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FOOTBALL: The stretch run! What we know, where we hope to go

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MERIDEN — We’re 10 weeks into the high school football season — 10 on the calendar, nine on the schedule — and here’s what we know beyond dispute:

*Maloney and Platt are tier champions in the Central Connecticut Conference with league records of 7-0.

Both finished their runs at Falcon Field last week — Platt in Tier 3, 42-14 over E.O. Smith on Thursday night; Maloney in Tier 1, 38-7 over Conard on Friday.

Sign it, seal it, put it in the books. Moving on ...

10 weeks into the high school football season and here’s what we can “unofficially” state:

*Maloney and Platt will make the postseason regardless of who beats who Thanksgiving morning in the Stoddard Bowl — the Spartans in Class L, where they stand No. 3; the Panthers in Class MM, where they rank No. 2.

Both are 8-1 overall, and while both are in highly competitive races, they’ve got enough playoff points in the bank to stay ahead of the lower qualifiers in their divisions.

What’s more likely up for grabs on Thanksgiving, aside from the bragging rights and Stoddard Bowl trophy, is who plays at home on Quarterfinal Tuesday on Nov. 28 and who plays on the road, though there is a chance both land a home date depending on what the other qualifiers do in their regular-season finales.

10 weeks in and here’s what we can also “unofficially” state:

*Southington will make the Class LL tournament whether it wins or loses in the Apple Classic against Cheshire. With Friday’s 48-14 win at Glastonbury, the Blue Knights improved to 6-3 and stand No. 5 in a division in which at least two teams with four losses will qualify.

At this point, Southington is likely to open against Manchester. The only question is where.

The big stakes in the Apple Classic lie with Cheshire. After opening the season 7-0 and rising to No. 1 in Class MM and No. 2 in the state polls, injuries and losses have hit the Rams at the worst time.

Friday’s 25-14 setback to West Haven was the second straight for the Rams, who were without top play-makers QB Aniston Marsh, WR Matt Jeffery and LB Jack Brewster, among others.

The setbacks have dropped Cheshire to No. 8 in Class MM. Beat Southington and the Rams are in, and once there, hey, they’re capable of anything. (Remember, CHS knocked off No. 1 St. Joseph last year.)

Lose to Southington and the Rams still might be able to get in depending on what happens to the current 6-3 squads in the division (Bunnell, Bristol Eastern and Xavier). Cheshire was able to get in last year despite losing in the Apple Classic. Better bet this year is to win.

Also in “Just Win, Baby” mode are the two Wallingford schools. Lyman Hall and Sheehan are both 5-3. LH is No. 12 in Class M, Sheehan No. 6 in Class SS.

Both have two games left — SCC tier fights this week, then against one another on Thanksgiving, which means the Carini Bowl is certain to be a postseason entree for one and a death knell for the other.

For now, here are the tasks at hand.

*Lyman Hall (5-3) at East Haven (2-6), at Crisafi Field, Wednesday, 6 p.m.

The Easties have taken 6 of the last 10 matchups with the Trojans, but LH did win 39-16 last year in Wallingford and should bounce back from its Nov. 3 loss to Tolland to take a 6-3 mark into Thanksgiving.

Let’s put it this way: The Trojans had better.

Tonight’s SCC Tier 3 game is a chance for QB Ryan Casey, RB Gavin Janowski and the LH offense to have a day. East Haven is yielding nearly 37 points a game.

*Daniel Hand (7-1) at Sheehan (5-3), at Riccitelli Field, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

The Tigers are traditionally a challenge for the Titans. While Sheehan did win 17-13 last year at the Surf Club, the Madison squad holds a 6-2 series lead.

And then there’s the business with the shutouts. Hand has six of them — in a row. The Tigers haven’t been scored upon since losing to Bunnell 28-21 on opening night and edging Fairfield Prep 35-34 in Week 2.

They outscored the next six opponents 225-0.

Among them are teams Sheehan has defeated: Wilbur Cross, Law and Amity. Among them are teams to whom Sheehan has lost: Xavier and Branford.

A loss to Hand won’t derail Sheehan’s playoff push. A win would get them a heck of a lot further down the track and be an incredible boost to a team that should contend for a Class SS state crown so long as it makes the field.

Also this week, Wilcox/Kaynor Tech (3-5) plays its final home of the season when it hosts Quinebaug Valley at Falcon Field on Friday night at 6:30. The Warcats need to shake a four-game losing streak and at least salvage a second straight .500 season.

Quinebaug Valley, the Quiet Corner co-op of Ellis Tech, Putnam and Tourtellotte, comes in at 4-4. The Pride just pinned a 42-8 defeat on VG Techs, the team Wilcox/Kaynor faces in Middletown on Thanksgiving Eve.


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