Xavier was sloppy and at times, even sloppier. But arguably the state’s most fearsome defense combined with Mike Mastroianni’s 240 yards rushing was enough to keep the state’s top-ranked team and ESPNBoston.com’s No. 3 team in New England unbeaten with a 9-6 win over Cheshire on Friday.
Mastroianni had two touchdown runs called back on holding penalties before scoring from six yards out in the fourth quarter. The teams were locked in a scoreless tie at the half, helped by Xavier’s five turnovers in a matchup of two likely Class LL playoff teams.
Xavier (3-0) has allowed 21 points through three games.
In other games:
Aaron Berardino turned one of Windsor’s two interceptions into a 32-yard return for a touchdown, and Windsor (3-0) stayed perfect with a 12-8 victory over CCC foe Southington. Southington starting quarterback Connor Butkiewicz (appendicitis) didn’t play, according to The Hartford Courant.
Staples first big test proved to be anything but by the fourth quarter. Leading just 17-14 entering the final frame, Staples forced Ridgefield into three turnovers to blow open a 34-14 victory. The Wreckers, the No. 3 team in the state in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, essentially kept the Tigers from the playoffs last year by handing them their only loss.
New London’s defense made sure Wilton didn’t take down another giant. A week after upsetting defending Class SS champ St. Joseph, Wilton held a fourth-quarter lead before the Whalers hit a last-minute field goal attempt, scored two plays into a shootout-style overtime and stopped the Warriors on fourth down to seal a 16-9 victory. New London (2-1), unbeaten a year ago during the regular season, held Wilton to two first downs in the first half and 225 yards of total offense. “It all just came from the heart,” said New London linebacker Stephan Dance, who also scored the winning touchdown on a seven-yard run.The loss was part of Wilton’s traditionally brutal schedule between FCIAC and non-conference play.
“We’ve made five trips up (Interstate) 95 in a month,” Wilton coach Bruce Cunningham said. “Our preseason game was up 95. We had to go to Trumbull twice because we got up there and as we were going to kick the ball off, it rained out. We had to go back the next day. We went to St. Joe’s last week. And we’re here.
“We haven’t been home yet. I think we’ll be looking forward to putting the blue jerseys on.”
In the state’s biggest upset, Fitch rallied by Montville, No. 9 in the state media poll, in a 24-14 victory. Fitch quarterback Derrick Baldoz scored twice within a span of 4:02 in the third quarter to give the Falcons the lead. Just 2-9 two years ago in coach Mike Emery’s first season back in Groton, Fitch finished 7-3 last season and at 3-0 this year, is one of three unbeaten teams left in the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
And in perhaps the state’s wildest game, Bacon Academy scored 29 fourth-quarter points to stun Windham, 48-47, in Colchester on Saturday. ECC scoring leader Brennden Cullen threw for 301 yards, rushed for 93 more and had a hand in all seven of the Bobcats’ (2-1) touchdowns, rushing for five and throwing two to Alex Couture (15 receptions, 167 yards).
Tirrell Young-Williams had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, to help Notre Dame-West Haven, No. 7 in ESPNBoston.com’s New England poll, to a 31-10 victory over Shelton.
Meanwhile, Masuk-Monroe, ESPNBoston.com’s No. 6 team, trounced New Fairfield, 47-0, and for once, quarterback Casey Cochran wasn’t the only star. Colin Markus rushed for three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass for Cochran, who finished with three of them.