The Lonesome Polecat: Fitch! Week 5 in review! Prepare for Week 6!
Fitch had just connected on a 43-yard touchdown pass to take the lead over New Fairfield in the first quarter last Friday night, the eighth pass the teams combined to throw on their first 16 plays
An official, before the ensuing kickoff, shouted over to a reporter with tongue firmly in cheek, "I thought you said these teams like to run!"
Fitch and the Rebels base their respective offenses around the run, but neither was shy to pass (and score) in the first half of New Fairfield's 37-27 win.
The game went against the norm for the Falcons (3-1). Their offense had struggled to score through their first two games while their defense allowed just 14 points over three games.
The exact opposite happened against the Rebels (4-0).
"This is normally not the way our defense plays," Fitch head coach Mike Ellis said, "and I think part of that is you have to give credit to New Fairfield. They came right out (on the game's first offensive play), and they ran a little fake screen-and-go."
Senior slotback Ryan Fata got behind his defender running down the Rebels sideline and caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Justin McCormack to give New Fairfield the lead just 17 seconds into the game.
"That's the play that Stonington scored on (us)," Ellis said referencing a 13-7 win over the Bears on Sept. 10.
New Fairfield also changed the game's momentum with under a minute left in the first half. First, it scored with 53.3 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 21-19.
Fitch got the ball back and, on first-and-10 from its own 29, Ellis decided to be aggressive and called a pass play.
Senior Matt Grauert intercepted the pass at the Rebels' 42-yard line with 43.2 seconds left.
New Fairfield had third-and-7 from its own 45 when McCormack found senior halfback Vincent Sarro wide open on the team's sideline for a 30-yard pass play.
Three plays later, senior Jack Lyden cut over the middle near the Falcons' 5-yard line, caught a pass from McCormack and stretched his arms and the ball over the goal line for a touchdown as time expired to put New Fairfield ahead, 25-21.
"They made some plays but it's too bad — I think if we had the lead at halftime, it might have been a different story because we'd have the ball coming out (of the half)," Ellis said. "We got the ball. Now let's drive down the field and see if we can get up by two scores and that was a big difference in the game."
McCormack completed 7-of-13 passes for 144 yards with three touchdowns and scored on a 2-yard run for the Rebels.
New Fairfield senior Jason Caswell ran THIRTY SIX times for 207 yards and two touchdowns. He had 23 carries for 138 yards in the second half alone.
Junior Skylar Noland had two sacks for Fitch and senior Calvin Kilgore had an interception.
Fitch, as previously mentioned, likes to run using its triple option offense. It struggled to do so against the Rebels as it had 24 carries for 163 yards and two scores. A chunk of that yardage was gained on runs of 55 and 43 yards by sophomore Ben Perry (11 carries, 124 yards, one TD).
The Falcons had better success in the air as Perry completed 8 of 17 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Aiden Greaves was his primary receiver (six catches, 133 yards and two scores).
Fitch fell behind 37-21 with over eight minutes left and started its next drive at its own 26. Perry scrambled for a 43-yard gain on third-and-12. He threw a 20-yard pass to senior Shawn Beebe on third-and-seven to give Fitch first-and-goal at the New Fairfield 10.
Perry threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Greaves on third down. The Falcons tried a conversion pass to cut the deficit to eight, but the play failed.
"If we get that two-point conversion we're back within one score," Ellis said. "The kids responded. They came out and scored. They never quit. They never quit. We just weren't good enough."
The Falcons get their second bye week this weekend. They return on Oct. 22 for what should be their toughest game of the season — at Fairfield Prep (3-1).
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Week 5 REVIEW~!
Darell McKnight ran 28 times for 171 yards and three touchdowns as the Chargers' Naugatuck Valley League winning streak hit 100. Chris Kaminski completed 7 of 9 passes for 78 yards and scored on a 3-yard run for Ansonia (5-0). The final score doesn’t show it, but the Spartans gave the Chargers one of their more “difficult” games of their win streak. WCA’s defense held tough in the first half despite trailing 12-8. Ansonia’s defense was better, however, and held the Spartans’ offense to 121 yards and no touchdowns (their lone score was on a 10-yard scoop-and-score by Dasani Yates).
Josh Boganski was a hoss in his first start as he ran 34 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns for the Spartans (4-1) last Friday.
Once again we ask why anyone would want to be a defensive coordinator nowadays when rules committees at every level have done all they could to handcuff defenses.
This game did hinge on a game-ending stop as Central’s Victor Rosa and Justin Despins stopped the Owls’ Christian Garcia at the Rams’ 2-yard line after a 23-yard run on Saturday.
The second quarter had as many points as some entire games as Central outscored Public, 24-16.
Rosa, who is headed to UConn, ran 22 times for 253 yards and four touchdowns, completed 4 of 5 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, threw two conversion passes and ran for another. Despins added 14 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a conversion and Tre Blair accounted for all of the Rams’ receiving totals.
Garcia ran 23 times for 176 yards and four touchdowns, completed 10 of 19 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, threw four conversion passes and ran for two more. Traiquan Hodge added two catches for 62 yards and a score and Jaheim Cole had four catches for 109 yards.
Matt Daniels scored the game’s final points on runs of 41 and 89 yards to rally the Guardians past unbeaten Newington last Friday, 28-20.
Jack Petrone ran 35 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns for Glastonbury (1-4) and Daniels rushed for 167 yards.
Paddy Brown completed 13 of 22 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns for the Nor'Easters (4-1) and Austyn Howe had four catches for 86 yards and two scores.
Will Attianese intercepted an attempted two-point conversion pass with 35 seconds remaining as the Bears held on to beat the Purple Knights last Friday. Luke Maher scored on an 81-yard kickoff return and had 11 tackles (three solo), Malik Brown-Smith had 16 tackles (eight solo) and a sack and Attianese added 10 tackles (four solo) for G/C (4-0). The Purple Knights defense allowed just 82 yards.
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Behold, The Day's Top 10 state coaches’ poll: 1. St. Joseph (4-0, nine first-place votes); 2. Darien (4-0, four first-place votes); 3. New Canaan (4-0); 4. Greenwich (3-1); 5. Hall (4-0); 6. Norwalk (4-0); 7. Ridgefield (3-1); 8. Fairfield Prep (3-1); 9. Ansonia (5-0); 10. Southington (4-1).
I was a pretty quiet week as so many ranked teams were on byes. Things will pick up this week, though, as we'll soon discuss.
Prep, despite being idle, swapped places with Ansonia. There were a few other teams whose point totals changed despite being on a bye because at least two coaches saw recent game film of them.
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The GameTimeCT/New Haven Register/Hearst Inc. Monolith Top 10 media poll: 1. Darien (19 first-place votes); 2. St. Joseph (four first-place votes — it's the coaches' poll in reverse); 3. New Canaan; 4. Greenwich; 5. Hall; 6. Norwalk; 7. Ridgefield; 8. Fairfield Prep; TIE, 9. Killingly (3-0) and Southington.
The coaches ranked Killingly 15th. The media ranked Ansonia 11th.
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Ned Freeman’s cold, calculating computer rankings for CalPreps.com: 1. St. Joseph; 2. Darien; 3. Greenwich; 4. New Canaan (even computers love the FCIAC); 5. Hall; 6. Hand (2-2); 7. Fairfield Prep; 8. Ridgefield; 9. Norwalk; 10. Southington.
The computer ranked Ansonia 22nd and Killingly 29th. Presumption is its all due to their respective schedules.
The coaches voted Hand 20th. The media voted it 17th.
Surprised to see Hand nearly made the computer’s top five with a .500 record. Presumption is that it’s schedule related — it lost to New Canaan (28-18) and Fairfield Prep (29-16) and beat Masuk (49-21), the latter which the computer ranked 15th.
Yes, the computer ranked Hand ahead of Prep even though it lost to the latter by 13 — it still needs more data to sort things out more accurately (much like human voters).
Fairfield Warde (0-4) has overtaken Hand for the toughest schedule with losses to Darien (41-8), Hall (29-26) and Norwalk (46-13).
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Bear witness to the media ballot Polecat HQ submitted to GameTimeCT:
2. St. Joseph
3. New Canaan
7. Fairfield Prep
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This past weekend was light on must-see games because so many teams were on a bye.
That's not the case this weekend as Week 6 has so many games for YOU to attend:
New London (2-1) at Ledyard (4-0), Thursday, 6 p.m.: It's a Thursday night special! New London's defense has been nasty thus far as its only given up 20 points. It is the first big test for Ledyard as its first four opponents are a combined 2-13. Colonels junior Ryan Outlow has carried an early heavy load (74 carries for 758 yards and 12 TDs). Oh, yeah – YOU may also watch GameDay's broadcast of said game at theday.com should you be adverse to going outside on cool October nights.
Killingly (3-0, 1-0 ECC Division III) at Stonington (3-1, 3-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m.: The ECC D-III title gets settled early here between the division's best. It's been happy times over at Stonington as the Bears are off to their best start since 2016. Now comes what is most likely the toughest part of their schedule. Senior Jack Sharpe (68 carries, 358 yards, nine TDs) and Team RPO (RUN PEOPLE OVER) rumble into the Borough this Friday with Ledyard on deck next weekend.
Hall (4-0) at Platt (3-1), Friday, 6:30 p.m.: Here's a nifty CCC crossover between Tier 1 and 2 teams, respectively. Seniors Antwone Santiago (33 tackles, three sacks), Andres Salas (22 tackles) and the rest of the Platt defense will be seeing a lot of Warriors running back Leo Perreira (121 carries, 607 yards, 12 TDs).
Fairfield Prep (3-1) at Notre Dame-West Haven, (2-2) Friday, 7 p.m.: There's no love lost whenever Prep and ND meet. In anything. Prep is looking to rebound after outgaining Greenwich but losing, 14-7, on Oct. 2. Senior QB Connor Smith has led the Jesuits' offense (45-of-145 passing, 663 yards, six TDs; 37 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD). The Green Knights are 10th in the CIAC Class M rankings and may not be able to withstand another loss. Their offense has run through junior QB Matthew Piechota (52-of-104 passing, 836 yards, seven TDs; 45 carries, 274 yards, three TDs).
Hand (2-2, 0-1 SCC Tier I) at Shelton (3-1, 1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: The Tigers' ludicrous schedule has been more than well-documented and, like ND, forces them to win out to have a shot at qualifying for the L playoffs (they're wa-aaaay back at No. 22 in the current rankings). Senior receiver-defensive back-dude Seth Sweitzer (say that four times fast) has been living up to his family's name with 25 catches for 365 yards and five TDs, 13 tackles (10 solo), three interceptions, averaged 35.1 yards a punt as well as averaging 22.7 yards per kickoff return. Fellow senior co-captain Ethan O'Brien has rushed 53 times for 360 yards and seven TDs. The Gaels have used their excessive brawn (senior two-way lineman Matt Weiner is 6-foot-3, 315 pounds) to run, run and run. Seniors Tyler Rich (73 carries, 321 yards, two TDs) and Shane Santiago (51 carries, 372 yards, five TDs) have shared the workload.
New Canaan (4-0, 2-0 FCIAC East) at Norwalk (4-0, 2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: It's the old guard (New Canaan) vs. the new blood (the Bears). The Rams have been a living advertisement for the Tony Franklin System (most especially the passing game) for well over a decade but have run the ball on 123 of 165 plays so far with seniors Conor Bailey, Vin Cognetta, Henry Cunney and junior Dom Rasso sharing the work. Norwalk senior Cam Edwards has quickly established himself as one of the state's best players. He has 92 carries for 749 yards and 10 touchdowns, has six catches for 172 yards and three TDs, 11 tackles and one interception. Classmate Mysonne Pollard already has five interceptions (and 14 tackles), too.
Xavier (2-2, 0-0 SCC Tier I) at Cheshire (3-1, 2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Xavier started 2-0 and was ranked as high as ninth in The Day's coaches' poll before crossing over into the FCIAC and losing to Ridgefield (28-7) and St. Joseph (42-7). Now the Falcons are another team that must likely win out to make states (and it still has Maloney, ND-West Haven and Prep on its schedule). Seniors Drew Kron (quarterback) and D.J. Wright (running back) have been the Falcons' top offensive threats. The Rams were humming right along with impressive wins over ND-West Haven (26-21, overtime, Sept. 10) and Staples (42-14, Sept. 22). They they traveled to Norwalk on Oct. 2. Cheshire not only lost, 25-15, but offensive linchpin Christian Russo (64 carries, 610 yards, six TDs) didn't dress and quarterback Michael Jeffrey was knocked out of the game in the first quarter. Ouch. Literally.
Newtown (2-2, 2-0 SWC) at Bunnell (4-1, 3-1), Friday, 7 p.m.: The defending Class LL Nighthawks need to get back to winning after taking tough back-to-back losses to Darien (27-14, Sept. 24) and Ridgefield (10-7, Oct. 1). Its defense has been a strength led by senior Andrew Jacobs (23 tackles) and junior Mike Sokk (36 tackles, three interceptions). The Bulldogs have quietly been one of the state's best surprises having finished 3-7 in 2019. Senior Theo Lanham III has paced Bunnell's offense with 77 carries for 628 yards and nine touchdowns while classmate Nick Demanche had 56 tackles.
Greenwich (3-1, 2-0 FCIAC West) at St. Joseph (4-0, 2-0), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: THE main event of the weekend. Greenwich is coming off a 14-7 win over Fairfield Prep (Oct. 2) in which its defense bailed out an offense that struggled to consistently string together drives. Seniors Luke Ware (31 tackles) and John Scarlata (21 tackles, two interceptions) and junior Logan Galletta (19 tackles, two sacks) are just a few of the Cardinals' defensive leaders. The Cadets' offense always gets a lot of attention, but their defense always has dudes looking to hit someone. Senior Mark Morrissey had 35 tackles (including four sacks), classmate Tommy Kramer has 32 tackles and junior Tyler daSilva has 27 tackles (including six sacks).
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Ridgefield: Justin Keller completed 14 of 23 passes for 171 yards with three touchdowns (all to Kyle Colsey) in last Friday’s 42-6 win over Stamford. Kai Kuwata ran 14 times for 92 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers and NACHO Brina had three carries for 32 yards and two scores. Nicholas Verbitsky added two sacks and Wade Steffens an interception.
Southington: The Blue Knights' defense allowed just 164 yards on 42 plays as they shut out the Blue Dragons last Friday, 42-0. Jack Barnum completed 18 of 22 passes for 284 yards with three touchdowns and made all six extra points for Southington (4-1) and Lincoln Cardillo ran nine times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Gavin Anderson had five catches for 111 yards and a touchdown, Ryan Delmonte had five catches for 96 yards and a touchdown and Toby Uhlman scored on a 57-yard pass play. Also, Austin Pszczolkowski had seven tackles (six solo), including two for losses, and Jared Guida had six tackles including a sack.
Hunter Agosti and Corbin Smith, Trumbull: This Smith dude is angling to make as many all-state teams as he can this season. He had 10 catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns, ran five times for 66 yards and two scores, kicked three extra points, nailed a 31-yard field goal, punted twice and returned one punt in last Friday’s 44-0 shutout win over Westhill. Agosti completed 19 of 31 passes for 270 yards with three touchdowns.
Troy Artis and Aiden Walker, Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby: Walker threw touchdown passes of 69 and 10 yards to Artis in last Saturday’s 39-14 loss to Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic.
M.J. Bakaysa, Plainville: Threw three touchdown passes in last Friday's 22-15 win over Lewis Mills.
Ryan Bannon and Kadin DeWallace, Lyman Hall: Bannon had 22 carries for 171 yards and three touchdowns as the Trojans thumped East Haven last Friday, 47-13, for their first win of the season. Wallace added 16 carries for 69 yards and three scores.
Shawn Bell, Elijah Cromartie and Prince Samuels, Windsor: Samuels had 12 tackles (eight solo) including four sacks in last Friday’s 29-14 win over East Hartford. Cromartie completed 12 of 24 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns and Bell ran 10 times for 50 yards, scored on an interception return and had seven tackles.
Taji BLIZZARD, Zhyon Hobbs and Tanner Leo, Crosby: Leo completed 12 of 19 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns in last Friday’s 34-20 win over Oxford. Blizzard had five catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns and Hobbs had seven tackles with a sack.
Nathan Bowes, Tolland: Ran 12 times for 123 yards and a touchdown and completed 14 of 31 passes for 125 yards in last Friday’s 20-17 loss to South Windsor.
Logan Briggs and Mark McLaughlin, Stafford/East Windsor/Somers: McLaughlin completed 20 of 35 passes for 200 yards, ran 19 times for 87 yards, had nine tackles (five for a loss) and a sack to help the Bulldogs rally for a 15-14 win over Sports and Medical Sciences Academy last Friday. Briggs had eight catches for 66 yards and a touchdown and also picked up a botched snap on an extra point attempt and ran for a two-point conversion for the game’s final points with 4:20 left.
Anthony Calvelli, Donovan Campbell and Diego Ortiz, New Britain: Campbell completed 8 of 15 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns as the Golden Hurricanes scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to beat Manchester last Friday, 35-14, for their first win of the season. Calvelli scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass and a 20-yard fumble recovery and Ortiz ran 18 times for 104 yards and a score.
Fred Camp, Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic: Ran 11 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 70-yard punt return in last Saturday’s win over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby.
Matt Chuchro, Northwest Catholic: He ran 13 times for 110 yards. He threw for 176 yards and a touchdown. He added five tackles as the Lions knocked off E.O. Smith last Saturday, 17-7.
Sean Clinkscales and EXODUS Rosado, Torrington: Clinkscales ran eight times for 60 yards and two touchdowns in last Friday's 33-0 rout of Derby. Rosado scored on runs of 6 and 17 yards for Torrington, which pulled its starters after leading 33-0 at halftime. Never forget that Torrington runs GOD'S FATHER'S OFFENSE, too.
Ethan Davis, Jackson Goetz and Tyler Green, Woodstock Academy: Davis completed 6 of 10 passes for 60 yards with two touchdowns (both to Goetz) and ran seven times for 172 yards and a score in the Centaurs' 56-28 win over Montville last Friday. Green added 10 carries for 78 yards and three touchdowns.
Ben Fagan and Teddy Williams, Cromwell/Portland: Williams scored on a 6-yard run and a 62-yard punt return in last Saturday’s 21-6 win over Valley Regional/Old Lyme. Fagan added two interceptions for the PANTHERLANDERS (3-0).
Jose Feliciano, Darrien Foster and Dallas Rose, Bloomfield: Foster completed 9 of 11 passes for 204 yards and five touchdowns in last Friday's 55-7 blitz of Avon. Dallas Rose ran eight times for 113 yards and three touchdowns for the WARHAWKS (5-0) and Jose Felicano had two catches for 50 yards and two scores. Bloomfield scored on three plays of 41 yards-or-more.
The usual suspects at Hand: Ethan O’Brien ran 16 times for 120 yards and three touchdowns in last Friday’s 49-6 rout of Sheehan. Patch Flanagan completed 12 of 15 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns and ran four times for 41 yards and a score for Los Tigres and Seth Sweitzer had five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown, five tackles and an interception.
David Kacpryzski and Thomas Ligi, Holy Cross: Ligi ran 28 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns and also scored on a 33-yard catch in last Saturday’s 40-28 win over Woodland. Kacpryzski completed 12 of 19 passes for 155 yards and two scores for the Crusaders (4-1).
Ryan Kilpatrick, Erik Suzio and Jeremy Taveras, St. Paul: Kilpatrick completed 15 of 18 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons' 32-30 win over Wilby last Friday. Taveras had eight catches for 153 yards and Suzio had five catches for 73 yards.
Aaron James and James Richards, Wilby: Richards ran 13 times for 176 yards in the St. Paul loss. James added 13 carries for 112 yards.
Ethan LaGuardia, South Windsor: Scored on a go-ahead 5-yard run with 1:17 remaining in last Friday’s 20-17 win over Tolland. He completed 16 of 30 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown, ran 14 times for 67 yards and two scores and threw a conversion pass to Josh Colon.
Trey Lanham and Nick Demanche, Bunnell: Lanham ran 19 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns, threw for 50 yards and had five tackles as the Bulldogs knocked off defending Class M champion Weston last Friday, 28-6. Demanche added 10 tackles including a sack for Bunnell (4-1).
Braden Lankarge, Coginchaug/Hale-Ray/East Hampton: He threw two touchdowns and ran for another and a rushing as the BLUEDEVILNOISERINGERS beat Haddam-Killingworth last Saturday, 18-0.
Malachi Mapp, Nate Palmer and John and Matt Ryan, Rockville: Matt Ryan completed 8 of 11 passes for 135 yards with two touchdowns — both to twin brother John on their birthday — in last Friday’s 42-6 win over Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial. Mapp had 11 tackles and Palmer had seven tackles and blocked a punt.
Alex Marshall, Bristol Eastern: Ran THIRTY NINE TIMES for 250 yards and two touchdowns in last Friday’s 21-15 loss to Capital Prep/Achievement First.
Mike O’Brien, Guilford: Rushed for 259 yards and two touchdowns in the Grizzlies’ 34-12 win to East Lyme last Friday.
A number of North Branford-ites: Mason Provencher, North Branford: Provencher completed 12 of 17 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns and ran eight times for 61 yards and a score as the Thunderbirds scored all of their points in the second half of last Friday’s 26-21 win over CREC. Ian Kamienski had six catches for 51 yards and two touchdowns along with six tackles and Eric Izzo had five catches for 101 yards and an interception. Tommy Hansen added a team-high nine tackles, including 2.5 sacks, and ran for a touchdown and Luke Blomster added eight tackles, including two sacks.
Devaun Reid, Capital Prep/Achievement First: Ran 10 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns in last Friday’s win over Bristol Eastern.
Lee Schiavetti, Quinebaug Valley: Celebrated his birthday by scoring on runs of 9, 6, 13 and 28 yards and added an interception in last Thursday’s 38-8 win over VG Techs (Vinal Tech/Goodwin Tech).
A slew of Seymour-ians: Caden Drezek completed 13 of 21 passes for 274 yards with four touchdowns and ran for another in the Wildcats’ 48-12 romp over Wolcott last Friday. Sean Foster caught two passes for 85 yards and two scores, kicked six extra points, ran a fake punt for a first down AND recovered an onside kick for Seymour (4-0). Caleb Nimo-Sefah ran 20 times for 68 yards and had five catches for 74 yards and a touchdown and Dylan Ospina had four catches for 98 yards and a TD for Seymour (4-0). ALSO, AJ Deicicchi had 12 tackles (10 solo), Dylan Page had nine tackles (eight solo) with a sack and Colin Frey had four tackles and an interception.
Dan Sullivan and Evan Wallace, Simsbury: Wallace completed 11 of 22 passes for 165 yards with three touchdowns and ran five times for 55 yards and two scores in last Friday’s 49-7 rout of Enfield. Sullivan was seven-for-seven on extra points.
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Thanks for reading. More soon.
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We planned to cover last Saturday's Wilton-New Canaan game, too, but life got in the way.