By NED X. GRIFFEN
Ah, the joys of being an athletic director. If one postpones a football game due to the threat of rain and it never comes, then folks will mock them for being too quick on the draw.
And then there was Thursday. The morning forecast called for a better-than-average chance of thunderstorms in the late evening. Many ADs opted to play that night as regularly scheduled. … and ten games ended up being suspended.
An AD just can't win.
The upside to Thursday's deluge is that YOU have a chance to see more games this weekend. For instance, you could check out Southington at Derby this afternoon, then jet over to Derby for its game against St. Paul.
West Haven v. Greenwich will be concluded Sunday (the Westies lead in the third, 13-7). You could go to New Milford instead and watch its entire game against Masuk.
More football is a triumph for the human spirit.
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Only eight games were completed Thursday, one of which was quite noteworthy — Canton rallied to beat neighbor and nemesis Avon, 16-13, on the game's final play.
Now THAT'S interesting.
Canton didn't have a team several years ago. It had one a long time ago, but it went kaput in 1964.
The program came back online in 2006 and began a varsity schedule in 2007. It didn't go well as the Warriors went 11-39 over their first five seasons.
Enter Paul Philippon. He held that same position at Bristol Eastern from 2004-08 and turned that program around. The Lancers made the playoffs in 2007, something that had only happened once in their history.
Canton finished 7-3 last season, but lost to Avon for the sixth year in a row.
Oh, yeah, Avon — it's been a perennial winner which has qualified for states in three of the last five seasons. It gave New Canaan fits in last year's Class L quarterfinals before losing, 16-7.
That brief history lesson takes us to Thursday. Avon had the lead and the ball when the Warriors' Dan Delos forced a turnover with two minutes, 39 seconds left in the game.
Canton took over at its own 31-yard line and quickly drove the field. Terrance Brophy ended the drive and game with a 6-yard run, diving into the end zone as time expired.
"If there was one game I wanted to win in my high school career (it was this one)," Warriors senior quarterback Eric Scott told Gerry deSimas Jr. of the Collinsville Press.
"I told the team I didn't care if we win the rest of our games this year. I wanted to win this game right here. This means everything."
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A few more notes on Thursday's games:
Valley Regional/Old Lyme 34, Hyde 0: VR/OL figured to be one of best teams in the Pequot Conference this season as it returned almost its entire starting lineup. The WARRIORCATS showed off that veterain talent by knocking around the league's most successful programs (the Howling Wolves have won four of the Pequot's seven CIAC titles).
Chris Hunn of JRC Amalgamated has the story HERE.
Gilbert/Northwestern Regional 34, Cromwell 27: The Yellowjackets earned themselves a huge win over one of the Pequot's preeminent programs. Tony Ortiz (234 yards rushing) and John Lippincott (170 yards rushing) each ran for two long touchdowns for the winners. Ortiz scored on runs of 74 and 66 yards. Lippincott ran for touchdowns of 50 and 76 yards. G/NR finished with for 419 yards rushing.
Check out the game written by Pete Paguaga of JRC Amalgamated.
Wilton 21, Guilford 20: Wilton won four games last season and wasn't a trendy pick within the FCIAC. The Indians were a popular pick to win the SCC D-2 as it returned a lot of veteran talent. The Warriors showed why forecasting football is as unpossible as weather forecasting.
The Norwalk Hour's Bob Birge and Dave Phillips of JRC Amalgamated provide both sides of the (game) story.
Ledyard 42, RHAM 6: JoJo Shumaker ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns, new starting quarterback Ty Ebdon was a steady hand, and a brand-new offensive line shined for the Colonels. They also gave head coach Jim Buonocore his 100th career win.
@bcgenius of TEAM DAY gave the game his award-winning prose.
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The Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame announced this week that Richie Albonizio and the late Jack Hunt were among its nine inductees for 2013. Hunt was a legendary player and coach at Ansonia. He won 178 games, the most in program history, and led the Chargers to seven CIAC state titles. Albonizio has won three CIAC titles at Greenwich and won another at Trinity Catholic.
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Tonight's top games:
Southington at Glastonbury, 3 p.m.: Class LL mega powers collide.
Farmington at Simsbury, 4 p.m.: Simsbury leads, 14-13, with one minute left in the third, so you'll get home in time for dinner.
St. Paul at Derby, 7 p.m.: UConn-bound quarterback Logan Marchi leads St. Paul's high-scoring offense. Kountry Kyle and Remington over at the NVL Blog both believe Derby will be one of the league's best teams. Many points will be scored.
Thanks for reading.
Vaya con dios….