Oct 302013
Despite some possible inclement weather, we expect Holy Cross quarterback Joe Kalosky and Woodland quarterback Tanner Kingsley to throw the ball plenty this week in a game that is the Copper Division's most important of the season. Credits: GWImages/sscreativedesign

Despite some possible inclement weather, we expect Holy Cross quarterback Joe Kalosky and Woodland quarterback Tanner Kingsley to throw the ball plenty this week in a game that is the Copper Division’s most important of the season. Credits: GWImages/sscreativedesign

The NVL Copper Division title will be on the line — for Woodland, at least — Friday night at Municipal Stadium when the Hawks take on Holy Cross. A Woodland victory gives it the division title for the second year in a row, but a Cross win puts it in control of its own destiny. It would also make next week’s Naugatuck-Holy Cross game a massive one in more ways than it already is. Let’s get to the preview (sorry, again, for no video previews this week).

Remmy’s Keys to the Game: Woodland has already won more games than I had predicted prior to the start of the season. If the Crusaders have any shot at winning this game, the passing game must come to life. But it’s the defense that will be on its toes all game with Woodland being able to run and pass very effectively. I don’t believe Woodland will have a problem stopping the Holy Cross ground game. Therefore, the Woodland defensive backs are going to have to be up to the task this week to secure the win. Expect two-plus interceptions by the Hawks in this game.

Kyle’s Keys to the Game: It cracks me up to hear all the weak-schedule jabs being thrown around these parts. Some of our commenters talk about the soft schedule Woodland has faced, but it seems like the those-who-live-in-glass-houses-shouldn’t-throw-stones adage applies pretty perfectly. Regardless, Woodland should be OK in this game. The Hawks would probably prefer the weather to be settled by kickoff (with the game being Cross’ home contest on turf, there’s no way it ends up canceled) but it probably won’t matter all that much with their strong running game and passing attack that relies more on short routes. Holy Cross needs to find a way to keep the ball in its possession and needs to play tight to the line of scrimmage to not give room for those short patterns to develop. The Crusaders also have to win the turnover battle or else it won’t win the game (in Tanner Kingsley’s two career games against Holy Cross, he’s thrown five interceptions).

Remmy’s Players to Watch: Hawks sophomore Sean McAllen has been tearing it up this season with 785 rushing yards and will have another good game this week. Another sophomore to watch for, specifically on the defensive side of the ball, is Coby Vaccarelli, who is second on the team in tackles behind Levi Fancher, who is having a monster season on D.

Kyle’s Players to Watch: In the likely scenario that Woodland takes the lead, Holy Cross quarterback Joe Kalosky will end up throwing quite a bit. Look for the Hawks to focus their pass defense on a double-team of Trai Weaver, who is by far Kalosky’s favorite target and the team’s best playmaker. Crusaders running back Drew Bialoglowy was injured early last week and his status is uncertain. Weaver will be among those in coverage against Tanner Kingsley and his offense. Cross linebackers Bryan Burnette and Mike Gugliotti will have to get a bit of pressure on Kingsley so the Crusaders can force some turnovers. For Woodland, wide receiver Taylor Tucciarone has emerged as a big-time playmaker over the last few weeks and figures to keep his prominent role in the passing game. Mike Kenney is Kingsley’s favorite red zone target.

This is a little bit of a down year for Holy Cross, we think, before the Crusaders really come back strong next year with a great group of players who are currently juniors. Right now, though, Woodland is playing great defense and is clicking like few other teams on offense. The Hawks will win the Copper Division title, which will be their fifth division title in 10 years.

Picks: Remmy- Woodland, 42-18. Kyle- Woodland, 48-14.

Extra Points: The Woodland-Holy Cross game will be broadcast Friday on 1320 WATR-AM and watr.com. … The Red Zone blog is updated with new stuff (and more coming), including local power rankingsKyle’s analysis of the Week 8 state polls, his Week 7 edition of Gimme Five and more. … The Lonesome Polecat’s Ned Griffen always has the fix for you statewide football fans. … This week’s entries into the Rep-Am Red Zone Hall of Fame are Seymour’s Edwin Esson and St. Paul’s Byron Jones. … Kyle and Coach Chris Anderson also have their latest entry in the Chalk Talk series.

The Week 8 Game of the Week is presented by Blanchette Sporting Goods. BSG has been a family-owned and operated sporting goods store for more than 40 years. Located in Shelton, Blanchette carries not only a wide selection of equipment, but also a full line of apparel for several Valley schools. Blanchette can also handle embroidery, screen printing, trophies and more. Call today at 203-929-6331 or visit the showroom on Bridgeport Avenue.

  29 Responses to “Game of the Week: Woodland at Holy Cross”

  1. Is this really the game of the week? I get that in the past both teams have been competitive, but this year Woodland is miles ahead of Cross. Cross has the athletes, they just can’t seem to put it together. I think Wolcott/Derby will be more competitive than this game, and actually believe Kennedy/Torrington will be the closest game of the week.

    • Yes, yes and yes.

      Woodland-Cross means more for both teams than the other two games, and it’s not going to be the blowout Ansonia-Wolcott was last week.

      • Means way more, and not sure it won’t be as competitive, and possibly more competitive than the Derby game. If Woodland can win by a score like the ones picked by our co-hosts, Hawks may be ready for top 10 consideration by some.

  2. Also, anyone look at Isaiah Wright’s stats lately, he is absolutely tearing it up at Kingswood. Kid can play D-1 football if he controls his attitude and stays focused.

  3. johnnyribbs

    not sure there is a better option this week. Kyle ain’t afraid of a little home cooking. Woodland rolls.

  4. This week, Woodland dominates against another team having a bit of a down year.
    This is not a jab and not meant to be offensive, however, Woodland’s schedule is pitifully weak. They squeaked by in OT against a good Naugy team in a great game for a great win.
    The other six wins are against very, very weak teams. Was St. Paul their second toughest game? Five teams: Branford, SH, Crosby, Kennedy, and Pomperaug have 4 varsity football wins COMBINED.
    It’s very hard to consider them a state top 15 team with one of the weakest schedules in the state.

  5. if cross wins this game it would be biggest upset of year.Havent seen woody but zjad might have a point.However i think game will be relatively close but gotta go with Woodland unless weather plays havoc on pass game.

  6. Perhaps Ansonia’s game was moved to a 3:30 p.m. start today so Wakelee Ave. would be somewhat clear of the post-game traffic once trick-or-treaters hit the streets around there. I know it’s usually busy on Halloween night.

  7. ValleyFalls1

    Think I will catch this game and perhaps NC and StJ also on Saturday. Conduct some objective observing

  8. if you go sat youll be only guy in concession line

  9. ValleyFalls1

    Sheeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, misread. Oh well, Hawks-Crusaders, or Rams-Hogs, so many games so little time!

  10. remmy i dont think it matters—-1 and 2 will have to win out to win overall title anyway—what if st.joes wins?they will enter discussion.falls——eyesight is first to go lol

    • In my opinion, the winner of that game leapfrogs Ansonia.

      I don’t vote, so in the end, I don’t really care. Just calling it like I see it.

      • You wouldn’t make that blasphemous statement if u still lived in A town! Lol.

      • I certainly don’t live in Trumbull or New Canaan. I pay taxes to A-Town. NVL all the way.

      • ValleyFalls1

        Don’t see it that way at all. Yes the schedule is what it is, the argument has been that Ansonia is a better team regardless of schedule. So now the logic has been reversed? I will go to the game and form an objective opinion of the 2 teams. Not going to comment further until I see them actually play.

  11. Rem so AHS is 1 all year and now the winner of this game should be number 1. Then why vote AHS at all 1. If 1 team wins this game big then I can see that. Plus AHS has to big and good games left with Woody and Naugy. They are 2 of the top 10-20 teams in the state.

  12. I think it’s only a matter of time before New Canaan jumps Ansonia. New Canaan’s league and class are both better than Ansonia’s and if they run through both it’s gonna be tough for anyone to claim they are not #1. When polls determine an overall champion I am a believer of the theory that it’s who you beat, and New Canaan wins that argument over Ansonia. They dominated Hand and Staples, and still have St. Joes and Darien, all of whom would have a high probability of running the table if playing Ansonia’s schedule. If New Canaan goes undefeated, wins the FCIAC and class L, which is not the best class this year, but is better than S, they should be #1.

    • I agree here. And it’s not to say New Canaan is outright better than Ansonia – I think that would be a ridiculous game if the two were to tango.

      I think if New Canaan smacks St. Joseph’s, the Rams will be voted #1. I am not a big poll guy, but this is very interesting (as it always is, debating strength-of-schedule with SCC/FCIAC fans). Personally, I think if New Canaan beats St. Joe’s by 1-2 TDs, the Chargers remain as the #1 team in the state. If either team wins by 3 TDs or more, Chargers will be ranked #2.

      • Exactly. I’m not saying that I believe New Canaan would beat Ansonia or vice versa, because thats an impossible statement to make. I also understand that theres nothing Ansonia can do about the fact that their league and class are weaker than New Canaans. But I do know that an undefeated New Canaan will have defeated better opponents and therefore, in my mind, deserves to be #1.

  13. I have no opinion on the rankings but MaxPreps has Ansonia with a negative number for strength of schedule -1.8. Hand has +21.6 and Shelton is+18. NC and St Joes are #1 and 2 respectively. But don’t have the highest numbers.