Capsule look as some of Week 3’s most intriguing matchups in the CIAC.
Platt at Newington
- WHERE/WHEN — Alumni Field, Newington HS, 6:30 p.m.
- RECORDS — Platt 2-0; Newington 2-0
- LAST WEEK — Platt def. Windham 47-20; Newington def. Farmington 26-20
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Platt: Jr. RB Ethan Dudley; Sr. QB A.J. Marinelli; Sr. WR/S Javon James; Newington: Sr. RB/FS Aveontae Frazier; Sr. G/DT Damon Stewart; Sr. QB Roberto Sanchez
- OUTLOOK — Platt buried Windham in a non-league game for the school’s 300th football victory. Victory No. 301 should be a bit tougher with unbeaten Newington on tap. Or… maybe not? Junior RB Ethan Dudley has been great so far for the Panthers. Add in QB A.J. Marinell’s passing and Platt has a diverse attack. Newington, coached by former Wolcott head Jason Pace, needed a late score to beat Farmington. The Indians counter with versatile QB Roberto Sanchez and RB Aveontae Frazier.
South Windsor at New Britain
- WHERE/WHEN — Veterans Stadium at Willowbrook Park, New Britain, 6:30 p.m.
- RECORDS — South Windsor 2-0; New Britain 1-1
- LAST WEEK — South Windsor def. Glastonbury 14-9; New Britain def. Manchester 62-38
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — South Windsor: Sr. QB Connor Kapisak; Sr. OT/DT Hassan Azeem; Jr. LB Ronnie Pinkard; New Britain: Sr. QB/DB Jahfari Newman; Jr. RB Tahje Yopp; Jr. RB/SS Shawn Robinson.
- OUTLOOK — South Windsor — in its first season back in CCC Division I after two years — has drawn some early attention after solid wins over East Hartford (41-14) and, last week, Glastonbury. The Bobcats have a veteran squad, led by QB Kapisak and Azeem. Now comes another test: An explosive New Britain team, which dropped 62 on Manchester last week. The last time these two met, New Britain smoked South Windsor 49-14 in 2014, SW coach Dave Hodge’s first year at the helm. Let’s see how far the Bobcats have come.
Trumbull at No. 7 New Canaan
- WHERE/WHEN — Dunning Field, New Canaan HS, 7 p.m.
- RECORDS — Trumbull 1-1; New Canaan 1-1
- LAST WEEK — Trumbull def. Fairfield Ludlowe 33-0; New Canaan def. Danbury 42-7
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Trumbull: Jr. QB Colton Nicholas; Sr. DE/OLB Joe Turner; Sr. T Eric Palinkas; New Canaan: Sr. WR/DB Quintin O’Connell; Soph. QB Drew Pyne; Jr. T Jack Conley.
- OUTLOOK — Trumbull spent Week 1 getting chased up-and-down Sacred Heart’s Pioneer Field in a 70-16 wipeout. Everything that could go wrong did. Also: Greenwich is good. So is New Canaan, which rebounded from its Week 1 loss to St. Joseph with a much better — but still not picture-perfect — outing vs. Danbury. Both teams need this game. Trumbull hasn’t had a lot of success vs. the Rams over the last 12 years. The Eagles’ last win was in 2005’s Class LL playoff year. That, incidentally, was the year before New Canaan began its 12-year run of eight state titles. And almost nobody (Darien and St. Joseph excepted) beats New Canaan at Dunning. Might need some magic here, Trumbull.
Watertown at St. Paul
- WHERE/WHEN — St. Paul HS, 7 p.m.
- RECORDS — Watertown 2-0; St. Paul 2-0
- LAST WEEK — Watertown def. Woodland 42-21; St. Paul def. Holy Cross 36-33
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Watertown: Sr. QB/FS Nick D’Elia; RB/OLB Adam Alenckis; Sr. WR Dan Graziano; St. Paul: Jr. QB Kevin Ashworth; Sr. RB/FS Damien Rabis; Sr. DT/T Dom Aiello.
- OUTLOOK — You’ll never believe this but Jude Kelly’s Falcons have yet to throw a pass this season. St. Paul has rolled up 555 yards of rushing offense in two games with Rabis, Ashworth and Connor Bogdanski leading the charge, so there’s really been no need. Watertown, meanwhile, has been slinging it with standout Nick D’Elia, who’s also a threat to run. St. Paul won a thriller over Holy Cross last week. Watertown’s best win was it’s Week 1 comeback vs. Oxford.
Fairfield Prep at Shelton
- WHERE/WHEN — Finn Stadium, Shelton HS, 7 p.m.
- RECORDS — Fairfield Prep 2-0; Shelton 1-1
- LAST WEEK — Fairfield Prep def. Amity 7-3; Shelton def. Hand 21-19
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Fairfield Prep: Sr. LB/RB Anthony Mastroni; Sr. RB/LB Justin Keith; Sr. QB Will Lucas. Shelton: Jr. RB/LB Jack Carr; Jr. WR/DB Paul Ferrigno; Jr. QB Jake Roberts
- OUTLOOK — This is always a fun one. These two have had some pretty epic encounters over the years. Both are relatively young squads this time around, so this game’s a virtual toss-up. Prep workhorse back Doug Harrison was injured in the team’s 7-3 win over Amity. If he doesn’t go, Prep will need to get a big performance elsewhere. Junior-dominated Shelton proved it could win a tight game vs. Hand last week. Seems like the Gaels are starting to find themselves.
North Haven at No. 4 Cheshire
- WHERE/WHEN — The Maclary Complex, Cheshire HS, 7 p.m.
- RECORDS — North Haven 1-1; Cheshire 2-0
- LAST WEEK — North Haven def. Harding 55-35; Cheshire def. NFA 35-29
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — North Haven: Sr. RB/DB Mark Montano; Sr. FB/LB Zach Orth; Sr. RB/LB Korbin Pecora; Cheshire: Sr. WR/DB Eric Angelone; Sr. WR/DB Michael Jeffrey; Soph. RB Jake McAlinden.
- OUTLOOK — Cheshire thus far has been everything advertised in the preseason. The Rams played textbook football while holding off NFA last week. Sophomore speedster McAlinden had a breakout game with three TDs. North Haven, on the other hand, is looking to redeem itself after letting its opener vs. West Haven get away. It would be a stunner if the Indians pull it off. Then again, this program has done it before.
Amity at Hillhouse
- WHERE/WHEN — Bowen Field, New Haven, 7 p.m.
- RECORDS — Amity 1-1; Hillhouse 1-1
- LAST WEEK — Amity lost to Fairfield Prep 7-3; Hillhouse def. New Milford 32-25
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Amity: Sr. WR/DB Chris Butler; Sr. RB/LB Ryan Sabo; Sr. OL/DL Ellis Feola. Hillhouse: Sr. DL Prince Boyd; Sr. WR/LB Terron Mallory; Sr. WR/DB J.T. Gardner.
- OUTLOOK — Few gave Amity much thought when we compiled preseason analyses. But the Spartans turned in a strong defensive effort vs. Fairfield Prep, led by senior Chris Butler’s two picks (he has six in two games). The Academics seem to have found their legs, and that spells trouble for most teams. Boyd — who had an unofficial 6 1/2 sacks in last week’s win over New Milford — is a game-changer.
Xavier at Wilbur Cross
- Xavier at Wilbur Cross
- WHERE/WHEN — Marone/Barbarito Field, New Haven, 3:30 p.m.
- RECORDS — Xavier 1-1; Wilbur Cross 1-1
- LAST WEEK — Xavier def. Newtown 30-14; Wilbur Cross lost to West Haven 47-20
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Xavier: Sr. QB Will Levis; Sr. WR/DB Kyle MacGillis; Sr. FB/LB Ryan Cartelli; Wilbur Cross: Sr. WR/DB Kwane Taylor; Sr. OL/DL Travis Jones; Sr. SE/OLB Jaykeen Foreman.
- OUTLOOK — There’s no need to warn Xavier of the perils playing Wilbur Cross on a Friday afternoon, is there? Xavier’s offense has been top-notch thus far. The defense, which showed up vs. Newtown, needs a similar effort against Taylor and Foreman of Cross. The Governors’ defense got kicked around by West Haven’s ground attack last week. This time they’ll need their track shoes to stay with Levis and MacGillis.
Brookfield at Newtown
- WHERE/WHEN — Blue and Gold Stadium, Newtown HS, 7 p.m.
- RECORDS — Brookfield 1-1; Newtown 1-1
- LAST WEEK — Brookfield lost to Foran 45-27; Newtown lost to Xavier 30-14
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Jr. RB/LB Conor McVey; Jr. DE/FB Chris Comizio; Sr. QB/LB Liam Carroll; Newtown: Sr. QB Ryan Kost; Jr. RB/LB Dan Mason; Soph. WR/FS Riley Ward
- OUTLOOK — The last time Brookfield beat Newtown it was the 2008 SWC Championship game. It’s been all Newtown in the eight years since. Both teams limp into Blue and Gold Stadium after losing big to SCC schools last week. Neither can really afford to lose here, especially Newtown, which has the likes of Shelton and New Fairfield looming next month.
No. 8 Masuk at Barlow
- WHERE/WHEN — Barlow HS Turf Field, Redding, 7 p.m.
- RECORDS — Masuk 2-0; Barlow 2-0
- LAST WEEK — Masuk def. New London 50-0; Barlow def. Bassick 47-6
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Masuk: Sr. QB Matt Hersch; Sr. RB/LB Jack Roberge; Sr. MLB/TE Jack Duignan. Barlow: Sr. QB Trevor Furrer; Sr. RB/LB Alex Stillman; Sr. RB/LB Will Cusick
- OUTLOOK — Barlow never has any luck with Masuk. They’re 0-12 vs. the Panthers going back the last 14 years. Masuk has never scored less than 35 points in any of those meetings. Barlow’s only reached that many points once, in 2014’s thrilling 42-35 loss. It could be more of the same this time. Masuk, ranked No. 8 in the latest Top 10, smashed New London 50-0 last week. Still, Barlow has a seasoned team which runs the tricky triple option to near-perfection. It’s a tall order, sure. But you never know until you play.
No. 3 St. Joseph at No. 1 Darien
- WHERE/WHEN — Darien HS Field, 1:30 p.m.
- RECORDS — St. Joseph 2-0; Darien 2-0
- LAST WEEK — St. Joseph def. Warde 52-13; Darien def. McMahon 47-0
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — St. Joseph: Sr. WR Jared Mallozzi; Jr. QB David Summers; Sr. LB Jude Andrzejewski; Darien: Sr. RB/DB Brian Minicus; Sr. SB/OLB Nick Green; Sr. QB Jack Joyce
- OUTLOOK — St. Joseph made poll voters look silly when they jumped over preseason No. 1 New Canaan in the season-opener and won 38-35 thanks to a 318-yard, 4 TD night from new QB David Summers. Two weeks later, the Hogs are being asked to take down No. 1 again when they travel to Darien. Brian Minicus (3 INT) and the Blue Wave have so far dominated, including an impressive 38-12 victory over Ridgefield Week 1. These two typically play barnburners. A key matchup to watch is Darien’s lights-out secondary vs. electric, all-state WR Jared Mallozzi.
Coginchaug/Hale Ray at Valley Regional/OL
- WHERE/WHEN — Old Lyme HS Field, 1 p.m.
- RECORDS — Coginchaug/Hale Ray 2-0; Valley Regional/OL 2-0
- LAST WEEK — Coginchaug/Hale Ray def. Haddam-Killingworth 34-26; Valley Regional/OL def. Morgan 48-7
- PLAYERS TO WATCH — Coginchaug/Hale Ray: Jr. QB Elijah Rivera; Sr. WR/FS Anthony Curry; Sr. RB Patrick Ladas; Valley/OL: Sr. QB Mike Cullina; Sr. TE/DE Roan Sullivan; Sr. WR Earnest Jean-Pierre
- OUTLOOK — Well, lookee here: Coginchaug, alongside new partner Hale Ray, is back on the mend under new coach Erik Becker. Elijah Rivera directed a nice win over Haddam-Killingworth last week and the program is 2-0 for the first time since its last playoff run in 2014. Of course, now they run into perennial Pequot power Valley Regional on Saturday afternoon in Old Lyme. The Warriors were nicked up in the preseason but have thus far rolled to a 2-0 start, outscoring their opponents by a combined 81-14.