GAME OF THE WEEK
Xavier (7-2) at Fairfield Prep (7-2)
• When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
• Where: Alumni Field, Fairfield
• Players to Watch: Xavier: Joe Carbone, Sr., QB; Andrew Meoli, Sr., RB/DB; Will Garrity, Sr., OL/LB; Fairfield Prep: Colton Smith, Jr., QB/DB; John DelliSanti, Jr., WR/S; Nick Crowle, Sr., FB/LB
• What to look for: Each team’s playoff fate is on the line in this contest, which will also decide the Southern Connecticut Conference Division I West title.
Xavier will clinch a berth in the Class LL playoffs with a victory. The Falcons, who are the three-time defending champions in that class, only play 10 games this year, so this is their season finale.
Fairfield Prep likely needs a victory here and a win over West Haven on Thanksgiving to punch its spot in the Class LL field. A split would get the Jesuits close to qualifying, but it likely won’t be good enough.
Carbone is a threat to both pass and run the ball, while Meoli is one of the SCC’s best runners and has rushed for 1,246 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Garrity (44 tackles) anchors the defense.
Xavier senior wide receiver/defensive back Nate Gonzalez returns to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension.
Smith is also a dual threat, having thrown for 1,020 yards and eight touchdowns and running for a team-high 768 yards and 16 touchdowns. DelliSanti has caught a team-best 24 passes for 419 yards and five scores. Crowle has rushed for 429 yards and eight touchdowns and has also made 55 tackles and one sack. Seniors Tony Fox (34 tackles, four sacks) and Max Trudeau (69 tackles, six sacks) also contribute to Fairfield Prep’s tenacious defense.
This should be one of the weekend’s most competitive games. Give a slight edge to the Jesuits at home, where a partisan crowd should be loud.
Register’s pick: Fairfield Prep.
- Branford (0-8) vs. Hillhouse (3-6), at Veterans Stadium, West Haven, 6:30 p.m.: Hillhouse running back Harold Cooper needs just 66 yards to move into fourth place on the state’s career rushing list. Register’s Pick: Hillhouse.
- Coginchaug (6-2) at North Branford (5-3), 6:30 p.m.: Coginchaug has won five in a row. Register’s Pick: North Branford.
- Derby (5-4) at Woodland (8-1), 6:30 p.m.: Woodland will capture the NVL Copper Division title with a victory. Register’s Pick: Woodland.
- Seymour (5-4) at Wilby (4-5), 6:30 p.m.: Seymour, coming off a one-point loss to Ansonia, proved just how dangerous a team it could be. Register’s Pick: Seymour.
- Shelton (6-3) at No. 4 West Haven (8-1), 7 p.m.: Westies playing as well as anybody in the state recently. Register’s Pick: West Haven.
- Darien (8-1) at No. 8 North Haven (8-1), 7 p.m.: The winner can all but make plans for a trip to the Class L playoffs. Register’s Pick: North Haven.
- East Haven (1-8) at Sheehan (3-5), 7 p.m.: Brandon Gauthier leads Sheehan with 1,458 all-purpose yards. Register’s Pick: Sheehan.
- Foran (6-3) at Guilford (5-4), 7 p.m.: Foran needs to win out and get some help to qualify in Class M. Register’s Pick: Foran.
- Hamden (3-6) at Amity (4-5), 7 p.m.: Amity has lost four of its last five. Register’s Pick: Amity.
- Kennedy (2-7) at Naugatuck (8-1), 7 p.m.: Naugatuck just waiting for its shot at Ansonia. Soon enough, Greyhounds, soon enough. Register’s Pick: Naugatuck.
- Law (2-6) at Lyman Hall (2-7), 7 p.m.: Both teams have improved as the season’s progressed. Register’s Pick: Law.
- Notre Dame-West Haven (4-5) at Hand (6-3), 7 p.m.: Hand has lost two in a row and is dangerously close to being eliminated from playoff contention. Register’s Pick: Hand.
- Oxford (4-5) at Bunnell (3-6), 7 p.m.: Oxford has lost three in a row, while Bunnell has dropped its last two. Register’s Pick: Oxford.
- Stratford (3-6) at New Milford (3-6), 7 p.m.: Stratford hasn’t won a game on the field since Oct. 18. It won on a forfeit the following week against Immaculate and then lost its last two. Register’s Pick: New Milford.
- Whitney Tech (0-8) at Platt Tech (3-6), 7 p.m.: Whitney Tech has been shut out four times. Register’s Pick: Platt Tech.
- Cheshire (4-5) at Wilbur Cross (3-6), noon: If Cheshire plays like it did in a 34-13 win over Amity last week, it could be a long day for the Governors. Register’s Pick: Cheshire.
- Wolcott Tech (1-7) at O’Brien Tech (3-5), noon: O’Brien Tech seeks to end a four-game losing streak. Register’s Pick: O’Brien Tech.
- Hyde (5-4) at Morgan (7-1), 12:30 p.m.: Morgan is ranked sixth in the Class S playoff ratings. Register’s Pick: Morgan.
- Valley Regional/Old Lyme (8-0) at Old Saybrook/Westbrook (4-4), 1 p.m.: Valley Regional/Old Lyme is averaging 159 passing yards and 184 rushing yards per game. Register’s Pick: Valley Regional/Old Lyme.
Last week: 22-2. Season: 182-33.