When Shea McManaway and Norwich Free Academy torched Xavier in a Week 1 shootout victory, the rest of Connecticut took keen interests in the goings on in Norwich.
In Week 2, the McManaway and Wildcats put on another show. They went toe-to-toe with Cheshire, which was still carrying the preseason banner of SCC’s best team, but came up short in a 35-29 loss.
In Week 3, they roasted Ledyard 35-6 and, the common refrain from us media types was: Who’s stopping this team in the ECC?
In Week 4, we had our answer: Fitch.
The Falcons, who perked some ears after a 28-20 win over Notre Dame-West Haven in Week 2 but were otherwise disregarded as a serious threat, woke up the echoes of old and obliterated big, bad NFA to the tune of 46-13, to stay unbeaten at 4-0.
“We’ve never felt like this,” Fitch’s Zach Letellier told Mike DiMauro of The Day of New London. “I think it was back when we were 7 or 8 is the last time we were undefeated. We worked all offseason and we’re finally reaping the benefits.”
Hamear Stephens played tailback and then went to quarterback. He ran for 112 yards and three touchdowns. He went to quarterback and tossed a 54-yard touchdown to Antonyo Figureroa at the end of the first half. Hollis Scott also had a couple of touchdowns.
Meanwhile, McManaway, DiMauro reports, was smothered by Fitch’s defense and was held to just 146 yards passing and two touchdowns. Fitch was up 33-7 at the half and cruised from there.
So… now what?
Fitch, led by former Waterford coach Mike Ellis, hasn’t had a winning season since Mike Emery’s last team went 8-3 and reached the Class L quarterfinals in 2012.
This year’s team returned nine starters from last year’s 4-6 squad, all of them skill position players. Letellier comes from good stock (his brother, Luke, was an all-state receiver and is now at Trinity College) and Scott has been a beast at tailback thus far.
Ellis, now in his third year in Groton, has had to rebuild the entire offensive line. But his new starting linemen — among them Austin Beebe, Dean Faulise, Nick Helbig, Alex Perry and Daniel Mojica — apparently have done the job.
The remainder of Fitch’s schedule is conducive for a Class L playoff berth. So start scouting, coaches.
Aside from gushing over Fitch, some transitive properties to ponder: NFA beat Xavier, Cheshire beat NFA, North Haven beat Cheshire, West Haven beat North Haven, Fitch beat NFA, Fitch beat Notre Dame-WH … hmm.
NFA (2-2) has a week off to prepare for a tough road trip to play West Haven before jumping back into its ECC schedule.
The Wildcats also get Windsor, a 28-21 winner over E.O. Smith Friday night, the week before Thanksgiving.