No. 3 NFA (2-0) at Glastonbury (2-1)
When — Friday, 6:30
Where — Tomahawk Field, Glastonbury
Players to Watch — NFA: Sr. RB/DB Marcus Outlow; Sr. RB/LB Khaleed Exum-Strong; Sr. OL/DL Tuzar Skipper; Sr. DB C.J. Jarmin. Glastonbury: Sr. QB Jalen Ollie; Sr. DL Andrew Cavanna; Sr. WR/DB Anthony Anisimov; Sr. OL/LB Justin Kretzmer.
Outlook: It is, perhaps, the most discussed matchup of Week 4, a juicy clash between a Class LL championship favorite vs. a traditional playoff power trying to right its ship after an opening-week loss to Southington. Led by Boston College recruit Outlow at RB and Skipper up front, NFA has size, skill and speed. Picking up where they left off a regular season ago, NFA demolished Montville and ran away from Fitch after a close first half. Now comes a much bigger test against a fellow Class LL school. Led by Kretzmer and Cavanna, Glastonbury’s defense has been strong at times. But it have to contend with one of the state’s most talented offenses. Ollie and Co. must find a way to crack NFA’s equally strong defense. Another key is now NFA’s new quarterback Alex Beaudrault will perform under the klieg lights. He’s not in Windham anymore.
Naugatuck (3-0) at Woodland (3-0)
When — Friday, 6:30
Where — Woodland High School
Players to Watch — Naugatuck: Jr. QB Jason Bradley; Sr. WR/DB Ryne Griesenauer; Jr. WR/DB Bryan Coney; Sr. FB/LB Jour’dan Hopkins; Sr. OL Mark Cavagnuolo. Woodland: Sr. QB Tanner Kingsley (823 yards, 14 TD, 2 INT passing,; Sr. WR Mike Kenney (330 yards, 6 TD receiving); Sr. TE/LB Levi Fancherl; Sr. WR/DB Jack Pinhoe; Soph. RB Sean McAllen.
Outlook: While we’re a long way from it, this mega matchup probably decides whether we’ll have an extra NVL championship week or move the whole production to Veterans Field in Naugatuck on Thanksgiving. Both teams, offensively as high-powered as any in the NVL, come in as favorites to win the NVL’s Copper Division. Woodland has veteran slinger Tanner Kingsley, who’s on pace to set the state record for career touchdown passes by season’s end. Naugatuck has junior Jason Bradley, who was clutch in the team’s overtime win over Wolcott. Both teams have receivers capable of big plays. So expect offense. Lots of it. Does anybody on defense want to make a few plays? Winner is the team that makes the most. —SPB
Bloomfield (3-0) at Rocky Hill (3-0)
When — Friday, 6:30
Where — Rocky Hill High School
Players to Watch: Bloomfield: Sr. QB Norvel Stewart (521 total yards); Sr. RB/DB Travis Thompson (329 yards rushing, 3 TD), Sr. DE Jonathen Mumby (7.5 tackles/loss, 5.5 sacks). Rocky Hill: Sr. RB Chris Young (536 yards, 9 TDs); Jr. RB Dave Sevigny (328 yards, 4 TD), Sr. G/LB Nick Carducci (10.3 tackles/gm).
Outlook: The Warhawks have won in a variety of ways this year. They’ve won in blowouts and close affairs. Stewart leads the team on both sides while Mumby has been a force at defensive end. Bloomfield will need every ounce of strength it can muster to stop Young and Rocky Hill’s vaunted double wing. The Terriers have racked up over 1,000 yards of rushing yards already, averaging over 353 per game. They’ve passed just 11 times. Forget the silly CCC Division III West, there are major state playoff points at stake here. –SPB
No. 7 Newtown (3-0) at Barlow (3-0)
When — Friday, 7
Where — Barlow High School, Redding
Players to Watch: Newtown: Sr. QB Drew Tarantino (683 yards, 7 TD passing); Soph. WR/DB Julian Dunn (274 yards, 5 TDs); Sr. FB/LB Tim Krapf; Sr. OL Dom Scarangella; Jr. DL Josh Krapf; Sr. RB Cooper Gold (293 yards, 3 TD rushing). Barlow: Sr. QB Jack Shaban (316 yards, 5 TD rushing); Sr. FB Steve Miller (; Jr. HB Harry Wilson (280 yards, 3TD rushing; Sr. OL/DL Alex Gallaer.
Outlook — It’s another contrast of styles in this SWC matchup deep in the woods of Redding. Barlow loves to pound opponents with its line, opening holes for the speedy Shaban, Miller and Wilson in the triple option. Newtown loves to spread the ball around, getting the ball to its talented playmakers. No one in the SWC has found a way to cover Dunn and his 6-foot-3 frame. Few have been able to stop Gold. Newtown’s defense has also been surprisingly good given that it returned just two starters. The new players — particularly freshman Ben Mason and junior Jaret Devellis — have fit in perfectly. Newtown did have issues defending Bethel’s option in the second half of a 22-14 victory. They’ll need a strong effort to stop Shaban and Co. –SPB
No. 8 North Haven (3-0) at Hand (3-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Surf Club, Madison
Players to Watch: North Haven: Sr. QB/LB Mike Halloran; Sr. FB/LB Ethan Suraci, Sr. OL/DL Mike Siwek, Sr. Hand: Soph. QB Nick van Dell; Sr. LB Pat Rogers; Sr. NG Ian Dieli
Outlook: North Haven gets the chance to knock off another defending state champion after already defeating three-time defending Class LL champ Xavier in Week 2. The Indians utilize Halloran, Suraci and sophomore running back Mike Montano in a deceptive single-wing offense known for its lengthy drives. Hand will need to sustain drives of its own in order to keep its defense off the field. Hand, which has won consecutive Class L titles, graduated 29 starters, but is slowly improving after a Week 1 blowout loss to New Canaan. Van Dell has been impressive, throwing for 171 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win over Wilbur Cross. He has weapons in senior running back Connor Dowd and senior receivers Josh DeMartino, Jake Mirando, Tim D’Annolfo and Tom Wilson. Hand has won seven straight meetings in this series. North Haven’s last win over the Tigers came in 2001. — MIKE PUCCI
Darien (3-0) at No. 6 St. Joseph (3-0)
When — Saturday, 2:30
Where — Dalling Sports Complex, St. Joseph High School, Trumbull
Players to Watch: Darien: Sr. HB/DB Nick Lombardo (479 all-purpose yards, ; Sr. QB Silas Wyper (688 yards, 9 TD passing); Soph. DE Mark Evanchick; Jr. DE George Reed; Sr. HB/SS Jay Harrison (3 sacks, 7 tackls/gm) St. Joseph: Jr. WR Lars Pedersen (332 yards, 6 TD receiving); Sr. QB Jordan Vazzano (912 yards, 12 TD passing); Sr. TE/LB Mark Hirschbeck; Sr. OL/DL Steve Hashemi; Sr. RB/DB Mufasha Abdul-Basir (292 yards, 3 TD rushing)
Outlook — Few teams in the FCIAC match up as well as these two strong programs. Their intense games over the last few years have made this rivalry a must-see in the FCIAC. So here we go again. Darien’s offense, led by new QB Wyper and the multi-talented Lombardo (who plays more like a receiver than a halfback), has been surprisingly good despite massive graduation losses. It’s defense has been equally good, especially at harassing opposing quarterbacks. Problem is, no one’s been able to crack St. Joseph’s massive and talented offensive line. That’s allowed Vazzano to torch the league for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns, a majority of which have gone to Pedersen and Shane Miller. There’s also back Abdul-Basir to worry about. St. Joseph’s defense is overshadowed, but has been good in a pinch. This is St. Joseph’s fourth consecutive game against an unbeaten team. They’ve answered the challenge so far. A win would catapult the Blue Wave into the FCIAC’s elite. –SPB
- Hand football in rare underdog role vs. North Haven
- High school football schedule: Week 4
- State football beat: NFA thrilled with Week 4 test vs. Glastonbury
- SPB’s Audibles: The statewide guide to Week 4’s games
- Pooch’s Picks: Week 4 high school football predictions
- SWC beat: Shaban, Barlow hope to reach next level
- FCIAC beat: Defense, run game key for unbeaten McMahon
- NVL beat: Wolcott rallies, finds a winner in Gambino
- Ray Curren’s Inside the SCC: Tucker injury deals blow to ND-West Haven
- Mike Pucci’s football beat: Comeback has O’Brien Tech believing
- GameTimeCT/Register Top 10 poll
- Day of New London Top 10 coaches poll