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A look at high school football throughout the state

Friday, November 30, 2012

State semifinal broadcast schedule (UPDATED)


Five of the eight CIAC Football Tournament semi-final games taking place Sunday will be broadcast live on various platforms.

The CIAC Network will be broadcasting three games live on-line at while two of those games will also be available live on Connecticut Public Television. will also have live broadcasts of two games.

The semi-final round of the tournament will feature a total of eight games at four sites with three sites hosting two games and single games at two other sites. The full schedule, along with links to the contests can be found on the CIAC Tournament Central website at

The full schedule of games being carried live is as follows:

Class LL semi-final, #5 NFA vs. #1 Staples, 12:30 p.m. (MSG
Class L semi-final, #4 Masuk vs. #1 Hand, 5 p.m. (CIAC Network)
Class L semi-final, #6 New Canaan vs. #2 Windsor, 12:30 p.m.
Class M semi-final, #4 Hillhouse vs. #8 Montville, 5 p.m. (CIAC Network)
Class S semi-final, #5 Hyde vs. #1 Ansonia, 12:30 p.m. (CIAC
Network and CPTV)

Viewers can consult for re-air schedules for the games as well. All live broadcasts on the CIAC network will also be available on-demand following the conclusion of the matches, and DVDs of all broadcasts are available for purchase at

This fall marks the first full season of the partnership between the CIAC and PlayOn Sports which provides live broadcast coverage of regular season and CIAC Tournament contests.

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Don Drust hired at Cheshire

Don Drust, who led Cheshire to a 6-4 record this season as interim coach, has officially been hired on a full-time basis it was announced Friday. Drust took over for Mark Ecke, who resigned this past spring after an off-field altercation. Below is the press release on Drust sent by Cheshire High officials.


Cheshire High Principal Jeff Solan and Athletic Director Steve Trifone are pleased to announce the naming of Don Drust as Head Football Coach at Cheshire High School effective immediately.  

The decision to hire Mr. Drust was grounded in his commitment to the development of students as learners, citizens, and athletes.  Mr. Trifone indicated that “Don is fully vested in our athletes not only as football players, but as students and community contributors”.  Mr. Solan added that “Mr. Drust serves as an outstanding role model for our student-athletes on and off the field of competition and Cheshire High School is honored to make him part of our team”.  
With the identification of a head coach, Mr. Drust and the athletic department will begin to post available assistant coaching positions.  

Anyone interested in joining the football coaching staff should contact Athletic Director, Steve Trifone at

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

QTRS: Wednesday's Highlights


FOOTBALL: Hand smacks Platt, sets up rematch with Masuk

MADISON — Last year’s CIAC Class L Game of the Century is now this year’s semifinal rematch.

Top-seeded Hand assured itself of a spot in Sunday’s rematch with Masuk with a 55-26 blowout of eighth-seeded Platt Wednesday night at the Surf Club.

“It’s a good matchup for us and for them,” said Hand coach Steve Filippone, whose Tigers beat Masuk, 35-14, last December in the Class L semifinals. “It’s two teams that do basically the same exact thing.”

PHOTOS: Check out Wednesday's action from the Surf Club.


Basils, North Branford break playoff losing skid
with win over Trinity Catholic

GUILFORD — Brandan Basil called it the curse.

In the 11 seasons that Mark Basil, Brandan’s father, has been the football coach at North Branford, the Thunderbirds have failed to win a state playoff game.

But buoyed by Brandan’s efforts, the curse has been broken.

Basil, a senior quarterback, tossed three touchdown passes — all to fellow senior Joe DeLucia — and third-seeded North Branford remained unbeaten after withstanding a challenge from No. 6 Trinity Catholic, winning 49-28 in the Class S state quarterfinals Wednesday in a game played at Guilford High.

The Thunderbirds (11-0) will face No. 7 Woodland in Sunday’s semifinals.

North Branford hadn’t won a playoff game since 2001, before Basil’s tenure began. Under Basil, the Thunderbirds lost in the semifinals in 2005, 2006 and 2008, and in the quarterfinals last season.


Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia run all over Prince Tech

ANSONIA — Running back Arkeel Newsome set the tone early for the Ansonia football team against Prince Tech in the Class S quarterfinal game at Jarvis Stadium on Wednesday.

Newsome, who only played in the first half, scored on the Chargers’ first possession of the game and ended up with five touchdowns to lead No. 1 Ansonia to a 53-16 win over No. 8 Prince Tech. The Chargers will play No. 5 Hyde in the semifinals on Sunday at a site and time to be announced. Hyde defeated No. 4 Rocky Hill 15-14 in a quarterfinal game played on Tuesday.

Newsome ended up rushing for 81 yards on 11 carries.


Xavier blows out Greenwich to reach Class LL semifinals,
will face Glastonbury for third straight year

MIDDLETOWN — The Xavier offense is frightening.

Greenwich, losers only to undefeated and second-ranked Staples, became the latest team to get run over by the Falcons.

Led by another brilliant passing performance from Tim Boyle (16-for-22, 263 yards), third-seeded Xavier piled up 505 yards of total offense in blasting No. 6 Greenwich 55-14 in front of 1,000 at Palmer Field Wednesday night in the Class LL quarterfinals.

The Falcons will play seventh-seeded Glastonbury, a 23-14 winner over No. 2 Southington, in the semifinals Sunday at a time and site to be announced. It will be the third consecutive year the two teams have met in the LL semis.



FOOTBALL: Sites, times announced for semifinal contests

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Semifinal sites, times announced


Class LL

No. 1 Staples vs. No. 5 NFA at West Haven, 12:30 p.m.
No. 3 Xavier at No. 7 Glastonbury at Cheshire, 12:30 p.m.


No. 1 Hand vs. No. 4 Masuk at West Haven, 5 p.m.
No. 2 Windsor vs. No. 6 New Canaan at Bunnell (Stratford), 12:30 p.m.


No. 4 Hillhouse vs. No. 8 Montville at Middletown, 5 p.m.
No. 2 Berlin vs. No. 6 Weston at Bunnell (Stratford), 5 p.m.


No. 1 Ansonia vs. No. 5 Hyde at Middletown, 12:30 p.m.
No. 3 North Branford vs. No. 7 Woodland at Falcon Field, Meriden, 12:30 p.m .

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

North Branford advances

Senior Joe DeLucia scored four touchdowns to lead third-seeded North Branford to a 49-28 victory over No. 6 Trinity Catholic in the Class S state quarterfinals on Wednesday in a game played at Guilford High.

DeLucia caught five passes for 72 yards and three touchdowns from senior Brandan Basil, and DeLucia also scored on an 18-yard run.

Trinity Catholic (8-3) led 21-20 at halftime, paced by Sean Brown, who finished with 235 yards on 22 carries and four touchdowns, including three in the first half.

Basil completed 14 of 19 passes for 164 yards.

Dale Hausman scored on a 7-yard run for North Branford (11-0), while Gary Falanga had an 8-yard touchdown run and a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown.

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QTRS: Tuesday's Action

The CIAC state playoffs began Tuesday with quarterfinal round action:

Hillhouse tops St. Joseph to advance to Class M semifinals

EAST HAVEN — A football game might be won on the field, but often its fate is decided during practice.

Hillhouse was certainly well aware of St. Joseph’s potent passing attack, featuring quarterback Jordan Vazzano and a slew of talented receivers.

Leading up to Tuesday’s Class M state quarterfinal contest, the Academics concentrated on containing those weapons.

Practice does indeed make perfect.

The physical Hillhouse defense forced four turnovers and kept the Cadets’ offense out of sync throughout as the fourth-seeded Academics advanced with a 34-14 victory on a snowy Crisafi Field.

PHOTOS: Check out the scenes from snowy Crisafi Field in Hillhouse's Class M quarterfinal win.

Hillhouse (9-2) will face either No. 1 Wolcott or No. 8 Montville in Sunday’s semifinals.

Senior Darryn Horner made two interceptions, including one he returned 97 yards for a touchdown, for the Academics.


Hyde slides into Class S semifinals after blocking Rocky Hill PAT

ROCKY HILL — Chris Young crossed the goal line on a 3-yard touchdown run and all the momentum seemed to be in Rocky Hill’s favor.

Now the Terriers just needed an extra point. That would tie it up at 15 and send the game to overtime.

Instead, with just 17 seconds left, Hyde seniors Ezekiel Nixon and William Burroughs got a hand on Greg Marzilli’s extra-point attempt. The kick fell short and the No. 5 Howling Wolves escaped with a 15-14 victory over No. 4 Rocky Hill Tuesday in the Class S quarterfinals.

“We know every point counts and that’s a prime example,” Hyde coach Melvin Wells said. “In the end we made a great play and we’re moving on.”


Staples rolls past West Haven in Class LL quarterfinals 

WESTPORT — As the seconds ticked away right before the end of the first half, Staples’ Jared Levi delivered a bone-jarring shot to West Haven’s Eddy Williams that sent the back flat down on the cold, snow-flurried turf.

The play was indicative of the first two quarters and the rest of the game, as the Wreckers carried a dominant 35-0 lead into the half and rolled to a 42-20 victory over West Haven in a Class LL state quarterfinal football game at Staples High.

“It’s very difficult to emulate their speed with our scout team,” West Haven coach Ed McCarthy said. “And our tackling was shoddy at best in the first quarter.”


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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hillhouse advances in Class M

Darryn Horner made two interceptions, including one he returned 97 yards for a touchdown, to lead fourth-seeded Hillhouse to a 34-14 victory over No. 5 St. Joseph in a Class M quarterfinal contest held Tuesday at East Haven High.

Horner's interception return gave the Academics (9-2) a 28-6 lead just before halftime. Horner also intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory.

Hillhouse will face either No. 1 Wolcott or No. 8 Montville in Sunday's semifinals. That game was postponed and will be held on Wednesday.

Andre Anderson rushed 15 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns for the Academics. Facinete Haderia and Je'Vaughn Moore also had rushing touchdowns in the win. Moore also picked off a pass.

Jason Pelletier scored on a 92-yard kickoff return, and Jordan Vazzano rushed for a 13-yard touchdown for the Cadets (8-3).

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SCC-FCIAC Challenge Highlights Busy Tuesday

The SCC and FCIAC have reached an agreement for league teams to play in 2013 and 2014.

Check out the schedule here.

Only four CIAC quarterfinal games are still on Tuesday's menu. The others were postponed until Wednesday due to the inclement weather.

Click here for the latest Playoff Schedule

Follow Tuesday's action on our SCOREBOARD.

I will be covering the Class M contest between No. 5 St. Joseph and No. 4 Hillhouse, which is being played at 6:30 p.m. at East Haven High.
In other news:

Bridgeport Central coach Dave Cadelina has stepped down. Read the article from the CT POST here

It was also reported on Twitter that New Milford coach Chuck Lynch has stepped down.

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The SCC-FCIAC Challenge

The two-year agreement between the Southern Connecticut Conference and the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference has been finalized, according to SCC commissioner Al Carbone:

Here are the Week 1 matchups for both the 2013 and 2014 seasons:
Staples vs. Xavier
New Canaan vs. Hand
Darien vs. Hillhouse
Ridgefield vs. Cheshire
Greenwich vs. West Haven
St. Joseph vs. Notre Dame-West Haven
Bridgeport Central vs. North Haven
Trumbull vs. Shelton
Stamford vs. Fairfield Prep
Danbury vs. Hamden
Wilton vs. Guilford
Fairfield Warde vs. Foran
Trinity Catholic vs. Sheehan
McMahon vs. Wilbur Cross
Fairfield Ludlowe vs. Lyman Hall
Bassick vs. East Haven
Harding vs. Law

Westhill vs. Norwalk

There are also additional bye weeks that were filled with SCC-FCIAC matchups over the next two seasons:
Week 2: St. Joseph vs. Fairfield Prep
Week 3: Wilton vs. Branford
Week 4: Ridgefield vs. Notre Dame-West Haven
Week 5: Trinity Catholic vs. Foran
Week 8: Fairfield Warde vs. Sheehan
Week 9: Fairfield Ludlowe vs. East Haven
Week 10: Darien vs. North Haven

check back at here and at later this evening for more on this challenge and updates on all of the CIAC state quarterfinals.

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CIAC Playoff Postponements

As of Tuesday, 1:42 p.m.

No. 8 West Haven at No. 1 Staples
No. 7 Glastonbury at No. 2 Southington, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 6 Greenwich vs. No. 3 Xavier at Palmer Field, Middletown, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 5 Norwich Free Academy at No. 4 Newtown, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.

No. 8 Platt vs. No. 1 Hand at Surf Club, Madison, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 7 Fitch at No. 2 Windsor, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 6 New Canaan vs. No. 3 Avon at Simsbury, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 5 Middletown vs. No. 4 Masuk at Bunnell High, Stratford, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 8 Montville at No. 1 Wolcott, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 7 Bullard Havens at No. 2 Berlin at Sage Park
No. 6 Weston vs. No. 3 Ellington/Somers at Enfield, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No.  5 St. Joseph vs. No. 4 Hillhouse at East Haven
No. 8 Prince Tech at No. 1 Ansonia (Nolan Field), ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 7 Woodland vs. No. 2 Capital/Classical/Achievement at Dillon Stadium, Hartford, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 6 Trinity Catholic at No. 3 North Branford, ppd. to Wed, 6:30 p.m. at Guilford
No. 5 Hyde at No. 4 Rocky Hill

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State Playoff Preview

Hillhouse hoping to duplicate 2010 run to Class M title

NEW HAVEN — Je’Vaughn Moore hasn’t forgotten how last season ended.

Despite a solid 7-3 season, the Hillhouse football team failed to qualify for the Class M playoffs.

As a result, the Academics were not be able to defend the championship they won in 2010.

In recent years, anything short of a state playoff berth is considered a disappointment at Hillhouse.

“Most of us know that feeling of how it felt when we found out that we missed the playoffs last year,” Moore said. “We just hate that feeling. That feeling, that motivation, just made us want to come out and get back to the playoffs.”

Part one of that mission is complete.

The road to part two — a state championship — begins tonight when the fourth-seeded Academics face No. 5 St. Joseph in the Class M quarterfinals at 6:30 at East Haven High. Both teams are 8-2.



CAPSULES: Class S   

FOOTBALL: Middletown opens playoff campaign tomorrow with Masuk
FOOTBALL: Xavier's road to 3-peat starts with Greenwich


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Monday, November 26, 2012

My Top 10 Ballot

Here is the ballot I submitted for the New Haven Register Top 10 football poll after Week 11. Voters are asked to vote for 15 teams. Points on tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.

The poll should be up later tonight on the Register's website and will appear in Tuesday's print editions.
My Top 10 ballot stays the same from last week.

1. Hand
2. Staples
3. Ansonia
4. Xavier
5. Windsor
6. Newtown
7. Southington
8. Norwich Free Academy
9. Greenwich
10. Masuk
11. Hillhouse
12. West Haven
13. North Branford
14. Glastonbury
15. St. Joseph

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