In what is being called by MaxPreps.com as one of the top 10 high school football games to watch in the country for week five, the Daniel Hand Tigers (4-0 on the season and ranked No. 3 in the state) take on the No. 1-ranked and also 4-0 Xavier Falcons tonight at 7 p.m. at Palmer Field in Middletown.
Hand leads the all-time series (dating back to 1978) at 14-6, defeating Xavier 31-16 in the pairís last meeting in 2007. Xavier has not lost a game since the 2009 Class LL semifinal and has won 30 straight contests as opposed to the Tigers, who have won their last 17 games.
Xavier has a balanced offensive attack led by the pass-run combo of seniors Tim Boyle and DeAngelo Berry. Boyle has thrown for 726 yards and eight touchdowns in four games, while Berry is averaging more than 190 rushing yards per game and already has 15 rushing touchdowns.
The Tigers feature quarterback Brendan Bilcheck, along with fullback/linebacker Matthew Walsh-a senior who has committed to play at Connecticut-and defensive end Peter Gerson, who is headed to Yale next season.
Both clubs are coming off of state championship seasons in 2011, with Hand winning the Class L title and the Falcons taking the LL top honor.