Mike Pucci’s WEEK 3 SPOTLIGHT
Cheshire at No. 8 West Haven
• When: Friday, 7 p.m.
• Where: Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven
• Records: Cheshire 2-0; West Haven 2-0
• Players to watch: Cheshire — Andrew Yamin, Sr., RB/LB; Cullen Clairmont, Sr., OL/DL; Tyler D’Errico, Sr., OL/LB; West Haven — Zatrell Lyons, Sr., WR; Marshont Little, Sr., RB; Tim McCarthy, So., QB.
• You should know: This is the Southern Connecticut Conference Division I East opener for both teams.
• Cheshire has impressed in a non-conference contest against Ridgefield in Week 1 and an SCC crossover rout of Lyman Hall last week. The Rams ran over both opponents, rushing for a combined 690 yards and eight touchdowns in the two games. Yamin leads the attack with 31 carries for 441 yards and six scores. But Cheshire has other options in the backfield and an effective passing game piloted by senior Josh MacNiven, who has thrown three touchdowns.
• The return of senior running back Jack Cunningham adds depth to the Rams’ offense. Cunningham missed Week 1 while still recovering from ACL surgery but saw action last week. Cunningham played just one quarter against Lyman Hall, but rushed seven times for 71 yards and a touchdown.
• D’Errico (16 tackles), Clairmont (10 tackles, four sacks) and senior Brandon Caterino (10 tackles, four sacks) lead a Rams defense that allowed just 14 points to Ridgefield and shut out Lyman Hall.
• West Haven, which is averaging 36.5 points per game, is explosive offensively. Little and sophomores Brandon Sebastian and Anthony Godfrey lead the Westies’ ground game.
• McCarthy has had an auspicious debut at quarterback, throwing four touchdowns in last week’s victory over pesky Foran.
•West Haven knocked off highly touted Greenwich in Week 1, with its young group of sophomores playing with an intensity and maturity beyond their years. If that continues, the Westies will be difficult to contain.
• Pooch’s pick: West Haven.
• No. 4 Ansonia (2-0) at Wilby (0-2), 3:30 p.m.: Win No. 46 in a row for the Chargers.
Pooch’s pick: Ansonia.
• No. 9 Hand (1-1) at Wilbur Cross (2-0), 3:45 p.m.: Has potential to be a classic.
Pooch’s pick: Hand.
• Coginchaug (2-0) at Haddam-Killingworth (0-2), 6:30 p.m.: Coginchaug would love to be 4-0 (it plays 0-2 Lewis Mills next week) when it travels to Morgan on Oct. 10.
Pooch’s pick: Coginchaug.
• Wolcott (1-0) at Woodland (1-1), 6:30 p.m.: A 28-27 overtime loss to Torrington on Sept. 18 has probably left a sour taste in Woodland’s mouth. How they respond against a talented Wolcott squad may determine the fate of the Hawks’ season.
Pooch’s pick: Wolcott.
• Amity (1-1) at No. 10 Shelton (2-0), 7 p.m.: Shelton still has a couple of more weeks before it gets into the meat of its SCC schedule.
Pooch’s pick: Shelton.
• Crosby (1-0) at Derby (1-1), 7 p.m.: Crosby has the offensive weapons to give Derby fits, but not yet sold on the Bulldogs’ defense.
Pooch’s pick: Derby.
• East Haven (1-1) at North Haven (1-1), 7 p.m.: East Haven has allowed just 19 points.
Pooch’s pick: North Haven.
• Foran (0-2) at Sheehan (0-2), 7 p.m.: Foran faces uphill battle the remainder of the season after 0-2 start.
Pooch’s pick: Foran.
• Guilford (0-2) at Lyman Hall (0-2), 7 p.m.: Members of the SCC Division II West are a combined 0-9 this season, which includes these two opponents.
Pooch’s pick: Guilford.
• Hamden (1-1) at Xavier (2-0), 7 p.m.: Pile up the wins while you can, Xavier. The second half of your schedule is downright scary.
Pooch’s pick: Xavier.
• Masuk (1-1) at Bunnell (2-0), 7 p.m.: Remember when these two programs were playing for state championships?
Pooch’s pick: Masuk.
• Holy Cross (2-0) at Naugatuck (1-0), 7 p.m.: The game of the year, so far, in the Naugatuck Valley League.
Pooch’s pick: Naugatuck.
• New Milford (0-2) at Stratford (0-2), 7 p.m.: New Milford’s Larry Badaracco and Stratford’s T.J. Cavaliere seeking first coaching victory at their respective schools.
Pooch’s pick: New Milford.
• Notre Dame-West Haven (1-1) at Fairfield Prep (1-1), at Ludlowe, 7 p.m.: The Jesuits have surrendered 88 points this season, tied with Lyman Hall for the most allowed in the SCC.
Pooch’s pick: Fairfield Prep.
• Torrington (1-1) at Oxford (0-2), 7 p.m.: Rumor has it Oxford put in bid to rejoin the SWC. (Just kidding).
Pooch’s pick: Torrington.
• Vinal Tech/East Hampton/Goodwin Tech (1-1) at Platt Tech (0-2), at Foran, 7 p.m.: Platt Tech led unbeaten Cheney Tech 12-0 at halftime last week before falling 22-12. The Panthers seem poised for their first victory of the season.
Pooch’s pick: Platt Tech.
• Wilton (1-1) at Branford (0-1), 7 p.m.: Wilton already owns a victory over one SCC school (Guilford) this season.
Pooch’s pick: Wilton.
• Law (0-2) at Hillhouse (0-2), at SCSU, 8 p.m.: Hillhouse has made arrangements to play its remaining four home games, beginning tonight, at Southern’s Jess Dow Field.
Pooch’s pick: Hillhouse.
• Wilcox Tech (1-1) at O’Brien Tech (0-1), noon: This is a pick ’em.
Pooch’s pick: Wilcox Tech.
• Morgan (2-0) at Hyde (1-1), 12:30 p.m.: If Hyde can’t contain Morgan running back Jake Ward, Howling Wolves are in for a long afternoon.
Pooch’s pick: Morgan.
• Old Saybrook/Westbrook (0-2) at Valley Regional/Old Lyme (2-0), 1 p.m.: This contest will be played at Old Lyme High School.
Pooch’s pick: Valley Regional/Old Lyme.
• Lewis Mills (0-2) at North Branford (2-0), 6 p.m.: One more week until North Branford’s road test at Valley Regional/Old Lyme.
Pooch’s pick: North Branford.
Last week: 18-4. Season: 39-12.