The week we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. It’s time for the NVL-SWC Challenge! Over three days later this week, we will see 14 matchups between the Naugatuck Valley League and the South-West Conference. Some of the games could be gems, but not all of them will be great. We have to start somewhere, so we decided to tackle six of the games that are either mismatches or feature two teams that have struggled to date.
Here are Kyle and Remmy in this week’s first video preview, which is sponsored by Pour House Sports Tavern in Naugatuck and Wolcott.
Joel Barlow (4-1) at Torrington (0-5), Friday at 7 p.m.: Hey, NVL. Meet Barlow’s Jack Shaban.
Remmy’s Take: Barlow boasts a splendid running game, one that the Red Raiders will not be able to stop. That’s all you need to know.
Kyle’s Take: Shaban is one of the best all-around football players in Connecticut. He runs the triple option as well as a high school coach could hope. Through five games, the quarterback has 681 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He’s only completed nine of 18 passes for 114 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, but Barlow doesn’t have to throw the ball to be successful. Aside from Shaban, the Falcons have five running backs with more than 100 yards so far this season (Harry Wilson leads that group with 439 yards and four scores). Torrington is in for a long night.
Picks: Remmy- Joel Barlow, 48-12. Kyle- Joel Barlow, 54-14.
Watertown (1-4) at New Milford (1-4), Friday at 7 p.m.: The Indians are mired in an eight-quarter scoreless streak. At least they get to take a pleasant ride for this game.
Remmy’s Take: Watertown has been shut out in consecutive weeks. I don’t think that trend continues. But a loss is in the Indians’ future, at least for this coming week. New Milford started with a rough stretch where it played (and lost to) some tough teams. Its lone win came against Weston. I think that’s enough to get me to believe the Green Wave will roll against the Indians.
Kyle’s Take: We thought Watertown’s Week 3 win over Crosby was going to turn the momentum for the Indians, but they have used the momentum from that win to post a pair of goose eggs in the last two weeks. New Milford’s defense isn’t great, but Wilby’s wasn’t particularly stifling last week and the Wildcats still pitched a shutout. John Murphy needs a while to turn around the Green Wave, but he will get win No. 2 this week.
Picks: Remmy- New Milford, 40-14. Kyle- New Milford, 35-7.
Immaculate (0-5) at Crosby (0-5), Friday at 7 p.m.: Immaculate has lost 41 games in a row. Crosby has lost 13 games in a row. Invite Bassick from last decade and Bullard Havens from the ’90s and we can have a jamboree.
Remmy’s Take: Someone is going to get its first win of the season — and it’s the Bulldogs. Crosby has a good quarterback in Mike Marshall as well as other good athletes. Immaculate has struggled as a program lately and that will continue through this week.
Kyle’s Take: The Bulldogs have shown some bright spots this season. I think David Jurewicz made a good decision in switching to a freshman as quarterback, and Marshall has played pretty well (61 percent completions, 1,088 yards, four touchdowns) but has to learn to take better care of the ball (six interceptions). He should have a nice night.
Picks: Remmy- Crosby, 41-7. Kyle- Crosby, 40-20.
Kennedy (0-5) at Stratford (1-4), Friday at 7 p.m.: Stratford boasts a roster twice as big as Kennedy. We wonder if the Eagles will take one or two buses to Penders Field.
Remmy’s Take: Kennedy has proved it cannot stop many teams’ offenses. Stratford will be able to run effectively against a struggling Kennedy bunch. I’d love to see Kennedy get its first win this week, but I don’t think that’ll happen.
Kyle’s Take: The Eagles’ running game has been disappointing this season. They returned a number of talented players in the backfield and really haven’t been able to do much of anything against anyone. Stratford isn’t especially good, but two of its four losses were by single digits (Weston and New Fairfield).
Picks: Remmy- Stratford, 34-20. Kyle- Stratford, 44-12.
New Fairfield (3-2) at Sacred Heart (0-5), Friday at 7 p.m.: Along with Barlow-Torrington, this is the biggest mismatch of the week. It might actually be a little worse, especially with New Fairfield’s roster being almost triple the size of Sacred Heart’s.
Remmy’s Take: The Rebels have had a tough time against strong rushing teams. Good thing for them, they won’t play one this week.
Kyle’s Take: Sacred Heart struggles for many reasons, maybe the chief of which is its last of players and size on the fronts. The Hearts have some good playmakers, but they all play 48 minutes per game and end up struggling. New Fairfield knocked off Oxford and has a very balanced offense, with passing yardage (839) and rushing yardage (1,014) being fairly close.
Picks: Remmy- New Fairfield, 48-14. Kyle- New Fairfield, 47-7.
Notre Dame-Fairfield (0-5) at St. Paul (3-2), Saturday at 1:30 p.m.: The Falcons have three wins over teams with a combined one victory. They will make it four wins over teams with a combined one victory. Big whoop!
Remmy’s Take: The Lancers are one of the weakest teams in the state. Just to give you an idea, they’ve scored four touchdowns all season and allow an average of 48 points per game. They average 99 yards per game. St. Paul has enough offense to Cochran-rule Notre Dame. It pains me to say this, but I don’t think a shutout is out of the question this week for the St. Paul defense. I’ve talked to a few people in the Valley that are rooting for Notre Dame to win this week. How great is that?
Kyle’s Take: I knew St. Paul’s defense was bad, but I saw Saturday that it’s much worse than I had thought. Plus, a few people I talked to at the Woodland-St. Paul game said they didn’t see any Division I talent wearing blue. Regardless, this game goes as the fourth in the Falcons’ cupcake win column. I hope this team doesn’t end up stealing a postseason spot from a worthy team because of its awful schedule.
Picks: Remmy- St. Paul, 52-7. Kyle- St. Paul, 62-28.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the NVL-SWC Challenge. We’ll take on seven more games Tuesday, and we’ll preview our Game of the Week on Wednesday. We’ll be posting all sorts of links to stuff from media around the area, too, so stick around.
Week 6 Predictions are presented by DiGiorgi Roofing and Siding. Since 1933, DiGiorgi Roofing and Siding has been providing Connecticut with quality replacement windows, gutters, garage doors and home improvements of all kinds. Call today at 1-800-428-6438. DiGiorgi Roofing and Siding is a proud sponsor of the NVL Football Blog.