The date that many Farmington High players and fans circled on their calendars at the beginning of the 2012 high school football season is upon us. Farmington, which was 9-1 a year ago, gets another crack at defending CCC West Division II champion Windsor High Friday night on the road. The Warriors have won 19 straight regular season games. Elsewhere in the Farmington Valley, Simsbury (4-2) has a big challenge by facing host New Britain at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium as the Trojans continue their quest to contend for the CCC West Division I championship. Lewis Mills seeks its first win of the year tonight at winless East Hampton/Vinal Tech.
On Saturday, Canton looks for its fifth win in six games when they take on speedy Gilbert/Northwestern in Winsted. On Saturday night, Granby makes its first-ever trip to Dillon Stadium in Hartford to face SMSA/University and Avon hosts winless Housatonic/Wamogo and its unique single-wing offense under portable lights at AHS.
Friday, Oct. 26
Farmington (6-0, 3-0 CCC West Div. II) at Windsor (5-0, 3-0), 7 p.m. This is a huge test for Farmington as they visit the talented Warriors, who won the CCC West Div. II title a year ago and advanced to the Class L semifinals. These are two similar teams, both led by talented QBs who can run and throw. Windsor QB Quinn Fleeting is the son of coach Robert Fleeting and has completed 69-of-95 passes for 1,095 yards and 13 TDs, primarily to Ryhieme Moore (22-342, 3 TDs), Rashah Ramsey (12-300, 2 TDs) and Terrell Huff (10-179, 3 TDs). Fleeting is also a threat rushing the ball with a team-leading 410 yards and 6 TDs. Windsor has won its last 19 regular season games. Farmington is also led by an outstanding QB in Kenny Jones, who has completed 25 of 36 passes for 547 yards and 7 TDs while rushing for 501 yards and 6 TDs. Farmington’s main threat on the ground is Ivan Guadalupe (103-650, 8 TDs). Anthony Carpenter is the top receiver (19-347, 4 TDs) for the Indians. To win, Farmington’s defense will have to play well and contain Fleeting and his teammates. Windsor handed Farmington its only loss a year ago, 35-14, scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half. Series: Began 2008. Windsor leads, 2-0
Simsbury (4-2, 2-0 CCC West Div. I) at New Britain (2-4, 1-2), 7 p.m. This is a big game for the Trojans and their CCC West Division I championship hopes. Next week, Simsbury hosts Southington (6-0, 2-0) at the high school. But first, Simsbury has to handle an always-tough New Britain team led by QB Malique Jones, son of former NFL player and current Hurricane coach Tebucky Jones. Malique Jones completed 7-of-13 passes for 106 yards and 1 TD in the second half of last week’s 27-24 OT win over Conard. Malique has been running frequently because RB Lamar Bowsky has been struggling with a high ankle sprain. Mistakes have slowed down the Hurricanes, who were penalized 13 times for 106 yards and dropped several passes against Conard. A diverse running game with five backs rushing helped Simsbury beat Hall last week, led by Christian Martinez, who ran for a team-high 80 yards on 15 carries. Martinez is the team’s leading rusher (60-370, 3 TDs). QB Steve Steijn needs to keep making good decisions running the triple option veer offense. Simsbury’s defense was sharp last week, limiting Hall to just 90 yards rushing. The Trojans need to control the game. Their run-first oriented offense isn’t built to rally from large deficits. Series: Began 2004. New Britain leads, 7-1
Lewis Mills (0-5, 0-5 Pequot Sassacus) at East Hampton/Vinal Tech (0-6, 0-6) at Palmer Field, Middletown, 6:30 p.m. Two winless teams will battle for their first victories of the season at Palmer Field on Friday night. The host Bellhawks are led by RB Macklin O’Connor (67-322, 1 TD), QB Devon Albrincoles (17-50, 217 yards, 2 TDs, 7 interceptions) and WR Sitro Nich (17-158, 4 TDs). When East Hampton can run the ball, they have been more successful. The Bellhawks have 14 sacks, 7 interceptions and 6 fumble recoveries in six games. Series: Began 2011. East Hampton/VT leads, 1-0
Saturday, Oct. 27
Canton (4-2, 4-2 Pequot Uncas) at Gilbert/NW Regional (2-3, 2-3), 1:30 p.m. The Warriors are on a roll after winning four of their last five games. Canton rallied from a 14-point deficit last week and stopped a potential game-tying two-point conversion with no time left on the clock to beat Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton last week. RB Kyle Mullins ran for 100 yards and a school-record tying 4 TDs. Gilbert has been off for a week after coughing up the ball eight times in a 42-10 loss to Avon. The Yellowjackets have some speed in Tony Ortiz, who has run for a team-high 577 yards and 5 TDs. QB John Lippincott has completed 33-of-67 passes for 655 yards and 9 TDs. John Ambrozaitis (11-304, 2 TDs), Thomas Casey (11-110) and Ortiz (5-135, 1 TD) are the top receivers. Turnovers have hurt Gilbert, through. Lippincott has thrown seven interceptions. The Canton defense will have to contain Ortiz and not let the Yellowjacket receivers get behind them for big gains. The Warriors will need to control the game on the ground but it will be a challenge against a strong Yellowjacket squad. Series: Began 1945. Gilbert leads, 12-10
Granby (2-3, 2-3 Pequot Uncas) at SMSA/University (1-4, 1-4) at Dillon Stadium, Hartford, 6:30 p.m. Granby faces a Tigerhawk team that continues to grow. SMSA/University had the lead in the fourth quarter against Coventry/Windham Tech before throwing an interception that was returned for a TD in a one-point loss. A week ago, the Tigerhawks earned their first win of the season with a 36-30 win over Stafford/East Windsor in double OT. Ezequiel Ortiz led SMSA with a career-high 166 yards and 2 TDs. Tigerhawk QB Wilfredo Alicea leads the offense. He has rushed for a team-leading 411 yards and 4 TDs while completing 33-of-85 passes for 445 yards and 4 TDs. His favorite target is Kayron Macon (20-328, 2 TDs). While Granby is still trying to get its running game on track, QB Curtis Fields has had success throwing the ball, completing 62-of-124 passes for 683 yards and 4 TDs. Ian Downey (18-219, 2 TDs), Ben Marlor (13-152) and Caleb McMullin (13-145, 1 TD) are the top receivers. The Bears need to reduce their turnovers. They have thrown six interceptions and lost seven fumbles. Series: Began 2011. SMSA/University leads, 1-0
Housatonic/Wamogo (0-5, 0-5 Pequot Uncas) at Avon (6-0, 6-0), 6:30 p.m. The Falcons face a tough task under the lights at the high school on Saturday night. They need to play hard from the start against the Mountaineers, who have struggled this season. While coaches preach against it all the time, high school athletes can overlook opponents. A year ago, Avon had to rally to beat the Mountaineers in a snowstorm in Falls Village in overtime, 17-14 on a field goal from Will Destefano. The Mountaineers are one of the few teams in the nation that run the single wing offense, a style of football that was popular in the first half of the 20th century. Created by Glenn “Pop” Warner, the single wing formation has three players lined up on one side in the backfield. The center directly snaps the ball to a tailback, fullback or quarterback, who is frequently called upon to block. A wing back lines up near the end of the line. There are no wide receivers or tight ends. Avon’s Colin Moore has run for 1,234 yards and 15 TDs in six games, which is No. 2 in the state behind New Milford’s Joe Pacheco, who has run for 1,468 yards and 17 TDs. Avon is 13-5 at home under the lights and has won its last six home games at night. Series: Began 1962. Avon leads, 15-3