Pooch’s Picks: Week 9 Football Predictions

GAME OF THE WEEK

Foran (6-2) at No. 9 North Haven (7-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Vanacore Field, North Haven
Players to Watch: Foran: Jake Kasuba, Sr., QB; Nick Weissauer, Sr., WR; Zach White, Sr., WR; North Haven: Mike Halloran, Sr., QB/LB; Ethan Suraci, Sr., RB/LB; Austin Mahon, Sr., OL/DL

What to look for: The Southern Connecticut Conference Division II East title will be decided here. North Haven will attempt to win its fifth straight division crown. The Lions last won the division in 2008.

The contest will be a contrast between North Haven’s methodical running game against Foran’s explosive passing attack.
The Indians have rushed for 2,759 yards and 36 touchdowns. Suraci leads the team with 696 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, while Halloran has 573 yards and 10 touchdowns. Halloran (596 passing yards, seven touchdowns) is also a threat to throw the ball.

The North Haven defense, which is allowing 18 points per game, is led by senior Pat Mikos (81 tackles), Suraci (75 tackles), Mahon (64 tackles, four sacks) and junior Zach Kastenhuber (52 tackles, eight sacks).

Foran’s spread offense is led by Kasuba, who has completed 151 of 230 passes (66 percent) for 2,362 yards and 23 touchdowns against just five interceptions. Weissauer leads the team in receptions (53) and receiving yards (830) and has caught five touchdowns. White (28 catches, 314 yards, three touchdowns), senior Sean Deegan (27-701-9) and senior Connor Cadrin (24-368-7) give Kasuba additional weapons in the open field.

The Lions also have a formidable running game. Foran has rushed for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Lions have averaged 38 points per game, and their defense has improved as the season’s progressed.

If Foran can have success through the air and prevent the Indians from chewing up the clock, the Lions just may pull the upset here.
Register’s pick: North Haven.

Friday’s Games

Platt Tech (3-5) at Quinebaug (6-2), 6:30 p.m.: Quinebaug has won four straight and positioned itself for a Class M playoff berth. Register’s Pick: Quinebaug.

Stafford/East Windsor (1-7) at Morgan (6-1), 6:30 p.m.: The co-op will be no match for Morgan running back Jake Ward (1,631 rushing yards, 24 touchdowns) and the Huskies. Register’s Pick: Morgan.

Torrington (1-7) at Woodland (7-1), 6:30 p.m.: Despite losing to Holy Cross last week, Woodland is still in the hunt for the Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division title. Register’s Pick: Woodland.

Valley Regional/Old Lyme (7-0) at Cromwell (4-3), 6:30 p.m.: Usually one of the most anticipated games in the Pequot Conference, but it’s been an odd year for Cromwell, which has lost to SMSA/University and Enfield the last two weeks. Register’s Pick: Valley Regional/Old Lyme.

Stratford (3-5) at No. 4 Newtown (8-0), 7 p.m.: Newtown has already clinched a berth in the South-West Conference title game against an opponent to still be decided (likely Brookfield or Barlow). Register’s Pick: Newtown.

Hand (6-2) at No. 6 West Haven (7-1), 7 p.m.: Hand is likely eliminated from the Class L playoff race with another loss. Register’s Pick: West Haven.

Amity (4-4) at Cheshire (3-5), 7 p.m.: Once upon a time, this was one of the SCC’s most intense rivalries. Register’s Pick: Amity.

Bethel (6-2) at Oxford (4-4), 7 p.m.: The schedule-maker wasn’t kind to Oxford this year. After losing to SWC powers Brookfield and Barlow the last two weeks, the Wolverines have yet another challenge, this time against a Bethel team that’s battling for a state playoff berth. Register’s Pick: Bethel.

Derby (4-4) at Watertown (1-7), 7 p.m.: The season started promising enough for Derby, which won its first four games. It has since lost its last four. The losing streak should end here, though. Register’s Pick: Derby.

East Haven (1-7) at Fairfield Ludlowe (4-4), 7 p.m.: The Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference has another chance to prove it’s a better league than the SCC. Register’s Pick: Fairfield Ludlowe.

Fairfield Prep (6-2) at Hamden (3-5), 7 p.m.: Take a deep breath, Prep. Xavier and West Haven are up next. Register’s Pick: Fairfield Prep.

Hillhouse (3-5) at Guilford (4-4), 7 p.m.: Strange to think that after a topsy-turvy season for both teams, the winner here will claim the SCC Division II West championship. Register’s Pick: Guilford.

Hyde (4-4) at Lyman Hall (2-6), 7 p.m.: Lyman Hall is looking for its third straight win. Register’s Pick: Lyman Hall.

Law (1-6) at Branford (0-7), 7 p.m.: Branford has scored just 72 points, the lowest total for any team in the SCC. Register’s Pick: Law.

New Fairfield (5-3) at Bunnell (3-5), 7 p.m.: New Fairfield has lost to Bethel (6-2), Barlow (7-1) and Newtown (8-0). Register’s Pick: New Fairfield.

North Branford (4-3) at Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton (4-3), 7 p.m.: North Branford is in desperate need of a victory after losing its last three. Register’s Pick: North Branford.

Shelton (6-2) at Xavier (6-2), 7 p.m.: Might as well call this one a play-in game. The winner is still in contention for a Class LL playoff berth. The loser? Better luck next year. Register’s Pick: Xavier.

Wilbur Cross (3-5) at Notre Dame-West Haven (3-5), 7 p.m.: Notre Dame’s five losses are to teams who are a combined 32-8. Register’s Pick: Notre Dame-West Haven.

Saturday’s Games

O’Brien Tech (3-4), at Capital Prep/Classical Magnet/Achievement First (8-0), noon: O’Brien will be relieved when a brutal four-week stretch comes to an end after this contest. Register’s Pick: Capital Prep/Classical Magnet/Achievement First.

Avon (5-3) at Haddam-Killingworth (0-8), 1 p.m.: If you haven’t seen Avon running back/defensive back Jimmy Murphy yet, make the trip up to Higganum. It’s worth the drive. Register’s Pick: Avon.

Granby (3-4) at Coginchaug (5-2), 1 p.m.: Quietly, the Blue Devils are in position to win their fourth straight. Register’s Pick: Coginchaug.

Hamden Hall (5-2) at Hopkins (2-4), 1 p.m.: Quarterback T.J. Linta and his Hamden Hall teammates are trying to win back-to-back games against their prep school rival. Register’s Pick: Hamden Hall.

Old Saybrook/Westbrook (3-4) at Nonnewaug (2-5), 1 p.m.: Old Saybrook/Westbrook’s Brett Sparaco is one of the most underrated running backs in the Pequot Conference. Register’s Pick: Old Saybrook/Westbrook.

Last week: 21-2. Season: 160-31.

Further Reading

Comments

  1. Bob says

    It’s a shame and a travesty what has been done to Hillhouse 12 years we spent turning that program around With barbarito and then dyer. Only to go back to the old ways of no discipline and poor work ethics and it shows. If dyer was still coaching that team with the talent they have , Hillhouse would be scouting teams for the playoffs. The stories I hear coming out of Hillhouse are just sad.

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