over East Hartford (1-8).

Has a very good chance to earn a home quarterfinal with a win because it will pass the Cheshire-Southington loser, and will need just two bonuses to go its way to beat Greenwich for the spot.

6. GREENWICH (8-1)

NEXT: at Staples (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,270.

LOW: 1,090.

BONUSES (60): TRUMBULL (3-6) over St. Joseph (8-0); NORWALK (4-5) over McMahon (2-7); TRINITY CATHOLIC/WRIGHT TECH (2-7) over Wilton (6-3); FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE (6-3) over Fairfield Warde (4-5); WESTHILL (1-8) over Stamford (3-5); BRIDGEPORT CENTRAL (0-9) over Harding (3-5).

Can finish as high as third with a win, a Newtown loss and a few other breaks. Its bonuses aren’t promising, though.

JUST WIN, BABY

7. RIDGEFIELD (7-2)

NEXT: vs. Danbury (5-4), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,180.

LOW: 970.

BONUSES (60): MCMAHON (2-7) over Norwalk (4-5); WILTON (6-3) over Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech (2-7); FAIRFIELD WARDE (4-5) over Fairfield Ludlowe (6-3); STAMFORD (3-6) over Westhill (1-8); STAPLES (2-7) over Greenwich (8-1); NEW CANAAN (7-2) over Darien (9-0).

In with a win. Can finish as high as fourth if both Simsbury and Greenwich lose, neither of which looks likely, so never mind.

The Tigers aren’t staked with a loss because Shelton is the only team outside the top eight that can catch them, but the Gaels' ceiling with a win and all its bonuses is the same as Ridgefield’s floor with a loss (970). It will only need one bonus to go its way to beat NFA if both lose.

8. NORWICH FREE ACADEMY (6-3)

NEXT: vs. New London (4-5), Thanksgrabbing Eve afternoon.

HIGH: 1,110.

LOW: 930.

BONUSES (40): BACON ACADEMY (6-3) over RHAM (1-8); FITCH (5-4) over Ledyard (2-7); GLASTONBURY (3-6) over Bloomfield (9-0); EAST LYME (5-4) over Waterford (8-1).

In with a win. In trouble if it loses because both Shelton and Conard could catch it.

Shelton beat NFA in Week 3 (41-20), so it would lose one of its three bonuses if the Wildcats lost.

WIN-AND-PRAY

9. SHELTON (6-3)

NEXT: at Derby (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 970.

LOW: 850.

BONUSES (30): NORTH HAVEN (5-4) over Amity (4-5); NFA (6-3) over New London (4-5); EAST HARTFORD (1-8) over Manchester (4-5).

Shelton is hoping to avoid being designated this season’s “Best Team To Not Make States.”

The Gaels would have every right to be annoyed if NFA makes states ahead of them after beating them. They also beat the other two teams that beat the Wildcats, West Haven (21-13), and Fairfield Prep (49-19).

Shelton, however, had a far more difficult schedule. It lost to three teams ranked in the top 10 — No. 1 Hand (21-14), No. 4 Newtown (34-24) and No. 8 Cheshire (24-12). The Cheshire and Hand games were regularly scheduled Southern Connecticut Conference Tier 1 contests. The Gaels were matched up with Newtown (South-West Conference) in a crossover game as part of the Connecticut High School Football Alliance.

Life ain’t fair, nor does it make sense.

10. CONARD (7-3)

NEXT: Regular season over.

HIGH: 960.

LOW: 930.

BONUSES (30): WEST HAVEN (2-7) over Fairfield Prep (5-4); BRISTOL CENTRAL (4-5) over Bristol Eastern (2-7); EAST HARTFORD (1-8) over Manchester (4-5).

It cannot catch Ridgefield or finish higher than eighth. The odds are against it, though.

First it needs NFA and Shelton to fail. It’s bloody unlikely that Shelton loses, though, because it has a 16-game winning streak vs. Derby, won 19 of the last 20 meetings, and had the most lopsided win in the history of the 108-game series last year (62-6).

Shelton, with a win, also has a 940-930 edge over Conard before its three bonuses are counted. They also share a bonus, East Hartford over Manchester, further limiting the Chieftains' chances.

Should Conard not make states, oh well. At least it beat town rival Hall on Saturday and knocked it out of LL contention.

NOPE

No. 13 Fairfield Ludlowe (6-3).

It's too far back, it needs NFA and Shelton to both lose, and its bonuses are icky.

THE EIGHT: No. 1 Darien (10-0) vs. No. 8 NFA (7-3); No. 2 Newtown (10-0) vs. No. 7 Ridgefield (8-2); No. 3 Southington (9-1) vs. No. 6 Greenwich (9-1) (NEAT); No. 4 Simsbury (9-1) vs. No. 5 Cheshire (8-2).

• • • •

CLASS L

IN

1. ST. JOSEPH (9-0)

NEXT: vs. Trumbull (3-6), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,600.

LOW: 1,370.

BONUSES (90): MCMAHON (2-7) over Norwalk (4-5); FAIRFIELD PREP (5-4) over West Haven (2-7); WILTON (6-3) over Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech (2-7); RIDGEFIELD (7-2) over Danbury (5-4); FAIRFIELD WARDE (4-5) over Fairfield Ludlowe (6-3); STAPLES (2-7) over Greenwich (8-1); NEW CANAAN (7-2) over Darien (9-0); NOTRE DAME-W.H. (5-4) over Hamden (6-2); STAMFORD (3-5) over Westhill (1-8).

Already clinched a top two seed. It’ll be a scramble for the one if it and Hand both win.

2. HAND (9-0)

NEXT: at Guilford (4-5), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,580.

LOW: 1,360.

BONUSES (80): NORWALK (4-5) over McMahon (2-7); WEST HAVEN (2-7) over Fairfield Prep (5-4); WILBUR CROSS (2-7) over Hillhouse (4-5); MIDDLETOWN (6-3) over Windsor (6-3); WETHERSFIELD (7-2) over Newington (7-2); NOTRE DAME-W.H. (5-4) over Hamden (6-2); SHELTON (5-3) over Derby (2-7); EAST LYME (5-4) over Waterford (8-1).

Ditto.

3. MALONEY (8-1)

NEXT: vs. Platt (4-5) at Falcon Field, Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,350.

LOW: 1,170.

BONUSES (40): NORTH HAVEN (5-4) over Amity (4-5); FARMINGTON (5-4) over Plainville (7-2); HARTFORD PUBLIC (0-9) over Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver (0-9); WETHERSFIELD (7-2) over Newington (7-2).

Earns the three seed with a win. Can drop as low as seven with a loss, although it would need just one bonus to go its way to tie Wethersfield (if the latter beat Newington) and win the head-to-head tiebreaker.

5. BERLIN (8-2)

NEXT: Regular season over.

HIGH: 1,150.

LOW: 1,110.

BONUSES (40): TOLLAND (6-3) over E.O. Smith (2-7); PLAINVILLE (7-2) over Farmington (5-4); BULKELEY/HMTCA/WEAVER (0-9) over Hartford Public (0-9); AVON (2-7) over Simsbury (8-1).

Cannot catch Maloney or the Newington-Wethersfield winner. The Redcoats will be fifth in New Canaan loses, and sixth if the latter wins.

ALMOST THERE

4. NEW CANAAN (7-2)

NEXT: at Darien (9-0), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,260.

LOW: 990.

BONUSES (70): TRUMBULL (3-6) over St. Joseph (8-0); MCMAHON (2-7) over Norwalk (4-5); WILTON (6-3) over Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech (2-7); FAIRFIELD WARDE (4-5) over Fairfield Ludlowe (6-3); NEW LONDON (4-5) over NFA (6-3); STAMFORD (3-5) over Westhill (1-8); STAPLES (2-7) over Greenwich (8-1).

It’s close to qualifying, win or lose.

The Rams, if they lose, would have the same floor (990) as the Newington-Wethersfield loser. It does have an advantage with seven bonuses as opposed to four for the others.

No. 10 Windsor is the only team outside the top eight that could catch New Canaan because it both finish as high as 1,000 by earning all six bonuses. It's very unlikely that Windsor gets all six, though.

No. 9 Wilton cannot catch New Canaan because the latter beat the former. Thus, if Wilton wins, New Canaan will have 1,000 points and beats the former on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

6. WETHERSFIELD (7-2)

NEXT: at Newington (7-2), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,200.

LOW: 990.

BONUSES (40): FARMINGTON (5-4) over Plainville (7-2); HARTFORD PUBLIC (0-9) over Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver (0-9); MIDDLETOWN (6-3) over Windsor (6-3); PLATT (4-5) over Maloney (8-1).

Like New Canaan, the Eagles are in good shape win or lose because Wilton is the only team outside the top eight that could catch them.

Wethersfield's floor with a loss is 10 points less that Wilton if it maxed out with a win. All the Eagles would need, then, is for one bonus to go in their favor to tie Wilton at 1,000 points and then beat it on tiebreaker points (a team gets two points for every win by an opponent, no matter if they beat that foe or not).

Windsor cannot catch Wethersfield because they share four bonuses.

7. NEWINGTON (7-2)

NEXT: at Wethersfield (7-2), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,200.

LOW: 990.

BONUSES (40): RHAM (1-8) over Bacon Academy (6-3); E.O. SMITH (2-7) over Tolland (6-3); WINDSOR (6-3) over Middletown (6-3); MALONEY (8-1) over Platt (4-5).

The Indians have kinda’ sorta’ the same situation as Wethersfield.

Newington and Windsor share two bonuses, so the latter cannot catch it.

The Indians would need to have two bonuses go its way to best Wilton.

JUST WIN, BABY. .... OR ELSE

8. MASUK (6-3)

NEXT: vs. Newtown (9-0), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,080.

LOW: 840.

BONUSES (40): BRISTOL CENTRAL (4-5) over Bristol Eastern (2-7); POMPERAUG (1-8) over Notre Dame-Ffld. (5-4); BUNNELL (2-7) over Stratford (0-9); GUILFORD (4-5) over Hand (9-0).

The Panthers MUST win because all eight teams behind them can catch them if they lose to Newtown. Masuk cannot finish higher than sixth with a win because it cannot catch Maloney, Berlin or the Wethersfield-Newington winner.

WIN-AND-PRAY

9. WILTON (6-3)

NEXT: at Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,000.

LOW: 820.

BONUSES (60): MCMAHON (2-7) over Norwalk (4-5); FITCH (5-4) over Ledyard (2-7); FAIRFIELD WARDE (4-5) over Fairfield Ludlowe (6-3); STAMFORD (3-6) over Westhill (1-8); BUNNELL (2-7) over Stratford (0-9); STAPLES (2-7) over Greenwich (8-1).

10. WINDSOR (6-3)

NEXT: vs. Middletown (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

HIGH: 1,000.

LOW: 780.

BONUSES (60): RHAM (1-8) at Bacon Academy (6-3); E.O. SMITH (2-7) over Tolland (6-3); FARMINGTON (5-4) over Plainville (7-2); HARTFORD PUBLIC (0-9) over Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver (0-9); MASUK (6-3) over Newtown (9-0); PLATT (4-5) over Maloney (8-1).

11. QUINEBAUG VALLEY (6-3)

NEXT: at Thames River (7-2), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 970.

LOW: 780.

BONUSES (30): MCW UNITED (0-8) over Abbott Tech/Immaculate (7-1); PLATT TECH (2-6) over O’Brien Tech (3-5).

We’ve lumped Wilton, Windsor and Quinebaug together for simplicities sake.

Wilton and Windsor have the same ceiling.

Realistically, all three need Masuk to lose, and a loss by the other two in this threesome would help, too.

The trio will be scrambling for bonuses if they all win. Wilton and Windsor can finish between 1,000-940, Quinebaug could finish between 970-950.

NOPE

No. 12. Fitch (5-4); No. 13 Middletown (6-3); No. 14 Notre Dame-West Haven (5-4); No. 15 North Haven (5-4); and No. 17 East Lyme (5-4).

The seeding jumped from 13 to 15, and 16 to 18, because No. 14 Woodstock Academy and No. 17 Xavier have both been mathematically eliminated whereas the others haven’t.

Math is weird.

Middletown has the highest ceiling of this group (940) if it beats Windsor. It cannot finish higher than eighth. It would also need both Wilton and Quinebaug to lose, and we'd spit out our Cold Brew in shock if Wilton flopped.

THE EIGHT: No. 1 St. Joseph (10-0) vs. No. 8 Wilton (7-3); No. 2 Hand (10-0) vs. Newington (7-3); No. 3 Maloney (9-1) vs. No. 6 New Canaan (7-3); No. 4 Wethersfield (8-2) vs. No. 5 Berlin (8-2).

• • • •

CLASS M

IN

1. ROCKVILLE (9-0)

NEXT: at Ellington (3-6), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,490.

LOW: 1,350.

BONUSES (10): GILBERT/NORTHWESTERN (3-6) over Waterbury Career Academy (6-3).

The Rams have clinched a top two seed and would be the top seed if they earned their bonus and Waterford lost one (Abbott Tech/Immaculate and Killingly cannot catch them).

2. ABBOTT TECH/IMMACULATE (8-1)

NEXT: at MCW United (0-9), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,290.

LOW: 1,190.

BONUSES: None.

THE UNITED will beat MCW. They could earn a top four seed but Waterford would pass them if it won, and Weston could, too, if it won.

3. KILLINGLY (9-1)

NEXT: Regular season over.

HIGH: 1,330.

LOW: 1,280.

BONUSES (50): STONINGTON (0-9) over Westerly (6-2); CAPITAL PREP/ACHIEVEMENT FIRST (3-6) over Nonnewaug (0-3); BROOKFIELD (0-9) over Bethel (2-7); EAST LYME (5-4) over Waterford (8-1); NEW LONDON (4-5) over NFA (6-3).

It also can earn a top four seed or be caught by either Waterford or Weston if they win.

ALMOST THERE

4. WATERFORD (8-1)

NEXT: at East Lyme (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,350.

LOW: 1,160.

BONUSES (30): BACON ACADEMY (6-3) over RHAM (1-8); LEDYARD (2-7) over Fitch (5-4); STONINGTON (0-9) over Westerly (6-2).

The Lancers clinch a top-two seed with a win over East Lyme.

A loss may not be enough to keep Waterford out because it’s so close to qualifying. No. 9 Watertown (7-2) is the only team outside the top eight that can catch it.

The Lancers' floor with a loss is 1,160 points with three bonuses.

No. 7 SMSA/University/Classical (8-2), which has completed its regular season, has a ceiling of 1,160 points IF it earns all five of its bonuses.

The Lancers, then, will qualify once they earn a bonus, or SMSA loses one.

JUST WIN, BABY

5. WESTON (8-1)

NEXT: vs. Barlow (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,320.

LOW: 1,110.

BONUSES (60): NOTRE DAME-FFLD. (5-4) over Pomperaug (1-8); NORTHWEST CATHOLIC (5-4) over East Catholic (1-8); HILLHOUSE (4-5) over Wilbur Cross (2-7); STRATFORD (0-9) over Bunnell (2-7); MASUK (6-3) over Newtown (9-0); BROOKFIELD (0-9) over Bethel (2-7).

Mathematically, the Trojans can be caught by Thames River if they lose and the latter wins, but it’s very unlikely.

That leaves Watertown as the only team outside the top eight that can catch Weston. So if it loses, then it has to hope Watertown does, too.

Yes, East Haven's max with a win is the same as Weston's floor with a loss (1,110), but they share two bonuses.

LIMBO

6. GRANBY/CANTON (8-2)

NEXT: Regular season over.

HIGH: 1,190.

LOW: 1,130.

BONUSES (60): ELLINGTON (3-6) over Rockville (9-0); COGINCHAUG/HALE-RAY/EAST HAMPTON (6-3) over North Branford (7-2); HADDAM-KILLINGWORTH (2-7) over Valley Regional/Old Lyme (4-5); GILBERT/NORTHWESTERN (3-6) over Waterbury Career Academy (6-3); STAFFORD/EAST WINDSOR/SOMERS (7-2) over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (6-3); OLD SAYBROOK/WESTBROOK (2-6) over Morgan (1-8).

7. SMSA/UNIVERSITY/CLASSICAL (8-2)

NEXT: Regular season over.

HIGH: 1,160.

LOW: 1,110.

BONUSES (50): ELLINGTON (3-6) over Rockville (9-0); MORGAN (1-8) over Old Saybrook/Westbrook (2-7); CROMWELL/PORTLAND (1-8) over Rocky Hill (2-7); VALLEY REGIONAL/OLD LYME (4-5) over Haddam-Killingworth (2-7); WINDSOR LOCKS/SUFFIELD/EAST GRANBY (6-3) over Stafford/East Windsor/Somers (7-2).

These two teams are okay provided New Fairfield and Watertown don't both max out with wins and bonuses.

Thames River cannot catch G/C. It can catch SMSA but would need the latter to strike out on bonuses.

G/C and SMSA share one bonus (Ellington) and have three bonuses that clash, i.e. G/C needs Team A to beat Team B, and SMSA needs the opposite.

FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY

8. NEW FAIRFIELD (7-2)

NEXT: at New Milford (4-5), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

HIGH: 1,190.

LOW: 1,000.

BONUSES (30): WESTON (8-1) over Barlow (6-3); STRATFORD (0-9) over Bunnell (2-7); NOTRE DAME-FFLD. (5-4) over Pomperaug (1-8).

The REBELS better not lose because Watertown, Thames, East Haven and Wolcott can all catch them.

9. WATERTOWN (7-2)

NEXT: vs. Torrington (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,180.

LOW: 810.

BONUSES (50): SEYMOUR (6-3) over Woodland; CROSBY (1-8) over Kennedy (1-8); DERBY (2-7) over Shelton (5-3); ST. PAUL (3-6) over Oxford (2-7); NAUGATUCK (5-4) over Ansonia (9-0).

It’s going to be something else if New Fairfield and Watertown both win.

The REBELS have a 1,160 floor with one strong bonus (Notre Dame-Ffld. over Pomperaug), one promising bonus (Weston over Barlow), and one toss-up (Stratford over Bunnell).

The Indians have a 1,130 floor. Two of their five bonuses are unpossible (Derby over Shelton, and Naugy over Ansonia), so reset their max to 1,160.

Should Watertown lose, then say "bye-bye."

WIN-AND-PRAY

10. THAMES RIVER (7-2)

NEXT: vs. Quinebaug Valley (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,120.

LOW: 940.

BONUSES (10): MCW UNITED (0-9) over Abbott Tech/Immaculate (8-1).

The Crusaders need New Fairfield and Watertown to both lose, and that still probably won't be enough.

11. EAST HAVEN (7-2)

NEXT: at Branford (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,100.

LOW: 900.

BONUSES (50): BROOKFIELD (0-9) over Bethel (2-7); LYMAN HALL (5-4) over Sheehan (7-2); GUILFORD (4-5) over Hand (9-0); STRATFORD (0-9) over Bunnell (2-7); ROCKY HILL (2-7) over Cromwell/Portland (1-8).

See Thames.

NOPE

No. 12 Wolcott (6-3); and No. 14 Barlow (6-3).

Too far back.

THE EIGHT:

No. 1 Rockville (10-0) vs. No. 8 Watertown (8-2); No. 2 Killingly (9-1) vs. No. 7 Granby/Canton (8-2); No. 3 ATI (9-1) vs. No. 6 Waterford (8-2); No. 4 Weston (9-1) vs. No. 5 New Fairfield (8-2) (THE REMATCHENING).

• • • •

CLASS S

IN

1. BULLARD-HAVENS (10-0)

NEXT: Regular season over.

POINTS: 1,560.

It has no bonuses and will be a top-two seed.

2. ANSONIA (9-0)

NEXT: at Naugatuck (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,600.

LOW: 1,370.

BONUSES (50): HOLY CROSS (7-2) over Wolcott; WATERTOWN (7-2) over Torrington (5-4); KENNEDY (1-8) over Crosby (1-8); DERBY (2-7) over Shelton (5-3); WATERBURY CAREER ACADEMY (6-3) over Gilbert/Northwestern (3-6).

Earns the top seed with a win and one bonus. It drops no further than third with a loss.

3. BLOOMFIELD (9-0)

NEXT: vs. Glastonbury (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

HIGH: 1,550.

LOW: 1,330.

BONUSES (60): TOLLAND (6-3) over E.O. Smith (2-7); ROCKY HILL (2-7) over Cromwell/Portland (1-8); HILLHOUSE (4-5) over Wilbur Cross (2-7); PLAINVILLE (7-2) over Farmington (5-4); BULKELEY/HMTCA/WEAVER (0-9) over Hartford Public (0-9); AVON (2-7) over Simsbury (8-1).

The WARHAWKS will be seeded third if they and Ansonia win.

Bloomfield will be second if it wins and the Chargers lose.

Plainfield, Sheehan and Woodland can mathematically catch Bloomfield if they all win and it loses. It's not realistic (either them catching Bloomfield or the latter losing).

JUST WIN, BABY

4. PLAINFIELD (8-1)

NEXT: at Griswold/Wheeler (6-2), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,330.

LOW: 1,150.

BONUSES (20): BACON ACADEMY (6-3) over RHAM (1-8); STONINGTON (0-9) over Westerly (6-2).

The Panthers have a shot to earn a home quarterfinal with a win. If they lose, then they need one of the teams ranked fifth-ninth to lose. Plainville is the only team outside the top eight that can catch them.

5. SHEEHAN (7-2)

NEXT: vs. Lyman Hall (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,340.

LOW: 1,130.

BONUSES (50): BARLOW (6-3) over Weston (8-1); BRANFORD (5-4) over East Haven (7-2); BROOKFIELD (0-9) over Bethel (2-7); HAMDEN (6-3) over Notre Dame-W.H. (5-4).

The Titans’ bonuses aren’t sparkling, so they may not catch Plainfield if they both lose.

Sheehan, if it loses and Plainfield wins, will need one team ranked between six-and-nine to lose.

6. WOODLAND (8-1)

NEXT: at Seymour (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,340.

LOW: 1,140.

BONUSES (40): WOLCOTT (6-3) over Holy Cross (7-2); TORRINGTON (5-4) over Watertown (7-2); CROSBY (1-8) over Kennedy (1-8); DERBY (2-7) over Shelton (6-3).

Same situation as Sheehan, but with more gruesome bonuses.

7. HOLY CROSS (7-2)

NEXT: at Wolcott (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,270.

LOW: 1,070.

BONUSES (30): TORRINGTON (5-4) over Watertown (7-2); NAUGATUCK (5-4) over Ansonia (9-0); WATERBURY CAREER ACADEMY (6-3) over Gilbert/Northwestern (3-6).

The Crusaders need three of the four to lose if it loses — S/EW/S, Plainville, North Branford, and/or Seymour (although they could beat the latter if one bonuses goes their way).

FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY

8. STAFFORD/EAST WINDSOR/SOMERS (7-2)

NEXT: at Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,190.

LOW: 990.

BONUSES (30): ELLINGTON (3-6) over Rockville (9-0); CROMWELL/PORTLAND (1-8) over Rocky Hill (2-7); GILBERT/NORTHWESTERN (3-6) over Waterbury Career Academy (6-3).

The Bulldogs have a slight edge over Plainville because they have a higher floor and ceiling with a win. Their bonuses are shaky, and they’re all but staked with a loss.

9. PLAINVILLE (7-2)

NEXT: vs. Farmington (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,180.

LOW: 970.

BONUSES (40): TOLLAND (6-3) over E.O. Smith (2-7); ROCKY HILL (2-7) over Cromwell/Portland (1-8); LAW (2-7) over Foran (4-5); AVON (2-7) over Simsbury (8-1).

The Blue Devils’ bonuses aren’t much better and, like S/EW/S, will need a miracle if they lose.

WIN-AND-PRAY

10. NORTH BRANFORD (7-2)

NEXT: vs. Coginchaug/Hale-Ray/East Hampton (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,130.

LOW: 940.

BONUSES (30): ELLINGTON (3-6) over Rockville (9-0); CROMWELL/PORTLAND (1-8) over Rocky Hill (2-7); WINDSOR LOCKS/SUFFIELD/EAST GRANBY (6-3) over Stafford/East Windsor/Somers (7-2).

The Thunderbirds cannot finish higher than seventh. They’ll qualify with a win and a loss by two of three teams — Holy Cross, S/EW/S, and Plainville (Holy Cross does have a mathematical chance to catch them, though).

11. SEYMOUR (6-3)

NEXT: vs. Woodland (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

HIGH: 1,080.

LOW: 860.

BONUSES (40): HOLY CROSS (7-2) over Wolcott (6-3); KENNEDY (1-8) over Crosby (1-8); NAUGATUCK (5-4) over Ansonia (9-0); DERBY (2-7) over Shelton (6-3).

The Wildcats cannot finish higher than eighth. Qualifies with a win and losses by S/EW/S, Plainville, and North Branford.

12. GRISWOLD/WHEELER (6-2)

NEXT: vs. Plainfield (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 106.67 (it has a nine-game schedule, thus its point total must be judged by its average).

LOW: 83.33.

BONUSES (30): LEDYARD (2-7) over Fitch (5-4); STONINGTON (0-9) over Westerly (6-2); EAST CATHOLIC (1-8) over Northwest Catholic (5-4).

Another team that cannot finish higher than eighth. The Wolverines must win and have S/EW/S, Plainville, North Branford AND Seymour all lose (although they could catch the latter even if it beat Woodland).

13. WATERBURY CAREER ACADEMY (6-3)

NEXT: vs. Gilbert/NW Regional (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

HIGH: 1,010.

LOW: 850.

BONUSES (20): TORRINGTON (5-4) over Watertown (7-2); OXFORD (2-7) over St. Paul (3-6).

Win and have teams eight-12 all lose, and even then they can still be squeezed out by S/EW/S and Plainville.

THE EIGHT: No. 1 Ansonia (10-0) vs. No. 8 North Branford (8-2); No. 2 Bullard-Havens (10-0) vs. No. 7 Holy Cross (8-2); No. 3 Bloomfield (10-0) vs. No. 6 Plainfield (8-2); No. 4 Sheehan (8-2) vs. No. 5 Woodland (9-1).

• • • •

Behold, The Day's Top 10 state coaches’ poll: 1. Hand (10 first-place votes); 2. St. Joseph; 3. Darien; 4. Newtown; 5. Greenwich; 6. Bloomfield; 7. Southington; 8. Cheshire; 9. Ansonia; and, 10. Maloney.

• • • •

The GameTimeCT/New Haven Register/Hearst Inc. Monolith Top 10 media poll: 1. Hand (19 first-place votes); 2. St. Joseph (six first-place votes); 3. Darien; 4. Greenwich; 5. Newtown; 6. Bloomfield; 7. Southington; 8. Ansonia; 9. Cheshire; and, 10. Maloney.

• • • •

Ned Freeman’s cold, calculating computer rankings for CalPreps: 1. St. Joseph; 2. Hand; 3. Darien; 4. Greenwich; 5. Southington; 6. Newtown; 7. Cheshire; 8. Shelton; 9. Bloomfield; 10. Ridgefield.

Ansonia and Maloney, who were ninth and 10th, respectively, in The Day's state coaches' poll last week, are ranked 17th and 12th, respectively, by the computer.

No. 15 Fairfield Prep (5-4) has overtaken West Haven for having the state’s top-rated schedule in the (digital) opinion of the computer. The Jesuits have beaten four winning teams — North Haven (14-7), NFA (33-28), Notre Dame of West Haven (49-19), and Fairfield Ludlowe (37-28). They’ve lost to No. 1 Hand, No. 4 Newtown as well as Shelton and Xavier. Prep’s opponents are a combined 54-28.

• • • •

Dig the ballot Polecat HQ filed for the aforementioned media poll:

1. St. Joseph

2. Hand

3. Darien

4. Greenwich

5. Newtown

6. Southington

7. Bloomfield

8. Cheshire: Finally absolving the Rams of their early-season loss to Hall — the Rams outgained it, 502-163, yet still lost, 35-28 (Sept. 20). Allowing the Warriors to score on both a kickoff and interception return didn't help.

9. Ansonia

10. Ridgefield

11. Simsbury

12. Shelton

13. Maloney

14. New Canaan

15. Fairfield Prep: Look past its 5-4 record and show me a team not ranked here that has better wins than Prep’s. CalPrep's computer model thinks we're right, too. So there. Nyah.

• • • •

NOTABLES~!

St. Joseph limited Stamford to minus-7 yards offense on 31 plays as it choked the latter out last Friday, 58-0. Owen DaSilva caught a 10-yard touchdown pass and had six tackles, a sack, and recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Cadets and Michael Morrissey had eight tackles. Also, Jack Wallace completed 10 of 17 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns and ran twice for 50 yards and two touchdowns and Jaden Shirden had nine carries for 68 yards and two scores and a 32-yard catch. Via Mike “Pucky” Fornabaio, the Black Knights lost 80 yards on 16 run plays thanks to muffed snaps, five sacks, “and the like.” Their longest play was a 42-yard catch-and-run on their second-to-last play, which they fumbled away.

Cheshire scored on two of its first four plays (yes) to beat Harding last Friday, 48-28, and qualify for the LL playoffs. Jake McAlinden ran seven times for 109 yards and two touchdowns for Cheshire and Jason Shumilla completed 8 of 14 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns (both to Coby Griffin). ... Colbe Andrews scored on a 94-yard kickoff return and intercepted two passes for Valley Regional/Old Lyme as it walloped Gilbert/Northwestern last Thursday, 49-14. Jack Cox completed 7 of 15 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown and ran for another, Di’Angelo Jean-Pierre had two interceptions, and Anthony Rosario ran for three short touchdowns for the WARRIORCATS.

Dalton Modehn ran FORTY-FOUR FREAKING TIMES for a school-record 404 yards and six touchdowns and scored on an 11-yard catch as Haddam-Killingworth beat Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial (and the over-under) last Thursday, 55-43. Modehn’s seven touchdowns were also a school-record for the Cougars (2-7). Alex Riccitelli also rushed for 96 and a touchdown and threw the touchdown pass to Modehn. Jordan Smith scored on runs of 6, 10 and 8 yards and a 79-yard kickoff return for the Patriots (2-8).

Xavier Powell threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to John Biolo with 13 seconds left as Watertown stunned Naugatuck last Thursday, 20-15. Watertown trailed, 15-6, with 4 minutes, 52 seconds left in the game. Powell completed 21 of 30 passes for 180 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and ran 19 times for 89 yards for the Indians.

So, Rockville’s Jaquan Dufour scored all three times he touched the ball in last Thursday’s 55-7 demolition of Morgan. Dufour returned the opening kickoff for a 74-yard touchdown and also scored on a 65-yard punt return and a 36-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Ryan for the Rams (9-0), which had six other players score touchdowns.

Mike Altobelli ran for three touchdowns (12, 9 and 27 yards) as New Fairfield raced past Notre Dame of Fairfield last Thursday, 41-20. Matt Constantinides threw three touchdowns, two to JT Thuesen (72, 37 yards) for the REBELS (7-2). ... Jahmil Lawrence had 15 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery as Capital Prep/Achievement First beat Lewis Mills last Thursday, 28-7. Jaden Delarosa ran for 183 yards and a touchdown for the Trailblazers and Bryce Williams ran for 109 yards and a score.

Kam Holmes ran for 145 yards and three touchdowns as Branford ran down Foran last Thursday, 39-21. The Hornets ran for 356 yards five touchdowns. Sean Kelley completed 7 of 16 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown and ran for 86 yards and a score for Branford and Spencer Landsbach ran for 113 yards and a TD. Andrew Janik completed 15 of 32 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 4-yard run for the Lions.

Shelton has added some GOD’S FATHER’S OFFENSE to its attack this season to make better use of its size up front, and it's been glorious at times. Georgio Ghazal and Tyler Pjatak combined to run 43 times for 375 yards as the Gaels stomped Fairfield Prep last Friday, 49-19. Ghazal ran 190 times for 162 yards and three touchdowns and Pjatak had 24 carries for 213 yards and two scores for Shelton, which scored 42 unanswered points to go ahead, 49-13.

Sheehan topped Hamden last Friday, 52-40, in a game with more manic swings than a tired, teething toddler. Sheehan went ahead 13-0. The Green Dragons scored 27 in the second quarter and led, 34-26, early in the third quarter. The Titans rattled off 26 straight points after recovering a Hamden fumble at their own 6-yard line. Jordan Davis had 14 carries for 115 yards a touchdown and scored on catches of 15 and 85 yards, Kyle Simmons completed 7 of 10 passes for 175 yards and three TDs and ran for another, and Terrence Bogan ran for 171 yards and two scores for Sheehan. Davone Mitchell ran for 167 yards for Hamden.

Tyler Ouellette completed 10 of 13 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns and added an interception and fumble recovery as Stafford/East Windsor/Somers had a huge 21-15 road win over SMSA/University/Classical last Friday to keep its Class S playoff hopes alive. Logan Briggs caught both touchdowns (40, 20 yards) for S/EW/S and Jacob Dugan added 10 tackles, including a sack. Devin Hill completed 7 of 12 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns and ran 29 times for 100 yards for the TIGERHAWKS.

Jack Sharpe ran for 190 yards and two touchdowns as Killingly ground down New London last Friday, 21-7. The Red Hawks ran 23 of the game’s first 26 plays. RPO — RUN PEOPLE OVER. ... Justin Skates completed 10 of 20 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns as Berlin thumped New Britain last Friday, 26-6. Danny Lynch caught two passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns for the Redcoats.

Sean Patrick Pragano completed 12 of 15 passes for 184 yards and four touchdowns as Lyman Hall bounced Bassick last Friday, 41-0. Pragano has thrown for a school-record 2,122 yards this season for the Trojans while Josh Seichter caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores. ... Joe Calzone ran 25 times for 179 and two touchdowns and completed 6 of 18 passes for 120 yards with an interception as Platt Tech beat Wilcox Tech last Friday, 41-26. Connor Connolly had 21 carries for 127 yards and three touchdowns for Platt Tech. Jeremy Perez ran 10 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns for Wilcox.

Jackson Rome ran 10 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns and Sam Attianese had five carries for 111 yards and a score as Canton/Granby mauled Old Saybrook/Westbrook on Friday, 42-0. Simon Matthews also scored on a 28-yard interception for the Bears (8-2). ... Jaden Morehead threw five touchdowns to three different receivers to power Coginchaug/East Hampton/Hale-Ray past Ellington last Friday, 34-20. Nathan Schneider ran 17 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns for Ellington.

Ethan Davis threw four touchdowns and ran for two more as Woodstock Academy scored the game’s final 14 points to rally in the fourth quarter for a 45-42 win over CREC last Saturday. Luis Miranda caught two touchdown passes and Aidan Moran also had a receiving touchdown and kicked a 37-yard field goal for Woodstock (7-3). Dorrian Chaney threw three touchdowns and ran for two for the Colts. ... Anthony Frasier ran 20 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns in Abbott Tech/Immaculate’s 52-16 rout of Thames River last Saturday. CJ Cianflone threw two touchdowns and ran for another for THE UNITED. Seth Cunningham ran for 83 yards and a touchdown and Dante Brown scored on a 15-yard interception return for the Crusaders.

Finally, Peter Simplicio banged a 31-yard field goal as time expired to give Conard a 38-35 win over Hall last Saturday in the annual West Hartford fracas and knocked the latter out of Class LL playoff contention, too. Arsen Shtefan ran for 197 yards and three touchdowns and caught another for Conard. IZZO Lizardi ran for 226 of his 267 yards in the second half with four touchdowns for the Warriors. Conard leads the 62-year-old series 35-25-3, and we’re not pointing that out just because it’s the alma mater of a Polecat flunkey.

• • • •

Thanks for reading. More soon.

Adios....

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