We were about to make the long trek to Killingly from GameTimeCT HQ. We’d reached the I-91 merge with I-95 in New Haven. Just turn left for 95 North and Killingly to watch if Capital Prep could continue its late drive for a Class S playoff berth, or take a right to West Haven to witness the final game of Will Levis’ career Xavier took on Greenwich at nearby Ken Strong Stadium.
Then came the deciding text: At Zuppardi’s for pregame pie.
Sorry, Killingly, but apizza always wins over a 2-hour road trip.
So off it was to West Haven for dinner and a football game. We could catch updates from the Killingly-CP game on Twitter, perhaps.
I’d forgotten all about Killingly-Cap Prep when I noticed the Seymour-Derby score from the Valley — 42-0 Seymour first quarter. And Seymour Football Twitter wanted to know what news from Quiet Corner.
There were none. Hrm.
So we asked the Twitterverse to lend a hand. It took some time before we finally learned that the Trailblazers were indeed up on Killingly 28-26 at halftime.
If Capital Prep won that game, they’d be just a win over Prince Tech away from vaulting over the long list of Class S suitors to steal a spot away.
More updates were hard to find until one Class S coach pointed us to WINY, which was posting to Twitter via Facebook, but not with the #cthsfb tag and few back in civilization saw it. But WINY was updating, that was the good news.
Even better news for the rest of Class S: Killingly survived.
Despite a 400-yard passing night from Capital Prep’s Kyle Zajack, Killingly rode beast Spencer Lockwood for 36 carries, 222 and four touchdowns and pulled away in the second half, getting a few key interceptions late, to earn a 42-31 victory.
And thus Capital Prep — which was hurt by only playing eight sanctioned CIAC games this year — was cast away. Its dangerous cast of Zajack and UConn recruits Khyon Gillespie and Oneill Robinson are virtually guaranteed to be out of the playoffs.
And there was much rejoicing from Seymour, O’Brien Tech, Prince Tech and a handful of others.
Class S — while still a dumpster fire — cleared up some with Cap Prep’s ouster.
We went through it quickly. So here goes…
Bullard-Havens (8-1) and Prince Tech (7-1) play Saturday. Bullard-Havens is in with a win and, actually, they just need one measly bonus game to qualify. So consider the Tigersin.
Prince would be virtually in with a win over the Tigers and a loss from one of the other teams around it, particularly O’Brien Tech (or just by beating Capital Prep/AF next week).
Also in with a win: Valley Regional/Old Lyme (vs. Haddam-Killingworth Friday night), Cromwell/Portland (8-1) (vs. Rocky Hill on Thanksgiving), Stafford/Somers/East Windsor (8-1) (vs. Windsor Locks/Suffield/EG on Thanksgiving Eve).
O’Brien Tech (7-2) is in a strange, strange land. The Condors can earn needed bonus points from Prince Tech wins since they beat Prince. Then again, they need Prince Tech to lose as much as possible to assure they can surpass them. But that means less bonus potential (20 as opposed to 40).
Anyway, the Condors would be in with a win over Platt Tech, plus a loss by any of the above teams: Stafford, VROL and Cromwell/Portland.
Failing that, then the Condors would need Prince Tech to lose to Bullard-Havens or get Quinebaug (vs. Thames) and/or CREC (vs. Farmington) to win their final games — which is unlikely.
Another avenue would be for O’Brien Tech to beat Platt Tech and have Prince Tech lose to Bullard-Havens and Capital Prep. That would knock Prince out.
But then coach Nick Aprea’s team will be in a bonus race with his pals from Seymour for the eighth spot. And it looks likely the Condors will stay ahead since Seymour’s outstanding bonus games are real iffy (they’d need, like, Derby over Shelton among other longshots).
While that sounds troubling for Seymour, the Cats still have a decent chance: Beat Woodland and have two of the teams above them lose their final games — again, that would be VROL, Stafford, Cromwell/Portland, O’Brien and Prince Tech (twice).
There’s a chance Plainfield can sneak in ahead of Seymour if it beats Griswold, but because their bonus games are also iffy, it’s not likely. Ditto Bloomfield.
YES, IT’S ALL VERY CONFUSING.
Take solace in the fact that it’ll be much more clear by Saturday night.
Here’s who’s qualified in each CIAC playoff division as of Friday morning, Nov. 17:
CLASS LL: Naugatuck (9-0), Darien (9-0), Shelton (8-1), Greenwich (9-0), South Windsor (8-1).
CLASS L: Windsor (9-0), Masuk (9-0), Hand (8-1), Middletown (9-0), Fitch (9-0).
CLASS M: Killingly (9-0 – clinched home game), Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial (9-0 – clinched home game), Berlin (8-1), Sheehan (8-1), Watertown (7-2), SMSA/University/Classical (7-2).
CLASS S: St. Joseph (8-1 – clinched home game), Ansonia (9-0 – clinched home game), Rocky Hill (9-0, clinched home game).
— GameTimeCT (@GameTimeCT) November 17, 2017
Meanwhile, back on the Sound, GREENWICH used two blocked punts from Tyler Blizzard and heavy doses of Tysen Comizio in the third quarter to help it beat back a challenge from Xavier and qualify for the Class LL playoffs for the second-consecutive year.
They’ll be playing for a home game vs. Staples on Thanksgiving.
— GameTimeCT (@GameTimeCT) November 17, 2017
Up I-95, back Hollis Scott didn’t play, but Fitch had no issues with Windham. Tyler Nelli ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass as the Falcons rolled to a 42-6 victory and clinched a spot in Class L, their first since 2012.
The rest of the qualifying scenarios remained pretty much the same.
We broke it down here, so go there because it’s late and it’s all going to change over the next few days.