Tonight’s game was originally scheduled for November 2nd, but it was postponed because the schools were closed all that week thanks to Superstorm Sandy. As the end of the season rapidly approaches, Daniel Hand finds themselves with three shortened weeks to prepare as their last three games will be played six days apart. Last Friday against Shelton, tonight Thursday and then next Wednesday against Guilford on Thanksgiving eve. Hand will continue that trend for at least one more week as they have clinched a playoff spot and will play on Tuesday night, November 27th. If the Tigers win tonight, they will play that game at the Surf Club.
Notre Dame-West Haven is the last team to beat the Tigers in the regular season. They won 38-14 on the Tigers last trip to Veterans Memorial Field on October 15, 2010. This years’ Notre Dame team is not quite as strong, but they have shown improvement lately. Last week they came from behind to beat a formidable Fairfield Prep 21-14. The Tigers will have their hands full with the Green Knights’ star running back, Cameran Tucker, a junior who rushed for 323 yards against West Haven in a losing effort earlier this year.
The High School Turf is now 2-0
The Tigers successfully defended their unblemished record for the high school turf field last Friday night, defeating Shelton 42-23. While the Tigers may have to defend that record again someday, one field record that may never be broken was set by Shelton kicker, Edward Groth. He kicked a 49 yard field goal and broke the SCC record previously set by Hand’s Greg Walby (47 yards) in 1997. It was the 12th longest field goal in CIAC history. The state record is 54 yards, held by three players.
Click here for a detailed game recap by Dave Phillips of the New Haven Register.
Patch Players of the Week
Offense: Easy one this week... It looked the time off to heal and rest served IAN O’TOOLE very well as he chalked up 182 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Defense: Shelton’s sophomore quarterback, Mark Piccirillo showed some real talent, except for those many times when he was being pressured and sacked by PETER GERSON.
The Playoff Picture
Right now it looks like five of the eight slots in Class L are locked up: Hand, Windsor, Avon, Masuk and Middletown have all unofficially clinched. Teams who can get in with a win are: Fitch, New Canaan and Platt. Those just outside and needing help are: Farmington, North Haven and Darien.
Around the SCC
Coach Filippone had some harsh words for his team after the Shelton game. He said that the team has gotten worse since their huge win over Xavier. Xavier on the other hand has been on a tear since that loss. They dismantled West Haven on Monday night at Palmer Field 42-7. And that was their lowest scoring game since their loss to Hand. They look to be on track to defend their Class LL title.
Even with the two losses now, West Haven still has a shot to make the playoffs with a win over Fairfield Prep on Thanksgiving.
Hillhouse needs a win over Wilbur Cross on Thanksgiving to claim a playoff spot in Class M.
Give credit to East Haven and Guilford, they didn’t let a little snow stop them last Friday night. They shoveled off the lines at Crisafi Field and went at it. Check out the WTNH video here. That’s real football!