Unless someone can figure out how to derail Darien the rest of the way – New Canaan, maybe – the fight for the final No.1 ranking of 2021 will take place in the LL Class playoffs.

Darien crushed No. 2-seeded and L-class favorite, St. Joseph, 42-14 on Saturday at rainy Dalling. The Blue Wave won their sixth straight game against the Hogs since 2013 and are now one of six remaining undefeated teams in the state – one of two in the LL class.

The other unbeaten LL-class team is Hall, who defied the bleak weekly forecast with tight fumbles and fine returns to reach 7-0 for the first time since his 8-0 in 2010.

Killingly (6-0) is the only undefeated team in class M and there are three undefeated teams left in class S: Bloomfield (7-0), Ansonia (7-0) and Cromwell / Portland (6-0).

Darien faces Norwalk this week in another showdown of the CAFN’s top teams. It’s also another key game in an increasingly competitive, albeit muddy, LL-class playoff field.

Without doing any math, here’s a general look at the playoff picture as we head into the final month of the regular season:

CLASS LL

After Darien and Hall come a host of contenders, starting with rivals Shelton and Fairfield Prep both 6-1 and ranked No. 3 and 4 in the LL standings. And, hey hey, they’re playing at Rafferty Stadium on Friday.

At No.5 comes New Canaan, who beat Greenwich by 62 carries and 307 yards to reassert themselves at 6-1.

Southington (6-1), whose only loss so far is to Hall, is ranked No.6 in the playoff standings. West Haven, which benefited from its SCC Tier II calendar but scored its biggest win of the year beating Tier I Notre Dame-West Haven 27-20, is seventh.

All of the top seven teams control their own destiny, but many of them go head to head (Darien-New Canaan, Prep-Shelton, and West Haven-Prep, for example). So there are plenty of opportunities for other solid programs to capture one of the bottom three or four spots in the eight-team playoff squad.

Staples (5-2) moved up to 8th place by eliminating Norwalk. The Wreckers face Ridgefield (4-3) and Greenwich (4-3) the rest of the game.

Norwalk, now 5-2 and ranked No. 9 in LL, also has an opportunity, but against Darien and then Wilton. Hamden (4-2 and ranked No. 10) still has games against Sheehan, Law, Westhill and Notre Dame-West Haven.

Ridgefield (4-3, ranked No 14) and Trumbull (5-2, ranked 11) face off this week with the loser likely over. Trumbull can reaffirm his case by winning, but that means a must against St. Joseph on Thanksgiving. Ridgefield will also have to win and can help himself with points and taking out the competition by taking out Trumbull and Staples.

Greenwich at 4-3 and ranked No.12 could be in trouble with few points available, despite playing against Staples late. Newtown (4-3, 13th) is also deadlocked and needs to win and get some help. Ditto with Simsbury, who can only resume the conversation by beating Southington this week.

CLASS L

With Cheney Tech rallying to beat Thames River 26-20 in overtime and United’s northwest toppling Quinebaug Valley, the threat of several teams making it to the CTC playoffs eased again last week.

Cheney Tech (6-1 5th), Thames River (6-1, 7th) and Quinebaug Valley (6-1, 10th) individually have good shots to succeed. But because Cheney and Thames play Quinebaug and Thames faces ATI, it becomes increasingly unlikely that more than one will, especially if other suitors continue to win.

Despite his defeat against Darien, Saint-Joseph (6-1, 1st) is a quasi-shoo-in. Maloney (6-1, 2nd) faces Hall in a CCC Division I showdown this week. A win there will practically guarantee that the Spartans qualify as well.

Windsor (6-1, 3rd) will face tough teams in Berlin and Newington over the next two weeks, but he is favored in both and is expected to qualify as well. Ditto for Victor Rosa and Bristol Central (6-1, 4th). They are expected to win their remaining three games.

Naugatuck (5-1, 6th) got back into the discussion by overthrowing Holy Cross. But the Greyhounds have yet to beat Wooldand or face the prospect of having to beat Ansonia – which they haven’t done in 10 years – to secure a spot.

Wilton (5-2, 8th) made the most noise, but the Warriors will have to win against Warde, Norwalk and Pomperaug and hope that will be enough. Warde and Pomperaug don’t give the Warriors too many points.

Masuk (5-2, 9th) also saved his season by climbing 28 points to beat New Fairfield on Friday night, but will also have to win – including against Newtown.

The other contenders here are Fitch (4-2, 11th), Hand (4-3, 12th), Wethersfield (5-2, 13th) and maybe even Cheshire (4-3), which can go a long way. in the standings if he can somehow beat West Haven, Shelton and Southington.

CLASS M

Killingly (6-0, 1st) is the only really sure thing in a messy field that has three teams to one loss (Rockville, Avon, Branford), seven teams to two losses and Notre Dame-West Haven still a threat at 3 – 4 but ranked n ° 13.

Ellington (5-2, 8th) and Plainville (5-2, 6th) unexpectedly losing last week also threw this class into further chaos.

The winner of Avon (4-1, 3rd) vs Branford (5-1, 4th) this week will do himself and the whole class a favor, as will the winner of Granby / Canton (4-2, 5th ) vs. Coginchaug Co-Op (5-2, 7th) on November 19.

Torrington (4-3, 9th), Law (5-2, 10th), Barlow (5-2, 11th) are also on the lookout. Despite losing to West Haven, Notre Dame can move up the standings by winning over Xavier, Hand and Hamden and modest help elsewhere.

CLASS S

Bloomfield (7-0, 1st), Ansonia (7-0, 2nd) and Cromwell / Portland (6-0, 3rd) are all favorites to qualify, although tough games remain for all three.

Seymour (5-1, 4th) still has Woodland (5-2, 10th) and Holy Cross (5-2, 8th). Finally, one of them should do the trick. Morgan (5-1, 6th) may have a tough guy against Ellington and is also a good bet to enter.

The wildcards here are New Fairfield (6-1, 5th) and Notre Dame-Fairfield (5-1, 7th), who play this week. Both teams need this game, especially New Fairfield who face Newtown the following week. The Rebels would have been in a better position if they hadn’t given Masuk a 28-point lead.

Holy Cross (5-2, 8th) did not do himself a favor either by losing to Naugatuck. His game against Seymour on November 18 is important. Woodland falters to 5-2, 10th place, with Ansonia, Naugy and Seymour remaining.

Sheehan (5-2, 9th) can help a lot by beating Hamden and Hartford Public. Rocky Hill (4-2) and Ledyard (5-2) will have to win and hope that there will be enough.

Again, it was a very broad look. We’ll start to dive deeper in the coming weeks.

IN THE FIGURES

28 – The points deficit in the second quarter erased by Masuk in his 29-28 victory over New Fairfield. It was the second time in three weeks that a game has tied the score for the state’s comeback, following Morgan’s 44-42 win over SMSA on October 16 (Morgan trailed 42-14 in the third quarter) . The comeback record has now been tied six times since 1974, when St. Joseph first set it in a 37-30 rally against Bassick in 1974. The next five record-tied games, however, have all have taken place over the past 11 years.

2-4 – Record of the # 1 ranked team in the last six games involving the # 1 and # 2 ranked teams in the GameTimeCT / New Haven Register Top 10 poll. Both times Darien was the # 1 team. In 2016, the No.1 ranked Blue Wave beat No.2 New Canaan 37-34 in overtime. On Saturday, the No.1 Blue Wave beat No.2 St. Joseph 42-14.

43-0 – St. Joseph’s record against unnamed Darien teams since 2017. St. Joseph has lost three times to Darien during this span. His last non-Darien loss was 42-21 to Hillhouse in the 2016 M-Class Championship.

QUOTE

“I’m speechless. I’ve dreamed of a time like this since I was little. I told my quarterback I was going to run after, saw the only safety top and I thought I was going to Mosser. When the ball was in the air I thought “nobody but me is catching it”.

– Nick Saccu, Masuk’s senior quarterback turned receiver on Dylan Jackson’s 40-yard touchdown that allowed his team to convert to 2 points behind Jake Dellapiano after returning 28 points in a 29- win. 28 on New Fairfield.


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