There weren’t as many games as usual on Thanksgiving Day, but that didn’t make Connecticut’s sports holiday any less nutty — especially in Class LL where the impossible became possible.
Incredibly Greenwich, Fairfield Prep and McMahon were all sent packing, allowing Xavier and New Britain to celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving with state playoff berths.
Staples kick-started the whole, wacky morning when it bolted to a 21-0 lead over Greenwich and never let up in a 38-21 victory that eliminated the Cardinals.
But the first sign of trouble for the Class LL favorites was in Norwalk, where Norwalk High had built a 27-0 halftime lead over McMahon being quarterback Greg Goldstein. McMahon tried to rally, but ultimately lost 33-22 and was eliminated.
Norwich Free Academy, which was declared done at midseason, routed New London 63-40, to qualify for the first of the four remaining spots, as predicted.
But then then West Haven stunned Colton Smith and Fairfield Prep, 21-14, opening the door wide open for idle Xavier and New Britain to qualify.
It’s now pretty simple for Class LL. There are two games left and three alive: Cheshire (at Southington), Bristol Central (vs. Eastern) and idle Glastonbury.
A Cheshire victory over Southington, Cheshire gets in and the field will look like this:
- Large — No. 4. New Britain at No. 1. Newtown; No. 3 NFA at No. 2 Southington
- Small — No. 3 Hall at No. 2 Cheshire; No. 4. Xavier at No. 1 Shelton.
If Cheshire loses, and Bristol Central wins:
- Large — No. 4 New Britain at No. 1 Newtown; No. 3 NFA at No. 2 Southington
- Small — No. 4 Bristol Central at No. 1 Shelton; No. 3 Xavier at No. 2 Hall
If both Cheshire and Bristol Central lose, Glastonbury gets in and bumps Newtown to the small division.
- Large — No. 4. Glastonbury at No. 1 Southington; No. 3 New Britain at No. 2 NFA
- Small — No. 4 Xavier at No. 1 Newtown; No. 3 Hall at No. 2 Shelton
- Large — No. 4 Naugatuck at No. 1 Darien. No. 3 Wethersfield at No. 2 New Canaan.
- Small — No. 4 North Haven at No. 1 Windsor; No. 3 Notre Dame-WH at No. 2 Middletown
Nobody qualified for the playoffs in Class M on Thanksgiving because most of the teams didn’t play.
Large — No. 1 Berlin, No. 2 Brookfield, No. 3 TBA, No. 4 TBA (Bethel, Cheney Tech, Abbott Tech/Immaculate, New London will all finish in large if they qualify
Small — No. 1 Ledyard, No. 2 St. Joseph. No. 3/4 Ellington/Somers, No. 3/4 Wolcott (can jump to No. 3 with a Derby win over Shelton)
New London lost to NFA, but the Whalers are still mathematically alive. It has faint (and we mean faint) hope. New London will need Brookfield to beat Bethel on Friday and Abbott Tech/Immaculate to lose to 1-9 Wolcott Tech on Saturday.
Bethel will qualify with a win over Brookfield. But If the Wildcats lose, they wouldn’t be eliminated, but they would be in trouble: They’d need Abbott Tech/Immaculate to lose and all three of New London’s bonus teams to lose to squeak in over the Whalers: Plainfield must beat Griswold, Quinebaug must beat Killingly and Capital Prep must beat Prince.
Cheney Tech is in good shape. It just needs Quinebaug Valley to beat Killingly to clinch. Or just Bethel to lose.
Abbott Tech/Immaculate* needs to beat Wolcott Tech and have Bethel lose, and get one wins by Quinebaug, Plainfield or Capital Prep to stay ahead of New London.
The Class S scenarios are the same as before:
A Capital Prep win over Prince clinches a spot.
A Plainfield win over Griswold and a Capital Prep win puts them in.
A Prince victory over Capital Prep would put them in over Capital Prep on tiebreakers. Then, a Quinebaug victory over Killingly or and East Haven victory over Branford would put Capital Prep in over Plainfield.
UPDATE: Should Plainfield get wins by both Killingly and Branford, they would end up in a three-way tie and Prince Tech and Capital Prep would advance on tiebreaker points.**
Bullard-Havens can get in only if Capital Prep wins and losses by Plainfield and Derby. If Derby beats Shelton, then Bullard-Havens would need Watertown to beat Torrington to clinch.
Derby needs Plainfield to lose, then beat Shelton and Torrington to beat Watertown.
**Tiebreaker points — The wins and ties of each of the opponents are added (2 points per win and 1 point per tie) and the team with the greatest number of points wins the position in question. This includes each opponent regardless of whether the game was won or lost.