Manchester @ Newington
Manchester coach Roy Robert spent the past three seasons as the head coach at Newington. He is still seeking his first victory at his new school, following three losses to start the season, including last week’s 26-18 loss in New Britain.
Newington is off to a 2-1 start under the guidance of Eric Hennessy, Robert’s replacement. The team is coming off of a tough 19-7 loss to rival Hall. The normally potent Indians offense was held scoreless after quarterback Jake Hedberg’s touchdown run in the first quarter.
In last season’s meeting, Manchester edged Newington 14-9, holding the Indians out of the end zone and intercepting Hedberg twice.
Roberts makes his return to Newington High School and his debut on the visitor’s sidelines this Thursday night. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.
Cromwell @ Old Saybrook
Cromwell earned a much-needed victory last Saturday, trouncing Nonnewaug 40-7. Sensastional sophomore Kristian Sapp ran for 226 yards and two touchdowns to propel the Panthers to their first victory. Cromwell looks to even their record when they travel to the shoreline to take on winless Old Saybrook. The Rams have struggled on both sides of the ball this season, allowing 40 of more point in each game and only managing to score 26 points in three games.
Cromwell also has history on their side, having won all nine games between the two teams dating back to 2004. This game should come down to which team establishes the ground game. Both teams prefer to run and have had trouble stopping other teams on the ground.
Cromwell will travel to the windy shoreline for this battle. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
Wethersfield @ Farmington
This is a rematch of Farmington’s wild win last season. Wethersfield quarterback Matt Sanzaro threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in a 32-28 defeat. The Eagles have not lost since that game, winning ten straight, including their first three contests this season.
Wethersfield is coming off a 50-3 pasting of Edwin O. Smith to improve to 3-0. Sanzaro showed no signs of his week-two shoulder injury, shredded the E.O. Smith defense for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Farmington has started the season dropping two of their first three games, including last week’s home loss to Maloney.
Friday night’s kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Farmington High School.
Rocky Hill @ Bloomfield
The two schools have developed one of the fiercest rivalries in the state. Bloomfield had won three straight over Rocky Hill before last season’s 38-14 Terriers’ victory. The two schools made the Class S playoffs last season, both losing in their respective semifinals games.
The Terriers have won their last two games and are coming off a well-rounded performance in a win over East Catholic. Bloomfield has lost their last two games, including a 27-18 barnburner to undefeated Northwest Catholic last Friday. The Warhawks have a pair of juniors leading their offense. Quarterback Isaiah Colebrook and running back Andrell Pinnock have accounted for a majority of the team’s offensive production through three games. Linebacker Lamar Baisden is one of the most gifted defenders in the state and will have the task of stopping Rocky Hill’s runaway trains Dave Sevigny and Grant Nieves.
Phil Rubin Stadium in Bloomfield is the venue for Friday night’s grudge match game. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Xavier @ Hillhouse
Xavier has defeated Hillhouse in their last five meetings, including a 42-14 lambasting last season. It could be more of the same this Friday night when the teams have their annual gridiron get-together. Xavier has started the season with three wins, while Hillhouse has lost two of their first three games.
The Falcons are still searching for an identity on offense, but have increased their scoring output in each week. They scored a season-high 30 points in last Friday’s victory over Hamden. Senior Ted Duarte sparked the Xavier offense in the win, rushing for three touchdowns. Xavier’s defense will have their hands full with Hillhouse quarterback Corey Maddox, who leads the Academics in both passing yards and rushing touchdowns this season.
The game is Friday at East Haven High School. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
Fermi @ Middletown
This is the David and Goliath game of the week. Middletown has steamrolled Fermi over the past four seasons, winning all four games by a combined score of 178-8.
Middletown bounced back after their loss to Wethersfield with a convincing 34-7 trouncing of Bristol Eastern. Dario Highsmith got back on track with 266 rushing yards and four scores in the latest victory.
Fermi has a relatively new football program and it hasn’t been a pleasant couple of years for the Falcons. They have not won a game since 2010 and last Saturday’s loss to Bulkeley was their 34th in a row. The team does have a solid signal caller in Charles Fields, who has led the team to a school record 127 points through three weeks.
Middletown looks to continue their dominance over Fermi on Thursday night. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin