The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Halfway home, 16 teams still unbeaten

- By Sean Patrick Bowley

We’ve reached the midpoint of the 2021 high school football season.

With New Canaan’s 17-14 victory over Norwalk on Sunday, there are now 16 remaining unbeaten teams in the CIAC.

Breaking it down by playoff division, there are three in Class LL: Hall (5-0), Darien (5-0) and New Canaan (5-0), all of whom are ranked in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll. Darien is No. 1, New Canaan No. 3 and Hall No. 5.

There are four remaining unbeaten teams in Class L: St. Joseph (5-0), Cheney Tech (5-0), Thames River (5-0) and Quinebaug Valley (5-0). Only St. Joseph (No. 2) is ranked in the GameTimeCT Top 10.

There are three remaining in Class M: 4-0 Granby/ Canton, 4-0 Killingly and 5-0 Coginchaug/Hale Ray/East Hampton. Only Killingly (T9) is ranked in the GameTimeCT Top 10.

And, finally, there are six remaining unbeaten teams in Class S: 4-0 Seymour, 5-0 Bloomfield, 5-0 New Fairfield, 5-0 Ansonia, 4-0 Cromwell/Portland and 5-0 Ledyard. None of these teams are ranked in the GameTimeCT Top 10.

With a 28-7 loss to North Haven, Hamden was the only unbeaten team to lose last week. The Dragons also became the second consecutiv­e unbeaten team to lose to a winless team (North Haven came in 0-4), following Glastonbur­y, which knocked off Newington 28-20 the week before.

There will be at least one less unbeaten team after this week when Seymour (4-0) travels to face Ansonia (4-0) on Thursday.


Heading into Saturday’s GameTimeCT Game of the Week, No. 2-ranked St. Joseph had scored 45% of its points in the first quarter.

Against Greenwich, St. Joseph was shut out in the opening quarter for the first time this year, but still ran its state-best win streak to 28 games with a 24-20 victory.

St. Joseph hasn’t lost since Sept. 22, 2018, a 2-7 loss to Darien.

But St. Joseph’s recent success goes even deeper than that. Since losing the Class M championsh­ip game to Hillhouse in 2016, the Hogs have won 42 of 44 games, including state championsh­ips in Class S, M and L.

The Hogs’ only other loss during that time was — yes — to Darien, 42-10, on Sept. 23, 2017.

Darien is 5-0 and currently ranked No. 1 in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll.

St. Joseph, ranked No. 2 and getting first-place votes in the GameTimeCT Top 10, faces 4-1 Ridgefield at Tiger Hollow on Friday night in the final game before their anticipate­d showdown at home vs. Darien on Saturday, Oct. 30.


No. 1 Darien also found itself in a dogfight, but against unranked Wilton, in an eventual 56-36 slugfest Saturday at Darien.

There were three ties and the Blue Wave trailed Wilton twice, at 14-7 and later 36-35 on Jake Sommer’s electric 69-yard catch-and-run with 10:35 remaining. Matt Minicus’ 57-yard touchdown catch from Miles Drake with 9:55 left put Darien ahead for good.

The 36 points scored by Wilton marked the first time Darien had surrendere­d more than 27 points in a game since it survived freshman quarterbac­k Drew Pyne and New Canaan, 37-34 in OT of their 2016 Thanksgivi­ng Day game, won on Finlay Collins’ intercepti­on.

And it was the most points allowed since a 42-35 win over Greenwich that same year. Darien hasn’t surrendere­d more than 36 points since a 39-26 loss to Trumbull in 2012.

The win upped Darien’s win streak vs. Wilton to 12 games. The closest the Warriors have come was a 35-34 loss in 2011.

While Darien plays at Ludlowe this week, Wilton’s next opponent is No. 3ranked New Canaan, which it hasn’t beaten since 1995 (27-6).


It’s been seven years since Hall last made an appearance in the Class LL playoffs.

But the Warriors took yet another step toward breaking that drought with a nail-biting 39-38 victory over Platt, secured only when the Warriors blocked a 44-yard field goal attempt with under a minute left.

Hall is 5-0 for the first time since 2010. The Warriors have done it with an offense that averages 36.8 points per game, third best in the CCC and best in CCC Tier I.

Leo Perreira, though he left the waning moments of the Platt game with an injury, has run for 731 yards and 14 touchdowns. Eli Salomons has thrown for 901 yards and 7 TDs.

The offense, so far, has been able to offset the team’s Achilles’ heel: a defense that’s allowed 30.4 points a game, second-worst in CCC Tier I and seventh-worst in the CCC.

Hall, which has already defeated Southingto­n 27-19, plays Berlin and Glastonbur­y on the road before returning home for a big game vs. 4-1 Maloney, followed by 0-5 New Britain and 2-3 rival Conard.

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