We're starting off this week with five games to watch during Week 7 of the Connecticut high school football season:
DARIEN (6-0) at STAPLES (5-0), Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
This may be the most important game during the FCIAC regular season, since the winner will have an excellent chance to reach the FCIAC championship game Nov. 18 at Trumbull.
Darien overcame an eight-point deficit in the final minute and remained unbeaten by defeating Wilton 35-34 in double overtime last weekend. The Blue Wave has outscored its opponents 178-94 this season.
Staples has given up more than 16 points once in its five games and has allowed 64 points this season.
HILLOUSE (4-2) at XAVIER (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Xavier quarterback Tim Boyle is expected to return from a shoulder injury suffered in Week 1. Boyle, junior, has scholarship offers from Boston College and Syracuse.
The Xavier defense has allowed 34 points (three shutouts) this season. Cheshire is the only team that has scored more than seven points against Xavier.
Hillhouse has won four in a row and nearly knocked off an unbeaten Xavier team last year (9-6). Hillhouse has scored 182 points during its four-game winning streak.
WEST HAVEN (5-1) at HAND (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Intriguing matchup between a team from Class LL (West Haven) and a team from Class L (Hand). Both teams have scored 214 points through six games.
West Haven has won two in a row since suffering its only loss against Notre Dame-West Haven (28-15). The Blue Devils have scored at least 28 points in each of their five victories, but will be facing a defense that has surrendered 55 points all season.
MASUK (6-0) at NEW MILFORD (3-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
Masuk, the No. 2 team in ESPN Boston's New England Top 10, has been an offensive machine, scoring at least 49 points in each of its six victories, but has done so against opponents that are a combined 6-30. Masuk quarterback Casey Cochran, who has committed to the University of Connecticut, needs three touchdown passes to reach 100 for his career.
Things figure to get a little tougher for Masuk this weekend. New Milford has won three of its last four and has scored 106 points in those three victories.
COGINCHAUG (5-0) at VALLEY REGIONAL/OLD LYME (5-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m.
A matchup between unbeaten Class S teams that have each been playing excellent defense.
Coginchaug has won three games by shutout, and Valley Regional/Old Lyme has outscored four opponents 172-14 since opening the season with a 48-47 triumph over North Branford.
ON THE FAST TRACK
Top-five finishes from senior Tom Moore and junior Nick Carlsen on Monday helped Danbury win the FCIAC championship meet for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons.
Moore placed third in 16 minutes, 17 seconds, and Carlsen was fourth in 16:18.
Danbury, which has won the last seven FCIAC titles, finished with 54 points – 58 more than Darien. It was Darien's first loss of the season.
Staples junior Henry Wayne won the meet in 15:27.
Ridgefield didn't have a runner finish higher than seventh, but won the girls meet with 56 points. Greenwich was second with 80.
Sarah Guillaume (seventh in 15:17) and Caroline Carr (eighth in 15:26) were Ridgefield's top runners. Greenwich senior Abigail Markowitz won the meet in 14:55.
The Darien field hockey team defeated Greenwich 5-0 Tuesday to complete the regular season unbeaten.
Lexi Perticone, Sloane Bessey, Maggie Wells, Lilly Cassidy and Hollis Perticone scored for Darien, which raised its record to 16-0. It was Darien's 11th shutout of the season.
Darien is unbeaten in its last 92 games and is ranked second nationally by topofthecircle.com, a web site that covers high school field hockey.
Darien will be the No. 1 seed for the FCIAC tournament, which begins Saturday.
Bob Freimuth recently announced that he will no longer coach the Plainville baseball program.
Plainville reached seven championship games and won 409 games (including five state titles) during Freimuth's 27-year tenure. Freimuth, 60, retired from teaching two years ago.
MARINELLI COLLECTS MILESTONE VICTORY
New Canaan quarterback Matt Milano completed 21 of 25 passes for 340 yards and six touchdowns during a 43-14 victory over St. Joseph on Saturday to give Lou Marinelli his 250th career victory at New Canaan.
Patrick Newton caught five of Milano's six touchdown passes as New Canaan improved its record to 6-0.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.