Where: Arute Field (CCSU), New Britain
When: Saturday, 10:05 a.m.
Seeds/Records: No. 2 St. Joseph 12-2; No. 5 Brookfield 11-3
Championship game appearances: Brookfield: 6 (2-5, last title in 2008); St. Joseph: 13 (10-2, last title in 2010).
Players to watch: Brookfield: Brad Westmark, Sr., QB; Bobby Drysdale, So., RB/LB; Justin Lyons, Sr., RB/NG; St. Joseph: Jordan Vazzano, Sr., QB; Lars Pedersen, Jr., WR/S; Steve Hashemi, Sr., OL/DL.
You should know: St. Joseph will attempt to win its third state in five seasons and 11th overall.
The Hogs have been an offensive juggernaut all season, but especially during the playoffs. St. Joseph and Ledyard combined to score 133 points, the most ever in state history, in the Hogs’ 84-49 victory in the quarterfinals. The 84 points posted by St. Joseph was the 15th most all-time by one team in a single game. St. Joseph racked up 806 yards of offense in that contest, good for second all-time.
The Hogs then defeated Barlow 62-34 in the semifinals. St. Joseph has scored 146 points, rushed for 1,055 yards and 15 touchdowns during its playoff run.
Brookfield will be hard-pressed to contain the Hogs. Vazzano has completed 184 of 349 passes for 2,897 yards and 37 touchdowns this season. Vazzano has targets in Pedersen (59 receptions, 1,029 yards, 15 touchdowns; pictured above) and seniors Shane Miller (49-928-12) and Mark Hirschbeck (43-512-6). (Vazzy and Pedersen are pictured at right)
Junior Mufasha Abdul Basir has rushed 248 times for 2,315 yards and 28 touchdowns. Abdul Basir was carted off the field after suffering a stinger against Barlow but he’s expected to play here.
Brookfield, meanwhile, has done an effective job running out of the wing-T. The Bobcats have rushed for 4,055 yards and 51 touchdowns this season. Drysdale (pictured at right) leads the way with 210 carries for 1,929 yards and 26 touchdowns. Brookfield will also get into some spread formations behind Westmark, who has a strong arm capable of leading the team down the field through the air.
Pooch’s Pick: St. Joseph.
SPB’s Pick: St. Joseph 56, Brookfield 20