Ansonia defensive end Ryan Hovan and Woodland linebacker Chris McDonald will lead their teams in Tuesday’s Class S quarterfinals. (Credits: GWImages, Rachael Morin)
It’s December, so that means it’s playoffs time! Here we go:
No. 7 Coginchaug (9-2) at No. 2 Ansonia (12-0): The Chargers are three games away from a 43-game winning streak, three straight undefeated seasons and a 19th state championship. Arkeel Newsome is 329 rushing yards away from reaching 10,000 for his career.
Remmy’s Take: Does it get any better than a playoff game at Jarvis Stadium? Sure, Coginchaug has heard of Ansonia and is the next team to get its chance at beating the Chargers. I’ve heard it many times: “It’s just another game.” But it’s not. Coginchaug will have an hour-long bus ride down to the Valley to think about all that Ansonia has done as a program. Getting off of the bus will be an experience and it could have a negative effect on the Blue Devils as they prepare to step on the field. The Blue Devils have given up 123 points in their two losses (Valley Regional and Morgan) and have practically blown out the majority of the other teams they have faced. Coginchaug quarterback Tyler Meeker and running back Jack Granger are good athletes and the biggest running threats on the team. But so long as Ansonia has a healthy Arkeel Newsome in the backfield, Ansonia should cruise.
Kyle’s Take: Does it get any better than a playoff game at Jarvis Stadium? Yes, because those games are usually terribly boring. See ya later, Blue Devils.
Picks: Remmy- Ansonia, 52-12. Kyle- Ansonia, 48-7.
No. 5 Morgan (10-1) at No. 4 Woodland (10-2): This game should be the most competitive of the four Class S quarterfinals.
Remmy’s Take: Morgan is a running team with a good running back in Jake Ward. The Huskies have a gigantic line that has allowed Ward to amass close to 2,500 yards on the ground along with 41 rushing touchdowns. Woodland wins this game if running back Sean McAllen has a big game catching passes out of the backfield. Woodland may be the faster team this week but may not have the beef up front to open holes for its running backs. Getting McAllen to the outside will be key for the Hawks. Morgan will be able to chew up clock in this game but I think Woodland has enough playmakers to get the job done at home.
Kyle’s Take: I puzzled for a while about this game, and I came to the conclusion that Woodland will win for a couple of reasons. I was impressed by the Hawks’ run defense against Seymour, and I think that defensive momentum will bode well against a team that runs the ball as much as any team in the state. Woodland’s inside linebackers — Levi Fancher, Chris Slavin and Chris McDonald — were all over the place last Friday and they need to force a turnover or two to win this game. The other thing I like for Woodland is that the Hawks are playing at home, where they are 6-0 this year and have a lot more success throwing the ball than they do away from home. In six home games, Tanner Kingsley has completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,848 yards, 26 touchdowns and four interceptions. In six games away from Beacon Falls, Kingsley has competed just 54 percent of his passes for 1,102 yards, 14 scores and seven picks, and in his last three games not played on the hill, Kingsley has completed only 44 percent of his throws for 385 yards, three touchdowns and seven interceptions. The home cooking is going to help spur Woodland to a win.
Picks: Remmy- Woodland, 27-21. Kyle- Woodland, 34-28.
Of course, we have to pick the other 14 state quarterfinals (because that’s what we do).
No. 8 Ridgefield (9-2) at No. 1 Newtown (12-0): Remmy- Newtown, 34-14. Kyle- Newtown, 24-14.
No. 7 Fairfield Prep (9-2) at No. 2 Glastonbury (10-1): Remmy- Glastonbury, 22-20. Kyle- Glastonbury, 28-21.
No. 6 West Haven (9-2) at No. 3 Hall (9-1): Remmy- West Haven, 35-21. Kyle- West Haven, 40-28.
No. 5 Norwich Free Academy (8-2) at No. 4 Southington (9-1): Remmy- Southington, 35-14. Kyle- Southington, 21-7.
No. 8 Daniel Hand (8-3) at No. 1 Darien (10-1): Remmy- Darien, 28-21. Kyle- Darien, 24-20.
No. 7 North Haven (9-2) at No. 2 Platt (11-0): Remmy- Platt, 30-28. Kyle- North Haven, 34-28.
No. 6 Farmington (9-2) at No. 3 New Canaan (11-1): Remmy- New Canaan, 49-14. Kyle- New Canaan, 45-13.
No. 5 New London (9-2) at No. 4 Middletown (10-1): Remmy- Middletown, 33-27. Kyle- New London, 16-13.
No. 8 Quinebaug Valley (9-2) at No. 1 Valley Regional/Old Lyme (11-0): Remmy- Valley Regional, 49-12. Kyle- Valley Regional, 54-14.
No. 7 Ledyard (9-2) at No. 2 St. Joseph (10-2): Remmy- St. Joseph, 34-15. Kyle- St. Joseph, 41-20.
No. 6 Gilbert/Northwestern (9-2) at No. 3 Joel Barlow (9-2): Remmy- Joel Barlow, 42-7. Kyle- Joel Barlow, 47-13.
No. 5 Brookfield (9-3) at No. 4 Bethel (9-2): Remmy- Brookfield, 28-27. Kyle- Bethel, 20-14.
No. 8 Bloomfield (9-2) at No. 1 Capital Prep/Classical Magnet (11-0): Remmy- Capital Prep, 34-21. Kyle- Capital Prep, 36-14.
No. 6 Prince Tech (9-2) at No. 3 Rocky Hill (10-1): Remmy- Rocky Hill, 42-7. Kyle- Rocky Hill, 42-0.
Extra Points: Kyle and SPB joined the Laxworm for “The Show” this Sunday to preview and pick all four playoff brackets. Click here to listen to the replay. … Kyle will have a few playoff previews over at the Republican-American’s Red Zone blog this week.
The State Quarterfinals Preview is presented by Wing It On! With its second location now open in Oakville, Wing It On! is still the Greater Waterbury area’s best tasting wing spot. Wing It On!’s variety of savory wing sauces have earned the Waterbury Observer’s 2012 and 2013 nods for Best Wings in Waterbury. Wing It On! also has burgers, wraps, salads and sides, and can cater your football parties and more. They delivery all day on NFL Sundays so you can defend against gameday hunger. Visit Wing It On! on Facebook or on the web for its full menu and location information.