CIAC FOOTBALL: Pairings set; Southington, Maloney & Sheehan open at home; Cheshire heads to Simsbury

CIAC FOOTBALL: Pairings set; Southington, Maloney & Sheehan open at home; Cheshire heads to Simsbury

CHESHIRE — There were no unforeseen changes when the CIAC Football Committee formally approved the state playoff pairings on Friday.

As we knew Thursday once the Thanksgiving rivalry games were in the books, Southington and Maloney and Sheehan will be playing home quarterfinals on Tuesday, while Cheshire is going on the road.

Southington, No. 2 in Class LL, hosts No. 7 Ridgefield. Cheshire, No. 5 in Class LL, heads to No. 4 Simsbury.

In Class L, No. 3 Maloney will be at Falcon Field to host No. 6 Berlin in a border battle.

In Class S, Sheehan got the edge over Woodland Regional in a tiebreaker to grab the No. 4 seed. Thus, the Titans will face the No. 5 Hawks at Riccitelli Field rather than in Beacon Falls.

All quarterfinals kick off Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Semifinals are Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The championship games are the following Saturday, Dec. 14 at sites and times to be announced.

Southington and Cheshire, who entered their Thanksgiving Day game with the chance of playing each other again on Tuesday, are instead on opposite sides of the Class LL bracket. They can only have a rematch of their epic double-OT Apple Classic in the state final.

In the meantime, Southington and Cheshire just might get the opportunity to settle personal scores in the semifinals.

Should the Blue Knights get by Ridgefield, they would face the winner of Darien and defending Class LL champ Greenwich. Darien beat the Blue Knights in the 2015 and 2016 state semifinals and handed them their lone loss of the current season back in Week 2.

All three of those games were down in Fairfield County. The upside of a potential 2019 Class LL semi involving Southington? It will be at Fontana Field.

As for the Cheshire Rams, a win in Simsbury likely sets up a semifinal showdown with No. 1 Newtown. A lopsided loss in Newtown was part of Cheshire’s 0-5 start a year ago.

So was a loss to Shelton. The Rams have already avenged that one. Could the Nighthawks be next?

Maloney is also in position to gain a rematch. With a quarterfinal win over Berlin, the Spartans would likely face Daniel Hand in the Class L semis. That would be a rematch of last year’s state final, won handily by Hand

No matter how the Class L brackets shook out, the Spartans were looking at a stiff semi. Class L features the two teams that have been ranked at the top of the state polls throughout the season, Hand and St. Joseph. (St. Joe’s, last year’s Class M champ, moved up to Class L in the offseason.)

Between them, Hand and St. Joe’s have commanded all the No. 1 votes — Hand with about a 2-to-1 edge, which has put the Tigers at No. 1 over the No. 2 Cadets week after week. That order is reversed in the Class L seedings.

As for Class S, unbeaten perennial power Ansonia is on one side of the bracket and unbeaten defending champion Bloomfield on the other.

Sheehan, with a win over Woodland, would get Ansonia. Consider that another Wallingford rivalry game. Ansonia coach Tom Brockett is a Lyman Hall guy.

First things first, and that’s Tuesday. Sheehan and Maloney are in the hunt for a third straight year, Southington for the seventh time in the last eight years. Cheshire is back for the first time since the Class LL title year of 2009.

Here’s the full list of state pairings.


Quarterfinals—Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

No. 8 NFA (7-3) at No. 1 Newtown (10-0)

No 5 Cheshire (8-2) at No. 4 Simsbury (9-1)

No. 7 Ridgefield (8-2) at No. 2 Southington (9-1)

No. 6 Greenwich (9-1) at No. 3 Darien (9-1)


Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

NFA/Newtown winner vs. Cheshire/Simsbury winner, at higher seed

Ridgefield/Southington winner vs. Greenwich/Darien winner, at higher seed


Quarterfinals—Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

No. 1 St. Joseph (10-0) vs. No. 8 Wilton (7-3) at Trumbull

No. 5 Wethersfield (8-2) at No. 4 New Canaan (8-2)

No. 2 Daniel Hand (10-0) vs. No. 7 Newington (7-3) at Surf Club

No. 3 Maloney (9-1) vs. No. 6 Berlin (8-2) at Falcon Field


Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

Wilton/St. Joseph winner vs. Wethersfield/New Canaan winner, at higher seed

Newington/Daniel Hand winner vs. Berlin/Maloney winner, at higher seed


Quarterfinals—Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

No. 8 SMSA (8-2) at No. 1 Rockville (10-0)

No. 4 ATI (9-1) vs. No. 5 Weston (9-1) at Brookfield

No. 7 Granby/Canton (8-2) at No. 2 Waterford (9-1)

No. 6 New Fairfield (8-2) at No. 3 Killingly (9-1)


Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

SMSA/Rockville winner vs. Weston/ATI winner

Granby/Canton-Waterford winner vs. New Fairfield/Killingly winner


Quarterfinals—Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

No. 1 Ansonia (10-0) vs. No. 8 Plainfield (8-2) at Nolan Field

No. 5 Woodland (9-1) at No. 4 Sheehan (8-2)

No, 2 Bullard Havens (10-0) vs. No, 7 Plainville (8-2) at Kennedy Stadium

No. 6 Stafford/EW/Somers (8-2) at No. 3 Bloomfield (10-0)


Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

Plainfield/Ansonia winner vs. Woodland/Sheehan winner, at higher seed

Plainville/Bullard Havens winner vs. Stafford/EW/Somers-Bloomfield winner at higher seed