FCIAC

Weekend Game Plan: New Canaan-St. Joseph Provide Early Showdown

St. Joseph celebrates its season-opening win over New Canaan last season. (Photo: Gregory Vasil)

After spring football, 7 on 7 and training camps, opening weekend is finally here, with one big game and two others of particular interest.

With our football preview published today, here is an abbreviated look at the menu.

Game Of The Week

New Canaan (0-0) at St. Joseph (0-0), Saturday, 1:30 p.m. We kick off with one of the biggest regular-season games. One of two potential state champions will find themselves in an early hole. Given the schedule and the difficulty of their respective classes, the Rams probably have a slightly greater sense of urgency.

The Cadets’ 38-35 win to start last season seemed seismic at the time, less so as the year went on. New Canaan never really recovered from it.

This game could be decided on the lines, where New Canaan may never be at a disadvantage this fall. Will the Cadets be able to get Drew Pyne and the Rams out of a rhythm?

On the other side, how will the New Canaan secondary handle David Summers and the Cadets’ explosive passing game?

Quite simply a great game to start the season. (You can listen to coaches Lou Marinelli and Joe Della Vecchia discuss the game in this week’s podcast).

Friday

Ridgefield (0-0) at Darien (0-0), 7 p.m. How many times do you think Darien coach Rob Trifone has told his players this week that no one believes they can four-peat after finishing third in the first state writers’ poll?

Both teams have had a lot of personnel changes, more so Ridgefield. With both schools relying on so many newcomers, this game should be illuminating.

Westhill (0-0) at Fairfield Ludlowe (0-0), 7 p.m. The Joey DeVellis era begins at Westhill with a lot of new faces. This is a good spot for the Falcons to give second-year coach Mitch Ross his first win.

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Fairfield Warde (0-0) at Stamford (0-0), 7 p.m. The Mustangs are shooting for a winning record. They means get a victory here against an inexperienced but athletic Stamford team.

Wilton (0-0) at Brien McMahon (0-0), 7 p.m. New Coach Bowl 1, as the Warriors and their large senior class under EJ DiNunzio take on the Senators, in the first game with Jeff Queiroga.

Staples (0-0) at Bridgeport Central (0-0), 7 p.m. New Coach Bowl 2. Phil Treglia has some good veterans, especially on defense, at Staples while the Hilltoppers open under Derrick Lewis, who is back in the FCIAC.

Trinity Catholic (0-0) at Danbury (0-0), 7 p.m. Two schools that are trying to increase their numbers. The Hatters also have a new coach, Augie Tieri, who has been working tirelessly on every aspect of his program. The Crusaders feel they can be better than many people think.

Norwalk (0-0) at East Lyme (0-0), 7 p.m. The Bears are a hot choice for league sleeper. Their road begins with a long road trip.

Saturday

Trumbull (0-0) at Greenwich (0-0), 4 p.m. The Eagles will be much improved this year under new coach Marce Petroccio but they also have the state’s toughest schedule.

Are they good enough to hang with the Cardinals, who have talent, depth and drive after losing in the state final last December?

One prediction: we won’t see a repeat of the Cardinals’ 70-16 win last year.