Big games have been few and far between this fall. On Saturday we get two of the biggest — including arguably the best of the regular season — just 150 minutes apart.
Game Of The Week
Darien (5-0) at Greenwich (5-0), Saturday, 4 p.m. Like the Rose Bowl, this matchup between the No. 3 (Greenwich) and 4 (Darien) teams in the state is the Grandaddy of them all in the FCIAC this season. The winner is all but assured of a Class LL playoff berth (the loser remains in great shape).
What makes this repeat of the 2017 Class LL championship so intriguing is there is not much body of work that lends itself to establishing a clear-cut favorite. The Cardinals have been impressive this year but have yet to be tested. The Blue Wave defense stood out in its big game, a 24-8 win over Southington.
All eyes will be on the first-year quarterbacks: Greenwich’s James Rinello and Darien’s Peter Graham. How will they perform against the best defenses they might see this year?
And which of the defenses will be most dominant? There are playmakers on both teams, with Eddy Iuteri the focus of every Greenwich opponent, and Sam Wilson, the Blue Wave linebacker who was the pick here for midseason Defensive Player of the Year, flying around the field.
After all the analysis, these are two teams that at this point seem fairly similar and the outcome will come down simply to which one makes the bigger plays and fewest mistakes.
New Canaan (3-2) at Staples (2-3), 7 p.m. This game looked a lot bigger six weeks ago, but the Rams have two losses and the Wreckers have disappointed a bit. New Canaan for the third straight year has to win out over the second half of the season to have a chance to earn a state playoff berth.
Norwalk (2-3) at Trumbull (2-3), 7 p.m. These teams need a win here to make a run at a .500 or better record. Each has looked good at times and underwhelmed at others.
Stamford (3-2) at Brien McMahon (1-4), 7 p.m. Few figured the Black Knights would win four games all year. A victory here and they have hit the mark six weeks in.
Danbury (4-1) at Newtown (5-0), 7 p.m. The Hatters have made great strides this season, but it may be asking too much for them to keep up with the No. 5 team in the current state poll.
Wilton (3-2) at Bunnell (0-5), 7 p.m. The Warriors should have a good bounce-back from last week’s loss to Ridgefield.
New Milford (3-2) at Fairfield Warde (1-4), 7 p.m. The Mustangs hope to begin a second-half turnaround against a team that is riding a three-game winning streak.
Ridgefield (5-0) at St. Joseph (5-0), 1:30 p.m. This would be the Game of the Week almost any other week. The Tigers have been consistent over the first half of the season, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
But that defense hasn’t encountered anything like the Cadets’ weapons. Jack Wallace. Will Diamantis. Jaden Shirden. Brady Hutchison. To name a few.
Looking for a comparison? Ridgefield beat New Canaan on a field goal on the final play. The Cadets defeated New Canaan, 58-14.
Bridgeport Central (0-5) at Westhill (0-5), 2 p.m. These are the last two teams in the league without a win. That number drops to one late afternoon.
Fairfield Ludlowe (3-2) at Trinity/Wright Tech (0-5), 2:30 p.m. The Falcons been one of the most entertaining teams to watch. The Crusaders get high marks when it comes to effort.