Update: The Game has been moved to
Monday 7 p.m. at West Haven.
Now it’s Thursday, 6:35 p.m.
Where/When: Monday, Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven, 6:35 p.m.
Seeds/Records: No. 7 Fairfield Prep 11-2; No. 4 Southington 11-1
Players to watch: Fairfield Prep: Nick Crowle, Sr., RB/LB; Colton Smith, Jr., QB/DB; John DelliSanti, Jr., WR/S; Max Trudeau; Sr. LB; Southington: Stephen Barmore, Sr., QB; Alex Jamele, Jr., WR; Zach Maxwell, Sr., WR/DE
Championship game appearance: Fairfield Prep: 5 (3-1, last title in 1988); Southington: 7 (1-5, last title in 1998)
You should know: This is a contest between two of the state’s hottest teams. Fairfield Prep has won seven in a row, including two victories over West Haven. The Jesuits ended the Westies’ nine-game winning streak with a 29-20 victory on Thanksgiving and then earned a 29-28 win against West Haven in the semifinals. Southington has also won seven straight since losing to Class LL quarterfinalist Hall on Oct. 19.
Still, it’s been quite some time since each program captured a state title. Fairfield Prep hasn’t won a championship since 1988, while the Blue Knights last won a title in 1998. Southington has lost the last three championship games it has advanced to.
The Fairfield Prep senior class has helped the Jesuits climb back to relevancy. The Jesuits went 0-10 in 2009 but then won three games in 2010, five in 2011 and six last season under current coach Tom Shea.
Crowle, who will attend Yale, and fellow senior Tony Fox, a defensive lineman headed to Fordham, lead a tenacious Fairfield Prep defense that has allowed less than 20 points per contest. Crowle is also one of his team’s top offensive threats and ran for 95 yards in the semifinals.
Offensively, the Jesuits are balanced. Smith is a threat to both run and pass, while DelliSanti is one of the state’s best receiver. Smith (above, right), in his first year as a starter, has run for nearly 1,800 yards and 27 touchdowns and has passed for over 1,600 yards and 9 TDs. He ran for 100 yards against West Haven in the semifinals.
Southington has been explosive in the playoffs, scoring 52 points in a quarterfinal victory over NFA and 45 points against Ridgefield in the semifinals.
The Yale-bound Barmore has completed 171 of 269 passes for 2,742 yards and 38 touchdowns against just five interceptions this season. Jamele (69 receptions, 1,393 yards, 26 touchdowns) has been Barmore’s top target. Senior Tyler Hyde (above right, running for a touchdown) leads the Southington ground game with 158 carries for 1,052 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Pooch’s Pick: Fairfield Prep.
SPB’s Pick: Fairfield Prep 34-31