Pooch’s Picks: Week 6 New Haven County football predictions

FRIDAY’S GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 8 Fairfield Prep (4-1) at Hand (4-1)

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Where: Surf Club, Madison

Players to Watch: Fairfield Prep: Colton Smith, Jr., QB/DB; John DelliSanti, Jr., WR/S; Nick Crowle, Sr., FB/LB; Hand: Nick van Dell, So., QB; Conor Dowd, Sr., RB/S; Dan Rogers, Sr., RB/LB.

What to look for: One of the weekend’s most exciting games should be this SCC Division I tilt.

Hand has won four straight since losing to No. 2 New Canaan in the season opener. The Tigers are vastly improved. Van Dell has since become the team’s starter at quarterback and is a big reason for Hand’s winning streak. He has completed 64 of 105 passes (61 percent) for 881 yards and nine touchdowns and has rushed for 204 yards and five touchdowns. Tom Wilson, Jake Mirando and Josh DeMartino are the Tigers’ top receivers, while Dowd has gained 468 yards and has scored four touchdowns.

Fairfield Prep thrives on running the ball but Smith is also a dangerous passer. Smith has thrown for 465 yards and has rushed for a team-high 417 yards and nine touchdowns. DelliSanti leads the team with 16 receptions for 204 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Joe Ganim (307 rushing yards, three touchdowns) is expected to play after missing last week’s win over Shelton with illness.

Fairfield Prep will have the edge in size and, defensively,  the Jesuits often bend but don’t break. This contest should be close.

Register’s pick: Fairfield Prep.

FRIDAY’S GAMES

  • Shelton (4-1) at Wilbur Cross (3-2), 3:15 p.m.: Wilbur Cross has won two in a row and has improved each week. Register’s Pick: Shelton.
  • Morgan (4-0) at Haddam-Killingworth (0-5), 6:30 p.m.: Morgan’s Jake Ward has rushed for 991 yards and 17 touchdowns. Register’s Pick: Morgan.
  • Valley Regional/Old Lyme (4-0) at North Branford (4-1), 6:30 p.m.: Raise your hand if you thought both teams would enter unbeaten. Avon spoiled the party with an upset win over the Thunderbirds last week. Register’s Pick: Valley Regional/Old Lyme.
  • No. 10 Xavier (4-1) at West Haven (4-1), 7 p.m.: West Haven coach Ed McCarthy can tie the state record for career wins with a victory against the Falcons. Register’s Pick: West Haven.
  • Bullard-Havens (2-3) at Platt Tech (1-4), 7 p.m.: Bullard-Havens gave unbeaten Capital Prep/Classical Magnet/Achievement First a scare before falling short 27-18 last week. Register’s Pick: Bullard-Havens.
  • Amity (3-2) at Notre Dame-West Haven (1-4), 7 p.m.: Been a rough season so far for Notre Dame. A win here would be a big boost of confidence. Register’s Pick: Notre Dame-West Haven.
  • Bunnell (2-3) at Naugatuck (4-1), 7 p.m.: Bunnell travels to take on former coach Craig Bruno, now the head man at Naugatuck. Should be worth the price of admission. Register’s Pick: Naugatuck.
  • Derby (4-1) at Bethel (3-2), 7 p.m.: An interesting contest between Bethel’s option offense and Derby’s balanced attack. Register’s Pick: Derby.
  • Foran (3-2) at Lyman Hall (0-5), 7 p.m.: Foran’s two losses are to teams who are a combined 8-2. Lions are a handful for any SCC Division II opponent. Register’s Pick: Foran.
  • Guilford (2-3) at East Haven (1-4), 7 p.m.: Don’t count out the Indians just yet. Register’s Pick: Guilford.
  • Hamden (3-2) at Cheshire (2-3), 7 p.m.: In its two losses Hamden has scored just seven points. Register’s Pick: Cheshire.
  • Kennedy (0-5) at Stratford (1-4), 7 p.m.: Kennedy has lost five in a row; Stratford has dropped its last four. A streak ends here. Register’s Pick: Stratford.
  • North Haven (4-1) at Branford (0-5), 7 p.m.: Branford coach John Limone will have to wait another week to record his first victory. Register’s Pick: North Haven.
  • Seymour (3-2) at Oxford (3-2), 7 p.m.: The first meeting between the Valley schools. Register’s Pick: Oxford.
  • Woodland (5-0) at Pomperaug (2-3), 7 p.m.: Pomperaug is better than its record indicates. It knocked off previously unbeaten Masuk last week. Register’s Pick: Woodland.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

  • Vinal Tech/East Hampton (3-2) at O’Brien Tech (3-1), 11 a.m.: O’Brien Tech’s schedule only gets tougher after this week. Register’s Pick: O’Brien Tech.
  • Hyde (4-1) at Enfield (2-3), 1 p.m.: Hyde averages 279 rushing yards per game. Register’s Pick: Hyde.
  • Old Saybrook/Westbrook (1-3) at Coginchaug (2-2), 2:30 p.m.: Old Saybrook/Westbrook has lost its last three. Register’s Pick: Coginchaug.

Last week: 19-5. Season: 106-21.

 Further reading

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