FOOTBALL: Platt-Hall showdown at Falcon headlines the Week 6 marquee

MERIDEN — There are ample reasons to get out to Falcon Field on Friday night.

For starters, there is no football game there next Friday, and at this time of the year, two weeks is an eternity.

More to the immediate point, the Platt Panthers will be there this week. They’re coming off their bye week, they’ve won three in a row and they’re hosting a team ranked in the state Top 10.

That’s Hall of West Hartford, the lone unbeaten team in Tier 1 of the Central Connecticut Conference.

A 4-0 record has the Warriors ranked No. 5 in both the Day of New London coaches and GameTime CT media polls and, more critically, sitting atop the Class LL playoff points.

All of which means Platt, with an upset, can put a major feather in its Tier 2 helmet and add major points to its Class L rank, currently at No. 13.

Kickoff is 6:30 p.m.

Neither team is more rested than the other. Hall, like Platt, had a bye last week after handing Southington its first CCC loss since 2017, 27-19 on Oct. 1 in West Hartford.

Hall has also taken down East Hartford (46-42), Simsbury (43-27) and Fairfield Warde (29-26).

Platt, after a 20-0 loss to Wethersfield on opening night, has ripped off wins against Middletown (43-7), Enfield (43-14) and Manchester (33-12). Along with averaging just south of 40 points during the run, the Panthers are putting up just north of 383 yards a game.

Junior QB Avery Robinson has completed 26 of 39 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns over the past three games. Antwone Santiago (8-114, 3 TDs) has been his primary target, though Vito Church hauled in six catches for 38 yards in the Manchester game.

The three-man backfield rotation of Avery Robinson (32-361), Zyair Coleman (23-266) and Corey Ford (13-116) has combined for 743 yards in the past three games.

Hall has been led by QB Eli Salomons (56-for-78, 748) and RB Leo Perreira (121-607). Matt Farber (22-312) is the leading receiver.

Hall and Platt have met 17 times. The Warriors lead the series 11-6. Platt won the last dance, 38-16, in 2016.

Here are the other area games on the Week 6 slate. Maloney and Southington, both 4-1, both have byes.

■Xavier (2-2) at Cheshire (3-1), at Alumni Field, 7 p.m.

Here’s a SCC Tier 1 showdown between teams that haven’t met since 2016. (Cheshire won it 26-24, but the X-Men hold a 5-3 series lead.)

The Falcons and Rams are both coming off bye weeks that followed defeat. For Cheshire, the 25-15 loss in Norwalk on Oct. 2 was the first of the season following a 3-0 start. The Rams held a late lead against the Bears before a pick-six reversed the tide in the waning minutes.

In that game, Cheshire lost one of its two quarterbacks, sophomore Matt Jeffery, for the season.

The Rams were also without senior running back Christian Russo, whom they hope to get back this week. Russo rushed for 610 yards on 64 carries in the victories over Notre Dame-West Haven, North Haven and Staples that opened the season.

Junior Mike Simeone takes charge full-time at quarterback. He’s completed 15 of 34 passes for 189 yards and two TDs. E.J. Quint (7-156) and Tristan Washington (7-71) are the leading receivers.

Xavier, led by QB Drew Kron and RB D.J. Wright, are looking to shake a two-game slide. The Falcons opened with wins over NFA (31-19) and Wilbur Cross (56-12) before falling to Ridgefield (28-7) and the state’s No. 1-ranked team, St. Joseph (42-7).

■Amity (3-1) at Sheehan (2-2), at Riccitelli Field, 7 p.m.

Finally, after opening against Tier 3 East Haven, facing Tier 1 Hand last week and sandwiching two Connecticut Football Alliance games in between against New Fairfield and Weston, the Titans get a fellow SCC Tier 2 opponent.

Likewise for Amity, which has played as many teams from Stamford as it has SCC teams. The Spartans opened with a 21-0 shutout of Tier 3 Branford and lost to Tier 1 Shelton 14-0 before posting an Alliance sweep of Stamford (36-18) and Westhill (28-7).

The Titans will be looking to bounce back from last week’s 49-6 to Hand. It was Sheehan’s most lopsided loss since losing 48-0 to North Haven in 2015.

The old Housatonic League rivals have met 35 times. Amity leads the series 24-11 and took the last meeting, 33-6, in 2014.

Sheehan sophomore QB Paul Gorry is 47-for-78 on the season for 570 yards and five TDs. Seniors John Cotter (97 yards) and Ryan Gersz (242) both have 14 receptions.

Senior RB Jacob Shook has rushed 56 times for 423 yards and five TDs. Fellow senior RB Jelan Kollie (25-137) has three TDs to his name.

■Lyman Hall (1-3) at Branford (3-1), at MacVeigh Alumni Athletic Complex, 7 p.m.

The Trojans will look to build on last week’s 47-13 victory in East Haven against another SCC Tier 3 opponent.

The Hornets, though, will be peskier beast than the Yellowjackets, who were upended by COVID in Week 2. Branford is riding a three-game win streak. After falling 21-0 to Amity on opening night, the Hornets defeated Foran (13-0), Notre Dame-West Haven (15-12) and Bethel (35-7).

Branford’s win over Notre Dame marked one of the few times a SCC Tier 3 team took down a Tier 1 opponent. Jonathan Law’s 33-30 overtime win over Cheshire in 2018 was one of them.

Branford has multiple running threats in Jermaine Smalls (47-187), Cameron Paleski (42-176) and Nathan Chieffo (31-150). QB Zach Turbett has completed 23 of 59 passes for 265 yards.

Lyman Hall RB Ryan Bannon is coming off a 171-yard, 3-TD game against East Haven. QB Kadin DeWallace also scored three times.

The Trojans and Hornets last met on opening night 2018, with Branford posting a 26-21 win at home. LH was a 12-0 winner in Wallingford in 2017.

Those games capped a 14-year run of annual meetings. Branford won nine to Lyman Hall’s five.

■Cheney Tech (4-0) at Wilcox-Kaynor Tech (0-4), at Falcon Field, Saturday, 6 p.m.

The bye week came at an opportune time for Wilcox-Kaynor, which had a number of regulars out with injuries, including leading play-maker Brandon Alvarado (292 total yards).

The Tribe returns to action against one of the top teams in the Connecticut Technical Conference. For that matter, Cheney Tech is one of the top teams in the Class L points, trailing only St. Joseph.

The Beavers have allowed only three touchdowns in defeating Bullard-Kolbe (40-8), Northwest United (28-0), O’Brien Tech (34-12) and Prince Tech (28-0). 

Having played Cheney in each of the 12 seasons of their varsity existence, the Indians know what’s coming. Cheney grounds and pounds. This season, Alex Alvarez (49-296) and Theophill Uznanski (42-206) lead a rushing attack that has amassed 631 yards on 141 attempts.

The Beavers have thrown sparingly with freshman QB Dezhaun Copeland (13-for-25, 330), the lion’s share going to Xavier McCall (8-268).

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