It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad CIAC playoff scenario: CLASS L [Updated Tuesday]

Mike Montalvo and North Haven are hoping to beat Amity and then get two teams around it to lose and just a little help to qualify in Class L.

Mike Montano and North Haven are hoping to beat Amity and then get two teams around it to lose and just a little help to qualify in Class L.


[Updated with Tuesday results. Updates in maroon — including updated scenarios for Hand, Eastern and North Haven]

Update: Middletown clinches. Awaits seeding.]

Who’s going to reach the Class L playoffs? Who needs to win what and who to do what to advance to the state playoff round?

Unfortunately, footballers, there is math involved. Your teachers were right: You do need this stuff in real life.

So break out your abacuses, slide rules and calculators (yes, yes, you can use your phones for this quiz). It’s time to put your skills to the test.

We’ll do our best to break it all down for you.

Playoff point potentials for the Class L playoff contestants based on bonus points after a win (upper bar) or a loss (lower bar). Click for larger view.

Playoff point potentials for the Class L playoff contestants based on bonus points after a win (upper bar) or a loss (lower bar). Click for larger view.

Here’s how the CIAC’s state playoff formula works for CLASS L:

  • Class L teams get 100 points for a victory. A win over any Class LL school is 110 points.
  • All league wins and wins vs. fellow Class L schools equal 100 points. Out-of-league wins over schools from lower divisions are less: Class L schools get 90 from an out-of-league win over a Class M school and 80 for a Class S win.
  • Teams get 10 points for every defeated opponents’ victory (These are called ‘bonus points.’ When a team has beaten both teams of a Thanksgiving matchup, those 10 point are ‘guaranteed.’)
  • The total points are divided by the number of games played to get your average.
  • Top eight averages reach the state playoffs. Top four averages get home quarterfinal games.

All of these scenarios were taken from Matt Fischer’s CIAC Playoff worksheet (aka the H.A.L. 9000).

Here’s the CLASS L worksheet.



new-canaan-ct1. New Canaan 10-0 1480 

  • Remaining Game: 11/28 v.Darien (L-9w)
  • Guaranteed (20): Staples vs. Greenwich; Trinity Cath. vs. Wilton
  • Bonuses (50): St. Joseph* vs. Trumbull; Guilford vs. Daniel Hand*; Ffld.Ludlowe vs. Ffld.Warde*; Bull. Havens vs. Bassick*; Ridgefield vs. Danbury*     

MAX = 1740 [158.18] – 1690 [153.64]
MIN = 1550 [140.91] – 1500 [136.36]

THE SKINNY – Beat Darien, get home quarterfinal at Dunning Fiend and the top seed. Lose and it could drop as low as the No. 4 seed.

platt-ct2. Platt 10-0 1440 

  • Remaining Game(s): 11/28 v.Maloney (L-1w)
  • Guaranteed (10): NW Catholic vs. Rocky Hill
  • Bonuses (70): New Britain vs. Berlin*; S.Windsor vs. Rockville*; E.O. Smith vs. Tolland*; Weaver* vs. Hartford Pub.; E.Catholic* vs. Cheney Tech; East Lyme vs. Waterford*; Plainville* vs. Farmington

MAX = 1630 [148.18] – 1560 [141.82]
MIN = 1520 [138.18] – 1450 [131.82]

THE SKINNY – Beat Maloney and they’ll clinch a home quarterfinal as the No. 2 seed. Lose and they’d need bonus help to stay in the running for a home game.

Middletown3. Middletown 10-1 1480 

  • Guaranteed (10): Brist.East. vs. Brist.Cent.
  • Bonuses (60): Wethersfield* vs. Newington; Platt vs. Maloney*; Weaver vs. Hartford Pub.*; East Lyme* vs. Waterford; Plainville vs. Farmington*; Glastonbury vs. Simsbury

MAX = 1550 [141.82] – 1490 [135.45]

THE SKINNY [UPDATED] – With the win over Windsor, they’re just a few bonuses away from clinching a home quarterfinal. A Darien loss means they’ll likely be the No. 3.


darien4. Darien 9-1 1300

  • Remaining Game(s): 11/28 @New Canaan (L-10w)
  • Guaranteed (10): Trinity Cath. vs. Wilton
  • Bonuses (70): Amity vs. North Haven*; Bridg.Central vs. Harding*; Ffld.Ludlowe vs. Ffld.Warde*; Bull. Havens vs. Bassick*; Hillhouse* vs. Wilbur Cross; Ridgefield* vs. Danbury; Staples vs. Greenwich*

MAX = 1580 [143.64] – 1510 [137.27]
MIN = 1380 [125.45] – 1310 [119.09]

THE SKINNY – Haven’t clinched, but they’re just a few bonus games from doing so. A win over New Canaan would not only assure it, but it would give the Wave a home game and probably the No. 3 or 4 seed. (they’d love to avoid No. 4 since that would keep them away from New Canaan for two rounds). A loss and the Blue Wave will need the couple of bonus games to get in (likely), and they could still get a home game if Naugatuck and New London lost.  The Wave would just have to outpoint  Farmington in bonuses. Yes, there is a (slight) chance they could wind up at No. 8 and face New Canaan AGAIN, but everyone would need to win around them.

Naugatuck5. Naugatuck  9-1 1250 

  • Remaining Game(s): 11/28 v.Ansonia (S-10w)
  • Guaranteed (30): Wolcott vs. Holy Cross; Kennedy vs. Crosby; Wilby vs. Sacred Heart
  • Bonuses (20): Watertown vs. Torrington*; Stratford vs. Bunnell*

MAX = 1500 [136.36] – 1480 [134.55]
MIN = 1300 [118.18] – 1280 [116.36]

THE SKINNY – The Greyhounds are in with a win over unbeaten Ansonia and would clinch a home game if Darien or maybe Platt lost, most likely as the No. 4 seed.

A loss, and they’ll be doing some heavy scoreboard watching . Naugy could be one of six teams vying for four spots. A New London loss to NFA would be necessary along with one more loss from either Farmington, Hand, North Haven or Bristol Eastern.

Failing that – and it’s possible everybody wins — Naugy needs both of their bonus games to come through to max out at 1300 (118.18), and then pray Bristol Eastern, North Haven and Hand don’t get enough bonus help. Bristol Eastern would need three bonus wins to surpass Naugy, Hand would need four and North Haven three. A Woodland win over Seymour helps Naugy in the event of a tie with Bristol Eastern.

new-london-ct6. New London  8-2 1220 

  • Remaining Game(s): 11/21 v.East Lyme (L-5w), 11/28 @NFA (LL-8w)
  • Guaranteed (10): Griswold vs. Plainfield

Bonuses (40): Killingly* vs. Putnam/Tourt./Ellis; Windham* vs. Woodstock; Ledyard vs. Fitch*; Windsor vs. Middletown*

  • MAX = 1460 [132.73] – 1430 [130.00]
    MIN = 1270 [115.45] – 1240 [112.73]

THE SKINNY – New London’s scenario is very simple: Beat NFA and they’re in. Lose and they’re practically done unless two of Farmington, Hand, Bristol Central and North Haven lose. Even then, that’s no guarantee.


Farmington7. Farmington 8-2 1160                              

  • Remaining Game(s): 11/28 @Plainville (S-4w)
  • Guaranteed (10): Brist.East. vs. Brist.Cent.
  • Bonuses (50): Wethersfield* vs. Newington; E.O. Smith* vs. Tolland; Platt vs. Maloney*; Windsor* vs. Middletown; Bacon Acad. vs. RHAM*              

MAX = 1350 [122.73] – 1310 [119.09]
MIN = 1220 [110.91] – 1170 [106.36]

THE SKINNY – Farmington must beat Plainville and get at least two bonus games to feel safe. Everything after that is (literally) a bonus. It’ll be in great shape if one team around it — New London or Naugatuck especially – lost.  It is in line for the No. 7 seed, but can jump as high as No. 5 if Naugy and New London lose.

bristol-eastern-ct8. Bristol Eastern 8-2 1140

Remaining Game(s): 11/28 v.Brist.Cent. (L-4w)
Bonuses (50): New Britain vs. Berlin*; NW Catholic* vs. Rocky Hill; E.O. Smith* vs. Tolland; Platt vs. Maloney*; Weaver vs. Hartford Pub.*; Windsor* vs. Middletown.

MAX = 1330 [120.91] – 1280 [116.36]
MIN =  1200 [109.09] – 1140 [103.64]

THE SKINNY [updated] – It needs to beat Bristol Central, but it’s going to counting heavily on bonus help to get in (or Hand and North Haven to lose) Worse, its six FIVE bonus games aren’t certain. They were already denied Windsor, now they’re counting on Berlin, NWC, E.O. Smith, Maloney and Hartford Public to win.

If Bristol Eastern can get THREE bonuses, then they’ll be in good shape at 1310 (119.09) since Naugatuck couldn’t catch them and North Haven would have to get all just to pass them. If they get FOUR then they’d be a lock over North Haven.

HandHand 7-3 1110                                                                   

Remaining Game(s): 11/27 @Guilford (L-5w)
Guaranteed (10): Hillhouse vs. Wilbur Cross
Bonuses (50): Ffld.Prep* vs. West Haven; Amity vs. North Haven*; Hamden vs. ND-WH*; Derby vs. Shelton*; Cheshire* vs. Southington

MAX = 1320 [120.00] – 1270 [115.45]
MIN = 1170 [106.36] – 1120 [101.82]

THE SKINNY – The Tigers need to beat Guilford on Thanksgiving eve. That would put them in great position to qualify especially if teams above them lose, like Naugatuck or New London. Many of their bonus games are favorable. If three of them come in, getting Hand to 118.18, the Tigers would be in great shape to qualify. If four of them come in (i.e. if Prep wins), then the Tigers get to 119.09, that would do the trick. Hand holds the tiebreakers over Bristol Eastern (tiebreak points) and North Haven (head-to-head) so they’d have an advantage over both if it was a three-way race for two spots.

north-haven-ctNorth Haven 8-2 1110                    

Remaining Game(s): 11/28 @Amity (LL-5w)
Guaranteed (10): Branford vs. East Haven
Bonuses (50): Guilford* vs. Daniel Hand; Bridg.Central* vs. Harding; Hillhouse* vs. Wilbur Cross; Jonathan Law vs. Foran*; Sheehan* vs. Lyman Hall

MAX = 1330 [120.91] – 1280 [116.36]
MIN = 1170 [106.36] – 1120 [101.82]

THE SKINNY [UPDATED] — North Haven needs to beat Amity on Thanksgiving. Like Hand, they’d likely get in if two of the teams around them lose and three bonus games.

Failing that, it would likely come down to a bonus race with Bristol Eastern and Hand for one or two spots.

Eastern has more potential and can beat the Indians on a tiebreaker.Hand benefits from North Haven winning and also has a head-to-head tiebreaker.

So if it comes down to two spots between, Bristol Eastern, Hand and North Haven everyone would start at 1280 and then wait for bonus help. North Haven would have to get one more than Hand and/or Bristol Eastern or it’s cooked.

If either Bristol Eastern (with three) or Hand (with three) reach 1310, then North Haven needs all of its remaining 40 bonuses to surpass them.



Needs to beat Middletown and then pray that Eastern, Hand and North Haven lose. Then it’ll need all of its bonus help just to get to a 110.00 average, which is highly unlikely.



No way.


  1. Matt Glaszmattglasz says

    Full disclosure; this is how I HOPE Class L plays out, as well as what I think will actually happen.

    1. New Canaan – 155
    2. Platt – 141
    3. Middletown 139
    4. Darien 122
    5. Farmington – 121
    6. Bristol Eastern – 119 (Wins tiebreaker, 59 total opponent wins to NH’s 55)
    7. North Haven – 119
    8. Hand – 118 (Wins tiebreaker, 75 total opponent wins to Naugy’s 58)

    9. Naugatuck – 118
    10. New London – 113

    • Sean Patrick BowleySean Patrick Bowley says

      @matty – Idk, I think North Haven will get to 120. It’ll hinge on Central beating Harding. I’m thinking Hand gets to 119.09 at least. They go to tiebreak with Eastern and win easily.

      And, damn, Naugy really needs to win that Ansonia game the more I look at it.

      • Matt Glaszmattglasz says

        Agree regarding Naugy. Tough break needing a win over Ansonia to make the field, but don’t see them getting in at 118 (their max total with a loss).

        I’m assuming you’re taking Prep over West Haven for Hand to get to 119? Really just hoping NH gets in but would prefer them facing Platt than NC or Middletown in the quarterfinals if given a choice.

        • Elliot S. says

          Hand is the only team in this field that NC fears. NH can’t play with the big boys in their own conference, and I’m from New Canaan.

          • Waveswell.. says

            NC might fear Darien as well! Going to be tough going FCIAC,Darien then playoffs! I think NC chokes

          • Sean Patrick BowleySean Patrick Bowley says

            @Waveswell.. – Might have to play Darien twice in a week! Or twice in two weeks. Hooboy. Just like old times.

          • Kahona says

            Hey Elliot NH beat X and HH and played a good one with the WAVE get your facts together and see us at the end

  2. says

    Watch out for Cross beating Hillhouse. They have a definite shot at doing so and it could bump NH all the way out as they could then tie Hand and Naugy at 118.08. I don’t see BC beating Harding either so I think NH tops out at 1310/119.09. If Prep pulls a stunner then Hand could get all the way to 6th as all 3 would be tied at 119.09 and the tie breaks would go Hand-BE-NH. If Cross beats HH then Naugy would flip with NH. So, if you are a Naugatuck fan, you are rooting hard for the Governers over the Acs.

    • Matt Glaszmattglasz says

      I agree that Cross could definitely beat Hillhouse, especially with the way both teams have played as of late. However, I do think Cooper will lead the Acs to a win in the Elm City Bowl. There’s certainly not much room for error if you’re North Haven.

      Central beating Harding would be huge for NH, but I agree it’s not likely. I wouldn’t call a Prep win over West Haven a stunner and that result would certainly hurt the Indians chances of out-pointing Hand.

      It will be a very interesting day following the results on Thanksgiving!

    • Matt Glaszmattglasz says

      Not sure what you mean by goes right. This is just the math based on who I think will win. As stated previously, any number of these games could go the other way (notably, Prep over West Haven, Cross over Hillhouse, or even Northwest Catholic over Rocky Hill).

      If you’re asking who wins in a tiebreak scenario between B.E. and Hand, then it’s the Tigers with a projected 75 opponent wins to the Lancer’s 59. In a three way tie between these teams and NH, then it’s the Indians who would be left out.

      The biggest concern for both Hand and NH is winning their remaining game and hoping for NFA and Ansonia to take out New London and Naugy, respectively. If that happens all three (B.E., NH, and Hand should get in).

      • Potato head says

        Prep WH is clearly a key game for LL and L. maybe the key game. WH is the favorite and it will be an upset if prep wins.
        That said:
        -home game for prep. And we know WH does not like long bus rides.
        -WH is in playoffs. If they lose can they still play at home in the first round?
        -prep needs to win obviously
        -cold muddy conditions should lead to lower scoring game and favor the bigger more physical team ie prep
        -the spell is broken ie prep beat X soundly…they can beat WH..
        Prep by two TDs, gents

        • Matt Glaszmattglasz says

          Muddy conditions? Alumni Field is turf, correct?
          The only thing that would surprise me is if this game isn’t very close.

          • Potato head says

            Oh sorry. I said prep would win by two TDs. They won by 9. I forgot about the artificial surface. Anyway let me know if you guys want to know who will win any future games and by how much, and I ll let you know.

  3. TEV says

    Should Daniel Hand be fortunate to get into the post season, I venture to say that they are capable of beating any team including NC. The games they’ve lost could easily have gone either way and this would be a much evolved Hand unit from the one NC faced week one of the season. Would make for some great football as their explosive passing game is more fun to watch than the old school grind at the line four yards a carry standard HS fare…….snooze.

    • Mike PucciMike Pucci says

      Nothing against Hand or any of the other spread teams, but give me grind-on-the-line-four-yards-a-carry any day. That’s real football.
      But I agree. If Hand gets in, they will be a tough out.

      • TEV says

        At the HS level that takes athleticism out of the equation and supplants it with beef (weight). Still an important part of the game, but not what makes a team that can win against any opponent. A balanced offense is still what makes the teams you remember…….

        • says

          The kids certainly love playing in the spread and I think teams tend to do better recruiting athletes to stick with football when you play a spread/fast paced offense. But, on the old school ground and pound I have to respectfully disagree that weight is the primary factor and that type of ball takes the skill out. As a former Hand player and coach, we had plenty of exciting teams that barely threw the ball and sometimes had guards weighing 160-170 lbs and sometimes both tackles were under 180 lbs as well. We also had dominant running teams with bigger lineman too, but the size was not the reason.. To each his own for sure. I love the spread and I also love to line up and the other team can call 75% of your plays and still can’t stop you..

  4. says

    Stephen McIntyre – despite have zero wins, Bridgeport Central has beat Harding at least 3 times in a row now, its not out of the realm that they win a fourth on Thursday. One could argue the BC schedule was a little more difficult than Harding’s and they played to similar scores with common opponents. Its a lot closer to a “pickem” situation than a just “give it to Harding”.

      • Matt Glaszmattglasz says

        Really?! That’s bonkers.
        I know it has essentially no bearing on the outcome of this year’s game but it somehow does make me more confident that Central will find a way to win.

        • Sean Patrick BowleySean Patrick Bowley says

          @matty – That’s basically the entire tenure of former coach Dave Cadelina. It’s really a pick em game. Cochran is gone at Harding. They’re not bad, though. Central’s schedule’s been much rougher. Mykell Morris is a great QB. Central can win.

  5. says

    Jeb, Bristol Eastern could be at 1310 based on a win and who you want to win, but a Windsor win over Middletown or NWC win over Rocky Hill would give BE additional bonus points to solidify a 6 seed.

  6. Brian says

    I can’t see any 8 seed coming to Dunning and upsetting NC. Darien does not want to be in 4th seed so it can miss NC until the Finals. I think these 2 teams are the 2 best in that class.

  7. jeb says

    New Canaan might have to beat Darien twice and Hand again to possibly win the state championship in class L. Very difficult chore.

      • Matt Glaszmattglasz says

        Technically, they’d only need to beat Darien once, at most, (provided as a second match up actually occurs in the playoffs) since NC has already clinched a berth in the Class L field.

        If the Wave pulls the upset on Thanksgiving then they’d likely be the #2 seed behind Platt. New Canaan would drop from #1 seed to #4.

  8. Raff says

    If New Canaan ends up playing Darien twice in 9 days that could be very interesting. That happened in 2008 in the Class M playoffs when NC beat Darien in front of about 10,000 people in Stamford on thanksgiving and then had to play Darien a week later in the Class M finals after Darien beat Hillhouse 35-32 in the Semi’s. Also if Hand gets in as a #8 seed I would expect a very different game on December 3rd then the 50-21 blowout week 1 at Dunning Stadium. Hand I just can’t see letting that happen twice. I see a closer game and let’s not forget this was suppose to be a rebuilding year for Hand.
    Also I hope my alma mater North Haven gets in as the #7 seed. I would love to see them play Platt and win in the quarterfinals on December 3rd. North Haven had to travel to Hand in 2007 and in 2010 and play Masuk on the road in 2011 for tough playoff road games. NH since 2007 has made the playoffs three times and posted some impressive seasons.

  9. John Klemenz says

    Not much mention of Platt. Big mistake! Schedule not strong but team deceptively good. Surprise, Platt takes L final.

      • D Money says

        Not aware of Middletown beating Platt in the preseason.

        But you need to look beyond Platt’s undefeated record. Until tomorrow (against Maloney) Platt has not played an LL or L Class team all year. On the other hand, Middletown (and I am sure other Class L teams) have played much tougher schedules in 2013.

  10. hsfootballwatcher says

    All I want to know is if New Canaan loses on Thanksgiving and then manages to win Class L title and Ansonia win out will the writers in this state vote Ansonia #1. If that happens it will be a TRAVESTY…

  11. jeb says

    Never has an undefeated fciac beat out an undefeated new haven area team in the final new haven register poll. It might happen this year if nc wins out but stranger things have happened.

  12. sigh hand's gonna get in says

    So, current standings if you award all guarantees (these are total points with the trailing zero left off since all teams have 11 games and I hate decimals)

    There are four spots left, and six teams for them:

    Naugatuck – 128, 2 potential bonus points, +20 if they beat Ansonia
    Daniel Hand – 127, 5 potential bonus points, done
    New London – 125, 2 potential bonus points, +19 if they beat NFA
    Farmington – 118, 3 potential bonus points, +14 if they beat Plainville
    Bristol East – 114, 4 potential bonus points, +14 if they beat Bristol Central
    North Haven – 112, 4 potential bonus points, +16 if they beat Amity

    At first glance it looks brutal for Hand until figure that Naugy and NL are both underdogs and NH is unlikely to outpoint Hand even if it wins (which would leave them both with 128 and 4 bonuses, but I’d argue Hand’s are likelier to come in). You gotta figure the safest bet in this group is Farmington.

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