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Thursday, December 7, 2023

CT High School Football Coaches’ Poll: Week 12

Editor’s Note:There won’t be much of an intro for this week’s poll as writer Ned Griffen recovers from breaking down the high school football playoff races and providing live updates after each day of games. There’s been a lot of math involved, so he’s probably going to need some Tylenol, a Gatorade and somewhere to lie down. Maybe someone should go check on him. Then again, we have to get this posted. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

Hartford Courant Top 10 State Football Coaches’ Poll

First place points in parentheses, record through Saturday, points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis, last week’s ranking and CIAC classification:

1. Greenwich (13) 9-0, 390, 1, LL

KNOW THIS: The week’s biggest game is going down at Cardinal Stadium between the No. 1 Cardinals and No. 5 Staples. Greenwich was upset by the Wreckers last Thanksgiving, 39-38, then tore its way through the CIAC LL playoffs to win its ninth state title.

NEXT: vs. Staples, Thursday, 10 a.m.

2. Maloney 8-1, 346, 2, L

KNOW THIS: Meriden’s battle between the East-Siders (Maloney) and the West-Siders (Platt) has been one of the state’s more, ah, heated rivalries.

NEXT: vs. Platt, Thursday, 10:30 a.m.

3. New Canaan 8-1, 306, 3, L

KNOW THIS: The Rams have taken a democratic approach on offense this season. Senior Cooper Smith has rushed for a team-high 308 yards while junior Luke Robinson has thrown for a team-high 533 yards and 12 touchdown passes.

NEXT: vs. Darien, Thursday, 10 a.m.

4. West Haven 8-1, 300, 5, LL

KNOW THIS: The Blue Devils were merrily rolling along this time last season, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ poll. Then they were snuffed out by Fairfield Prep on Thanksgiving Eve, 21-6, followed by a CIAC Class LL quarterfinal loss at home. It’s never good to live in the past but if the Blue Devils are looking for extra motivation, well, there it is.

NEXT: vs. Fairfield Prep, Wednesday, 6 p.m.

5. Staples 8-1, 288, 4, LL

KNOW THIS: Let’s check up on Wreckers’ senior quarterback Caleb Smith. The team has 3,228 total yards and 44 touchdowns. He’s accounted for nearly 73-percent of those total yards (2,534), thrown 19 touchdown passes and run for a team-high 16 TDs. So, he’s been productive.

NEXT: at Greenwich, Thursday, 10 a.m.

6. North Haven 7-2, 266, 6, MM

KNOW THIS: Adam Pandolfi ran 10 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass as the Nighthawks mashed Hamden last Thursday, 38-7.

NEXT: vs. Amity, Thursday, 10 a.m.

7. Windsor 9-1, 206, NR, MM

KNOW THIS: The Warriors return to the Top 10 with a vengeance after ripping then unbeaten and No. 8 Bloomfield last Saturday, 53-28. John Manning ran 25 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns for Windsor, which led the Warhawks, 46-16, with 8 minutes left in the game.

NEXT: CIAC Class MM quarterfinals vs. TBA, Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m.

8. Wilton 8-2, 197, NR, MM

KNOW THIS: Another team nicknamed “Warriors” gets back into the Top 10. They more than earned it after shutting down then-No. 7 Shelton last Friday, 28-7. Wilton’s D held the Gaels to 107 yards, 67 of which came on one play.

NEXT: CIAC Class MM quarterfinals vs. TBA, Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m.

9. Ansonia 9-0, 185, 9, S

KNOW THIS: Ansonia vs. Naugatuck is the state’s third-oldest rivalry (it began in 1900), and Ansonia has dominated it. It’s won 40 of the last 50 games and leads the series, 77-35-10. And it’s the (much) smaller school.

NEXT: vs. Naugatuck, Thursday, 10 a.m.

10. Newtown 8-1 146 NR, L

KNOW THIS: The Nighthawks leapfrogged Naugatuck despite both teams being on a bye. Sometimes, voters recalibrate their ballots. Newtown would finish unbeaten in the South-West Conference if it beat Masuk for the ninth time over the last 10 meetings.

NEXT: vs. Masuk, Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Dropped out: Shelton (7), Bloomfield (8) and Naugatuck (10).

Also receiving votes: Naugatuck (9-0), 137 points; Cheshire (7-2), 106; Tie, Hand (8-1) and Shelton (7-3), 84; Darien (7-2), 78; Bloomfield (8-1), 72; Masuk (7-2), 41; Southington (6-3), 36; Fitch (8-1), 15; Berlin (7-3), 9; Tie, Bunnell (6-3) and St. Joseph (5-4), 8; Notre Dame-Fairfield (8-1), 7.

Voters: Tom Brockett; Ansonia; Craig Bruno; Amity; Joe Della Vecchia; St. Joseph; Mike Drury; Southington; Mike Ellis; Fitch; Rob Fleeting; Windsor; Tanner Grove; Montville; Andy Guyon; Xavier; Joe Lato; Woodland; Brian Mazzone; Stafford/East Windsor/Somers; Bryan Muller; Brookfield; Marce Petroccio; Trumbull; Nathan Tyler, Stratford.

Ned Griffen has obsessively covered state high school football since the mid-nineties, back when Dan Orlovsky was just a wiry teenager at Shelton High School. He was born in Texas thus he was genetically hardwired to love the sport. He enjoys heavy metal, pro wrestling, Jennifer Walters and being adored by cats and dogs everywhere.

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