With Trinity Catholic’s 33-3 victory over Sheehan Saturday, the FCIAC won the SCC/FCIAC Challenge week, 9-8 for the second consecutive year. And a great chapter of great Connecticut High School football scheduling genius comes to a close.
So let’s have a round of applause for the commissioners, athletic directors and coaches who put this fine exhibition of football together. Let’s also shed a tear as this arrangement goes the way of the dodo — at least until the two power conference figure out how to align their schedules again beneath the tight schedules of future seasons.
The overall scoreboard for the two years stands in favor of the FCIAC, 23-18. Yes, there are seven more SCC/FCIAC games scheduled for the remainder of the season. So don’t start chiseling the trophy just yet …at least not until the FCIAC clinches the overall title with two more victories.
But what a great series it’s been. And close. This year’s games were decided by an average score of 23-22 in favor of the FCIAC. Over the two years, the average margin isn’t much different: 26-24, SCC.
The SCC’s Division I teams won six of games meetings. Of the SCC teams, Xavier, Fairfield Prep, Shelton, East Haven and North Haven swept their series. Of the FCIAC, New Canaan, Ludlowe, Harding, Wilton, Darien and St. Joseph swept theirs.
But who’s counting?
We’re more concerned with the hows and whys. There were some strange, strange results this week:
West Haven, which was supposed to be rebuilding, stunned and No. 6 Greenwich behind Zatrell Lyons and a few clutch sophomores. …No. 6 New Canaan, which was also supposed to be rebuilding, took care of No. 2 Hand. …St. Joseph, also supposed to be rebuilding, rode Mufasha Abdul-Basir and its defense to defeat Notre Dame-West Haven. …Cheshire looked impressive in a 41-14 rout of Ridgefield. …Harding and Trinity Catholic debuted secret QB weapons in their wins over Law and Sheehan, respectively. ….Fairfield Prep couldn’t stop Stamford’s Jalen Brown, but Stamford really couldn’t stop Colton Smith and the Jesuits. Xavier and Staples had no problems stopping each other.
Teams rallied behind the memory of their lost brothers. North Haven unveiled ‘No. 41’ helmet stickers in honor of John Liquori. They overwhelmed Central in the second half of a 42-6 victory. Hillhouse dedicated its season to slain teammate Jacob Craggett and played inspired in an eventual 47-25 loss to No. 4 Darien.
Beyond the SCC-FCIAC Challenge, with former teammate Austin Tautkus in their thoughts, Ellington/Somers rallied to beat Avon. …Jason Bradley and Naugatuck flexed their muscle in an NVL victory over Torrington. …Ansonia welcomed Oxford into the NVL by routing the Wolverines for its 44th consecutive victory. …Brookfield and Newtown began their march in the SWC with overwhelming victories.
In the CCC, No. 1 Southington needed big plays and big performances to beat back rival Glastonbury. Windsor didn’t quite get those, but it still managed to outlast rival Manchster.
For all the stories and links from select publications around the state, check our scoreboard.
NOW, with Week 1 in the books, it’s time to as YOU:
What Did We Learn From Week 1?
Think hard, kids.
Think back to a week ago, when we were all just champing at the bit to get this season started, while we were boldly throwing our thoughts around, trying to hurl our convictions about who was good and who was not through the flimsy arguments of others.
Take a look back at what we all thought about and expected from the players, the coaches, the teams; what we thought about the polls and the leagues and the matchups.
Think hard now.
What did we learn in Week 1?
Think back at what you thought and what you thought and said and then compare that to what happened over the last five days.
What did we learn?
Yes, this is a quiz.
Yes, you will be graded.
This is a very simple exercise: Tell us what you learned, but you MUST begin your response with, “I learned…”