MIDDLETOWN >> It’s Homecoming weekend for both Middletown High and Xavier, while undefeated Wesleyan goes for its fourth win in a row to highlight week No. 5 of the local football season.
No question that the big story in the area thus far is the emergence of Middletown High as a state power. The Blue Dragons are ranked No. 3 in the New Haven Register poll, which is their highest ranking since MHS finished No. 4 in 1992 after winning the Class M title. Every other poll has Middletown ranked in the top five.
Valley Regional looks to remain undefeated and tighten its grip on a postseason berth, Vinal Tech/East Hampton aims to climb above .500, and Coginchaug will try to even its record in other area games of interest.
Hartford Public (2-2) at Middletown (4-0), Rosek-Skubel Stadium, Friday at 7 p.m.
Hartford Public is coming off a tough 21-14 loss to Windsor, which is ranked No. 9 in the Register poll. The Owls have wins over South Windsor and RHAM and their other loss was a close 17-7 decision to Bristol Eastern.
“Public is big and physical,” said Middletown coach Sal Morello. “I watched the film of their game with Windsor and they gave them all they could handle.”
The Blue Dragons haven’t had a close game in romping over East Lyme, Wethersfield, Bristol Eastern and Fermi. It’s Homecoming at MHS, so there will be lots of color and pageantry.
“We will have to wrap up their backs as they have a couple of very fast, elusive backs,” said Morello. “No question we’ll have to contain them and control the clock.”
Morello said his team is as healthy as it has been all season, but is still without London Highsmith and Cody Carrillo, neither of whom have played a down this fall.
The pick: MIDDLETOWN
Amity (3-1) at Xavier (3-1), Palmer Field, Friday at 7 p.m.
This is a key game for both teams. The winner stamps itself as a legitimate Class LL playoff contender and the loser doesn’t. Amity’s only loss was to No. 7 Shelton, 49-30. The Spartans have one-sided wins over Seymour, Sheehan and Lyman Hall.
“Amity throws the ball all over the place,” said Xavier coach Sean Marinan. “They run a lot of screens and have a pretty good quarterback, a 6-3 kid who throws well. We did a fairly good job against the pass against Staples in our first game, but we haven’t done that well since. It’s a concern.”
Marinan said it’s been hard for him to get a handle on Amity in that the three wins haven’t been against top-flight opponents. But Amity did put 30 points up against undefeated Shelton.
“Amity has sometimes been a funny game for us,” said Marinan. “The stars have sometimes lined up against us in this one. I get the feeling it’s a little like the North Haven game in that they think this is a chance to beat us and I think they’ll come in very excited to play. We have to improve on our play from last week. This will be challenge.”
Xavier’s lone loss was to North Haven and the Falcons, ranked No. 11 in the Register poll, have wins over Staples, Hillhouse and Hamden. The winner here picks up 130 playoff points.
The pick: XAVIER.
Enfield (2-2) at Valley Regional (3-0), Blythe Field, Deep River, Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Enfield is coming off a 42-21 loss to Ellington while Valley is coming off a closer than expected 21-18 win over Avon. This looks like a mismatch.
The pick: VALLEY REGIONAL
Haddam-Killingworth (0-4) at Hyde Leadership (3-1), Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven, Saturday at noon.
Hyde’s only loss was a 34-0 decision to Valley Regional. Since then the Howling Wolves have ripped off three wins in a row. This isn’t a vintage Hyde team, but H-K is very young and very inexperienced and is learning the hard way.
The pick: HYDE LEADERSHIP.
Platt Tech (1-3) at Vinal/East Hampton (2-2), Palmer Field, Saturday at noon.
Platt Tech of Milford has just one win, but it was a 21-20 decision over Abbott Tech, which easily beat Vinal/East Hampton opening weekend. The Bellhawks are coming off a 41-8 win over Whitney Tech and have won two of their last three.
Platt Tech is favored, but this could be a very competitive game.
The pick: PLATT TECH.
Coginchaug (1-2) at Lewis Mills (0-3), Muzzy Field, Bristol, Saturday at 2 p.m.
Lewis Mills has lost to three of the Pequot Conference’s better teams in Morgan, Avon and Gilbert/Northwestern, so perhaps the record is a tad deceiving. However, all were blowouts: 40-8, 35-0 and 44-12.
Coginchaug has given up a ton of points, but has shown an ability to score, too. The Blue Devils need this one to get to .500 and set up a better second half of the season.
The pick: COGINCHAUG.
Cromwell has the weekend off.
Last week: 7-0. Season’s record: 19-8.
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- Sean Patrick Bowley’s Audibles for Week 5
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- Cooper, Hillhouse roll Lyman Hall
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