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Preview: Four Valley football teams in action Friday night

The high school football season kicks off on Friday night with four of the Farmington Valley’s six teams playing under the lights. Canton and Avon host their season opening games on Saturday. Records are last year’s final records.

Friday, Sept. 14
E.O. Smith (2-8, 2-3 CCC Div. II East) at Farmington (9-1, 3-1 CCC Div. II West), 7 p.m.: Tenth straight season opener under the lights for Farmington, who face E.O. Smith for the second year in a row on opening night. QB Jeremy Buck gets the start for Farmington, which returns its starting offensive and defensive lines. Indians looking for fifth win in last six years on opening night.

Lewis Mills (2-8, 2-8 Pequot Sassacus) at Morgan (1-9, 1-9 Pequot Sassacus), 6:30 p.m.: Mills begins its third varsity season on the road under second-year coach Greg Todd. Mills will be young after graduating 12 starters but Todd believes his Spartans can be competitive. Sophomore QB Justin Pease will start at QB with Tom Kysar at running back. Mills outlasted Morgan, 42-28 to win their opening game last September.

Simsbury (3-7, 0-4 CCC Div. I West) at Newington (3-7, 2-2 CCC Div. I East), 7 p.m.: Veteran Simsbury squad hopes to get back on the winning track against Newington. The Trojans beat Newington, 14-7 on opening night last year and are looking for their 16th win against NHS, who spent the preseason trying out a new quarterback. Look for RB Jon Young to lead Newington, which will face a stout Simsbury defense led by LB Christian Martinez, lineman Christian Kaljulaid, LB Cormack Mulshine and DB Blair Zentek. Look for the Trojans to re-establish their triple option veer offense to control the game.

Granby (2-8, 2-8 Pequot Uncas) at Enfield (6-4, 6-4 Pequot Uncas), 7 p.m. Enfield lost 17 starters but they still have a strong team led by RB Avery Boissy and LB Lukasz Kluk. Granby will be young again under first-year coach Rich Gadoury. Senior LB Steve Black and junior QB Curt Field should lead the Bears.

Saturday, Sept. 15
Ellington (10-1, 10-0 Pequot Uncas) at Canton (0-10, 0-10) Pequot Uncas, 1 p.m. Canton draws a difficult assignment for head coach Paul Philippon’s debut with the Warriors. Ellington went 10-0 to win its first Pequot Conference championship and earned a berth in the Class M tournament. The Knights lost 15 starters but still return a solid nucleus including RB/LB Neal Janiga, senior WR Brendan Coverdil and WR Austin Tautkus. Eric Scott will start the season at QB for a young Canton team, which is looking for its first opening day win since 1958.

Avon helmet 2012Stafford/East Windsor (5-5, 5-5 Pequot Uncas) at Avon (7-3, 7-3 Pequot Uncas), 1 p.m. Stafford was an up and coming team a year ago. Avon is looking for additional help for All-Pequot Conference running back Colin Moore who ran for over 2,000 yards a year ago. The Falcon defense, led by Jimmy Murphy and Joey Murphy, should be very solid. Avon has won five of its last six opening day contests.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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