They’ve been playing football at Greenwich High for a long time. The Cardinals have won eight CIAC state championships including Saturday when they won their first Class LL championship since 1999 with a 34-0 shutout win over New Canaan. Greenwich has played in 16 CIAC state championship games.
But they’ve never been the No. 1 ranked team in the final top 10 football poll of the season – until now.
Greenwich (13-0) capped off an undefeated season by earning No. 1 honors in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register top 10 poll of state sportswriters and in the New London Day’s state coaches poll. It was Greenwich’s first undefeated season since 1974 when they went 11-0 in the years before the CIAC playoffs began in 1976.
Greenwich received 24 of 28 votes in the sportswriters poll with undefeated Hand (13-0) – the only other undefeated team in the state and the Class L champion – picking up four votes. The Cardinals were a unanimous selection in the Day’s coaches poll among the 13 voters.
Three times, Greenwich was ranked No. 2 in the final polls of the year. The Cardinals were No. 2 in the New Haven Register’s sportswriters and New London Day’s coaches poll in 2006 and 2007 – finishing behind Ansonia in both seasons. Greenwich was also second behind Naugatuck in the 1981 sportswriters poll finishing behind undefeated Naugatuck.
Hand finished No. 2 while Class M champion St. Joseph-Trumbull, who scored a state record 70 points in the championship game win over Berlin, finished at No. 3. New Canaan, who dropped a 34-0 decision to the Cardinals in the Class LL title game, finished 10-3 and at No. 4 with Class S champion Bloomfield (12-1) moving up to No. 5 – its highest ranking of the season – after a 25-7 victory over Haddam-Killingworth in the Class S title game.
Greenwich scored a school-record 579 points and allowed a state-low 54 points in 13 games. They had six shutouts. It was Greenwich’s fifth undefeated season since 1946. The Cardinals also ran the table in 1962, 1953 and 1946.
Hand was mighty impressive as well. The Tigers posted a ninth undefeated season and scored a school-record 653 points this season – 11th best in state history. According to the New London Day’s Ned Griffen, the Tigers’ 54 points at halftime of the Class L championship game was the most points scored in the first half of a CIAC football championship game.
Local fans got to see No. 5 Bloomfield and No. 10 Berlin against Avon this fall while Simsbury fans got to see their team face off against No. 13 Southington and No. 14 New Britain. Farmington fans got to see the Indians challenge No. 11 Maloney, Windsor, Middletown and Platt this fall. All four teams received votes in the final poll.
Top 10 football polls
The GameTimeCT/New Haven Register sportwriters top 10 football poll. First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.
FINAL, Monday, December 10, 2018
|1. Greenwich (24)||13-0||832||1||LL|
|2. Hand (4)||13-0||792||2||L|
|3. St. Joseph||12-1||728||5||M|
|4. New Canaan||10-3||632||8||LL|
|9. Fairfield Prep||10-1||372||nr||LL|
|Others receiving votes: Maloney (10-3), 298; Ansonia (11-1), 296; Southington (11-1), 293; New Britain (10-2), 187; Haddam-Killingworth (11-2), 147; Sheehan (10-2), 71; Windsor (9-3), 54; Killingly (10-2), 42; Staples (7-3), 38; Stafford/Somers/East Windsor (11-1), 33; Naugatuck (9-2), 28; Middletown (9-2), 22; Platt (9-3), 15; East Hartford (8-2), 11; Woodland (9-2), 8; North Haven (8-3), 7.|
|The following voted: Bob Barton, New Haven Register; Nate Brown, Fox61; Bill Bloxsom, Hersam Acorn Newspapers; Sean Patrick Bowley, GameTimeCT; Kyle Brennan, Freelance; Doug Bonjour, Connecticut Post; Gerry deSimas Jr., Collinsville Press; Mike DiMauro, The Day of New London; Erik Dobratz, WTNH-8; Scott Ericson, Stamford Advocate; Ned Griffen, The Day of New London; Mark Jaffee, Republican-American of Waterbury; Kyle Maher, Journal-Inquirer of Manchester; Pete Paguaga, GameTimeCT; John Pierson, WTNH-8; Noah Finz, CT Sports Now; Ryan Lacey, Danbury News-Times; Mike Madera, Walter Camp Football Foundation; Shawn McFarland, Hartford Courant; Joe Morelli, New Haven Register; Keith O’Brien, GameDay CT Sports; Dave Phillips, Shoreline Newspapers; Marc Robbins, CT Sports Now; Dave Ruden, The Ruden Report; Mike Suppe, Freelance; Rich Zalusky, The Chronicle of Willimantic; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin; Joe Zone, WFSB-3.|
Final New London Day coaches poll
|1. Greenwich (13)||13-0||390||1||LL|
|2. Hand (4)||13-0||362||2||L|
|3. St. Joseph||12-1||340||T3||M|
|4. New Canaan||10-3||294||9||LL|
|8. Fairfield Prep||10-2||211||nr||LL|
|Others receiving votes: New Britain (9-2), 132 points; Ansonia (11-1), 106; Berlin (11-2), 102; Maloney (10-3), 95; Staples (7-3), 71; Windsor (9-3), 44; Haddam-Killingworth (11-2), 21; Platt (9-3), 17; Tie, North Haven (8-3) and Sheehan (10-2), 15; East Hartford (8-2), 12; Middletown (9-2), 9; Naugatuck (9-2), 8; Killingly (10-2), 7.
The following coaches voted: Rich Angarano, Brookfield; Tom Brockett, Ansonia; Craig Bruno, Amity; Scott Daniels, Glastonbury; Joe DellaVecchia, St. Joseph; Mike Ellis, Fitch; Rob Fleeting, Windsor; Tanner Grove, Montville; Andy Guyon, Xavier; Tim King, Valley Regional/Old Lyme; Joe Lato, Masuk; Marce Petroccio, Trumbull; Jeff Roy, Shelton.