Fairfield Prep (3-1) at No. 7 Shelton (4-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Finn Stadium, Shelton
Players to Watch: Fairfield Prep: Jr. QB/DB Colton Smith, Jr. WR/S John DelliSanti, Sr. FB/LB Nick Crowle. Shelton: Jr. QB Mark Piccirillo; Sr. RB/LB Jason Thompson; Sr. WR/DL Kyle Drost; Sr. DL Christan Federici; Sr. WR Mike Pingree.
Outlook: This Southern Connecticut Conference Division I West contest has both division and state playoff implications. It should be one of the weekend’s most competitive games. Both teams are pretty balanced offensively. Smith has completed 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns and he’s also rushed for 199 yards and five scores. DelliSanti leads the team with 11 receptions, good for 111 yards and three scores, while junior Joe Ganim had rushed 35 times for 307 yards and three scores. The Fairfield Prep defense has surrendered just 56 points, with 36 coming in a loss to St. Joseph in Week 2. Crowle and fellow senior Max Trudeau have each recorded 24 tackles, with Trudeau adding three sacks.Shelton has averaged 46 points. The dual-threat Piccirillo has passed for 558 yards and seven touchdowns and has rushed for 296 yards and nine scores. Thompson (533 rushing yards, four touchdowns) has caught a team-high 13 passes for 199 yards. Drost has made seven receptions, including three touchdowns. Junior Troy Vasilescu (37 tackles) and senior Marquet Humphrey (29 tackles) lead the defense.
Ledyard (4-0) at Norwich Free Academy (2-1)
Where: Norwich Free Academy
When: Friday, 6:30
Players to watch: Ledyard: Jr. RB/DB JoJo Shumaker (685 yards, 7 TDs rushing); Soph. QB Ty Ebdon (833 yards, 10 TDs passing; Sr. RB/DB Joe Carter, Sr. RB/DB Khary Childs; NFA: Sr. RB/DB Marcus Outlow; Jr. RB/LB Khaleed Exum-Strong; Sr. OL/DL Tuzar Skipper; Sr. DB C.J. Jarmin.
Outlook: It’s rare that Friday night lights blaze at Norwich Free Academy’s high school turf field. But the school is bringing in temporary ones for a game that has massive ECC and statewide implications. NFA is limping home. They’re banged up physically, with both Outlow and Skipper nursing leg injuries, and mentally after a 6-0 humbling vs. Glastonbury. Ledyard, meanwhile, couldn’t be flying higher after a thorough victory over New London. It’s still a young team, with a brand-new offensive line, and a starting lineup full of underclassmen. New QB Ebdon, though, has looked like a veteran alongside standouts Shumaker, who transferred back from Florida after missing a majority of last year, and captains Childs and Carter. The Colonels’ defense has allowed just 43 points all season while scoring 163. The time to strike NFA is now. If it’s going to happen again, Ledyard looks like the best bet. “They’re behind the 8-ball now,” Ledyard coach Jim Buonocore said. “Obviously our team is aware of their strength and certainly aware of their marquee players. When you get a chance to play them, everybody takes it to heart. It’s a big game, but at this point, our kids are so young, anything I tell them, they’ll buy into it. They won’t have any trouble getting up for this game. It’s a great opportunity.”
–SEAN PATRICK BOWLEY
Rocky Hill (4-0) at Platt (4-0)
Where: Falcon Field, Meriden
When: Friday, 7
Players to Watch: Rocky Hill: Sr. RB Chris Young (700 yards rushing), Jr. FB Dave Sevigny (406 yards rushing); Sr. QB Andrew Jenelunas (4 TD passes) Platt: Jr. RB Tyzhan Leatherwood (866 yards rushing); Sr. QB/CB Andrew McBride; Sr. OL/DL Erlin Colon.
Outlook: Rocky Hill had its way with Platt a season ago, hammering the Panthers with the double wing in a 48-8 victory, even with Platt’s Justin Potts running for a 100 yards. Potts is gone, but his replacement, Tyzhan Leatherwood, is causing quite the buzz in the CCC. The junior is averaging 200 yards per game behind a veteran offensive line. Once again, the Terriers counter with Chris Young, one of the state’s top backs and Sevigny, who’s good for a few rumbles. It’s an old-fashioned, smash-mouth battle for playoff points and CCC Division III supremacy.
Ansonia (4-0) at Derby (4-0)
Where: DeFilippo Field, Derby
When: Friday, 7
Players to Watch: Ansonia: Sr. RB/DB Arkeel Newsome (869 yards, 14 TDs rushing); Jr. QB/DB Jai’Quan McKnight; Sr. FB/LB Saiheed Sanders; Sr. Matt Simon ; Sr. OL Ryan Hovan (6-5, 230). Derby: Jr. QB Mike Kreiger (1,305 total yards, 10 TD pasing, 3 running); Sr. WR/DB Tyler Dobek (5 TDs); Sr. RB/LB Tyrae Small (5 TDs); Sr. WR/DB Sal Frosceno.
Outlook: These valley rivals matchup as unbeatens for the second consecutive year. But for the first time since 1990, the year of its last state championship, Derby is 4-0. The raw statistics seem to scream a valley battle reminiscent of 2010, when the Chargers had to rally back from a 13-point halftime deficit to win in a game that started off low in attendance but brought hundreds out after halftime. Behind the swashbuckling talents of Kreiger, Derby has been stubborn. It came back from an 18-point deficit to beat Logan Marchi and St. Paul, then gutted out a 19-14 victory over Holy Cross. Ansonia, though, isn’t the young group it was in 2010. This is a veteran group and Arkeel Newsome and his offense line have proven impossible to stop. Derby should hang, because Kreiger makes things happen on the fly, but unless they can put the breaks on the vaunted Chargers game, it’ll be a long night.
Woodland (4-0) at St. Paul (3-1)
Where: St. Paul High School, Bristol
When: Saturday, 1
Players to watch: Woodland: Sr. QB Tanner Kingsley; Soph. RB/DB Sean McAllen; Sr. WR/DB Jack Pinho; Sr. DL Will Flormann; St. Paul: Sr. QB Logan Marchi; RB Eli Parks; Sr. WR/DB/KR Reid Morin.
Outlook: It’s going to be a shootout at Muzzy Field as two of the state’s most prolific passers do battle in Bristol. Woodland is in the driver’s seat in the NVL Copper Division with only St. Paul and Holy Cross standing in its way. The Hawks feature prolific senior QB Tanner Kingsley, whose on pace to break Casey Cochran’s all-time mark for touchdown passes. The Falcons counter with Marchi, the heralded UConn recruit. There are loads of weapons on both sides and offense should be aplenty. But Woodland’s defense proved it could hold an attack like Naugatuck’s. So far, St. Paul’s defense hasn’t. The Falcons will need to step up its defensive game. According the Kyle Brennan of the Republican American, this matchup represents the highest combined career passing yards between starting quarterbacks: 13,737. Marchi has 7,840 career passing yards, Kingsley had 5,987.
North Branford (4-0) at Avon (2-2)
When: Saturday, 1
Where: Avon High School
Players to watch: North Branford: Sr. RB Josh Melaccio (265 yards, 4 TDs rushing), Jr. WR/S Austin Calamita (343 yards receiving, 2 INT); Jr. QB Eddie Miller (872 total yards); Jr. G/DT Mike Kaiser (9.5 tackles/gm); Avon: Sr. RB/DB Jimmy Murphy, Sr. QB Noah Hahn; Soph. RB/LB Teddy Allmendinger; Sr. OL/DL Nick Zacchio.
Outlook: North Branford ran into some trouble vs. Old Saybrook/Westbook before exploding for 20 points in the third quarter of a 29-22 victory. Top back Melaccio was limited to just five carries and 23 yards a week after missing the team’s 42-25 victory over Gilbert/Northwestern with the flu. Upset by Canton in Week 1, Avon rebounded with a pair of wins and then hung tough vs. league power Valley Regional in a 21-18 loss. Led by the elusive Murphy, the Falcons remain a tough Pequot team and a challenge for the T-Birds, who are diving straight into their toughest stretch of the season. They play road games at Valley and at Morgan over the next three weeks.
- Week 5 schedule/results
- GameTimeCT / Register Top 10 poll for Week 5
- Day of New London Top 10 coaches poll for Week 5
- Unbeaten Derby faces major test vs. unbeaten Ansonia
- Games to Watch: Shelton vs. Prep highlight Week 5
- Sean Patrick Bowley’s Audibles for Week 5
- Pooch’s greater New Haven picks for Week 5
- Seymour rides Salemme to rout of Sacred Heart
- Cooper, Hillhouse roll Lyman Hall
- Ray Curren’s Inside the SCC: History repeats itself in Hand’s ‘upset’
- NVL Football beat: Salemme spurs Seymour’s run game
- SWC Football beat: Murphy, New Milford adjust
- FCIAC Football beat: Seniors holding Wilton together
- Harding’s Cochran still out, says ‘no story’ on report he’ll resign
- ‘The Show’ Week 4-5: Ansonia’s Tom Brockett
- Notre Dame vs. West Haven; East Haven vs. Law more than games
- Branford raising money for Matthew Jacques mission
- PLAYS OF THE WEEK: WEEK 4