Saturday Final Scores

December 11, 2010 - Leave a Response

Class M State Championship

Hillhouse  7  New London 0

Hillhouse freshman running back Harold Cooper scored the game’s only touchdown.

Class L State Championship

Masuk 50   New Canaan 20

(13-0) Masuk finishes the season undefeated behind 3 touchdown passes from quarterback Casey Cochran and 4 total touchdowns (3 running & 1 receiving) from Colin Markus.

Class S State Championship
St. Joseph 49  Ansonia 28

The Cadets win back-to-back state titles behind 4 total touchdowns from senior running back Tyler Matakevich.

———

So, who do you think  should finish the season #1 in the final state polls?  Xavier or Masuk?

Vote in the poll below and email your reasoning to sports3@wfsb.com

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Class LL Final – Xavier 24 Trumbull 13

December 11, 2010 - Leave a Response

Xavier finishes the regular season at a perfect (13-0) with a 24-13 win over Trumbull in the Class LL Championship game at Rentschler Field.

Xavier running back Mike Mastroianni ran the ball 39 times for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns.

3 more games to played on Saturday.

Championship Weekend

December 10, 2010 - Leave a Response

Be sure to join Channel 3 Friday night and Saturday night for the final 2 Friday Night Football shows of the season.  The 17th and 18th of the year – more than we’ve ever done.  Tonight we’ll have highlights of the Class LL Championship between Xavier & Trumbull, preview Saturday’s 3 other championships games and be joined by the WELI Radio’s George DeMaio for his thoughts on the Saturday matchups.  Tomorrow night we’ll return with highlights of the Class M, Class L and Class S Championship games.  Coach DeMaio will be broadcasting all 4 games LIVE on WELI (960 am) and 960WELI.COM.

Our partners at the Connecticut Sports Network are producing all 4 games for future cable broadcast in their entirety.  Please visit CTSN.TV for more information.

Be sure to read The Day’s Ned Griffen with some interesting points about how Rentschler Field winds may impact passing games and the narrower goalposts that kickers will have to contend with.

The Connecticut Post’s Sean Patrick Bowley offers his comprehensive primer for championship weekend.

Class LL – Xavier vs. Trumbull  – Friday 7pm

Despite the #1 state ranking and an unbeaten record Xavier has had some close calls this season in games when its’ offense has been inconsistent.  That’s to say nothing of the car accident Head Coach Sean Marinan’s wife was in just outside Palmer Field on the night of the Falcon’s state quarterfinal game vs. West Haven – one that Marinan could hear as his team readied for the game but didn’t learn the details of until later. Fortunately everyone in the car was OK

Trumbull is led by Senior Quarterback Ian Milne (the “e” is silent).  Milne’s got game, style (he wore two earrings to the state championship luncheon on Monday), and brains – a 4.0 student in the classroom.  It looks like he’s headed to play Division 3 football at Hamilton College though Columbia University out of the Ivy League and Lions Head Coach Norries Wilson (the former Randy Edsall Assistant at UConn) have been showing interest.

Class L – New Canaan vs. Masuk – Saturday 3pm

What does Masuk have to do to win voters over and overtake Xavier in the final state polls?  Winning big and seeing Xavier eke out a close win may be enough.  As best I can tell Masuk Junior Casey Cochran would become the first high school quarterback in Connecticut state history to lead 2 different schools to state championships (New London 2008).

New Canaan is a win away from 5 straight state championships.  Their stud offensive player, Kevin Macari is drawing Ivy League interest.  Coach Lou Marinelli is a Connecticut state legend and was by far the most emotional interview at the championship luncheon – getting choked up while discussing the prospect of the final game with his seniors.

Class M – New London vs. Hillhouse – Saturday 11am

Two inner city schools square off and don’t underestimate the pride factor as they play for their respective cities – New London and New Haven. New London Head Coach Jeff Larson is a former UConn walk-on and assistant coach for Randy Edsall. A story detailed nicely by The Day’s Mike DiMauro this week.

Hillhouse has been in playoff mode ever since a 9-6 Week 7 loss to state #1 Xavier. Coach Tom Dyer is a dynamic motivator who’s pregame address to his players before last Saturday’s semifinal matchup with Gilbert/ Northwest Regional touched on a Shock & Awe theme and implored his kids, “Don’t accept anything less than a trip to Rentschler Field!”

Class S – Ansonia vs. St. Joseph – Saturday 7pm

Both schools have dominating running attacks – St. Joe led by Tyler Matakevich,  Ansonia by the state’s leading rusher Montrell Dobbs.  I’m wondering just what condition the grass at the Rent will be in for this one with it being the 4th game played in a 24 hour period? Will it slow down Matakevich and Dobbs?  Does Dobbs have to go north of 300 yards for Ansonia to out score St. Joe?

The coaches in this matchup are no strangers to the championship game.  St. Joe Coach Joe Della Vecchia is coaching in a title game for the second straight season after having played in 3 championship games as a student at St. Joseph. Tom Brockett is coaching in his 4th state title game in 5 seasons as the Chargers’ head man.

Completely Unrelated Thought of The Week

Read and heard reports this week about Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Matt Cassel needing an “emergency” appendectomy.  Got me wondering, is there such a thing as a “non-emergency” appendectomy?  For the record, I have no interest in personally finding out.

See You Tonight & Tomorrow at 11:15pm for FNF!

John

Championship Dates & Times Announced

December 6, 2010 - Leave a Response

All Games Played at Rentschler Field In East Hartford

 

Class LL

Xavier vs. Trumbull  – Friday December 10th – 7pm

 

Class L

Masuk vs. New Canaan – Saturday December 11th – 3pm

 

Class M

New London vs. Hillhouse – Saturday December 11th – 11am

 

Class S

Ansonia vs. St. Joseph – Saturday December 11th – 7pm

(Weather note: more than one inch of snow on either Friday or Saturday will prompt the game(s) scheduled for Rentschler Field that day to be moved to an alternate site (West Haven) or the Friday LL game could be moved to Sunday at Rentschler Field)

 

Semifinal Saturday Final Scores

December 5, 2010 - Leave a Response
Sport/Div Teams Site Time/Result
FB-LL Norwich Free Academy vs. Trumbull West Haven Trumbull 21-6
FB-LL Xavier vs. Glastonbury SCSU Xavier 24-13
FB-L Daniel Hand vs. New Canaan West Haven New Canaan 39-21
FB-L Masuk vs. Darien Shelton Masuk 41-0
FB-M Hillhouse vs. Gilbert/NW Regional Municipal Stadium, Waterbury Hillhouse 42-14
FB-M New London vs. Brookfield Bunnell New London 30-12
FB-S Montville vs. Ansonia Middletown Ansonia 46-15
FB-S Valley Regional/Old Lyme vs. St. Joseph Municipal Stadium, Waterbury St. Joseph 44-7

State Semifinal Saturday

December 3, 2010 - Leave a Response

In year’s past this would be the day we crown 6 state champions but now with the new first-year playoff alignment there’s an extra week of high school football and it’s not Championship Saturday it’s Semifinal Saturday.

There will be 8 games held at 6 different sites.  6 of them at 2pm and the remaining 2 at 7pm.  Channel 3 will deliver highlights of all 8 games on a special 11:15pm Saturday night edition of FNF.  Hope you’ll carve out some time to be with us Saturday and don’t forget about out normal FNF show tonight on Friday when we preview Saturday’s 8 games.

We’ll be joined on the phone  by 4 coaches – Glastonbury’s Peter Pfeffer, New Canaan’s Lou Marinelli, New London’s Jeff Larson and Valley Regional / Old Lyme’s Tim King.  In addition the Daniel Hand (Madison) cheerleaders will be LIVE in studio to keep the show energy high.

Sean Patrick Bowley of the Connecticut Post offers a comprehensive preview of all 8 games, worth your time to check out.

Here Is The Schedule:

Class LL

Xavier vs. Glastonbury  2pm –  Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven)

Though separated by just 1 town (Portland) these schools rarely meet. Both bring terrific defenses to the table and were it not for Glastonbury’s second half meltdown at Southington in Week – both would be undefeated.  Should Glastonbury win and Trumbull advance on the other LL semifinal you have to imagine that Trumbull will use Glastonbury Coach Peter Pfeffer’s comment  (at the 3:32 mark in the video) about Fairfield County as motivation.

Trumbull vs. NFA 2pm – West Haven High School

Critics of NFA’s undefeated (11-0) season are quick to point out that despite being the #2 seed in Class LL the Wildcats had not played a LL team until beating Hall-West Hartford in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.  NFA coach Jemal Davis has spent time defending his team’s Eastern Connecticut Conference schedule and now gets a huge opportunity to silence the critics with a game vs. Trumbull out of the mighty Fairfield Country Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

Class L

Masuk vs. Darien 2pm – Shelton High School

After having no opponent come closer than 40 points in their 10 regular season games, Masuk saw quarterfinal opponent Bristol Eastern take an early lead Tuesday night before falling 49 to 23.  Now the Panthers and recently named Gatorade State Player of the Year Masuk QB Casey Cochran get FCIAC champ Darien.  Unfortunately due to a prank before the New Canaan game Darien is playing shorthanded in the playoffs.

Daniel Hand vs. New Canaan 7pm – West Haven High School

The last time these 2 programs met it was for the state championship in 2007.  New Canaan staged a big second half rally to stun Hand that day.  The two head coaches, Hand’s Steve Filippone  and New Canaan’s Lou Marinelli are close friends.  I think the game will be just as close with plenty of points scored. Perhaps for fun tonight the Hand Cheerleaders (joining us in studio) can shout down Coach Marinelli when he joins us on the FNF phone line.

Class M

New London vs. Brookfield 2pm – Bunnell High School (Stratford)

It’s been a trying week for New London High School.  Tuesday’s quarterfinal win was a respite from the real world troubles facing the school.  A year ago in the state semifinals, the Whalers were stunned at home by the Bethel Wildcats. This year they get another Southwest Conference school in the semis. It’s a Brookfield team that may have the hottest player in the state on its’ roster – Brian Kelly – not to be confused with the Notre Dame Head Coach of the same name. In a 6 day span covering Thanksgiving and Tuesday’s state quarterfinal matchup with Lyman Hall Kelly has scored 9 touchdowns.

Hillhouse vs. Gilbert / Northwest Regional 2pm – Municipal Stadium (Waterbury)

The Academics scored the upset of the playoffs to date with their come from behind 33-30 win at top seeded Berlin on Tuesday night.  Count me among those surprised by the Acs wins but maybe I shouldn’t have been since Hillhouse played state #1 Xavier as close as anyone this season with a    9-6 home loss in Week 7. The Academics are young but skilled.  I must admit that the Yellowjackets of Gilbert/Northwest Regional (out of Winsted) have not once had their highlights on Channel 3 this season.  Shame on us – in our defense a schedule that included just 2 games played on Friday night made it difficult to feature one of their games.  I’m told they have a quarterback to watch in 6-4, 210 pound Bobby Lippincott who was a perfect 4/4 for 127 yards and 3 touchdowns in a blowout quarterfinal win over Plainville.  I’m anxious to see Gilbert/NW highlights on Saturday.

Class S

Ansonia vs. Montville 2pm – Middletown High School

Two stellar ground games meet up. Montville’s Tyler Girard-Floyd and Skyler McNair combined for 508 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns in a quarterfinal win over Cromwell while Ansonia Senior Montrell Dobbs went for 337 yards and 6 scores  in the Charger’s playoff win over Hyde.  The Montville senior are still smarting from a Class SS state championship loss to St. Joseph a year ago and now they have a chance to get a rematch with a win.  Ansonia is a young team that may be a season away from being at its’ best.

St. Joseph vs. Valley Regional / Old Lyme 7pm – Municipal Stadium (Waterbury)

After losing 2 of their first 3 games (Wilton & Darien) the Cadets have gotten healthy with Tyler Matakevich and Quarterback Joe Della Vecchia being difference makers. St. Joseph may be classified as a S school but they’ve played FCIAC competition all year and the Republican-American’s Kyle Brennan points out that their sizable sideline contingent resembles USC as they share the same colors.  Valley/OL is playing just its’ second playoff game ever.  Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn and Mitchell King are all-state level players but it’ll be a challenge for Valley to pull off the upset.

Completely Unrelated Thought of The Week:

Some cell phone voice mails ask you to press “5” to leave a call back number.  Who does this?  Doesn’t the ensuing voice mail and a little function known as caller ID cover this already?

 

See You Tonight at 11:15pm for FNF and then again tomorrow night at 11:15pm for Semifinal Saturday special at 11:15pm.

John

Final Scores From Tuesday’s State Quartefinals

December 1, 2010 - Leave a Response

State Quarterfinals

Class LL

Xavier 28  West Haven 7

Glastonbury 7  Staples 6

Norwich Free Academy 30  Hall 14

Trumbull 27  Conard 9

Class L

Masuk 49   Bristol Eastern 23

Darien 31  Wethersfield 7

Daniel Hand 19   North Haven 7

New Canaan 21   Naugatuck 12

Class M

Hillhouse 33   Berlin 30

Gilbert / Northwest Regional 47  Plainville 6

New London 53   Platt  14

Brookfield  50   Lyman Hall  21

Class S

Valley Regional / Old Lyme  37   Sacred Heart 24

St. Joseph 48   Woodland  12

Montville  55  Cromwell 28

Ansonia 47    Hyde  26

New Britain Head Coach Paul Morrell Resigns

November 29, 2010 - Leave a Response

Ken Lipshez, formerly of The New Britain Herald and now with The Valley Press (Farmington Valley) and West Hartford Press, reports in his blog that New Britain Hurricane Football coach Paul Morrell has resigned following a (1-9) season.  The Golden Hurricanes season concluded on Thanksgiving Eve with a 42-20 loss to Berlin that saw the Redcoats take a knee on offense once they raced out to a 42-0 lead.

Morell is one of the more decent human beings I have come in contact with while covering Connecticut high school football the last 10 years.  It’s logical to think the persistent, nasty message board posts at the New Britain Herald website were a contributing factor to his decision to resign.

In early November I had a feature story on WFSB that examined the message board culture – Paul’s situation is part of the story.

Click Here For Tuesday Night Playoff Matchups

November 26, 2010 - 2 Responses

** Be sure to join us Friday night at 11:15pm for a playoff preview edition of FNF with The Day of New London’s Ned Griffen**

All kickoff times at 6:30pm Tuesday night for 16 state quarterfinals. 

8 state semifinals to follow on Saturday December 4th.  Neutral sites:  Shelton, Waterbury, Bunnell (Stratford), West Haven, Middletown and Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven).  6 games at 2pm the remaining 2 at 7pm.

4 state finals to be held on Friday December 10th (1 game) and the remaining 3 to be held on Saturday December 11th. All 4 state championship games will be played at Rentschler Field.

Class LL

(8) West Haven at (1) Xavier

(5) Staples at (4) Glastonbury

(6) Conard at (3) Trumbull

(7) Hall at (2) Norwich Free Academy

Class L

(8) Bristol Eastern at (1) Masuk

(5) Darien at (4) Wethserfield

(6) New Canaan at (3) Naugatuck

(7) North Haven at (2) Daniel Hand

Class M

(8) Hillhouse at (1) Berlin

(5) Plainville at (4) Gilbert/Northwest Regional

(6) Lyman Hall at (3) Brookfield

(7) Platt at (2) New London

Class S

(8) Sacred Heart at (1) Valley Regional / Old Lyme

(5) Woodland at (4) St. Joseph

(6) Hyde Leadership at (3) Ansonia

(7) Cromwell at (2) Montville

A Story Of Thanks (Plus Playoff Scenarios)

November 24, 2010 - Leave a Response

We’ll have special FNF Thanksgiving shows the next 3 nights (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) at 11:15pm.  Highlights of huge games tonight and tomorrow morning and our traditional preview of the playoff matchups on Friday with the Day of New London’s Ned Griffen.

For a look at the current playoff scenarios (18 of the 32 playoff spots remain up for grabs with 36 teams vying for those spots) visit Ned’s blog with a breakdown of the possibilities.

Once the results start to come in on Wednesday night and Thursday midday you can track who’s in and who’s out of the 32 team CIAC playoff field here.

Tim Rose’s Story of Thanks

On Wednesday’s show I’ll share the story of Southbury’s Tim Rose.  Tim was a standout junior defensive back on Pomperaug’s 2004 state championship team.

Now 22 years old, Tim is back living with his parents after recently having moved into his own condo. He’s been forced to return  home after a 1 man, 1 car drunk driving accident on the night of September 11th.

Tim shattered an ankle in the accident, broke both heels (the hardest bones in the body), suffered a lung contusion and fractured his pelvis.  He hasn’t been able to put weight on his heels and ankle and has been confined to a wheelchair and using crutches.  Fortunately he did not suffer a head injury and he hopes to recover enough to play softball and baseball this summer.  Needless to say, Tim has much to be thankful for this year – first and foremost his life.

What’s different about this story his how he went public with the news of his frightening and embarrassing accident.  He wrote a memorable letter to the local newspaper, Southbury Patch.  Please take the time to read the letter (and see a photo of Tim’s car after the accident) and then join us tonight at 11:15pm as Tim shares his story on television.

3 Games We’ll Be Watching

Cromwell at Coginchaug – Wednesday 6:30pm

As noted in Ned’s playoff breakdown, tonight’s game in Middletown is the only Thanksgiving game in which the winner is in the playoffs and the loser is out. Both (6-3) teams are left in this must win spot following dramatic losses last week. North Branford rallied for 3 4th quarter touchdowns to defeat Coginchaug while Haddam-Killingworth went for 2 in overtime on Saturday to upset Cromwell, 29-28.

Naugatuck at Ansonia – Thursday 10:30am

The NVL title is on the line.  Ansonia is already in the playoffs and has a chance at the Class S #1 seed with a win. Naugatuck must win to make the field in Class L.

Note: With Class L being the most competitive of the classes in this the first season of the newly aligned 4-class playoff system it appears that a 1 loss team could miss the postseason party.  The most likely scenario being a (9-1) Bristol Eastern team staying home in the event of  hard earned wins by Naugatuck (at undefeated Ansonia) and New Canaan (at undefeated Darien).  The intent of the new system was to prevent worthy teams (read 1 loss teams) from missing the playoffs. Seems that a 1-loss Bristol Eastern team, with its only defeat coming to undefeated and defending Class M state champ Berlin, is worthy.

Platt vs. Maloney – Thursday 10:30am

The Stoddard Bowl has big implications for the 2 Meriden city rivals this season.  Maloney all but clinches a playoff spot in Class L with a win while Platt is likely in in Class M with a win. The losing team has played its’ last game of 2010.

Completely Unrelated Thought of The Week

Seems the day after Thanksgiving is the first day when it’s OK for radio stations that choose to to go all Christmas music all the time through December 25th. If I had my choice to program a radio station with one theme for the next month I’d go with 24/7 James Taylor. How about you?

Thanks to the wonderful advent of Sirius/XM Satellite radio such channels do exist year round including Jimmy Buffett (Margaritaville) and Bruce Springsteen.  No James Taylor channel yet, but I am hooked on the Fantasy Sports (XM 147, Sirius 211) channel – at least when they’re talking fantasy football – can’t quite get into fantasy hockey or basketball.

See you Tonight, Tomorrow and Friday at 11:15pm for FNF. Happy Thanksgiving!

John