CIAC FOOTBALL: Forgettable semifinals set up must-see championships

CIAC FOOTBALL: Forgettable semifinals set up must-see championships

Record-Journal

State football championship matchups are set after a Semifinal Sunday long on blowouts, particularly for the four Central Connecticut Conference teams bidding for a trip to the finals.

Sunday was a day to forget for No. 4 seeds Berlin and South Windsor, who lost to the unbeaten top seeds in their respective classes — Berlin 49-7 to Killingly in Class M, South Windsor 36-7 to Greenwich in Class LL.

No. 3 seeds Windsor and Rocky Hill didn’t fare better. They both lost decisively to No. 2 seeds — Windsor 31-6 to Daniel Hand in Class L, Rocky Hill 49-20 to St. Joseph in Class S.

It was par for the course. One-sided scores littered Semifinal Sunday. Only one game was up in the air heading into the fourth quarter. That was down in Darien, where the No. 3 Blue Wave led by just one score before putting away No. 7 West Haven 27-13.

Everywhere else, the margin of victory was 30 points.

Both Class S games — St. Joe’s 49-20 rout of Rocky Hill was matched by Ansonia’s 52-19 rout of Stafford/East Windsor/Somers — finished on running time.

There were no lead changes in any of the eight games. Six of the winners scored on their first possession.

Sunday’s carnage did set up a promising slate of championship games, which will all be played this Saturday. The CIAC will announce sites and times on Monday morning. Here are the matchups:

Class LL

An all-FCIAC final between Greenwich (12-0) and Darien (11-1). Greenwich is appearing in its first state final since 2007. Darien is looking to win its third straight crown.

Greenwich jumped all over South Windsor on Sunday by connecting for a 63-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage.

The Cardinals were up 21-0 before the Bobcats got on the board seconds before halftime on a Connor Kapisak TD pass.

Darien also scored on its first possession, but did have to fend off a yeoman effort from West Haven running back Kyle Godfrey, who evened the score at 7-7 with a 1-yard dive in the first quarter and pulled the Blue Devils to within 20-13 with a 69-yard breakaway with 5:24 left to play.

Godfrey also picked off a pass in the end zone after his second score to give West Haven a final shot. The Blue Devils, however, couldn’t move against a stout Darien D — a game-long issue — and the Blue Wave wound up scoring a insurance touchdown by recovering an offensive fumble in the end zone.

Class L

For the first time since 2012, the Class L championship trophy will not reside in New Canaan. Masuk unseated the four-time defending champion Rams with a 28-14 victory in Monroe.

The game wasn’t even that close. Masuk scored on its first two possessions, punched in a third TD just before halftime and pushed the advantage to 28-0 in the third quarter on pick-six of New Canaan star quarterback Drew Pyne.

Pyne later threw a pair of touchdown passes. Both came in the five final minutes.

Masuk (11-1) advances to face the team that held the Class L crown before New Canaan’s four-year run: Daniel Hand.

The Tigers (11-1) thumped a mistake-prone Windsor 31-6 in their semifinal. Hand cashed in on a fumbled punt at the Windsor 11 to get on the board. QB Phoenix Bililngs stretched the lead to 24-0 in the second quarter with a 55-yard touchdown run and an 18-yard TD pass set up by an interception.

Class M

Fresh faces abound here. So do in-your-face running attacks. Killingly (12-0) and Joel Barlow (9-3) both powered into the finals with unstoppable ground attacks.

State rushing leader Spencer Lockwood put up four touchdowns and 265 yards in Killingly’s 49-7 rout of Berlin.

Barlow, its triple option picking right up where it left off from Tuesday’s 49-34 quarterfinal win over Sheehan, scored on all six of its first-half possessions in burying SMSA/University/Classic 53-14.

Killingly is back in the state finals for the first time since beating New Canaan 27-13 in the 1996 Class M championship game. Joel Barlow will be playing in its first state final.

Class S

Two of the state’s most decorated football programs clash in this final when No. 1 Ansonia (12-0) takes on St. Joseph (11-1).

Ansonia, the defending Class S champ and coached by Tom Brockett of Wallingford, has won a state-best 20 CIAC crowns. St. Joseph, which fell to Hillhouse in last year’s Class M title tilt, has won 12.

 This final will be a battle of contrasts. Ansonia, led by senior running Markell Dobbs, is a ground machine. St. Joseph, led by junior quarterback David Summers, airs it out.

Ansonia didn’t need to throw a single pass Sunday. Summers threw five TD passes in turning back Rocky Hill.

 

 

 


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