Week 2 football preview and picks: Hillhouse vs. Cheshire

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
10:41
AM ET
In a fairly calm opening weekend that saw most of the POWERADE Top 10 win their games easily, Hillhouse was the lone team that suffered a major upset. Entering the season ranked No. 4, a blocked field goal in the waning seconds sent Hillhouse home 0-1 and out of the Top 10, and it doesn't get any easier this week against No. 10 Cheshire.

The Game:
No. 10 Cheshire at Hillhouse
Friday, 3:30 p.m.

The Players:
Cheshire — Senior quarterback Michael John Ecke was the biggest revelation in Cheshire's 46-18 win over Hamden last week. Ecke completed 16 passes to six different receivers, passing for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Sebastian Little did most of the damage, catching five balls for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Hillhouse — The Academics are more likely to keep the ball on the ground, using a committee of ball carriers to punish the Cheshire defense. Junior Anderson Andre was one of four backs to receive between 5 to 8 carries last week, toting it six times for 135 yards and two TDs.

The Stakes:
This game is huge for Hillhouse after losing in Week 1. Even though the Academics proved they could turn it on at the end of the season last year, dropping to 0-2 would be a near-catastrophe.

The Prediction:
Hillhouse has the makings of a dominant ground game, and sometimes playing keep away is the best way to stop an opponent's passing attack. I think the Academics dominate time of possession and come away with a very important victory.
HILLHOUSE 16, CHESHIRE 10

Other notable games:

No. 1 Masuk vs. New Fairfield
I see no reason why the Masuk offense would slow down now. Big day for QB Casey Cochran and WR Thomas Milone. MASUK 41, NEW FAIRFIELD 7

No. 2 Xavier vs. Foran
Xavier is likely playing without junior QB Tim Boyle, but this is where having two excellent quarterbacks pays off. Senior Pat D'Amato gets the job done this week. XAVIER 28, FORAN 6

No. 10 Glastonbury vs. Newington
Glastonbury's defense could end up being one of the state's best. I think they show it on Saturday against Newington. GLASTONBURY 24, NEWINGTON 7
Mike Grimala is an associate editor for ESPNHS. Follow him on Twitter at @MGrimalaESPN »

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