Pooch’s Picks: Week 5 Football Predictions

GAME OF THE WEEK
WEEK 5

Fairfield Prep (3-1) at No. 7 Shelton (4-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Finn Stadium, Shelton
Players to Watch: Fairfield Prep: Colton Smith, Jr., QB/DB; John DelliSanti, Jr., WR/S; Nick Crowle, Sr., FB/LB; Shelton: Mark Piccirillo, Jr., QB; Jason Thompson, Sr., RB; Kyle Drost, Sr., WR.

What to look for: 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.

This game seems as even as they come. Give a slight edge to the home team.

Register’s pick: Shelton.

FRIDAY’S GAMES

  • Hamden (3-1) at Wilbur Cross (2-2), 3 p.m.: The schedule has been kind, but Hamden has been a pleasant surprise. Register’s Pick: Hamden.
  • Enfield (2-2) at Valley Regional/Old Lyme (3-0), 6:30 p.m.: The co-op escaped against Avon last week in what was certainly a bit of a wake-up call. Register’s Pick: Valley Regional/Old Lyme.
  • No. 1 Ansonia (4-0) at Derby (4-0), 7 p.m.: Derby’s offense could keep this interesting for awhile, but the Red Raiders will probably have difficulty stopping Ansonia’s potent ground game led by senior Arkeel Newsome, who is approaching the state’s career rushing record. Register’s Pick: Ansonia.
  • Amity (3-1) at Xavier (3-1), 7 p.m.: Amity’s Lyle Luth could make a difference in this game. He has made all 12 extra points he’s attempted and two field goals, including one from 40 yards. Register’s Pick: Xavier.
  • Bunnell (2-2) at Bethel (2-2), 7 p.m.: Bunnell won 44-35 in the season opener last year. This one could be just as exciting. Register’s Pick: Bethel.
  • East Haven (1-3) at Law (0-4), 7 p.m.: East Haven’s Mike DeMarco and Law’s Tim Maher are two of the more underrated players in the SCC Division II. Register’s Pick: East Haven.
  • Guilford (1-3) at Branford (0-4), 7 p.m.: The schedule gets a bit easier for Guilford, whose three losses are to teams who are a combined 10-2. Register’s Pick: Guilford.
  • Hand(3-1) at Cheshire (2-2), 7 p.m.: Hand, coming off an emotional win over North Haven, can’t afford a letdown, not with games against Fairfield Prep, Shelton, Xavier and West Haven the next four weeks. Register’s Pick: Hand.
  • Immaculate (0-4) at Oxford (2-2), 7 p.m.: Oxford’s Chris Van Kamerik (23 receptions, 372 yards, seven touchdowns) is one of the top receivers in the SWC. Register’s Pick: Oxford.
  • Naugatuck (3-1) at Torrington (0-4), 7 p.m.: Naugatuck’s coming off its first loss of the season, but the Greyhounds should have little trouble against the Red Raiders, who have allowed 45.5 points per contest. Register’s Pick: Naugatuck.
  • Notre Dame-West Haven (1-3) at West Haven (3-1), 7 p.m.: The records are meaningless when these fierce rivals meet on the gridiron. Register’s Pick: West Haven.
  • Sheehan (1-3) at North Haven (3-1), 7 p.m.: Expect North Haven’s single-wing offensive attack to get back on track after scoring just six points in a loss to Hand last week. Register’s Pick: North Haven.
  • Stratford (1-3) at Brookfield (3-1), 7 p.m.: Stratford will be hard-pressed to snap a three-game losing skid. Register’s Pick: Brookfield.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

  • Abbott Tech (1-3) at O’Brien Tech (2-1), 11 a.m.: Abbott Tech seeks to end three-game losing streak. Register’s Pick: O’Brien Tech.
  • Haddam-Killingworth (0-4) at Hyde (3-1) at Wilbur Cross, noon: Hyde has allowed just 47 points this season, but just 13 in its three victories. Register’s Pick: Hyde.
  • Platt Tech (1-3) at Vinal Tech/East Hampton (2-2), noon: Platt Tech defeated Abbott Tech this season, Vinal Tech/East Hampton did not. Register’s Pick: Platt Tech.
  • Foran (2-2) at Trinity Catholic (0-4), 1 p.m.: Trinity Catholic is not the same team that advanced to the Class S quarterfinals last season. Register’s Pick: Foran.
  • North Branford (4-0) at Avon (2-2), 1 p.m.: North Branford’s rushing total has gotten progressively lower each game. Register’s Pick: North Branford.
  • Old Saybrook/Westbrook (1-2) at Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (3-1), 1 p.m.: Tri-op running back Jarvis Miller has rushed for 653 yards and six touchdowns. Register’s Pick: Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby.
  • Woodland (4-0) at St. Paul (3-1), 1:30 p.m.: Points will be scored here. Register’s Pick: Woodland.
  • Coginchaug (1-2) at Lewis Mills (0-3), 2 p.m.: Coginchaug’s two losses are to teams who are a combined 7-0. Register’s Pick: Coginchaug.

Last week: 21-3. Season: 87-16.

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