We last saw the Tigers on October 26th when they battled a very tough North Haven team, for their 7th win of the year. Hand had several turnovers and North Haven’s ball control offense kept it close in the first half as the teams were tied 7-7 at the break. Hand then went on to score 17 unanswered points in the second half and won the game 24-7.
The Tigers were supposed to play at Notre Dame-West Haven on November 2nd, but after Superstorm Sandy cancelled school for the entire week that game is now re-scheduled for Thursday November 15th, Veteran’s Stadium, West Haven, at 6:00 pm.
Snow causes a change in venue.
Trivia Question: What team, who wears the colors black and gold, played the most Friday night football games at the Surf Club this year? Well.. it’s a tie. Both Daniel Hand and Amity will have played only one Friday night Surf Club game. The Cheshire game was moved to the high school, the West Haven game was played on Saturday and now the Shelton game has been moved to the high school. The remaining home game will be on Thanksgiving Eve against Guilford.
Coach Filippone will not be happy. After the Cheshire game he stated that he wanted to retire the high school field from Varsity competition with a 1-0 record. He certainly didn’t anticipate having to defend that record so soon. However, the snow on Wednesday evening left Strong Field covered. As of 1pm on Thursday there was still about an inch of snow left with some grass peeking through. With temperatures expected to rise today, it may have been possible to play at the Surf Club, but to prevent ruining the wet grass field for the Thanksgiving game, instead the game was moved to the always reliable and rugged turf.
Just what exactly is a “Gael” anyway?
The Shelton Gaels come to the Sur... uh.. High School with a 5-3 record. They lost their opener to Cheshire 30-23. They also lost to Fairfield Prep and Xavier. They are led by their sophomore quarterback, Mark Piccirillo, (5-10 175) who has thrown for 12 touchdowns and run for three more. Their top rusher is junior Jagger Kalagian (5-10 190) he has six rushing touchdowns this year. Shelton is a LL school and their three losses have pretty much placed them out of any playoff chances. Nevertheless, Shelton has a strong tradition of playing hard nosed “Valley” style football and could give the Tigers some trouble.
Patch Players of the Week
Offense: Tyler Phan accounted for 25% of the scoring with his 32 yard field goal added to his three extra points, but always the warrior is KYLE ANDERSON with his clutch receptions.
Defense: Jalon White was a handful for the defense. The fact that he was held for only one score, after numerous breakout runs, was a great team effort. Safety ALEX TUCCERO was the one on the hot seat many times and saved the touchdown on several occasions.
The playoff picture is getting clearer
There are some sports writers who have claimed that Daniel Hand has unofficially clinched a playoff berth already. Technically, they may be right, but it is still way too complicated for me. Hand leads Class L with 1080 points. If they were to undergo some sort of catastrophic breakdown and drop their last three games, they would still finish with no less than a point average of 108.0 and that would likely be enough for the eighth playoff spot. One more win will probably get them an official “clinch” from the CIAC.
Other teams who look to be a “lock” are: Windsor, Avon, Masuk and New Canaan. Middletown, Fitch, Platt, Farmington and Platt Tech are all hovering for the remaining slots. Standings here.
The Tigers are aiming for one of the top four spots so they can host a home game on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. They will have to win two of the last three to make that happen.
Around the SCC
The game of the week will be West Haven at Xavier on Saturday night. Xavier has been on a tear since their loss to Hand, scoring at least 50 points in every game. West Haven is currently eighth in Class LL standings, they will be fighting for their playoff lives with no picnic ahead on Thanksgiving against Fairfield Prep.