Several local teams finish football season

It’s a shame that it has become Thanksgiving Week games and not Thanksgiving Day games in the North Central section of Connecticut. The traditional Thursday morning games were a tradition that alumni all over loved. However, with the installing of lights, field turf, and the enjoyment that many get from being home on Thanksgiving morning, it is turned into an all week event. The season is over for all teams in the area except Glastonbury and Farmington. Glastonbury won their league, but Farmington finished second. Ellington/Somers won the Pequot North. Avon finished 8-3, and Windsor Locks and Canton both had strong seasons, finishing at 7-4 respectively. Here’s a recap of how teams in our circulation fared:

Glastonbury

The Tomahawks last game seems like it was played two months ago—however, it was only last weekend. In a winter wonderland, Glastonbury bested Simsbury 41-7 in their annual Saturday before Thanksgiving matchup. This has become a move that many of the best teams in the state have made. They like to avoid the Thanksgiving Day game so they can get extra prep time for the playoffs—and that’s exactly where Glastonbury is headed.

In the Class LL playoffs they will square off against Fairfield Prep. At 10-1 the Tomahawks earned the #2 seed and will host Fairfield Prep (9-2) on Tuesday night at 6:30 pm. As Glastonbury rests up, their winter sports teams will have to miss out on some of their biggest stars, as they prepare to compete for the state title. As usual, they will ride the strong play of Jalen Ollie at quarterback, and Donevin O’Reilly at running back, and lineman Andrew Cavanna. Although the offense is extremely talented, Glastonbury will need to rely on their top ranked defense to shut down Fairfield Prep. On defense they will continue to count on Cavanna at defensive tackle and Kyran McKinney-Crudden at linebacker. My prediction: go with the home team in a close one 16-14.

Farmington

The last time this happened I was a senior in high school, and my Enfield High team lost a nail biter to them, but the Farmington Indians are back in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. No one is more aware of their absence than their senior class, who has been part of two 9-1 teams that just missed out of the playoffs each of the past two years. This year Farmington will be living out their dreams by earning the 6 seed in Class L. They will travel to New Canaan High School on Tuesday night, a task that will not be an easy one.

They earned their way in with a dominating victory against Plainville on Thanksgiving morning. The Indians dominated from start to finish in a 34-0 victory. Kenny Jones led the offense with five carries for 97 yards (yes, that stat is correct), and Ivan Guadalupe had 10 carries for 114 yards rushing. The game was in hand very early on and it allowed Coach Chris Marcol to get his starters some rest at the end of the game. The Indians remain undefeated in their series versus Plainville.

New Canaan is a perennial playoff contender and they beat local team Avon last season 16-7 in the first round. They were also not shy in talking about how excited they were to be playing Avon, insinuating that they were a lesser opponent. Avon played tough and game them their money’s worth. I’m not sure, but New Canaan may have learned their lesson. My pick for this one is New Canaan 34-14.

Ellington/Somers

The season didn’t go as planned as the Knights missed the playoffs for the first time in three years, but it ended with a championship banner. Ellington won all the right games on their schedule. They only finished the season at 6-5, but they were 5-1 in the revamped Pequot North and ended as the champions after a dominating 40-12 victory over Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton.

Going into the game the Knights knew they needed a win to win the title outright. A loss would have created a three way tie at the top of the league. Senior running back Christian Schneider had 16 carries for 188 yards on the way to the victory. Mark Hickman, a sophomore running back, scored three touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving) in the win. Ellington jumped out to a 33-0 lead in the third quarter and corner back Danny Hayes intercepted a Dan Lawrence pass for a touchdown to seal the deal. After that, Coventry put in two late touchdowns.

The Knights were not 9-1 like last season, but they did something they couldn’t last year, win the league.

Enfield

The Raiders finished with by winning a nail biter versus SMSA/University 13-12. The Raiders jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but then fell behind 12-7 going into the fourth quarter. The Raiders were down a quarterback with starter Jason Davis out, and Chris Lapointe filled in admirably. There were wet conditions for the game—it was actually moved up an hour early to beat the storm. In the fourth quarter Enfield’s offense took over and ran the ball behind senior Bryan Murphy. Murphy helped lead a clock eating drive as the Raiders played keep away from SMSA and they ran out the clock.

The win moved Enfield to 5-6 in an up and down season. Davis starred most of the year as did running back Tom Watson. The Raiders were young up front and return a strong core, including Davis and wide receiver Tyrik Henry. The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2011.

Canton

The Warriors had a great season, but a bad night on Thanksgiving’s Eve. They dropped a 21-19 contest against Granby, which officially knocked them out of the Class S playoff picture. Overall they finished 7-4, which was a very promising season.

They knocked off Avon in week one, a signature win for the up and coming program, and they competed with the top Pequot teams all season long. Terrance Brophy and Dan Daleos led a two headed rushing attack for the Warriors. Eric Scott was strong at the quarterback position, as he had his strongest game against Enfield late in the season. There good news for Canton is that they are mainly juniors, and this team should be one of the top teams in the league heading into next season.

Avon

The Falcons didn’t make the playoffs, but they had a very strong season under first year coach Jim Cauoette. They finished 8-3 and ended the season with a dominating 30-13 victory over Ellington/Somers. They were lead all season long by all state linebacker/running back Jimmy Murphy who will most likely repeat as an all stater. The Falcons also received a pleasant surprise from quarterback Noah Hahn who was outstanding all season long. Hahn started last season, but was mainly there to handoff to star back Colin Moore. In their three losses, they lost by a total of seven points, and were dominant in most of their victories. They will also return a strong core next season.

South Windsor/Rockville

The Bobcats went for broke against their rival Rockville as they dominated from start to finish in a 39-0 victory.

South Windsor, who was 0-10 going into the game, got a welcome return from senior James Nyarko—he had 14 carries for 167 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. The win helped leave the seniors with a positive taste in their mouth, and saved them from an 0-11 season.

Quarterback Ryan McDonald finished a strong campaign with three rushing touchdowns on five carries and 67 yards rushing. Rockville finished the season at 0-11. They had a disappointing campaign, as they had very high hopes going into the season, with high numbers and some talented skill players, but their season ended in disappointing fashion.

Tolland

The Eagles couldn’t get the ball moving in the right direction in their finale versus E.O. Smith. They dropped their Turkey Day matchup 37-21 to fall to 1-10 on the season.

Sophomore running back Devin Kokoszka had a strong showing, and a solid season ending with a touchdown in the game.

Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby—Stafford/East Windsor

The Raiders had one of the biggest turnarounds in the area, as they benefited from the Pequot realignments by going 7-4 on the season. Although their record was the best in the Pequot North, they only finished 3-3 in division. They ended the season strong by crushing Stafford/East Windsor 26-8.

Jarvis Miller, Jeremey Wilson, and Khmari Thomas were a three headed monster on offense in their double wing attack as they tormented defenses in the league. The Raiders were 1-9 last year, and the running backs, and quarterback Ago Jimenez all had strong seasons to lead the way for the co-op.

The Bulldogs finished 2-9—they picked up a win via forfeit on Thanksgiving’s Eve by Old Saybrook playing an ineligible player earlier in the year. Kyle Mathieu had a strong season at quarterback, but the team struggled both offensively and defensively during the season.

Fermi

The Falcons dropped their final contest 40-0 against Bloomfield on the Friday before Thanksgiving. The Falcons showed improvement this season, but they had many of the same problems that they’ve had in the past. They had a small squad, many injuries, and were often outmatched going into the game. Fermi finished the season 0-11 and they are in the midst of a 33 game losing streak. Coach Joe Tata plans to return and is hoping that his first win will come early in the season. The coach was pleased with performances by Charles Fields a sophomore running back, and Bailey Raymond, a junior wide receiver.

 

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