MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown High and Wesleyan take the football spotlight this weekend. The Blue Dragons, a 41-14 winner over East Lyme last week, take on Wethersfield in a Central Connecticut Conference inter-divisional game tonight, and Wesleyan opens at home with Tufts Saturday in the first-ever night game at Andrus Field.
- Wethersfield (0-1) at Middletown (1-0)
- Rosek-Skubel Stadium
- Middletown High School
- Tonight at 7
Middletown High coach Sal Morello said this will be the first real test of his team’s young secondary as pass-happy Wethersfield comes to town.
“They pass the ball as much as any team on our schedule,” said Morello. “So our young safeties — both sophomores — will be tested. Wethersfield throws the ball well and shows a lot of different looks offensively.
Middletown comes in with some injuries. Sophomore defensive back Jordan Baker is out, right tackle Evan Bonaparte has been out this week and offensive guard/defensive end Anthony Bednarz will be a game time decision, said Morello.
“That’s why we call it a team,” said Morello. “We are developing depth.”
Otherwise MHS comes in healthy. Dario Highsmith, Sal Fazzino, Isaiah Thompkins and Yaamal Jackson combined for over 400 yards rushing against East Lyme. While Middletown is concerned with Wethersfield’s passing, the Eagles had a lot of preparation to do.
MIDDLETOWN to win.
- Xavier (1-0) at North Haven (1-0)
- Vanacore Field
- Tonight at 7
North Haven had a 7-3 season in 2012, losing to three state champions — Xavier, Hand and Hillhouse. The Indians opened with a 42-8 win over Bridgeport Central and Xavier coach Sean Marinan said they are just as good this time around.
“I think they are comparable with what they were last year,” said Marinan. “They run the single-wing offense, but are throwing the ball more. They’ve added a few wrinkles. Last year’s quarterback is back and they’re big up front. They’re good at what they do”
Marinan reported that defensive back Edwin Luster is out with a hamstring injury, but that the Falcons are otherwise healthy.
“We have to stop their running game and get their offense off the field for us to win,” said Marinan.
Quarterback Joe Carbone and running back Andrew Meoli lead the Xavier offense. After a sloppy opening week win over Staples, Marinan is looking for his team to play with much more focus. “I expect us to cut down on our mental mistakes,” he said.
XAVIER to win.
- Coginchaug (1-0) at Valley Regional/Old Lyme (1-0)
- Valley Regional High School
- Deep River
- Tonight at 6:30
This is an interesting matchup between two area teams that got off to good starts last week. Coginchaug beat the cooperative team out of Hartford, SMSA/University 48-38, and Valley whipped Hyde 34-0.
“We actually didn’t play very well,” said Valley coach Tim King. “Our first drive was picture-perfect, but after that it was big plays. We didn’t put together those five minutes drives coaches like to see. I told our kids that as the season goes on, we can’t expect to win on just big plays. Those will disappear.”
King said that Coginchaug is “big, strong and physical.”
“They like to smash-mouth you, but they also show a little bit of a spread,” said King, who added that his team was healthy. “They have big receivers and a huge line.”
VALLEY to win.
- Tufts (0-0) at Wesleyan (0-0)
- Corwin Stadium at Andrus Field
- Saturday at 6 p.m.
The future is now. At last that’s what Wesleyan University coach Mike Whalen is hoping for with this year’s edition of the Cardinals.
WesU has a slew of returning players everywhere you look. The Cards, 5-3 in 2012, had another good recruiting class and there are three local players on the team, Devon Carrillo (MHS), Kris Luster (Xavier) and Alec Corazzini (Coginchaug).
The game caps Middletown Community Day at Wesleyan and admission is free.
WESLEYAN to win.
Cromwell (0-1) travels to open Coventry’s (0-1) new field tonight at 7, Vinal Tech/East Hampton (0-1) plays at Wolcott Tech (0-0) in Torrington Saturday at 1 p.m. and Haddam-Killingworth (0-1) is at Nonnewaug in Woodbury (0-0) Saturday at 1 p.m.
Look for COVENTRY, WOLCOTT TECH and HADDAM-KILLINGWORTH to win.
Last week’s record: 4-3.