Football Week 3′s Games To Watch

Fairfield Prep (1-1) at Notre Dame-WH (1-1)

ndprepWHEN: Friday, 7
WHERE: Veterans Field, West Haven
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Fairfield Prep: Sr. OL/DL Tony Fox; Sr. LB Nick Crowle; Jr. RB Joe Ganim; Jr. QB Colton Smith; Jr. WR/S John DelliSanti; Notre Dame-West Haven: Sr. RB/LB Cameron Tucker; Sr. FB/LB Sal Esposito; Sr. FB/LB Blake Rice; Sr. WR Drew Arciuolo; Fresh. WR/DB Nico Ragaini
OUTLOOK: Fairfield Prep is coming off a heartbreaking 36-34 loss to St. Joseph last week, a game in which the Hogs scored on a Hail Mary pass in the closing seconds. Notre Dame’s loss also came at the hands of St. Joseph, 47-28 in Week 1. Although early in the season, this is as close to a must-win game as there is. With brutal schedules ahead for both teams, two or three losses may not be good enough to reach the postseason. Fairfield Prep has size up front, and has some talented skill players in Smith (18 of 28, 204 yards, 2 TDs, 138 yards rushing, 2 TDs), Ganim (24 carries, 150 yards) and DelliSanti (8 catches, 85 yards, 2 TDs). Notre Dame counters with Tucker (41 carries, 326 yards, 6 TDs), receivers Nico Ragaini and Drew Arciuolo, who have combined to catch 12 passes, Rice (17 of 31, 289 yards, 2 TDs) and Esposito (10 tackles). Notre Dame has won the last four contests against the Jesuits, including a 21-14 thriller last season.

–MIKE PUCCI

New Canaan (2-0) at Greenwich (1-1)

greenwichNCWHEN: Saturday, 4
WHERE: Cardinal Stadium, Greeniwch
ON THE AIR: WGCH 1490-AM
PLAYERS TO WATCH: New Canaan: Sr. QB Nick Cascione; Sr. LB Cole Harris; Sr. FB/DE Connor Buck (6-4, 245); Sr. WR Jack Gilio. Greenwich: Sr. QB Jose Melo; Sr. DE Jack Wynne; Sr. DE Jack Harrington; Jr. RB/DB Austin Longi.
OUTLOOK: After wiping up Bassick, New Canaan is poised to flex its muscles again in the first meeting between these FCIAC heavyweights since a 35-34 victory in 2009. Greenwich is hurting, having lost to Darien 42-21 on Saturday and then DL/FB Kendrick Pozo to a broken ankle. He’ll be out for a majority of the regular season, at least. The Cards did get DE Jack Harrington back, however, which should help. But the offense showed little vs. Darien and now must face Cole Harris and a strong Rams defense. It’s not quite a make-or-break game for Greenwich, but a victory would certainly help right the ship.

Newtown (2-0) at Brookfield (2-0)

brooknewtownWHEN: Friday, 7
WHERE: Brookfield High School
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Newtown: Sr. QB Drew Tarantino; Soph. WR/DB Julian Dunn; Sr. FB/LB Tim Krapf; Sr. OL Dom Scarangella; Sr. DL Josh Krapf; Sr. RB Cooper Gold. Brookfield: Sr. QB Brad Westmark; Soph. Bobby Drysdale; Sr. WR/TE/DB Liam Clancy; Sr. OL/DL Louie Rodrigues. Sr. DL Justin Lyons.
OUTLOOK: Brookfield is off to a great start having beaten Bunnell and Pomperaug. Six-foot sophomore back Bobby Drysdale put on a show against the Panthers. Now it’s time to see where the Bobcats really stack up in the SWC. Newtown, everybody’s top pick in the SWC, hasn’t exactly been dominant except in spurts. Bethel nearly took the Hawks down last week before Newtown managed to escape with a late defensive stand. But when Newtown’s on, it’s still the best team in the league.

Ridgefield (2-0) at St. Joseph (2-0)

sjridgeWHEN: Saturday, 1:30
WHERE: Dalling Sports Complex, Trumbull
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Ridgefield: Jr. QB Ryan Dunn; Sr. WR/RB/DB Micky Carbone; Sr. DB/WR/RB Aiden Mauro; Sr. RB/DB/K Will Bonaparte (361 rush yards, 6 TD). St. Joseph: Jr. WR Lars Pedersen; Sr. QB Jordan Vazzano; Sr. TE/LB Mark Hirschbeck; Sr. OL/DL Steve Hashemi; Sr. RB/DB Mufasha Abdul-Basir
OUTLOOK: Ridgefield has been under the radar, beating Cheshire and Ludlowe while St. Joseph has been engaged in headline-making affair against two of the SCC’s other Catholic schools. We know about St. Joe, with guys like Vazzy, Lars, Mufasha and Hirsch. But what about the Tigers? They have some emerging stars, as well. There’s Micky, Aiden and, most notable, Bonaparte who’s been great thus far. Dunn hasn’t had to do a ton of work, but is a steady and proven QB. Ridgefield’s defense has been tough, too.  Can the Tigers keep up with St. Joe? We shall see.

Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (2-0) at Morgan (2-0)

windsorlocksmorganWHEN: Friday, 6:30
WHERE: The Peters Complex, Clinton
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Windsor Locks: Jr. RB/CB Jarvis Miller (440 yds, 5 TD); Sr. QB/S Ago Jiminez; Jr. RB/LB Jake Marconi; Sr. C/LB Mike Moriarty; Morgan: Jr. RB/SS Jake Ward (444 yds, 9 TD); Sr. WR/DB Mark Zumpano; Jr. LB Jake Teuner (6-6, 220); Jr. DL Eric Peterson (6-3, 275). Jr. DL Jace Garcia (6-3, 350).
OUTLOOK: It should be a good ol’ fashioned Pequot slugfest in Clinton when two of the league’s top backs, Windsor Locks’ Miller and Morgan’s Ward go head-to-head. This game will be won up front, and Morgan has a significant advantage in brawn. Who wants it more?

Gilbert/Northwestern (2-0) at North Branford (2-0)

gilbertnobranWHEN: Friday, 6:30
WHERE: Colafati Field
PLAYERS TO WATCH: North Branford: Sr. Josh Melaccio (242 rush yards); Jr. QB Eddie Miller; Sr. OL/DL John Burke (6-2, 237); Gilbert/Northwestern: Sr. RB/LB Tony Ortiz (432 rush yards, 6 TD); Sr. QB/S John Lippencott; Jr. OL/LB Paxton Franklin.
OUTLOOK: Just down the Shoreline and up Route 22 from Morgan is another big-time Pequot battle of backs. On one side, upstart Gilbert/Northwestern led by bruiser Tony Ortiz vs. new-look North Branford, which is gone back to basics after graduating a majority of stars from last year’s state finalist. It should be another great night of ‘Can-you-top-this?’ in the Pequot.

Bristol Eastern (2-0) at Middletown (2-0)

middletownBCWHEN: Friday, 7
WHERE: Rosek-Skubel Stadium, Middleotwn HS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Eastern: Sr. LB Kyle Baker; Sr. RB Gerry Ouellette; Jr. FB/LB Stephen Goodrich; Middletown: Sr. QB Dario Highsmith; Sr. OL David Bednarz (6-7, 275); Sr. OL Anthony Bednarz, (6-7, 250);
OUTLOOK: Middletown blitzed Wethersfield in the first half of its 28-0 victory, rolling up 255 yards of offense. But defense might have been the biggest star of the evening, holding Wethersfield to just 16 total yards, minus-3 on the ground. Things figure to get a bit harrier beginning with unbeaten Bristol Eastern. This is the Dragons’ third straight home game. It will hit the road for six of its last eight games.

Northwest Catholic (2-0) at Bloomfield (2-0)

bloomfieldnwcWHEN: Friday, 7
WHERE: Phil Rubin Stadium, Bloomfield
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Northwest: Sr. QB Christian Flynn (483 yards, 5 TD passing); Sr. WR/LB Tim Khulberg; Bloomfield: Sr. QB Norvell Stewart; Sr. RB/DB Travis Thompson (239 yards rushing, TD).
OUTLOOK: Flynn has been racking up the passing statistics as Northwest has bolted to a 2-0 start. But they haven’t faced a team of Bloomfield’s stature just yet. Bloomfield struggled to score points in its last outing vs. Berlin, only Travis Thompson’s 80-yard punt return TD and some clutch defense enabled the Warhawks to escape, 7-0.

Killingly (2-0) at Ledyard (2-0)

KillinglyLedyardWHEN: Friday, 6:30
WHERE: Mignault Field, Ledyard
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Killingly: Fresh. QB Kyle Derosier; Sr. WR Travis Zurowski; Sr. RB Tyler Stucke; Ledyard: Soph. QB Ty Ebdon; Sr. WR/DB Jordan Kowalski; Sr. WR/DB Khary Childs; Jr. RB/DB JoJo Shumaker.
OUTLOOK: Young players abound in this matchup which pits a freshman and a sophomore quarterback against each other. Despite massive youth across both rosters, they’re both fighting to go 3-0 in a significant ECC Medium game. Killingly’s Stucke injured his ankle in the Redmen’s game vs. Waterford la and missed much of the game. But Derosier, the freshman, rallied by throwing a pair of TD passes to Zurkowski late to pull out the victory. Ebdon and the Colonels, meanwhile, turned on the jets in the second half to defeat Bacon. Edbon threw four TDs. The Redmen would love to have Stucke back, but his status is questionable for the game.

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