Stamford Advocate

Breaking down the CIAC weekend action

- By Sean Patrick Bowley

It was a Connecticu­t High School Football Alliance Week 3, with 23 crossover games between the SCC, FCIAC, CCC, SWC and ECC. The SCC played in the most games (17), followed by the FCIAC (10), CCC (9), SWC (7) and ECC (3).

It was a pretty even night, as far as the league vs. league results. The SCC went 8-9, the FCIAC 5-5, the CCC 5-5 and ECC 1-2.

The SWC had the best winning percentage of the night, going 5-3 — all five wins came against the SCC, including Stratford’s 34-27 victory over Law, which snapped a 14-game losing streak.

Fourteen of the 24 games were decided by more than 14 points; six were decided by 7 or less points and three were decided by a field goal or less. The average margin of victory was 17.8 points.

The largest margin was 46, courtesy of ECC’s Killingly defeating CCC’s Lewis Mills 54-8, followed by SWC’s New Milford beating SCC’s Harding by 41 and SWC’s Masuk beating SCC’s Hillhouse by 39.

The lowest margin of victory was 1 in two games: East Catholic’s 27-26 overtime victory over Montville and New Fairfield’s 14-13 victory over Sheehan.

But don’t put away your league pennants just yet. Week 4 will feature another round of 26 Alliance games.

Some of the more intriguing ones include: Wilton at

Notre Dame-West Haven, Hand at Masuk, Hillhouse at Bunnell, Darien at NFA, Shelton at Trumbull and Weston at Sheehan on Friday, and three Saturday games: Fairfield Prep at Greenwich, Cheshire at Norwalk and St. Joseph at Xavier.


Much of the state was fixed on No. 1 Darien’s 27-14 victory over Newtown and, while that game lived up to

its advanced billing, here were a few others that caused a few jaws to drop across the state:

Shelton 35, Greenwich 14 — Shelton’s offense sputtered vs. North Haven and then Amity, but the defense bailed it out. But when No. 4 Greenwich scored on two long TD passes early, it was the defense that needed rescuing. The O responded in kind by rolling up 332 yards on the ground and putting Greenwich away with 21 unanswered points in — perhaps — the biggest shocker of the night.

Ridgefield 28, Xavier 7 — Ridgefield didn’t get a Week 1, only woke up in the fourth quarter and scored 20 points to make a 42-34 loss to Greenwich look more palpable, and then dominated No. 8-ranked Xavier on the Tigers practice field.

Cheshire 42, Staples 14 — Christian Russo and the Rams bulldozed the Wreckers for 250 yards and a 28-0 first half lead, effectivel­y burying that time Staples beat Trumbull in Week 1 and (likely) elevating Cheshire into the Top 10.

Stratford 34, Law 27 — Law surprised a few by starting the season 2-0 under new coach Chris Haley, especially an overwhelmi­ng win over Guilford Week 1. But junior Tristen Pena amassed 254 total yards and Jayquan Kirkland caught two TD passes as the Red Devils went up two scores early to snap a 14-game losing streak and give new coach Nathan Tyler his first win.

Masuk 53, Hillhouse 14 —

Hillhouse gave Fairfield Prep a fright last week, but was no match for the Saccu brothers and Masuk at home. Nick Saccu threw for 151 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 153 and three touchdowns and Masuk is 3-0.

Hall 29, Warde 26 — Hall’s offense looked unstoppabl­e in the season’s first two games while Warde, the Warriors’ alliance opponent, had been handily beaten by New Canaan and Norwalk. But Hall needed a big fourth down conversion and a lucky bounce — a fumbled snap on a keeper at the goal line, which fullback Ryan Zydanowicz scooped and ran in for a 1-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left —

to stay unbeaten.


Some of Friday night’s Alliance results earned public praise from various media types (including us), but there were plenty of other eye-opening outcomes in-conference. Like:

Branford 15, Notre Dame-WH 12 —

Forget that the Hornets were 0-12 vs Notre Dame in the 27-year history of the SCC, an even bigger slight is how the school routinely loses top athletic talent to ND. Finally, some redemption when David McDonald caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Zack Turbert to put the Hornets up with 4:29 left and when a hail mary pass by Notre Dame fell incomplete. Branford is 2-1.

Trumbull 29, Ludlowe 28 — Down 28-14, Hunter Agosti rallied the Eagles to victory. He ran for a 2-yard score and then threw a 21yard touchdown pass to Corbin Smith (his third TD). Trumbull muffed the ensuing extra point snap, but Smith — the kicker — grabbed the ball and went in for the winner with 2:45 left.

NFA 28, East Lyme 26 —

For the second-straight game, NFA had to survive a 2-point conversion to win. East Lyme rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter on a blocked punt return and a Rowan Mundell’s 10-yard TD catch as time expired. But, having missed the previous extra point, East Lyme tried for two, but NFA got a good rush and forced the winning incompleti­on.

Fitch 12, New London 7 —

The Whalers led 7-0 late, but Fitch rallied behind quarterbac­k Benjamin Parry’s scrambling TD run with 6:36 left, and his 20yard winning toss to Malachai Maddox with 1:13 remaining.

Maloney 21, Simsbury 14 —

Angel Arce’s 29-yard TD pass to Joziah Gonzalez (their second hookup of the day), put Maloney ahead late in the third quarter. On the ensuing Simsbury drive, Rashawn Shelton wrestled the ball away from receiver Teddy Murphy in the end zone. Later, Maloney made another defensive stop at its own 21 with 4:53 remaining to win it.

 ?? Pete Paguaga / Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? Ridgefield's Jude Vucci looks to find a hole against Xavier during Friday’s game at Maiolo Field in Ridgefield.
Pete Paguaga / Hearst Connecticu­t Media Ridgefield's Jude Vucci looks to find a hole against Xavier during Friday’s game at Maiolo Field in Ridgefield.
 ?? David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? Shelton’s Tyler Rich hits the hole for a big gain against Greenwich on Friday.
David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticu­t Media Shelton’s Tyler Rich hits the hole for a big gain against Greenwich on Friday.

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