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    Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    H.S. football / Week 4 preview capsules

    Stonington’s Will French (24) breaks loose for a gain against New London in an ECC football game on September 23 at Cannamela Field in New London. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Friday’s games

    NFA at Fitch, 6:30 p.m.

    Records: NFA (0-3, 0-0 ECC Div. 1); Fitch (2-1, 0-0)

    Last week: NFA lost to Glastonbury 35-7; Fitch lost to Berlin 29-23

    Outlook: This is the first division game of the season between two of the preseason Div. I contenders. Fitch rallied and came within a holding penalty of tying Berlin in the closing seconds last week, but must eliminate the mistakes that coach Mike Ellis discussed in the wake of last week’s loss. NFA has played a difficult schedule thus far. Will the Wildcats benefit from the quality of competition as they return to the ECC this week?

    New London at Waterford, 6 p.m.

    Records: New London (1-2, 0-0 ECC Div. II); Waterford (2-1, 0-0)

    Last week: New London defeated Stonington 34-14; Waterford defeated Rocky Hill 41-24

    Outlook: The Whalers played drastically better last week, winning their first game of the season. Now they open division play against a neighboring rival that has won two straight. Waterford has scored 76 points in its last two games, led mostly by quarterback Nate Hynes, who combined for nearly 300 yards last week between his passing and rushing.

    Stonington at Montville, 6 p.m.

    Records: Stonington (0-3, 0-0 ECC Div. III); Montville (1-2, 0-1)

    Last week: Stonington lost to New London 34-14; Montville lost to Quinebaug Valley 21-14

    Outlook: An old ECC small school rivalry that usually is competitive and entertaining. The Bears need a win desperately, after a slow start to the season. Montville couldn’t sustain momentum last week after defeating Bacon earlier this month to snap a 17-game losing streak. How well the Bears defend the pass may determine the winner in this game.

    Killingly at Griswold/Wheeler, 6:30 p.m.

    Records: Killingly (3-0, 1-0 ECC Div. III); Griswold/Wheeler 2-1,1-0)

    Last week: Killingly defeated Bloomfield 28-22; Griswold/Wheeler defeated Weaver 60-24

    Outlook: Killingly, a top 10 team in both The Day Coaches’ Poll and the state media poll, can take a huge step here toward a division title with a win. Griswold/Wheeler, meanwhile, has been among the most prolific offensive teams in the league thus far, dropping 40 on Northwest Catholic and 60 last week against Weaver.

    Weaver at Ledyard, 6 p.m.

    Records: Weaver (0-3); Ledyard (3-0)

    Last week: Weaver lost to Griswold/Wheeler 60-24; Ledyard defeated Bacon Academy 41-3

    Outlook: Ledyard has not hit the heavy lifting portion of its schedule yet. But the Colonels, hit hard by graduation and transfers in the offseason, remain one of the league’s best stories. They’re a good bet to go to 4-0 here, given Weaver’s struggles to date.

    Saturday’s games

    East Lyme at Woodstock, noon

    Records: East Lyme (0-3, 0-0 ECC Div. I); Woodstock (1-1, 0-0)

    Last week: East Lyme lost to Law 49-7; Woodstock lost to Windham 20-14

    Outlook: It has been a difficult beginning for the Vikings, who have lost convincingly in their first three games. But the season begins anew in a way here, as they play their first divisional game. East Lyme has scored but 26 points thus far, the fewest among all ECC teams.

    Windham at Bacon Academy, noon

    Records: Windham (3-0, 0-0 ECC Div. II); Bacon (0-2, 0-1)

    Last week: Windham defeated Woodstock 20-14; Bacon lost to Ledyard 41-3

    Outlook: The ECC Div. II race looks to be the most appetizing, likely decided among Windham, Ledyard and Friday’s New London-Waterford winner. The Whips have been impressive to open the season, beating three schools with considerably higher enrollments: E.O. Smith, East Lyme and Woodstock.

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