Weekend Game Plan: Darien Hosts Southington In Early Showdown

Peter Graham will try to carry Darien to its second straight win. (Gregory Vasil)

After a bland first week, there are at least three games worth keeping an eye on this weekend, including a heavyweight non-league matchup.

Game Of The Week

Southington (1-0) at Darien (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m. The Blue Wave defeated Southington in both the 2015-16 Class LL semifinals, the penultimate step to the first two of three straight state titles.

Now they meet in the second week of the season. The Blue Wave are ranked fifth in the GameTimeCT poll after a win over Fairfield Ludlowe. Southington, which toppled Conard, is ninth.

This non-league game is one of the highlights of the FCIAC schedule. The Blue Wave were impressive against an overmatched Ludlowe team. This will be a much different test.

A win here would provide the Blue Wave with a little cushion going forward in their hunt to get back to the state playoffs.

Friday

Danbury (0-1) at Trinity/Wright Tech (0-1), 6 p.m. The Hatters showed some glimpses early in the loss to Greenwich of the offensive spark they believe will help them improve on last season. Trinity opens at home, which is a bigger deal given what it endured all spring.

New Canaan (1-0) at Ridgefield (1-0), 7 p.m. These teams have met just twice in the last 11 years. We are still trying to figure out how to rank what appear to be the top four schools in the league. The other big question: can anyone play with the so-called power four? Ridgefield would appear to have one of the best chances, so this game will be illuminating in many ways. The Tigers’ defense was impressive in the opener against Warde. The Rams, with Drew Pyne at quarterback, will pose a few more matchup problems.

Greenwich (1-0) at Trumbull (1-0), 7 p.m. The Cardinals have dominated recent meetings. They impressed with virtually an entirely new starting cast last week against Danbury. The Eagles are also counting on the contributions of newcomers that are young but high on potential.

Stamford (1-0) at Fairfield Warde (0-1), 7 p.m. The Black Knights, by a large margin, were the big week one story, their upset over Staples resonating throughout the league because of the preseason tragedy they endured. Now they want to turn that victory into a springboard as they travel to face a Warde team looking to bounce back from the Ridgefield loss.

Brien McMahon (0-1) at Wilton (1-0), 7 p.m. The Warriors, coming off a non-league win over Fitch, look to build on their early success. They are opening up their offense, while the Senators are hoping to build this season with a power running game.

Norwalk (1-0) at Bridgeport Central (0-1), 7 p.m. The Bears, coming off a win over Trinity, look to make it two straight against the Hilltoppers, who are confident they will be improved but are not ready to play against the league’s better teams.

Saturday

Fairfield Ludlowe at Westhill, 1 p.m. The new-cast Falcons had a tough time at Darien. They will try to get the offense untracked against a Viking team hungry for an early-season win.

Notre Dame-West Haven (0-1) at St. Joseph (1-0), 1:30 p.m. Notre Dame at worst is tied for the most difficult start to a season ever. It lost at No. 1 Daniel Hand last week. Now it hits the road to face No. 2 St. Joseph, which very well could be meeting Hand in December.

New Britain (0-1) at Staples (0-1), 7 p.m, at Norwalk. Not only were the Wreckers upset last week by Stamford, they have had to spend the last six days listening to everyone throw praise at the Black Knights, rallied around after losing one of their players and a school graduate in a car crash. The Wreckers have both been seething and preparing to return to the level that had them on the brink of a state playoff berth last year. This is a good place to start.