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The Lonesome Polecat: BRACKETOLOGY~! (FINAL UPDATE)

Howdy,

It's 2:54 a.m. on Thanksgrabbing.

Thanksgrabbing Week is always the most whacked out week of the state high school football season with wild finishes and upsets.

This has been the most deranged Connecticut high school football season I’ve ever covered, too.

Combine the two and you have whatever the hell happened Wednesday night across the state.

To wit:

• Masuk’s Jake Dellapiano intercepted a pass at midfield with 31 seconds left in the Panthers’ game against rival Newtown. Twenty five seconds later, Michael Epifano kicked a go-ahead 37-yard field goal to give Masuk a 24-21 win and clinch a CIAC Class L playoff berth.

Lee Schiavetti had THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR YARDS of total offense and SIX TOUCHDOWNS as Quinebaug Valley thrashed Thames River, 57-13, and kept the latter from qualifying for states for the first time.

• There was mass confusion whether-or-not Hand had (unofficially) qualified for the Class L playoffs and Fitch was toast.

• Hand didn't, which means that the Faclson can dream about the playoffs for another day even though their odds are about a mile past remote.

All that written, here is the updated (and, mercifully final) edition of BRACKETOLOGY~! for this daffy season.

GROUND RULES

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

Bonuses are the 15 points a team receives for a win by an opponent it beat and, ALL NEW FOR 2021, the five points it receives for a win by an opponent that defeated them.

2. Guarantees are guaranteed points a team receives from a game involving two teams that they both played.

3. 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.

4. We’re going to be wrong about a bunch of these predictions because crazy stuff happens and this has been the most unhinged season we've ever covered.

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

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

7. Thanks to Sean Patrick Star of GameTimeCT for his help. The two of us wasted far too much time the past few days night checking our respective playoff maths.

The state quarterfinals (Tuesday, Nov. 30) and semifinals (Sunday, Dec. 5) are hosted by the higher seeds. The finals are on Saturday, Dec. 11 at Willow Brook Park in New Britain and Trumbull High.

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.

The following have (unofficially) qualified:

CLASS LL: Darien, Fairfield Prep, New Canaan, Hall and Shelton.

CLASS L: Maloney, St. Joseph, Naugatuck, Windsor, Cheney Tech and Masuk.

CLASS M: Killingly, Granby/Canton, Rockville, Branford, Avon and Ellington.

CLASS S: Bloomfield, Ansonia, Cromwell/Portland, Holy Cross, New Fairfield, Seymour, Morgan and Notre Dame-Fairfield.

TWENTY FIVE teams in. SEVEN berths remaining.

HEY, HO — LET’S GO!

CLASS LL

IN

1. DARIEN (9-0)

NEXT: at New Canaan (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,780.

LOW: 1,560.

GUARANTEES (30): Fairfield Warde vs. Fairfield Ludlowe; McMahon vs. Norwalk.

BONUSES (45): BRIDGEPORT CENTRAL over Harding; NORWICH FREE ACADEMY over New London; ST. JOSEPH over Trumbull.

The Blue Wave have clinched a home quarterfinal win-or-lose and will be the top seed with a win.

2. FAIRFIELD PREP (9-1)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,715.

LOW: 1,650.

GUARANTEES: None

BONUSES (65): HARDING over Bridgeport Central; HILLHOUSE over Wilbur Cross; NOTRE DAME-W.H. over Hamden; FITCH over Ledyard; GREENWICH over Staples (5 points).

It's clinched a top two seed. It would be numero uno if Darien lost.

3. NEW CANAAN (8-1)

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

HIGH: 1,625.

LOW: 1,395.

GUARANTEES (30): McMahon vs. Norwalk; Fairfield Ludlowe vs. Fairfield Warde.

BONUSES (45): BRIDGEPORT CENTRAL over Harding; NORTH HAVEN over Amity; GREENWICH over Staples.

Clinches a home quarterfinal with a win.

4. HALL (10-0)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,510.

LOW: 1,470.

GUARANTEES (5-15): Maloney vs. Platt (15 points for a Platt win, 5 points for a Maloney win).

BONUSES (30): FAIRFIELD WARDE over Fairfield Ludlowe; SOUTHINGTON over Cheshire

Warriors have clinched a home quarterfinal.

5. SHELTON (8-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,440.

LOW: 1,390.

GUARANTEES (15): Amity vs. North Haven

BONUSES (45-50): GREENWICH over Staples; NFA over New London; CHESHIRE over Southington; TRUMBULL over St. Joseph (5 points).

The Gaels are just waiting around to see where they're going Nov. 30.

SCRUM

7. SOUTHINGTON (7-2)

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

HIGH: 1,320.

LOW: 1,180.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES (5): MALONEY over Platt (5 points).

8. HAMDEN (7-2)

NEXT: vs. Notre Dame-West Haven (3-6), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,365.

LOW: 1,175.

GUARANTEES (15): Hillhouse vs. Wilbur Cross.

BONUSES (65): McMAHON over Norwalk; SHEEHAN over Lyman Hall; LAW over Foran; WESTHILL over Stamford; NORTH HAVEN over Amity (5 points).

8. STAPLES (7-2)

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

HIGH: 1,355.

LOW: 1,145.

GUARANTEES (5-30): Stamford vs. Westhill; St. Joseph vs. Trumbull (15 for a Trumbull win, 5 for a St. Joseph win).

BONUSES (30): CHESHIRE over Southington; WILBUR CROSS over Hillhouse.

9. TRUMBULL (7-2)

NEXT: vs. St. Joseph (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,350.

LOW: 1,170.

GUARANTEES (30-35): Fairfield Ludlowe vs. Fairfield Warde; Stamford vs. Westhill; Greenwich vs. Staples (5 points).

BONUSES: None.

This is still a mess.

Hamden has the highest ceiling.

Trumbull has the higher floor.

SEND HELP

10. WEST HAVEN (8-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,330.

LOW: 1,260.

GUARANTEES (20-30): Hillhouse over Wilbur Cross; Hamden vs. Notre Dame-W.H. (15 points for an ND win, 5 points for a Hamden win).

BONUSES (60): HARDING over Bridgeport Central; FAIRFIELD WARDE over Fairfield Ludlowe; FORAN over Law; CHESHIRE over Southington.

It needs two of the four to lose — Southington, Hamden, Staples and/or Trumbull.

11. GREENWICH (6-3)

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

HIGH: 1,320.

LOW: 1,140.

GUARANTEES (20-30): Stamford vs. Westhill; St. Joseph vs. Trumbull (15 points for a Trumbull win, 5 for a St. Joseph win)

BONUSES (5): NEW CANAAN over Darien (5 points).

The Cardinals need help qualifying but it’s not unpossible because all of the two-loss teams have challenging games.

12. NEWTOWN (6-3)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,190.

LOW: 1,155.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES (5-35): CHESHIRE over Southington; WESTON over Barlow; DARIEN over New Canaan (5 points).

13. NORWALK (6-3)

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

HIGH: 1,220.

LOW: 1,060.

GUARANTEES (20): Fairfield Ludlowe vs. Fairfield Warde; Darien vs. New Canaan (5 points from the winner).

BONUSES (5-35): BRIDGEPORT CENTRAL over Harding; CHESHIRE over Southington; STAPLES over Greenwich (5 points).

It needs all the other contenders ahead of it to fail. That’s not promising.

THE EIGHT: No. 1 Darien (10-0) vs. No. 8 West Haven; No. 2 Fairfield Prep (9-1) vs. No. 7 Greenwich (7-3) (THE REMATCHENING); No. 3 Hall (9-1) vs. No. 7 Southington (8-2) (THE REMATCHENING); No. 4 New Canaan (8-2) vs. No. 5 Shelton (8-2).

• • • •

CLASS L

IN

1. ST. JOSEPH (8-1)

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

HIGH: 1,690.

LOW: 1,515.

GUARANTEES (30): Greenwich vs. Staples; Stamford vs. Westhill.

BONUSES (5): DARIEN over New Canaan (5 points).

It clinches the top seed with a win.

2. MALONEY (8-1)

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

HIGH: 1,615.

LOW: 1,465.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES (5): SOUTHINGTON over Cheshire (5 points).

It clinches a top three seed with a win.

3. NAUGATUCK (8-1)

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

HIGH: 1,620.

LOW: 1,430.

GUARANTEES (35-45): Holy Cross vs. Wolcott; Kennedy vs. Crosby; Torrington vs. Watertown (15 points for a Watertown win, 5 points for a Torrington win)

BONUSES: None.

The Greyhounds earn a home quarterfinal with a win.

4. WINDSOR (9-1)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,555.

LOW: 1,535.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES (5-20): PLATT over Maloney; ST. JOSEPH over Trumbull (5 points).

Its clinched a home quarterfinal.

6. CHENEY TECH (9-1)

NEXT: Finished regular season.

HIGH: 1,540.

LOW: 1,530.

GUARANTEES (20-30): Platt Tech vs. O’Brien Tech; Abbott/Immaculate vs. Northwest UNITED (15 points for a Northwest win, 5 for an A/I win)

BONUSES: None.

Beavers have a shot at a home quarterfinal should things broke right.

7. MASUK (7-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,495.

LOW: 1,445.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES (5-50): BARLOW over Weston; BETHEL over Brookfield; HILLHOUSE over Wilbur Cross; NOTRE DAME-W.H. over Hamden (5 points).

Its waiting to find out where it’s going next Tuesday.

WIN-AND-IN

3. BRISTOL CENTRAL (8-1)

NEXT: vs. Bristol Eastern (4-5), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,535.

LOW: 1,400.

GUARANTEES (15): Farmington vs. Plainville.

BONUSES: None.

Rams could earn a home quarterfinal with a win.

DO THE MATH

8. HAND (6-3)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,445.

LOW: 1,380.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES (5-65): EAST LYME over Waterford; NORTH HAVEN over Amity; NOTRE DAME-W.H. over Hamden; SHEEHAN over Lyman Hall; NEW CANAAN over Darien (5 points).

The Tigers are almost in. They'd clinch if East Lyme, Fitch or Stonington lost, or if New Canaan, North Haven, Notre Dame or Sheehan won.

WIN-AND-PRAY

9. FITCH (7-2)

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

HIGH: 1,400.

LOW: 1,215.

GUARANTEES (15): New London vs. NFA.

BONUSES (15-30): EAST LYME over Waterford; STONINGTON over Westerly.

Fitch needs to win AND have one of two things to happen:

1. Wins by Amity, Darien, East Lyme, Hamden, Lyman Hall and Stonington.

2. Wins by Bristol Eastern, East Lyme and Stonington.

It's a LOT to ask for.

THE EIGHT: No. 1 St. Joseph (9-1) vs. No. 8 Hand (7-3); No. 2 Maloney (9-1) vs. No. 7 Masuk (8-2); No. 3. Cheney Tech (9-1) vs. No. 6 Naugatuck (8-2); No. 4 Windsor (9-1) vs. No. 5 Bristol Central (9-1).

• • • •

CLASS M

IN

No. 1 KILLINGLY (8-0)

NEXT: vs. Woodstock Academy (7-2), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 158.3 (have to use its average because Killingly plays nine games, not 10).

LOW: 143.3.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES (30): NFA over New London; STONINGTON over Westerly.

Has clinched the top seed.

No. 2 GRANBY/CANTON (7-2)

NEXT: at Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic (5-2), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,430.

LOW: 1,285.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES: None.

Earns a top two seed with a win.

No. 3 ROCKVILLE (8-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

TOTAL POINTS: 1,380.

GUARANTEES (15): Granby/Canton vs. Gilbert/NW/Housatonic.

BONUSES: None.

The Rams have earned a home quarterfinal.

No. 4 BRANFORD (7-2)

NEXT: at East Haven (1-7), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,310.

LOW: 1,170.

GUARANTEES (30): Bethel over Brookfield; Foran vs. Law.

BONUSES (5-35): LYMAN HALL over Sheehan; NOTRE DAME-W.H. over Hamden; AMITY over North Haven (5 points).

No. 5 AVON (7-2)

NEXT: Finished the regular season.

HIGH: 130.

LOW: 127.8.

GUARANTEES (15): East Catholic vs. Northwest Catholic.

BONUSES (5-20): FARMINGTON over Plainville; BRANFORD over East Haven (5 points).

No. 7 ELLINGTON (7-3)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

POINTS: 1,195.

GUARANTEES (5): Gilbert/NW/Housatonic vs. Granby/Canton (5 points from the winner).

BONUSES: None.

Ditto.

WIN-AND-IN

No. 6 TORRINGTON (6-3)

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

HIGH: 1,285.

LOW: 1,095.

GUARANTEES (10-30): Ansonia vs. Naugatuck (15 points for a Naugatuck win, 5 points for an Ansonia win); Holy Cross vs. Wolcott (15 points for a Wolcott win, 5 points for a Holy Cross win).

BONUSES (15): KENNEDY over Crosby.

No. 8 WATERTOWN (6-3)

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

HIGH: 1,230.

LOW: 1,065.

GUARANTEES (15): Crosby v. Kennedy.

BONUSES (5-10): NAUGATUCK ovser Ansonia (5 points); WOLCOTT over Holy Cross (5 points).

Torrington vs. Watertown is the equivalent of a Class M qualifier.

No. 9 PLAINVILLE (6-3)

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

HIGH: 1,195.

LOW: 1,045.

GUARANTEES (5-20): Bristol Eastern vs. Bristol Central (15 points for an Eastern win, 5 points for a Central win); RHAM (5 points for forfeit win over Bacon Academy).

BONUSES (30): LYMAN HALL over Sheehan; NORTHWEST CATHOLIC over East Catholic.

SEND HELP

10. GILBERT/NORTHWESTERN/HOUSATONIC (5-2)

NEXT: vs. Granby/Canton (7-2), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 116.25.

LOW: 95.625.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES: None.

It needs Plainville to lose.

No. 11 ABBOTT/IMMACULATE (5-4)

NEXT: vs. Northwest United (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

HIGH: 1,115.

LOW: 940.

GUARANTEES (5-15): O’Brien Tech vs. Platt Tech (15 points for an O’Brien win, 5 points for a Platt Tech win).

BONUSES: None.

It needs Plainville and G/N/H to lose.

THE EIGHT: No. 1 Killingly (9-0) vs. No. 8 Plainville (7-3); No. 2 Granby/Canton (8-2) vs. No. 7 Ellington (7-3); No. 3 Rockville (8-2) vs. No. 6 Torrington (7-3); No. 4 Branford (8-2) vs. No. 5 Avon (7-2) (THE REMATCHENING).

• • • •

CLASS S

IN

1. BLOOMFIELD (9-0)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

POINTS: 1,900.

GUARANTEES (30): Bristol Central vs. Bristol Eastern; Farmington vs. Plainville.

BONUSES: None.

It's clinched the top seed.

2. ANSONIA (9-0)

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

HIGH: 1,785.

LOW: 1,575.

GUARANTEES (15): Holy Cross vs. Wolcott.

BONUSES (15): TORRINGTON over Watertown.

Clinches the second seed with a win.

3. CROMWELL/PORTLAND (10-0)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

POINTS: 1,675.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES: None.

Clinches a top three seed.

4. HOLY CROSS (7-2)

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

HIGH: 1,520.

LOW: 1,380.

GUARANTEES (20): Crosby vs. Kennedy; Ansonia vs. Naugatuck (5 points from the winner).

BONUSES (15): TORRINGTON over Watertown.

Its got a chance at hosting a home quarterfinal depending on bonuses.

5. NEW FAIRFIELD (8-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,535.

LOW: 1,505.

GUARANTEES (30): Bethel vs. Brookfield; Lyman Hall vs. Sheehan.

BONUSES (30): FITCH over Ledyard; WESTON over Barlow.

Ditto.

6. SEYMOUR (8-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 1,405.

LOW: 1,395.

GUARANTEES (20-30): Torrington vs. Watertown; Holy Cross vs. Wolcott (15 points for a Wolcott win, 5 points for a Holy Cross win)

BONUSES (5): ANSONIA over Naugatuck (5 points).

7. MORGAN (7-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

POINTS: 1,300.

GUARANTEES: None.

BONUSES: None.

WIN-AND-ALMOST IN

8. NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD (7-2)

NEXT: Ended regular season.

HIGH: 137.8 (need to use its average because it has a nine-game schedule).

LOW: 130.

GUARANTEES (5-15): Barlow vs. Weston (15 points for a Weston win, 5 points for a Barlow win)

BONUSES (60): BROOKFIELD over Bethel; FORAN over Law; LYMAN HALL over Sheehan.

THE EIGHT: No. 1 Bloomfield (10-0) vs. No. 8 Morgan (8-2); No. 2 Ansonia (10-0) vs. No. 7 Notre Dame-Ffld. (7-2); No. 3 Cromwell/Portland (10-0) vs. No. 6 Seymour (8-2); No. 4 Holy Cross (9-1) vs. No. 5 New Fairfield (8-2).

• • • •

Thank you for reading.

Adios….

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