From the Commish: Al Carbone
Two SCC teams – Xavier (Class LL) and Hand (Class L) – have earned a spot in their respective CIAC state championship games at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
Xavier (12-0), who has defeated Glastonbury (34-6) and Norwalk (55-14) so far in the 2011 playoffs, will meet Staples (11-0) in the Class LL final on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Xavier last met Staples in the 2009 Class LL semifinals – a 31-28 Wreckers’ victory. That is the Falcons’ last loss – a winning streak of 25 games.
Hand (12-0), who defeated Coventry/Windham Tech (35-12) and Masuk (35-14) so far in the 2011 playoffs, will face New Canaan (11-1) in the Class L final at 2 p.m. The Tigers lost to New Canaan, 35-21, in the 2010 Class L semifinals.
Xavier and Hand are attempting to become the third and fourth SCC teams to ever win 13 games in a season (Hand, 13-0 in 1997; Xavier, 13-0 in 2010).
It is the third straight season two SCC teams will play in their respective championship games.
2009 – Cheshire (LL) and Notre Dame (L) – both won state titles
2010 – Xavier (LL) and Hillhouse (M) – both won state titles
It is the ninth time in the 18 years of the league that at least two SCC teams have reached the championship round. Overall, SCC teams are 21-8 in state championship games, and that includes two All-SCC matchups (Hand vs. Hillhouse in Class M, 2005; Cheshire vs. Hamden in Class LL, 1996).
History of Success:
Since the league’s inception in 1994, SCC teams have won 21 state titles. Cheshire (5) has the most state titles, followed by Hand (4) and Shelton (3), Hillhouse (3). In those 17 seasons, league teams have combined to win two or more state titles, seven times including each of the last two seasons.
Give them a Hand:
Hand is making its seventh championship appearance since joining the SCC in 1994… The Tigers won the 1997 (Class L), 2003 (Class M), 2004 (Class M) and 2005 (Class M) titles…. Hand’s last championship game appearance came against New Canaan in the 2007 Class MM final, a 34-30 Rams victory at Trumbull HS.
The Tigers won the SCC Division I East title (4-0) in 2011 – arguably the state’s toughest division with Class L playoff participant Notre Dame, high-scoring West Haven and perennial Class LL power Cheshire. All three teams averaged over 30 points a game in 2011 - and Hand allowed just 42 points in those three victories.
Hand enters the Class L title game averaging 36.3 points a game, while allowing just 9.8.
The X-Men Are Back AGAIN:
Under the direction of head coach Sean Marinan, Xavier (12-0) is looking for its second straight Class LL state title. Last season, the Falcons defeated SCC-rival West Haven, Glastonbury and Trumbull and earned the state’s consensus #1 ranking. The Falcons also won the 2005 Class LL title.
During the 2011 regular-season, Xavier won the Division I West title for the third straight season (4-0) allowing just 14 points in four games.
Xavier is the first SCC team to score 500 points in a season... The Falcons have 512 points through 12 games (42.7 ppg). The previous record was held by Notre Dame (468 points in 12 games in 2009). Defensively, Xavier is allowing just 8.0 points a contest.
Both teams had ample representation on the recently-released All-SCC Division I football team.
Xavier had seven honorees: WR Ryan Jacobucci, TE Ryan Murphy, OL Austin Wezenski, RB Mike Mastiroanni, QB Pat D’Amato, DL Sean Marinan, Jr. and LB Jovan Santos-Knox.
Hand had four players recognized, including WR Nick Vitale, DL Joe Demichele, LB Matt Walsh and DB Vance Giarratana.
Best in the State:
The SCC has proved, once again, it is one of the most competitive and balanced football leagues in the state of the Connecticut. Ten of the 19 football-playing schools won at least five games in 2010 with seven recording winning seasons.
Since 2004, twelve different SCC teams have qualified for the state playoffs, and six different teams have won a total of nine state titles during that span. Only the FCIAC has more (10) titles, but won by only four teams.
Labels: Class L, Class LL, Class M, Class S, playoffs, SCC