Dec 042013

For the second straight year, the NVL boasts two Class S semifinalists on opposite sides of the draw, and both are the higher seeds entering Saturday afternoon’s contests. Will we see an Ansonia-Woodland rematch next weekend at Arute Field? See what we think.

No. 2 Ansonia (13-0) vs. No. 3 Rocky Hill (11-1)

Ansonia running back Arkeel Newsome set a career high in yardage for the second week in a row with 492 yards against Coginchaug. He also tied his career high with seven touchdowns for the second straight week. (Credit: GWImages)

Ansonia running back Arkeel Newsome set a career high in yardage for the second week in a row with 492 yards against Coginchaug. He also tied his career high with seven touchdowns for the second straight week. (Credit: GWImages)

When/Where: Saturday, 2 p.m., Sheehan High
Remmy’s Take: These two teams are mirror images of each other. Both play good defense and have outstanding rushing attacks. Rocky Hill may be the toughest team left in Class S not named Ansonia and this game could be the toughest this year in Class S. Terriers running back Chris Young has had an outstanding season and will need to run very effectively to give his squad a chance at leaving Sheehan with a win. As for Ansonia, the big question is whether it will need quarterback Jai’Quan McKnight to win this game. We saw what Arkeel Newsome did to Coginchaug out of the Wildcat. I think this is the game Ansonia will need McKnight to separate itself from Rocky Hill. McKnight did not look too good jogging out onto the field during pregame against Coginchaug. So, part of me thinks he will play but will not have his number called much; rather, he will be in there as a decoy. Something tells me we will not see much of McKnight unless Ansonia finds itself in a real dogfight just before halftime.
Kyle’s Take: Rocky Hill is Ned Griffen’s sentimental favorite (GOD’S OFFENSE, RIGHT?) in Class S but I’m not sure the Terriers do what they do well enough to thwart Ansonia. Maybe, though, they can do it well enough to make this a ballgame. We all tend to think that the way to beat the Chargers is through the air, but when was the last time a quality team lined up and smashed the ball on the ground? It was that Seymour game a month ago when the Wildcats should have beaten Ansonia. Maybe that bodes well for Rocky Hill, but it will also need some breaks and a way to latch onto Arkeel Newsome when he gets near defenders. Jai’Quan McKnight’s presence or absence from the game isn’t a huge deal to me because the Chargers’ best player will still have the ball in his hands on every play.
Picks: Remmy- Ansonia, 42-28. Kyle- Ansonia, 49-21.

No. 4 Woodland (11-2) vs. No. 8 Bloomfield (10-2)

Woodland sophomore running back Coby Vaccarelli scored three touchdowns in relief of the injured Sean McAllen during Woodland's Class S quarterfinal win over Morgan. (Credit: sscreativedesign)

Woodland sophomore running back Coby Vaccarelli scored three touchdowns in relief of the injured Sean McAllen during Woodland’s Class S quarterfinal win over Morgan. Vaccarelli also intercepted a pass in the game. (Credit: sscreativedesign)

When/Where: Saturday, 2 p.m., Wolcott High
Radio: 1320 WATR, and WATR on TuneIn Radio
Remmy’s Take: Woodland is coming off of a great win as the Hawks pummeled another Pequot team in the Morgan Huskies. This week, Tanner Kingsley hits the road (albeit a familiar game site) to face a Bloomfield team that just dominated No. 1 seed Capital Prep. The Warhawks have a solid rushing attack and a decent pass game. Woodland gets a few breaks and scores late to win this game.
Kyle’s Take: The Hawks have to feel good after playing their best game in recent weeks against Morgan. I was most impressed with the dedication Woodland made to the running game, which resulted in a near-even split between passing and rushing yards (261-260). Hopefully Sean McAllen will be able to play after sitting out the second half against Morgan, but Coby Vaccarelli is a bull of a running back who will be capable of filling in if need be. If Woodland can establish the running game again, I like the Hawks’ chances. Bloomfield is an interesting team on both sides of the ball. The Warhawks haven’t given up a touchdown in their last three games and have a tremendous pass rusher in Jonathen Mumby (14 sacks). They also run some read stuff out of the pistol (you can see some here), which is evident in the almost-equal split in rushing yards between quarterback Norvel Stewart (1,001 yards, 15 touchdowns) and running back Travis Thompson (1,101 yards, six touchdowns). We all know, though, that the team is without its best player in Tarance Mitchell, who had eight interceptions on the year. I think this is Woodland’s game to lose.
Picks: Remmy- Woodland, 35-28. Kyle- Woodland, 34-24.

Of course, we have to pick the other six state semifinals.

Class LL
No. 4 Southington (10-1) vs. No. 8 Ridgefield (10-2): Remmy- Southington, 35-20. Kyle- Southington, 41-21.
No. 6 West Haven (10-2) vs. No. 7 Fairfield Prep (10-2): Remmy- Fairfield Prep, 21-15. Kyle- West Haven, 36-34.

Class L
No. 1 Darien (11-1) vs. No. 4 Middletown (11-1): Remmy- Darien, 34-20. Kyle- Darien, 24-20.
No. 3 New Canaan (12-1) vs. No. 7 North Haven (10-2): Remmy- New Canaan, 42-21. Kyle- New Canaan, 31-21.

Class M
No. 1 Valley Regional/Old Lyme (12-0) vs. No. 5 Brookfield (10-3): Remmy- Valley Regional, 42-28. Kyle- Valley Regional, 21-16.
No. 2 St. Joseph (11-2) vs. No. 3 Joel Barlow (10-2): Remmy- St. Joseph, 84-49. Kyle- St. Joseph, 55-35.

Extra Points: Over on the Rep-Am Red Zone blog, the guys have their semifinals picks and Kyle visualized a breakdown of the most successful playoff teams in the last decade. … WATR has picked up the Woodland-Bloomfield game on radio, so Kyle, Steve and Bob will be on air from Joe Monroe Field at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday. … Remmy went 12-4 in quarterfinals picks, while Kyle went 11-5. … Kyle joined Joe Zone and John Holt on this week’s episode of “GameTime” on CPTV Sports. You can watch here or below.

The State Semifinals 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.

  44 Responses to “State Semifinals Preview”

  1. Class LL
    West Haven

    Class L
    New Canaan

    Class M
    Valley Regional/Old Lyme
    St. Joseph

    Class S

  2. AHS 47-20
    Woods 35-21
    West haven
    ST Joes

  3. LL:
    Ridgefield 21 Southington 20 SHS not that good, RHS peaking
    West Haven 42 FFD Prep 20 WH played opossum on T day

    Darien wins by TD
    NC wins big

    Valley Regional wins big
    St. Joes wins big

    AHS 49 RH 14 Newsome may gain 1,000 yards in last 2 games
    Woodland 42 Bloomfield 28 Special season continues for WRHS

  4. Middletown’s Dario Highsmith has apparently won the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year award. … What?

  5. post season awards are 60—–40 political anyway——no big deal—–cant wait to see all-nvl team

    sothington——-barmore is pretty good
    ffld prep——peaked at right time
    new caanan——looking for darien
    darien——-real good
    st.jokes—–despite poor defense
    valley—-who cares
    ansonia—–if mcnight plays game over by half
    woody—–a nvl thing—-but bloomfield win wouldnt shock

  6. ansonia
    bloomfield ans. already clobbered woodland ,maybe bloomfield can give the chargers a game.
    st. joes
    valley reg.
    darien rematch goes to n.cannan
    ridgefield on a roll close game 6pts or less

  7. ValleyFalls1

    Class LL
    Southington over Ridgefield 35-14 Knights are just qualitatively better
    West Haven over Fairfield Prep 28-21 I like WH colors and Ed McCarthy

    Class L
    Darien over Middletown 28-27 Not sure on this one
    North Haven over New Canaan 45-43 Finally someone runs right at NC

    Class M
    Valley Regional/Old Lyme over Brookfield 42-35 Not sure on this, like the VR uniforms better
    St. Joseph over Joel Barlow 75-49 St Joes scores, Jack Shaban runs

    Class S
    Ansonia over Rocky Hill 42-21 Mirror images, Ansonia is the better more complete image though
    Woodland over Bloomfield 49-28 Don’t think Blooms can stop pass

    • NH vs. NC should be great.

      NH will out-tough NC but not sure the NH defense can stop NC’s WRs. NH can’t afford to go down by two scores because its offense chews-up a lot of clock on its scoring drives. On the flip-side, if NH controls the clock and doesn’t allow NC to get up and down the field, NC will be in big trouble.

      • NH is big and physical, but if NC loads the box and makes North Haven have to throw, its gonna be a long game.

  8. S: Ansonia 55 Rocky Hill 6
    Woodland 48 Bloomfield 21

    M Brookfield 34 Valley Reg. 29
    St. Joe’s 58 Barlow 43
    L North Haven 23 NC 21
    Middletown 35 Darien 28

    LL West Haven 39 Prep 35
    Ridgefield 28 Southington 24

    bloomfield could be scary, as they continue to play for their somewhat fallen teammate, but Kingsley is a winner.

  9. Fish might be the ex player who played for CCSU and passed in a auto crash back in the summer. Bloomfield brings his jersey on to the sidline in his memory.Think he graduated in 2011.

  10. The updated Max Preps rushing results has Arkeel Newsome second in the nation behind Elijah Hood of Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic. Hood has 3,491 yards in fourteen games while Arkeel has 3,350 yards in thirteen games. Two more super games like last week and Ansonia and the NVL will have the leading rusher in the country. Go Arkeel, Go Chargers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. just caught all-nvl on gametime——-ill reserve comments till after season

  12. In the semis…
    Forced picks (with losers in the LL and S): Southington, West Haven and Woodland.
    Free picks (as yet unencumbered): New Canaan, Darien, St. Joe’s, VR/OL and Ansonia.

  13. remmy that kid can throw—-he was a great qb on a poor team and he put up numbers every game—-didnt have too many 100 yard games