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Friday, December 7, 2012

Xavier vies for third straight Class LL title

Xavier (11-1) will face NFA (12-0) tonight for the Class LL title at 7 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Below are two preview stories and a Game Day Capsule.

CHIP MALAFRONTE: Norwich Free Academy following Xavier blueprint
FOOTBALL: Red-hot Xavier ready for surprising Norwich Free Academy


When: Today, 7:05 p.m.

Where: Rentschler Field, East Hartford

Records: Xavier 11-1; Norwich Free Academy 12-0

How they got here: NFA defeated No. 4 Newtown 63-21 and No. 1 Staples 30-28; Xavier defeated No. 6 Greenwich 55-14 and No. 7 Glastonbury 30-13.

Previous championship game appearances: NFA, 1 (0-1, last reached the final in 1998); Xavier, 5 (3-2, won title in 2011).

TV: CPTV Sports

Radio: WELI-960

Players to watch: NFA — Marcus Outlow, Jr., RB/DB; Joey Paparelli, Sr., QB/DB; Anthony Gomes, Sr., OL/LB; Tuzar Skipper, Sr., TE/DL; Xavier — Tim Boyle, Sr., QB; DeAngelo Berry, Sr., RB/DB; Kris Luster, Sr., WR/DB; Andrew Meoli, Jr., RB/DB.

Register’s pick: Xavier.

Middletown Press’ take: NFA is for real. The Wildcats stunned two highly regarded teams in the playoffs, blasting undefeated Newtown then edging heavy favorite Staples. No question the Wildcats come in on a high. Everyone says the Wildcats are lightning quick. On top of that, sources say that NFA will draw a huge crowd into The Rent tonight.


Xavier has been there and done that. While NFA has great team speed, Berry and Luster are not exactly mudders and in Boyle, the Falcons may have the best player on the field. And for two years running, the team with by far the biggest fan support at The Rent has been the Falcons.

The experience edge goes to Xavier. The QB edge goes to Xavier. The offensive line edge goes to Xavier. Even conceding the speed edge to NFA, will that be enough? Do the intangibles go to NFA? Will the Wildcats indeed be the David that slays Goliath?

A close game is a real possibility. A Xavier win is a stronger possibility.

Press’ pick: Xavier.

FOOTBALL: Who will win this weekend's championship games? VOTE NOW!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

State Championship Previews

The Register has begun to run state championship previews both in print and on-line. The previews will continue through Saturday.

North Branford's Mark and Brandan Basil
have one game to go for a dream come true

EAST HARTFORD — Mark Basil did more than cheer and offer words of encouragement while watching his son compete at the youth football level.

He also mentally penciled in who he hoped would become his future starters at North Branford High, where he was the head coach.

Brandan and several of his buddies were among the players Mark envisioned as Thunderbirds.

Both Basils dreamed wildly in those days — sometimes Mark imagined Brandan’s senior season ending with a state championship.

The Basils are now one victory away from that dream becoming a reality. Third-seeded North Branford (12-0) faces No. 1 Ansonia (13-0) for the Class S title on Saturday morning at 10:35 a.m. at Rentschler Field.

“(Winning a title with Brandan) was a hope of mine,” Basil said. “Brandan and all these kids go back to the third grade, and I would watch them in youth football every year and I could see certain players fitting in my style of offense.”

Mark didn’t have to look any further than his kitchen table to find his quarterback. Brandan took over as the starter for the Thunderbirds last season.


FOOTBALL: Offensive line key to Xavier's success
FOOTBALL: Ansonia defense vs. North Branford offense — something's got to give
FOOTBALL: Who will win this weekend's championship games? VOTE NOW!



October win over Hillhouse a turning point for Xavier

EAST HARTFORD — When the Xavier football team gathers to collect the uniforms at the end of the season, it’s likely that the events that transpired on Oct. 26 will be discussed.

It was then that the Falcons rallied from a 28-point deficit and emerged with a one-point victory against host Hillhouse.

If not for that comeback, the helmets and shoulder pads might have already been packed away for the winter.

Instead, the Falcons (11-1) will vie for their third straight Class LL title.

Xavier was among the honorees at Monday’s media luncheon at Rentschler Field, the site of the four state championship games this weekend.

The third-seeded Falcons will face No. 5 Norwich Free Academy (12-0) on Friday night at 7:05.

Earlier in the season Xavier lost to Hand, making the Falcons’ remaining games all the more meaningful. Another loss could have ended Xavier’s postseason dreams.

Since losing to the Tigers, the Falcons have won seven straight and have scored 40 or more points in six of those contests.




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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All-SCC selections

OL-Dennis Flanagan, Sr., Amity
OL-John Thomas, Sr., Hamden
OL-Zack Creeron, Sr., Xavier
OL-Greg Purcell, Sr., Amity
K-Ed Groth, Sr., Shelton
WR-Kris Luster, Sr., Xavier
WR-Chris Perry, Sr., ND-WH
WR-Kyle Drost, Jr., Shelton
WR-Kyle Anderson, Sr., Hand
RB-DeAngelo Berry, Sr., Xavier
RB-Ervin Philips, Jr., West Haven
RB-Cameran Tucker, Jr., ND-WH
RB-David Attolino, Sr., Amity
QB-Tim Boyle, Sr., Xavier
QB-Brendan Bilcheck, Sr., Hand

DL-Alex Chow-Yen, Sr., Cross
DL-Peter Gerson, Sr., Hand
DL-Eddy Williams, Sr., West Haven
DL-Anthony Palazzolo, So., Fairfield Prep
LB-Nick Crowle, Jr., Fairfield Prep
LB-Matt Walsh, Sr., Hand
LB-Max Tylki, Sr., Xavier
LB-Kadialy Toure, Sr., West Haven
LB-Chris Golger, Sr., Fairfield Prep
DB-Alex Tuccero, Sr., Hand
DB-Jack Cunningham, So., Cheshire
DB-Sam Pascale, Sr., Cheshire
DB-Amore Gee, Sr., West Haven
DB-Vincent Sansone, Sr., Cheshire
P-Ysaan Frazier, Sr., Wilbur Cross

OL-Matt Marcarelli, Sr., North Haven
OL-Zach Hubler, Jr., Foran
OL-Nick Casagrande, Jr., Law
OL-George Knoth, Sr., Law
OL-Sean Merrill, Sr., Sheehan
OL-Colton Schilling, Sr., Guilford
WR-Nick Weissauer, Jr., Foran
WR-Ryan Bohne, Sr., Lyman Hall
RB-Harold Cooper, Jr., Hillhouse
RB-Jalon White, Sr., North Haven
QB-Jake Kasuba, So., Foran
QB-Joe Nault, Jr., Guilford
UT-K.C. Horton, Jr., Guilford

DL-Andrew Klarman, Sr., Branford
DL-Mark Spadacenta, Sr., East Haven
DL-Anthony Jones, Sr., Branford
DL-Teno Simpson, Sr., Hillhouse
LB-Mike Halloran, Jr., North Haven
LB-Ford Linell, Jr., Guilford
LB-Alex Borkowski, Sr., Branford
LB-Terrell Fairweather, Sr., Hillhouse
LB-Quincy Pecora, Sr., North Haven
DB-Je'Vaughn Moore, Sr., Hillhouse
DB-Kyle Paolella, Sr., Sheehan
DB-Darryn Horner, Sr., Hillhouse
DB-Andre Anderson, Sr., Hillhouse

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Monday, December 3, 2012

State Championship Game Schedule


 No. 5 Norwich Free Academy (12-0) vs. No. 3 Xavier (11-1), 7:05 p.m.

No. 3 North Branford (12-0) vs. No. 1 Ansonia (13-0)

No. 4 Hillhouse (10-2) vs. No. 2 Berlin (11-1)

No. 2 Windsor (11-0) vs. No. 1 Hand (12-0)

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Semifinals Recap

No. 1 Hand cruises past Masuk into Class L final

WEST HAVEN — It has been one year since the Hand football team defeated Masuk in the Class L state semifinals, snapping Masuk’s 24-game winning streak.

Knowing the Panthers would like nothing more than to return the favor and also end Hand’s 24-game win streak, Hand quickly sent a message.

Quarterback Brendan Bilcheck hit Caleb Ewald with a 74-yard touchdown pass on the game’s first play and Hand never slowed down in a 42-23 victory over Masuk in this year’s Class L semifinals at Ken Strong Stadium Sunday evening.

PHOTOS: Hand tops Masuk

Hand (12-0), the top-ranked team in the Register Top 10 poll and the No. 1 seed in Class L, will play No. 2 Windsor in the championship game at Rentschler Field Friday or Saturday at a time and day to be determined. The win, Hand’s 25th in a row, also marked the 200th victory for coach Steve Filippone at Hand.


Arkeel Newsome sets career TD record as Ansonia downs Hyde

MIDDLETOWN — Arkeel Newsome made sure the state record for career rushing touchdowns stayed in the proud Ansonia program. In the process, the junior running back helped lead the Chargers to yet another state championship game appearance.

Newsome rushed 15 times for 207 yards and four touchdowns as top-seeded Ansonia dismantled No. 5 Hyde 41-13 Sunday in the Class S state semifinals at Rosek-Skubel Stadium.

Ansonia (13-0), which has won 27 straight games, will face No. 3 North Branford for the title either Friday or Saturday at Rentschler Field. The Chargers are seeking their CIAC-best 18th title.

On the first play of the third quarter, Newsome scampered 69 yards for a touchdown, his third of the game, and the 115th of his career, breaking the record previously held by former Ansonia standout Alex Thomas.

“It means a lot,” Newsome said. “He was a good back. For me to break that, I think it’s awesome and a great accomplishment.”

PHOTOS: Ansonia triumphs over Hyde


Hillhouse routs Montville to reach title game

MIDDLETOWN — Hillhouse expected to have a speed advantage entering its Class M state semifinal contest against Montville, and it turned out the Academics had too many weapons, namely Harold Cooper and Je’Vaughn Moore.

That duo were each part of three touchdowns for fourth-seeded Hillhouse in a 48-26 victory over No. 8 Montville at Rosek-Skubel Stadium. The Academics (10-2) advanced to the championship game and will face No. 2 Berlin either Friday or Saturday.

Cooper rushed 12 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass from Moore to lead Hillhouse to its second final in three years. The Academics won this class in 2010.

“As a whole, we knew our speed was going to be very, very important,” said Cooper, a junior. “We knew coming into this game that they were a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, so our coaches told us ‘hey, we just got to use our speed’ and that’s what we did.”


North Branford back in championship game
for first time since 2001 after win over Woodland

MERIDEN — For the first time since 2001, North Branford will play for a state football championship.

The unbeaten Thunderbirds (12-0) took advantage of four Woodland fumbles in the first half and five in the game to knock off the Hawks 62-27 at Falcon Field in a CIAC Class S semifinal game on Sunday.

Third-seeded North Branford will play top-seeded Ansonia (13-0) for the title at Rentschler Field in East Hartford either Friday night or Saturday. Woodland finished 8-4.

PHOTOS: North Branford runs past Woodland


Xavier beats Glastonbury to reach Class LL final
for third straight year

CHESHIRE — For a brief moment late Sunday afternoon, Tim Boyle let a smile creep across his face.

Despite all sorts of pressure, question marks and injuries — even an unfamiliar regular-season loss — his Falcons were headed back to the state finals.

“It’s tremendous,” the senior quarterback grinned. “We’re very blessed.”

Boyle threw a pair of touchdown passes, DeAngelo Berry rushed for two more and the third-seeded Falcons punched their ticket to the Class LL state football championship game for the third straight year in a 30-13 win against No. 7 Glastonbury in the semifinals at Cheshire High’s Alumni Field.


SUNDAY'S CIAC FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: NFA upsets second-ranked Staples

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