Boston High School: Ryan Murphy

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – It was a long-time coming.

In its fifth year of varsity play, Bridgewater-Raynham boys’ lacrosse had yet to claim a postseason victory. After qualifying in each of the last three seasons, the Trojans were looking to snap their three game losing streak in the MIAA tournament. This year, B-R had earned the No. 9 seed with a 15-3 regular-season record and, with it, won the right to host a Division 1 preliminary-round game.

That opportunity came Wednesday when B-R took on No. 24 seed Central Catholic. During the first half, it appeared the Trojans would have to sweat out their first-ever playoff win – if they were that lucky. The Raiders proved to be worthy adversaries, holding four separate one-goal leads in the first half. It remained a one-goal game early in the second half, as well.

But after an early third-quarter goal from Central, the Trojans separated, closing out the game with a string of 10 straight goals in a 16-5 win and, in the process, notching that elusive postseason victory.

“I wish there was some great coaching thing I could tell you that we did,” Trojans head coach Matt Connolly said when asked about halftime adjustments, “but really it was kids connecting on passes and I think our athleticism won out.”

B-R (16-3) leaned on two talented sophomore attacks in Gavin Perry and Travis Reid. Combined, they accounted for 11 of the Trojans’ 16 goals, with Reid leading all scorers with six (in addition to an assist).

A short Central bench made for weary legs – particularly in the defensive half – in the second half and the Trojans took full advantage.

“We wore them down a little,” Connolly said. “We have good athleticism, but we still have to become better lacrosse players, but we have good athletes. We get up and down the field. That wore them down a little bit and that was huge.”

Still, the Raiders (9-9) looked poised to pull an upset in the first half. The teams traded goals throughout the first half and Jack McInnis’ second goal of the game made it a tie game, 4-4, with 6:11 remaining in the half. But the Trojans responded, scoring twice in the final minute of the second quarter on goals by Reid and Matt Cicalis, establishing a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Central was on the board first in the second half, as Tom Cannif scored 19 seconds in, making it a one-goal game once more. From there, B-R was simply dominant.

“They were pressing a little bit and maybe feeling the pressure of having a home seed,” Connolly said, “being the higher seed, expecting too much of themselves and maybe not enough of the other team.”

In the second half, the Raiders rarely crossed midfield, with play almost exclusively carried by the Trojans’ attack. On those rare occasions Central was able to break through B-R’s midfield, a defense led by Matt Miller and Ryan Murphy ensured a quick exit and – on more than a few instances during the second half – stemmed transition.

“We were ball-watching and we weren’t communicating,” Connolly said of his team’s first-half defensive effort. “A couple of goals, they just went straight to the cage and there were no slides there.”

With one postseason now to its credit, B-R will have to be on point again Saturday (4:30 p.m.) when it travels to No. 8 seed Billerica.

“They’re one of the premiere, historical programs here in Massachusetts,” Connolly said. “We’re looking forward to challenging ourselves.”

Recap: No. 21 B-R 32, Xaverian 27

October, 20, 2012
10/20/12
6:37
PM ET
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -– The enormous gust of wind that blew over the Bridgewater-Raynham football field late Saturday afternoon wasn’t a meteorological phenomenon.

Rather, it was Trojans coach Dan Buron exhaling after his team held off Xaverian and posted a 32-27 non-league victory.

And “held off” is the operative phrase.

After the No. 21 Trojans (4-3) seemingly put the game out of reach, when Jordan Cohen threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Murphy for a 32-20 lead with 2:22 remaining, the Hawks (1-6) needed just over a minute to reduce their deficit when Austin DeCarr threw a 20-yard scoring pass to A.J. King and Kyle Darrow kicked the extra point.

Not surprisingly, Xaverian then attempted an onside kick. But much to Buron’s chagrin, Xaverian’s Ryan McLean smothered the ball at his team’s 42 with 1:40 remaining.

DeCarr (24-48, 290 yards, TD) then passed his team to a second-and-goal at B-R’s 5 with four ticks of the clock left. But DeCarr’s pass for what would have been the winning touchdown fell incomplete in the end zone which allowed Buron to breathe.

“That’s a good football team,” Buron said of Xaverian. “I don’t care what their record is. We play a tough schedule but one that’s not nearly as tough as the one they do. And they’ve been in every game so I knew they weren’t going to quit.

“I’m proud of the kids. I’m a little upset that we didn’t get the onside kick but we have to work on those things. It’s different in practice.”

To a certain extent, this was a different B-R team than the one that was waxed 41-24 on October 12 by Rhode Island Division I power La Salle Academy.

“We played with a little more intensity today than we did last week,” Buron said. “I don’t know what the reason was for that. I thought the week prior to that we played with a lot of intensity and emotion against St. John’s Prep.

“That’s a good team and we came out on the short end but I was proud of the kids. We didn’t look like the same team (against La Salle). But today we looked more like the team we had in our first five games.”

Double trouble: One reason the Trojans prevailed was that they were proficient both on the ground and in the air.

Brandon Gallagher led the ground game by rushing for 90 yards and one score on 21 carries.

Jordan Cohen was superb at quarterback as he completed 13-of-19 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns –- each to Murphy who snared eight balls for 150 yards.

“I thought Jordan played well today and hit the open receivers,” Buron said. “What they were giving us was the flat and he hit the flat all day which opened up some other things.”

One of the “other things” that was opened up was room for Gallagher to slice through Xaverian’s defense.

“Gallagher is a tough running back who runs hard,” Buron said. “When the blocking’s there he’s going to get extra yards. When there isn’t any blocking, he’s still going to get extra yards. Very rarely does he go backwards.

“He’s a strong runner and is only a sophomore so he’s only going to get better. But I’d like to credit the offensive line, too. I thought they played well in the second half against a much bigger defensive front.”

How do you spell shootout? After a scoreless first quarter during which each team lost a fumble, B-R’s Aaron Conrad recovered another Xaverian fumble on his team’s 14.

B-R then covered 86 yards in eight plays with Gallagher busting into the end zone from the 5.

Xaverian countered with an eight-play, 64-yard drive which Shayne Kaminski capped by scoring on a 25-yard run that made B-R’s lead 7-6.

B-R, seemingly in an eye blink, upped its lead to 12-7 when Cohen connected with Murphy on a screen pass that covered 20 yards for a score.

But DeCarr displayed his best passing of the game after the ensuing kickoff when he completed all five of his attempts for 80 yards which led to Kaminski running it in from the 2 for a 13-12 lead at halftime.

The Trojans got even late in the third quarter when Conrad intercepted a DeCarr pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown that gave B-R an 18-13 lead at the break.

But a short Xaverian punt gave the Trojans excellent field position, at their 40, and Cohen zipped a 17-yard touchdown pass to Murphy on the first play of the fourth period for a 25-13 advantage.

Buron’s sentiments about Xaverian being a team that doesn’t quit almost came back to haunt him when the Hawks’ D.J. Sperzel recovered a fumble on B-R’s 49 -– which led to a five-yard scoring run by Harry Walsh that pulled the Hawks within 25-20 with 5:02 left.

“Everybody on our schedule can beat us,” Buron said. “That’s the problem with playing a tough schedule so we have to come to play. Most every game we’ve been in has come down to the wire so we have to prepare for it.”

BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM 32, XAVERIAN 27
XB (1-6) 0-13-0-14 – 27
BR (4-3) 0-12-6-14 – 32


Second quarter
B – Brandon Gallagher 5 run (run failed)
X – Shayne Kaminski 25 run (Kyle Darrow kick)
B – Ryan Murphy 20 pass from Jordan Cohen (pass failed)
X – Kaminski 2 run (pass failed)

Third quarter
B – Aaron Conrad 33 interception return (pass failed)

Fourth quarter
B – Murphy 17 pass from Cohen (Kevin Wadsworth kick)
X – Harry Walsh 5 run (Darrow kick)
B – Murphy 23 pass from Cohen (Wadsworth kick)
X – A.J. King 20 pass from Austin DeCarr (Darrow kick)

No. 8 Bridgewater-Raynham's keys to success

August, 29, 2012
8/29/12
11:40
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As much as time passes, things don’t change much at Bridgewater-Raynham.

The faces and numbers change year to year, but the same mentality runs through the Trojans’ ranks. They’re tough-nosed football players, many of whom play on both sides of the ball. It’s a concurrent theme during Dan Buron’s 20 years at B-R’s helm.

That tenure’s also included plenty of playoff appearances. After an absence last year, the Trojans again will be vying for an Old Colony League championship. Albeit, B-R is now faced with a de facto two-game playoff series to gain entry to the postseason, but with a loaded Barnstable squad returning and a retooled Dartmouth ready to battle, the Trojans face the real possibility that they could end the season with the dubious distinction of being among the state’s best teams not to play past Thanksgiving.

B-R’s seniors are determined not to let that happen again.

“It comes down to leadership,” Trojans senior captain Kevin Johnston said. “But we’ve been focused since day one this year. We have some veterans and some young talent coming back, but everyone’s committed to doing everything they have to do.”

The Trojans lost a bit of their heart and soul from last season with the graduation of talented backfield duo Branden Morin and Nick Schlatz. More than the carries or the defensive presence they provided, Johnston cited them as “role models,” giving a blue print to this year’s seniors.

That continuity of leadership has been another hallmark of B-R’s success and this year’s edition is no exception.

For the last two seasons, Ryan Murphy has spent the majority of the fall nursing two separate meniscus injuries. He vividly remembers the day of his first injury, playing with B-R’s junior varsity squad as a sophomore. After suffering a tear in a game against Marshfield, Murphy took the long road back, working through rehabilitation and returning last year. He went back to square one after suffering a second tear and seeing his junior year shortened by injury.

That’s all the motivation Murphy needs for 2012.

“I can’t wait, I’ve worked so hard to come back,” he said. “You look forward to your senior season for three years, we’ve worked nonstop to try and get to that point where we know we’re good as we can be. That’s what kept me going during therapy and workouts.”

All that’s left is kickoff.

“This year means everything,” senior captain Kevin Wadsworth said. “To win the OCL this year, that would just be the cherry on top for my high school career.”

BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM AT A GLANCE
2011: 9-2
Coach: Dan Buron (20th season, 149-59-2)
Key Returnees: Kevin Johnston, Sr. TE/DE, 5-11, 200; Dan Noviello, Sr. TE/DE, 6-1, 200; Joe MacInnis, Sr. OL/DL, 6-2, 260; Kevin Wadsworth, Sr. WR/DB, 5-11, 190; Ryan Scripter, Sr. WR/DB, 5-11, 180; Arcel Armstead, Jr. RB/LB, 5-10, 180; Jordan Cohen Sr. QB, 5-11, 160.
Strengths: Size, physicality and experience on offensive and defensive line.
Weaknesses: Lack of game experience at offensive skill positions.

Outlook: Another staple of B-R football has been its offensive line. But typically the Trojans have got it done with below average size, a further credit to the coaching staff. However, this year, B-R has size to boot with senior left tackle Joe MacInnis providing size the Trojans haven’t had since the days of Marc Colombo. The question is who will be running behind that hulking line. It could be more a back-by-committee approach for B-R this season with Arcel Armstead looking for a breakout year. B-R’s defense will be fueled by a pair of twin terrors at end. Johnston and fellow senior Dan Noviello feed off of each other as pass rushers.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
1:52
PM ET
Paula Hagopian's talent on the soccer field is so obvious she was named Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year even though her Kingswood Oxford team finished with a record below .500 last season.

ConnecticutHagopian, a senior forward, collected 13 goals and 10 assists as a senior, when Kingswood Oxford went 5-7-2. She was also the 2011 Connecticut Soccer Coaches' Association Player of the Year, and has twice been selected as an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America.

“Paula is so strong that defenders bounce off her,” said Matt Micros, a club coach with Connecticut FC. “She can hold the ball up well and also spin defenders with ease. What she lacks in technique she more than makes up for with power and pace.”

Hagopian led Kingswood Oxford to the 2010 New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class B championship and completed her career with 56 goals and 35 assists. She will continue her soccer career at Yale next fall.

Past winners of the award include Riley Houle (2010–11, Windham), Kate McCarthy, (2009-10, Loomis Chaffee), Jessica Schloth (2008–09, St. Joseph), Alex Uscilla (2007-08, St. Joseph), and Bianca D’Agostino (2006-07, Loomis Chaffee).

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New England Roundup: Connecticut

December, 31, 2011
12/31/11
3:45
PM ET
Masuk High School quarterback Casey Cochran made it official Thursday when he signed a national letter of intent to play football at the University of Connecticut.

Cochran, Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011, gave a verbal commitment to Connecticut in August, and said it's a honor to be able to play college football in his home state.

“Not that many college players get to stay at home and play for the state school,” Cochran said. “I believe Coach Pasqualoni (Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni) is a very good coach. I really like the coaching staff and everyone on it. I got closer with them during the offseason, so it was a very easy choice once the [scholarship] offer came.”

Cochran completed his high school career as Connecticut's career leader in passing yards, completions and passing touchdowns. He is scheduled to graduate from Masuk in early January and will begin college classes on Jan. 17.

His early enrollment will allow Cochran to participate in spring practice.

Cochran chose Connecticut over several Ivy League schools. His first scholarship offer came from Boston College, but BC pulled that offer last year after it changed offensive coordinators.

Cochran's father Jack has coached high school football at Bloomfield, New Britain and New London. He guided his teams to 14 state championship games and won eight state titles during his 16-year coaching career.

He coached Casey during his freshman season at New London. Casey transferred to Masuk for his final three years of high school.

“UConn became a very good option for him once Pasqualoni took over,” Jack said. “We have a relationship that goes back to his days as the coach at Syracuse. I think Casey felt very comfortable with his decision. Looking forward to watching him play in college.”

STAR POWER

Cochran was one of 26 players named to the 2011 Connecticut High School Coaches' Association All-Star Football Team. Here is the complete team:

OFFENSE
QB — CASEY COCHRAN, Masuk
WR — AARON BERARDINO, Windsor
WR — NICK VITALE, Hand
WR — THOMAS MILONE, Masuk
RB — ARKEEL NEWSOME, Ansonia
RB — MIKE MASTROIANNI, Xavier
RB — ALEX MANWARING, Ledyard
RB — BRENDAN LYTTON, Torrington
RB — KYLE McKINNON, New London
RB — DAVE DiGIORGI, Holy Cross
OL — AUSTIN WEZENSKI, Xavier
OL — DYLAN VANO, Ansonia
OL — RENNICK BRYAN, Hillhouse


DEFENSE
DL — SEAN MARINAN, Xavier
DL — JOE DeMICHELE, Hand
DL — LUDOVIC RICHARDSON, Notre Dame-West Haven
DL — COLE ORMSBY, Windsor
LB – TYLER WOOD, Ansonia
LB — SHANE NASTAHOWSKI, Greenwich
LB — AUSTIN CALITRO, Danbury
LB — KEVIN McDONOUGH, New Canaan
LB — MARK ZURLIS, North Haven
DB — DELSHAWN WILSON, Norwalk
DB — RYAN MURPHY, Xavier
DB — TOMMY UNDERCUFFLER, Berlin
DB — RYAN JACOBUCCI, Xavier


NEW LONDON'S STREAK HALTED

Richard Bronson scored a team-high 21 points to lead the Hillhouse boys basketball team to a 64-61 triumph over New London in the Doc Hurley Classic at Weaver High School.

The loss ended New London's 28-game winning streak. The Whalers were 27-0 last season, when they won the Class L title.

Providence-bound guard Kris Dunn scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the loss.

New London led 49-45 entering the fourth quarter, but missed seven of its nine free throw attempts in the final eight minutes. The Whalers missed 15 of 36 free throw attempts in the game.

BROOKFIELD COACH STEPS DOWN

Brookfield girls basketball coach Tom Marks handed in his letter of resignation last week, days after the season began. Marks cited personal reasons.

Lisa Schang has been named Brookfield's interim coach. Brookfield is off to a 1-5 start this season.

Marks has also coached the cross country team at New Milford for the last 15 seasons.

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.

Recap: No. 5 B-R 28, No. 6 Xaverian 22 (2 OT)

October, 22, 2011
10/22/11
10:54
PM ET
WESTWOOD, Mass. -- After the game that Bridgewater-Raynham's Branden Morin had Saturday afternoon, it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that he drove the Trojans bus home from Westwood, too.

The 5-10, 190-pound senior captain picked off two passes, one which he returned 45 yards for a touchdown, the other basically ensuring his team would get a shot at overtime. He also added 49 yards on seven carries and scored what would end up as the game-winning touchdown as No. 5 B-R survived yet another epic battle against No. 6 Xaverian with a 28-22 victory in double overtime.

This was the third straight meeting between the two powerhouse programs to require more than just 44 minutes to determine a winner. Two years ago, Xaverian won in the triple overtime; last year, B-R took it in the first OT.

Maybe next year they'll shoot for four.

"It's ridiculous," Morin said afterward with a smile. "We're always going to OT with them. It never gets easier."

Defenses controlled the first quarter, and it was Xaverian (4-3) who broke through first when Austin DeCarr connected with Mike Warren (4 receptions, 84 yards) for a 58-yard touchdown strike less than three minutes into the second.

The Trojans (5-1) came storming back, pounding the ball with 6-2, 200-pound wrecking ball Nick Schlatz (33 carries, 158 yards, two TDs) powering his way behind a determined offensive line. Schlatz carried nine times on a 14-play drive and finished it off with a four-yard TD with 2:18 left in the half.

Then Morin came through with the first of several clutch plays, stepping in front of a DeCarr pass and racing 45 yards to the end zone to put B-R ahead, 14-7.

Morin related how he saw the play develop, "The QB was dropping back, I saw him looking at the receiver and I just read it the whole way and took it to the house."

Undeterred, the Hawks put together a terrific drive, showing tremendous balance between the pass and the run on a 17-play possession that ended with a six-yard touchdown run on an option keeper by Chris Calvanese. Jules Murphy's extra point tied the game at 14-14.

Both Kevin Wadsworth and Morin each had crucial, fourth-quarter interceptions with the Hawks broaching B-R territory, while Xaverian's defense held firm as the Trojans gambled a couple of times simply to keep the Hawks explosive offense on the sidelines.

In the first overtime, Calvanese picked up nine yards on first down and Taute Hunter bulled his way in from the 1 for the Hawks. DeCarr hit Warren on the conversion pass and Xaverian held a 22-14 advantage.

B-R needed just one play to respond as Schlatz took a pitch and cut back through the middle for a 10-yard score, and Morin threw an option pass to Joe Noviello to send it to a second OT.

The Trojans went first, and two Schlatz runs set up a three-yard TD by Morin, but Xaverian's Aiden Desrosiers stuffed Schlatz in front of the goal line on a shovel pass for a failed conversion.

Those missed points ended up not not mattering, as Eric Wabrek picked off DeCarr on 3rd-and-goal from the 16 to lock up the win.

BLUE COLLAR WORKERS
Schlatz is the type of back you can picture grabbing his lunch pail and putting on his hard hat before each game. His longest carry went for 27 yards, but it was the steady dose of positive yardage he made that kept the Hawks on the defensive.

Facing Xaverian's big defensive line and linebackers, the Trojans offensive line of Joe MacInnis, Pat Whooley, Eric DeMoura, Brian Pope and Nick Falconeiri, along with tight end Ryan Murphy, showed they are group with heart and toughness in paving the way to a 254-yard ground attack. In addition to Schlatz and Morin, Wabrek also chipped in with 35 tough yards and good blocking.

"We worked all week long and said, we have to come off flat backs, low and hard technique will win the game," B-R coach Dan Buron explained. "They're big but we thought if we stayed lower than them, it would neutralize their size. We went with a little bit of an unbalanced and tried to pick places to run and were able to get some double teams. That number 11 (Maurice Hurst Jr.) in particular is a pretty good player. We tried to run away from him but sometimes that's worse because he's so quick."

ONE MAN DOWN, ANOTHER STEPS UP
Trojans quarterback Brad Deluliis left the game with a bad ankle after being tackled on a running play in the first quarter. What could have become a disastrous situation was tempered by the poise of backup quaterback David Miller, who stepped right in without allowing the offense to miss a beat.

"He threw a couple good passes," praised Buron. "He was a little nervous and the timing was off a little bit but I thought he did a great job leading the offense and he was very poised."

SEARCHING FOR AN IDENTITY
While B-R makes no bones about who it is and what it does, Xaverian appears to be still trying to find ways to fit the right pieces into the right spots, Chris Calvanese among others.

The senior had a terrific all-around performance, seeing time at quarterback, running back, receiver and also on defense. Calvanese completed 5-of-7 passes for 37 yards, caught two more for 43 yards, added 79 yards and a TD on six carries. Defensively, he was in on four tackles and had an interception.

"I think that we're still trying to get ourselves to be more consistent on both sides of the football," said Hawks coach Charlie Stevenson. "Clearly today was not a good game defensively for us against the run. We didn't sustain our offense the way we should have either."

He continued, "I think Chris Cal had a great game on both sides of the ball. In my opinion, he was the best athlete on the field on both sides of the ball. I wish we had more guys to go around him right now. We're looking for them and hopefully we will get more guys to put around him so that we can really highlight his athletic ability as we go down the stretch."

BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM 28, XAVERIAN 22 (2 OT)
BR (5-1) 0 14 0 0 8 6 - 28
Xaverian (4-3) 0 7 7 0 8 0 - 22


X - Mike Warren 58 pass from Austin DeCarr (Jules Murphy kick)
BR - Nick Schlatz 4 run (Kevin Wadsworth kick)
BR - Branden Morin 45 interception return (Wadsworth kick)
X - Chris Calvanese 6 run (Murphy kick)
X - Taute Hunter 1 run (Warren pass from DeCarr)
BR - Schlatz 10 run (Dan Noviello pass from Morin)
BR - Morin 3 run (rush failed)

New England Roundup: Connecticut

September, 14, 2011
9/14/11
2:30
PM ET
Xavier High School proved to be the wrecking ball in Connecticut high school football last season, when the Falcons went 13-0 en route to the Class LL championship.

ConnecticutXavier may have an even better team this season.

The Connecticut Sportswriters Alliance picked the Falcons as the state's No. 1 team in its preseason poll. Xavier edged Masuk by one point.

“You have to worry about complacency,” Xavier coach Sean Marinan said. “We haven't played a game yet. Pretty much everything they say at this point in the season is based on last year.”

It's based on returning talent as well, and the Falcons have plenty of it. On offense Xavier has two Division I quarterbacks in junior Tim Boyle and senior Pat D'Amato. Boyle has scholarship offers from Boston College and Syracuse, and D'Amato recently committed to Stony Brook.

The QBs split time last season. D'Amato will play wide receiver when Boyle is the team's quarterback.

“Tim's got a very strong arm and he's 6-4,” Marinan said. “He chose not to do too much this summer. If he had I'm sure he'd have more offers. He's what everybody's looking for in a quarterback.

“Pat's a faster kid, and a little more elusive. Basically we have two No. 1 quarterbacks.”

The offense also returns senior running back Mike Mastroianni, who rushed for 1,889 yards last season. In addition, wide receiver Ryan Murphy is drawing interest from several FBS schools.

The defense must replace linebacker Graham Stewart, who was the state's Gatorade Player of the Year and is now playing for the University of Florida, but returns seven starters. Linebacker Jovan Santos is among the returnees. Santos has committed to the University of Massachusetts.

The Falcons also have three linemen – Ryan Jacobucci, Austin Wezenski and Sean Marinan Jr. (coach's son) – who are being recruited by FBS programs.

“I think our defense will be strong again,” Marinan said. “I don't know if it will be as strong as it was the year before. Replacing Graham Stewart is virtually impossible. We do have some holes to fill and he's obviously one of them.”

Xavier, which beat Trumbull to win last year's LL title, will open its season Friday against Notre Dame-West Haven.

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Connecticut football Week 4 roundup

October, 11, 2010
10/11/10
10:06
AM ET
Connecticut’s best high school football teams cruised in Week 4, with the top four teams in the New Haven Register top 10 poll outscoring their opponents, 162-27, over the weekend.

Some of their counterparts could have used the extra points.

Five of the state’s ranked teams fell over the weekend, likely making for a revamped look of the polls when they are released Monday.

Notre Dame-West Haven (28-27 to West Haven), Cheshire (14-13 to Hand-Madison) and Windsor (20-17) — three teams ranked in at least one statewide poll since the start of the season — are in danger of falling out, with Notre Dame and Cheshire each suffering their second loss.

The Green Knights — ranked No. 6 in the state and seventh in the ESPNBoston.com New England top 10 — have to endure losing city bragging rights to the Westies (4-0). Notre Dame hosts Hand this weekend, just another possible knockout blow in the uber-competitive Southern Connecticut Conference.

Cheshire, meanwhile, has a matchup with Wilbur Cross — ranked No. 10 but likely not after a 21-12 loss to Ridgefield — awaiting it on Friday.

Windsor threw three interceptions in a 20-17 CCC loss to Glastonbury, and No. 5 Bridgeport Central fell, 34-12, to Trumbull.

In other games:
  • Pat D’Amato got the passing games going for top-ranked Xavier — ranked No. 3 in the ESPNBoston.com New England poll — tossing two touchdown passes to Ryan Murphy in a 41-7 victory over Amity on Friday.
  • Masuk-Monroe’s offense continued rolling in a 49-7 rout of Brookfield on Friday, with Casey Cochran throwing four touchdown passes. But its defense is starting to get noticed, too. The Panthers (4-0 and No. 7 in the ESPNBoston.com New England rankings) have outscored opponents, 187-14, and haven’t allowed more than a single score in any game.
    “In all honesty, I’ve seen a lot of good defenses and I’ve had a lot of good defenses,” Brookfield coach Rich Angarano told the Connecticut Post. “That Masuk defense is one of the best defenses I’ve ever seen around here.”
  • Joe Della Vecchia ignited the St. Joseph offense and the once-ranked team finally got another win in a 55-50 shootout victory over Trinity Catholic. Della Vecchia had a hand in six touchdowns, throwing four and running two in, to stop a two-game slide.
  • And he wasn’t the only one. Ansonia’s (4-0) Arkeel Newsome scored six times on his own and rushed for 268 yards in a 46-6 blowout of Wilby.

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