There were no upsets this Thankgiving Day. At least not here in the backyard.
Playoff-bound Maloney and Sheehan won their games, with the Spartans fending off Platt 27-21 in the Stoddard Bowl at Falcon Field and the Titans topping Lyman Hall 49-20 in the Carini Bowl at Riccitelli Field.
And in the Apple Valley Classic down at Cheshire, Southington extended its hold on the trophy to six years with a 30-22 victory over the Rams.
What did end for the Blue Knights, however, was their run of consecutive trips to the postseason. This is because there were upsets in other parts of Connecticut on this Thanksgiving Day, and they had a profound effect on the postseason picture for area teams.
The biggest result came out of Fairfield, where Fairfield Prep knocked off West Haven, 21-14. That victory, combined with bonus-point games that went in Prep’s favor (including Sheehan’s Carini Bowl victory), enabled the Jesuits to leap-frog the Blue Knights and claim the eighth and final spot in the Class LL field.
Southington, despite going 8-2 like Prep and No. 7 West Haven, is not playing postseason football for the first time since 2011.
On the flip side, Maloney and Sheehan have broken long playoff droughts.
The Spartans, at 9-1, are playing after Thanksgiving for the first time since 2006. They are the No. 6 seed and they will play at No. 3 Windsor (9-1) in Tuesday’s Class L quarterfinals.
Sheehan, also 9-1, is in the dance for the first time since 1995. The Titans, with the No. 3 seed in Class M, will play at home on Tuesday. They host No. 6 Joel Barlow (7-3).
All games are likely to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Pairings will be made official by the CIAC on Friday morning.
As for Thursday’s games, Maloney broke a Stoddard Bowl deadlock and now leads the series 30-29-1. Maloney also swept the post-game awards. Cornerback Cruz Lenhart was the MVP, linebacker Mitch McEwen was the top defensive player and Kamron Moreno was the top underclassman.
In the Apple Classic, where Southington extended its series lead to 13-9, Blue Knights’ running back/linebacker Ryan Montalvo was the overall game MVP. Kicker Evan Johanns, who booted three field goals, and defensive back Matt Thompson, whose pick-six proved to be the difference in the game, were the team MVPs for Southington. Wide receiver Michael Jeffery and defensive back Nick Quint were the Cheshire MVPs.
In the Carini Bowl, running back Terence Bogan and defensive lineman Stephen Zenisky were named MVPs for Sheehan. Running back Randy McFarline and defensive back Harry Febbriello were the MVPs for the Trojans, who still hold the series lead, 26-20.