Welcome back to the Naugatuck Valley League Invitational, where it’s finally time to crown a champion. The winner will also take the Class S state championship. Ansonia will look for its 19th state title (and third straight) while Woodland will look for its first since 2005. Friday night’s game will also be the last in the tremendous high school careers of Arkeel Newsome, Tanner Kingsley and many others.
No. 2 Ansonia (14-0) vs. No. 4 Woodland (12-2)
When/Where: Friday, 7:05 p.m., Arute Field at CCSU
TV/Radio: CPTV Sports, WELI 960 AM, Hersam-Acorn Radio
Remmy’s Take: The game plan for both teams is quite simple. Ansonia will feed the ball to Arkeel Newsome and Woodland will be forced to throw the ball with injuries to its two running backs. It’s going to be very tough for the Hawks to move the ball on the Ansonia defense and for that reason, I am not expecting an exciting game. However, I am looking forward to seeing Tanner Kingsley, Arkeel Newsome and the seniors from both teams play their final high school football game.
Kyle’s Take: We don’t yet know the official status of the injured Sean McAllen and Coby Vaccarelli (we will find out for sure Wednesday) but even with both of those guys healthy, Woodland wouldn’t stand too much of a chance. With one or both of them out (McAllen has a chance to play pending his concussion; Vaccarelli seems far less likely), the Hawks will just be too depleted for any magic to happen. Woodland didn’t tackle very well against Bloomfield and those mistakes are far costlier against Arkeel Newsome and the Chargers. Tanner Kingsley needs to have the game of his life and his wide receivers need to figure out a way to get some separation and catch anything near them. If Ansonia doesn’t turn over the ball, the Chargers will roll. Enjoy the last time you’ll get to see Newsome before the big-time.
Picks: Remmy- Ansonia, 49-7. Kyle- Ansonia, 47-13.
Of course, we have to pick the other three state finals.
No. 4 Southington (11-1) vs. No. 7 Fairfield Prep (11-2): Remmy- Southington, 20-14. Kyle- Southington, 24-21.
No. 1 Darien (12-1) vs. No. 3 New Canaan (13-1): Remmy- New Canaan, 21-14. Kyle- New Canaan, 14-0.
No. 2 St. Joseph (12-2) vs. No. 5 Brookfield (11-3): Remmy- St. Joseph, 42-21. Kyle- St. Joseph, 48-28.
Extra Points: We’ll have plenty of links up to stories and previews after Wednesday’s CIAC media luncheon. For starters, here’s a graphical look at Tanner Kingsley’s record-setting career, as well as a hypothetical examination of how an open division could have looked this year. Also, check out a feature on Woodland’s Levi Fancher and a notebook from the event. … Remmy is 19-5 in the playoffs, while Kyle is 17-7. … We will be enjoying a nice tailgate at CCSU on Friday afternoon. We’ll figure out the time within this thread (probably starting around 3:30 p.m. or so) and you’ll all be welcome to drop by. Bring anything you’d like.
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