Championship Weekend

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

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