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TheDay.com Playoff (and mental) breakdown, YOUR weekend itinerary, and 3,840 other words Southeastern Connecticut News, Sports, Weather and Video The Day newspaper

Playoff (and mental) breakdown, YOUR weekend itinerary, and 3,840 other words

By NED X. GRIFFEN

Publication: TheDay.com

Published October 17. 2012 4:00AM   Updated October 18. 2012 2:18PM

Howdy,

It's stupid to try and guess right now which teams will qualify for the CIAC state playoffs. We've just hit the turn of the season. Some teams haven't even played half of their schedule yet.

There are too many variables to deal with. Teams will be upset (ex: Trumbull over Darien). There are bonus points to figure out (if Team A beats Team B, then how many more bonus points will Team A receive from the wins Team B should have in the future?). And can you convert a blender into a high-energy particle accelerator?

(Dem blades spin fast on the puree setting, you know.)

See — it's an absolutely stupid folly. And the staff here at Polecat HQ loves them some stupid.

It is with that stupid in mind that we're going to give a (hopefully) brief overview of the four divisions. There won't be any predictions, just merely what each team is facing as they charge down the backstretch.

All contenders will be listed in the order of the CIAC's current playoff rankings. If you don't see a team listed, then we're not confident of their chances. That could change as the season evolves.

And away we go:

CLASS LL

1. Staples (4-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. Trumbull (2-3), 10/27 at Darien (3-2), 11/2 at Fairfield Warde (1-4), 11/10 v. Westhill (3-2), 11/22 at Greenwich (4-0).

Outlook: Quite good. No idea what to expect out of Darien after last week's shocking loss to Trumbull. The Wreckers' Thanksgrabbing Day game at Greenwich will be momentous as always. Might be for the FCIAC title, too.

2. Glastonbury (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday at Southington (5-0), 10/26 v. East Hartford (0-5), 11/2 v. South Windsor (0-5), 11/9 v. Hall (3-2), 11/17 at Simsbury (3-2).

Outlook: Lock, especially if it wins Saturday.

3. Newtown (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. Notre Dame-Fairfield (0-5), 10/26 at Bethel (1-4), 11/3 at Immaculate (0-5), 11/9 v. Bunnell (1-4), 11/21 v. Masuk (5-0).

Outlook: Lock. The South-West Conference championship will be decided (again) on Thanksgrabbing Eve.

4. Greenwich (4-0)

Games remaining: Saturday v. Bridgeport Central (1-4), 10/27 at Westhill (3-2), 11/2 at McMahon (2-3), 11/9 v. Danbury (2-3), 11/22 v. Staples (4-0).

Outlook: Lock. It's all about the Staples game.

5. West Haven (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday at Hand (5-0), 10/26 v. Cheshire (3-2), 11/2 v. Wilbur Cross (1-3), 11/9 at Xavier (4-1), 11/22 v. Fairfield Prep (4-1).

Outlook: Not good. If you've ever wondered why the Southern Connecticut Conference's Division I teams fare better than others in states, then just look at the Westies' schedule. Three of its games are brutal, and Cheshire isn't a pushover.

6. Norwich Free Academy (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday v. Stamford (2-3), 10/27 at Bacon Academy (1-3), 11/2 at Griswold (3-2), 11/10 v. Waterford (2-3), 11/22 at New London (4-1).

Outlook: Lock. A home quarterfinal game may be determined by the Thanksgiving outcome at New London.

7. Southington (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday v. Glastonbury (5-0), 10/26 v. Hall (3-2), 11/2 at Simsbury (3-2), 11/9 at Manchester (4-1), 11/22 v. Cheshire (3-2).

Outlook: Uncertain. Saturday's game is pivotal given how Southington ends its season. Manchester won't be easy, and Thanksgrabbing's Cheshire game has featured some real doozy.

8. Xavier (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Amity (2-3), 10/26 at Hillhouse (4-1), 11/2 at Shelton (3-2), 11/9 v. West Haven (5-0), 11/22 v. Middletown (5-0).

Outlook: Very good. Hillhouse's speed will give Xavier problems, but we cannot remember the last time it lost to an SCC D-2 team. The West Haven game is worrisome. It's had Middletown's number, too.

9. Manchester (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Newington (2-3), 10/27 at Conard (2-3), 11/2 at New Britain (1-4), 11/9 v. Southington (5-0), 11/21 at East Hartford (0-5).

Outlook: Not good. It should finish no worse than 8-2 because Southington is the only winning team it has left. That's also a curse, as it won't be picking up many bonuses along the way.

10. Fairfield Prep (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday v. Hamden (1-4), 10/26 at Amity (2-3), 11/2 v. Branford (3-2), 11/9 v. Notre Dame-West Haven (1-4), 11/22 at West Haven (5-0)

Outlook: Uncertain. The West Haven game is a monster. It has the same problem as Manchester — it's not going to pick up many bonuses, so chances are it needs to win on Thanksgrabbing.

11. Ridgefield (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Norwalk (1-4), 10/26 at McMahon (2-3), 11/2 v. Harding (0-5), 11/9 v. Bridgeport Central (1-4), 11/21 at Danbury (2-3).

Outlook: Lock. Look at its schedule.

12. Naugatuck (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday v. Holy Cross (3-2), 10/26 v. Woodland (3-2), 11/2 v. Watertown (1-4), 11/10 at Kennedy (0-5), 11/22 at Ansonia (5-0).

Outlook: Uncertain. It needs to get past Holy Cross and Woodland because beating Ansonia will be really, really, really, really hard. It's not a lock to qualify at 8-2, either.

CLASS L

1. Hand (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. West Haven (5-0), 10/26 at North Haven (3-2), 11/2 at Notre Dame-West Haven (1-4), 11/9 v. Shelton (3-2), 11/21 v. Guilford (1-3).

Outlook: Lock. West Haven is the only thing standing between the Tigers and a home quarterfinal.

2. Windsor (4-0)

Games remaining: Friday at Middletown (5-0), 10/26 v. Farmington (5-0), 11/2 at Maloney (1-4), 11/9 v. RHAM (1-4), 11/17 at Hartford Public (3-1).

Outlook: Lock. See Hand; substitute "Middletown" with "West Haven", and "Warriors" with "Tigers."

3. Middletown (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. Windsor (4-0), 10/26 v. Bristol Central (2-3), 11/2 at Farmington (5-0), 11/9 v. Hartford Public (3-1), 11/22 at Xavier (4-1)

Outlook: Not good. Windsor and Xavier are beastly, and Farmington is fighting for a Class L berth.

4. Avon (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday at Granby (2-2), 10/27 v. Housatonic/Wamogo (0-4), 11/2 at Enfield (3-2), 11/10 v. Ellington/Somers (5-0), 11/17 at Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (1-3).

Outlook: Lock. A win over Ellington/Somers likely earns it the Pequot Uncas Division title and clinch a home quarterfinal. If it loses, then it takes a road trip.

5. Masuk (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday at Brookfield (4-1), 10/27 at Notre Dame-Fairfield (0-5), 11/3 at Weston (5-0), 11/9 v. Barlow (5-0), 11/21 at Newtown (5-0).

Outlook: Lock. Have a hard time envisioning Masuk losing to Weston and Barlow because, well, it's Masuk. A win over Newtown earns it the SWC title and, most likely, a home quarterfinal.

6. Farmington (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. Bristol Eastern (3-2), 10/26 at Windsor (4-0), 11/2 v. Middletown (5-0), 11/9 at Bulkeley (1-4), 11/22 v. Plainville (1-4).

Outlook: Uncertain. Windsor and Middletown are its only toughies remaining. Likely needs a split, as it likely won't earn many bonuses.

7. Platt Tech (4-0)

Games remaining: Saturday v. Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (5-0), 10/27 at Bullard Havens Tech (5-0), 11/3 at Wilcox Tech (1-4), 11/10 at Abbott Tech (2-3), 11/15 v. Prince Tech (4-0), 11/22 v. O'Brien Tech (0-4).

Outlook: Not good. It has three games left against the Constitution State Conference's other unbeaten teams, and it may not be as good as HCCA and Bullard-Havens.

8. New Canaan (4-1)

Games remaining: Saturday at St. Joseph (4-1), 10/27 v. Wilton (3-2), 11/2 v. Stamford (2-3), 11/9 at Trumbull (2-3), 11/22 at Darien (3-2).

Outlook: Uncertain. Cannot lose to both St. Joseph and Darien.

9. Fitch (3-1)

Games remaining: Friday v. Griswold (3-2), 10/26 at Windham (3-2), 11/2 at New London (4-1), 11/9 at St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (0-4), 11/15 at Bacon Academy (1-3), 11/22 v. Ledyard (3-2),

Outlook: Uncertain. Must earn at least a split with New London and Ledyard.

10. Darien (3-2)

Games remaining: Friday at Wilton (3-2), 10/27 v. Staples (4-0), 11/3 at Trinity Catholic (5-0), 11/10 v. Bassick (0-5), 11/22 v. New Canaan (4-1).

Outlook: Poor. Staples and Trinity and New Canaan — oh, my.

12. North Haven (3-2)

Games remaining: Friday at Sheehan (1-4), 10/26 Hand (5-0), 11/2 at Foran (3-2), 11/9 at Lyman Hall (0-5), 11/22 v. Amity (2-3).

Outlook: Uncertain. The Indians are one of six 3-2 teams in contention and, most likely, won't finish worse than 7-3. Branford could match that record, but the Indians have beaten at least one winning team (New London). Branford hasn't. New London could earn North Haven lota of bonus points, too.

14. Branford (3-2)

Games remaining: Friday at Law (2-3), 10/26 at Guilford (1-3), 11/2 at Fairfield Prep (4-1), 11/9 v. Foran (3-2), 11/22 at East Haven (1-4).

Outlook: Uncertain. Gets a third loss from Prep, and will collect few bonuses from this group. Guilford may have won only one game, but it lost both of its SCC D-I games and opened the season with a loss to North Haven, too.

CLASS M

1. Wolcott (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. Derby (4-1), 10/26 v. Watertown (1-4), 11/2 at Ansonia (5-0), 11/9 v. Woodland (3-1), 11/22 at Holy Cross (3-2).

Outlook: Not good. For starters, its schedule was back loaded, so it better win its next two games.

2. Berlin (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. Rockville (2-3), 10/26 v. Plainville (1-4), 11/2 v. Platt (3-2), 11/9 at Bloomfield (5-0), 11/21 at New Britain (1-4).

Outlook: Lock. Mark it down to finish 10-0.

3. Ellington/Somers (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday at Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (1-3), 10/27 v. Enfield (3-2), 11/10 at Avon (5-0), 11/17 v. Housatonic/Wamogo (0-4), 11/22 v. Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton (3-1).

Outlook: Good. It will finish no worse than 8-2. Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton is not as formidable as it was last season. Avon looks like the only potential loss.

4. Barlow (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday at Bunnell (1-4), 10/27 v. New Milford (0-5), 11/2 at Brookfield (4-1), 11/9 at Masuk (5-0), 11/22 v. Weston (5-0)

Outlook: Fair. It should be unbeaten headed into the Masuk game. The Thanksgrabbing's game against Weston will be one of the state's biggies.

5. Weston (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday at New Fairfield (3-2), 10/27 v. Stratford (2-3), 11/3 v. Masuk (5-0), 11/10 v. Bethel (1-4), 11/22 at Joel Barlow (5-0)

Outlook: Uncertain. It struggled to beat Pomperaug of Southbury and Bunnell of Stratford, both 1-4. It'll lose to Masuk. Barlow is no slouch. Neither is New Fairfield.

6. Bullard-Havens (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday at Prince Tech (4-0), 10/27 v. Platt Tech (4-0), 11/3 at O'Brien Tech (0-4), 11/10 at Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement First (5-0), 11/20 at Bassick (0-5).

Outlook: Good. It's been one of the CSC's most consistent winners. Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement is its most serious competition.

7. St. Joseph (4-1)

Games remaining: Saturday v. New Canaan (4-1), 10/27 v. Fairfield Warde (1-4), 11/2 v. Bassick (0-5), 11/10 v. Trinity Catholic (5-0), 11/21 at Trumbull (2-3).

Outlook: Fair. Can't lose to New Canaan and Trinity. Thanksgrabbing Eve rival Trumbull isn't a sure win, either

8. Hillhouse (4-1)

Games remaining: 10/18 v. Guilford (1-3), 10/26 v. Xavier (4-1), 11/2 at Lyman Hall (0-5), 11/9 v. Sheehan (1-4), 11/22 at Wilbur Cross (1-3).

Outlook: Good. It likely loses to Xavier next Friday. The rest of the Academics' games are very winnable, although New Haven neighbor Cross always gives them fits.

9. New London (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Plainfield (4-1), 10/27 at Woodstock Academy (0-5), 11/2 v. Fitch (3-1), 11/10 at Ledyard (3-2), 11/22 v. Norwich Free Academy (5-0).

Outlook: Uncertain. The Whalers run the gauntlet to end their regular season. It would gobble up bonuses points by beating Fitch, Ledyard and NFA. It would also earn 10 extra points if it beat Fitch, NFA and Woodstock as all are in a larger class.

10. Brookfield (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday v. Masuk (5-0), 10/26 at Pomperaug (1-4), 11/2 v. Joel Barlow (5-0), 11/9 v. New Fairfield (3-2), 11/22 v. Bethel (1-4).

Outlook: Not good. Masuk is Masuk. Barlow and New Fairfield are no slouch, either.

11. Montville (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Waterford (2-3), 10/26 v. Ledyard (3-2), 11/2 at Stonington (4-1), 11/9 v. East Lyme (0-5), 11/21 at St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (0-4).

Outlook: Fair. Looks like it'll have to beat Ledyard and Stonington because it will have played too many losing programs, which mean too few playoff points.

12. Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton (3-1)

Games remaining: Saturday at Canton (3-2), 10/27 v. Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (1-3), 11/3 at Housatonic/Wamogo (0-4), 11/9 v. Enfield (3-2), 11/17 v. Granby (2-2), 11/22 at Ellington/Somers (5-0).

Outlook: Fair. It has a better pedigree than Canton and Enfield, which, admittedly, is moot. Ellington/Somers will be the make-or-break game.

13. Windham (3-2)

Games remaining: Saturday at Bacon Academy (1-3), 10/26 v. Fitch (3-1), 11/2 v. Waterford (2-3), 11/15 at Killingly (0-4), 11/22 at Woodstock Academy (0-5).

Outlook: Not good. It must beat Fitch to stay in the race.

14. Ledyard (3-2)

Games remaining: Friday at East Lyme (0-5), 10/26 at Montville (4-1), 11/2 v. Bacon Academy (1-4), 11/10 v. New London (4-1), 11/22 at Fitch (3-1).

Outlook: Not good. The Colonels have a lot of ground to make up, so they better win out.

16. New Fairfield (3-2)

Games remaining: Friday v. Weston (5-0), 10/27 at Oxford (3-2), 11/2 at Pomperaug (1-4), 11/9 at Brookfield (4-1), 11/22 v. New Milford (0-5).

Outlook: Not good. Weston and Brookfield are both fighting for berths, and Oxford gave unbeaten Newtown fits last Saturday.

CLASS S

1. Trinity Catholic (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday v. Fairfield Warde (1-4), 10/26 at Bassick (0-5), 11/3 v. Darien (3-2), 11/10 at St. Joseph (4-1), 11/22 at Wilton (3-2).

Outlook: Quite good. Yeah, Darien and St. Joseph are tough games. The Crusaders play at Wilton on Thanksgrabbing, too, a day where the wacky always happens. Trinity has an edge over most of the division, though, as it plays so many Class LL, L and M programs. It's already has a 70-point lead over No. 2 Ansonia and 100 points more than No. 3 Hyde. They'd also get 10 extra points for beating St. Joseph, and 20 points for the other teams left on their schedule.

2. Ansonia (5-0)

Games remaining: 10/18 at Watertown (1-4), 10/26 at Crosby (1-4), 11/2 v. Wolcott (5-0), 11/9 at Wilby (2-3), 11/22 v. Naugatuck (4-1).

Outlook: Lock. It should be 9-0 headed into Thanksgrabbing. A win over Naugatuck could be worth 200 points-or-more if the latter has eight or nine wins.

3. Hyde (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday at Lewis Mills (0-4), 10/27 v. Old Saybrook/Westbrook (2-2), 11/2 at East Hampton/Vinal Tech (0-5), 11/17 v. Nonnewaug (1-4), 11/21 at North Branford (4-0).

Outlook: Lock. The Howling Wolves' already beat two of the Pequot Sassacus' top teams in Cromwell and Valley Regional/Old Lyme. It'll be 9-0 when it rolls into North Branford on Thanksgrabbing Eve with the division title on the line — and likely a home quarterfinal, too.

4. Bloomfield (5-0)

Games remaining: Friday v. Rocky Hill (4-1), 10/26 at Platt (3-2), 11/3 at Weaver (0-5), 11/9 v. Berlin (5-0), 11/16 v. Fermi (0-5).

Outlook: Good. The Rocky Hill game will impact the Class S race. Berlin is the toughest team it has left on its schedule. It would earn 40 extra points if it beat Class L programs Platt and Fermi.

5. North Branford (4-0)

Games remaining: Friday at East Hampton/Vinal Tech (0-5), 10/27 at Cromwell (4-1), 11/3 at Coginchaug (3-1), 11/9 v. Nonnewaug (1-4), 11/17 at Lewis Mills (0-4), 11/21 v. Hyde (5-0)

Outlook: Lock. The Thunderbirds have two challenges left in Cromwell and Hyde, and they've been mulching everything in their way.

6. Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement First (5-0)

Games remaining: Saturday at Platt Tech (4-0), 10/26 v. Wilcox Tech (1-4), 11/2 v. Cheney Tech (2-3), 11/10 v. Bullard Havens (5-0), 11/20 v. Prince Tech (4-0)

Outlook: Lock. The Trailblazers wowed one coach voting in The Day Top 10 state coaches' poll, a first for a CSC program. Platt Tech will be a great measuring stick for both. Closes with two teams also fighting for playoff berths.

7. Prince Tech (4-0)

Games remaining: Saturday v. Bullard Havens (5-0), 10/27 v. Abbott Tech (2-3), 11/2 at Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech (2-3), 11/9 at Cheney Tech (2-3), 11/15 at Platt Tech (4-0), 11/20 at Capital/Classical/Achieve. 1st (5-0)

Outlook: Uncertain. Hard to tell just how good Prince is as its first four opponents are a combined 1-18. We'll all learn more Saturday.

8. Derby (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Wolcott (5-0), 10/26 v. Torrington (2-3), 11/2 at Seymour (3-2), 11/9 v. Crosby (1-4), 11/22 at Shelton (3-2).

Outlook: Not good. Wolcott is a tough game to call, and the Red Raiders haven't had much luck lately with Shelton on Thanksgrabbing.

9. Rocky Hill (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Bloomfield (5-0), 10/26 v. Weaver (0-5), 11/2 at Bristol Central (2-3), 11/9 v. Tolland (2-3), 11/22 v. Northwest Catholic (3-2).

Outlook: Good. They'd be better if the Terriers beat Bloomfield. They're toughest game after that is Northwest on Thanksgrabbing. They'd get 10 extra points if they beat Class M Tolland, and 20 extra points if they beat Central.

10. Plainfield (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday v. New London (4-1), 10/26 at Killingly (0-4), 11/9 at Stonington (4-1), 11/15 at Law (2-3), 11/22 v. Griswold (3-2).

Outlook: Uncertain. Doubtful it'll beat New London, so it would likely need to win out.

11. Stonington (4-1)

Games remaining: Friday v. St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (0-4), 10/26 at Griswold (3-2), 11/2 v. Montville (4-1), 11/9 v. Plainfield (4-1), 11/22 at Westerly (R.I.) (4-1)

Outlook: Not good. Odds are that it has to win four of its final five games.

12. Cromwell (4-1)

Games remaining: Saturday v. Morgan (1-3), 10/27 v. North Branford (4-0), 11/3 at Old Saybrook/Westbrook (2-2), 11/9 at Valley Regional/Old Lyme (3-2), 11/22 at Coginchaug (3-1).

Outlook: Uncertain. North Branford has performed like the class of the Pequot Sassacus. The Panthers postseason comes down to their final two games.

13. Woodland (3-1)

Games remaining: Friday at Torrington (2-3), 10/26 at Naugatuck (4-1), 11/2 v. Holy Cross (3-2), 11/9 at Wolcott (5-0), 11/21 v. Seymour (3-2).

Outlook: Uncertain. Torrington has been as unstable as uranium. Naugatuck, Holy Cross and Wolcott are a tough stretch, too.

14. Coginchaug (3-1)

Games remaining: Saturday at Old Saybrook/Westbrook (2-2), 10/27 v. Valley Regional/Old Lyme (3-2), 11/3 v. North Branford (4-0), 11/9 at Haddam-Killingworth (2-3), 11/16 at Morgan (1-3), 11/22 v. Cromwell (4-1)

Outlook: Uncertain. The Blue Devils still have to deal with Valley/Old Lyme, North Branford and Cromwell. They must beat two of the three to stay in the race.

15. Holy Cross (3-2)

Games remaining: Friday at Naugatuck (4-1), 10/26 v. Sacred Heart (2-3), 11/2 at Woodland (3-2), 11/10 v. St. Paul Catholic (0-5), 11/22 v. Wolcott (5-0).

Outlook: Not good. A loss Friday all but finishes it. Also has to contend with Woodland and Wolcott.

16. Northwest Catholic (3-2)

Games remaining: Friday at Plainville (1-4), 10/27 v. East Catholic (0-5), 11/3 v. Bristol Eastern (3-2), 11/9 at Rockville (2-3), 11/22 at Rocky Hill (4-1)

Outlook: Long shot. On paper, Rocky Hill will be its toughest challenge, and it likely needs to beat it.

■ ■ ■ ■

Last week was built up as The Big One because of Hand v. Xavier.

It was a fine week and all, but this — THIS — is the best week so far.

Once again, Hand is involved in the biggest game as the newest No. 1 team in The Day state coaches' poll plays host No. 7 West Haven.

(Leave early you plan on attending — getting in-and-out of the Surf Club is like escaping a department store on Black Friday, only without the bloodshed and hurling of flat screens.)

The Central Connecticut Conference provides us with two games involving unbeaten teams — No. 4 Windsor at Middletown Friday, and No. 8 Glastonbury v. Southington at Meriden's Falcon Field on Saturday.

THANK YOU, Hartford County.

After that, there are several other pivotal games for both conference and state playoff purposes.

To wit:

Holy Cross (3-2) at Naugatuck (4-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

Holy Cross cannot lose if it hopes to defend its CIAC Class S title. The Greyhounds have been leveling nearly everyone in their path. Running back Mick Pernell (136.6 average, 12 touchdowns) has been one of the Naugatuck Valley League's most dynamic players.

Rocky Hill (4-1, 1-0 CCC D-III West) at Bloomfield (5-0, 2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

A Class S factor game. Bloomfield all but clinches the division with a win. Rocky Hill's Chris Young has averaged a redonkulous 17.8 yards a carry with 12 touchdowns. The Warhawks' David Campbell averages 151 yards rushing and scored eight times.

No. 7 West Haven (5-0, 1-0 SCC D-I East) at No. 1 Hand (5-0, 2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

Two ranked and unbeaten teams face off. Why isn't that enough for you?

Weston (5-0) at New Fairfield (3-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

An all-important game for Class M. Weston quarterback Tyler Hassett (809 yards passing, 8 TDs, 486 yards rushing, 8 TDs) leads a balanced attack. New Fairfield's Joe Pacheco is the state's leading rusher according to games reported to MaxPreps.com (1,230 yards, 13 touchdowns).

No. 4 Windsor (5-0, 2-0 CCC D-II West) at Middletown (5-0, 2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

No one has given either team many problems. The winner gets a leg up in the division and great positioning in the Class L ratings. Windsor has averaged 484 yards a game, led by quarterback Robert Quinn Fleeting (865 yards passing, 10 TDs; 320 yards rushing, 5 TDs). Sophomore Dario Highsmith directs the Blue Dragons dangerous running attack.

Woodland (3-1, 3-0 NVL Copper) at Torrington (2-3, 2-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

Woodland quarterback Tanner Kingsley has thrown for 597 yards and 14 touchdowns while Joe Fancer has rushed for 413 yards and two scores. No one ever knows which Red Raiders team will show up — the one that started several reserves and beat Holy Cross, or the one that got torched by Naugatuck.

Bullard Havens (5-0, 5-0 CSC) at Prince Tech (4-0, 4-0), Saturday, 11 a.m.

It's about time that the CSC's best start mixing it up. Bullard-Havens has rushed for 391 yards a game, led by John Shannon (757 yards, 15 TDs). The Falcons counter with Rahkeem Jordan (580 yards rushing, 7 TDs).

Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement at Platt Tech, Saturday, 1 p.m.

HCCA has averaged 188 yards rushing and 183 yards passing. Now THAT'S a balanced offense. Antwan Byrd has thrown for 892 yards and 10 touchdowns. Platt Tech allowed 10 points a game.

New Canaan (4-1, 2-1 FCIAC East) at St. Joseph (4-1, 2-0), Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

New Canaan has a twist to its spread offense this season — it's using the quarterback tag team of juniors Nick Cascione and Teddy Bossidy. Jordan Vazzano (959 yards, 14 TDs) is the only dude the Cadets want at chucking the ball.

No. 8 Glastonbury (5-0) at Southington (5-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.

These two CCC superpowers will shake up Class LL. Glastonbury has attacked teams with several offensive threats, and held four opponents to eight points or less. The Blue Knights have been even stingier (28 points against).

Vaya con dios….

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Rick Koster | Librarian to The Stars / Books Blog

Sunday Night TV | Mad Men Monday

Just Listen | The Day's music writers share their playlists

Sports

Steve Fagin | The Great Outdoors

Vickie Fulkerson | High School Sports

Nick Giuliano | Fenway Frankly

Richard Cooke | Yawkey Way

Ned Griffen | High School Football

Gavin Keefe | UConn Men's Hoops

Jim O'Neill | Golf