Friday, December 2, 2011
Football picks: State semifinals
By By Mike Grimala
State football playoffs
Xavier (11-0) vs. Norwalk (9-1) Saturday, 2 p.m., at West Haven
If Norwalk scores two touchdowns, I would be a bit surprised. That's how well Xavier's defense is playing right now.
XAVIER 32, NORWALK 10
Staples (10-0) vs. Newtown (9-2) Saturday, 2 p.m., at Bunnell
I feel an upset here. Newtown has proven it can score big points against good teams, and bruising senior running back Louis Fenaroli can control a game.
NEWTOWN 21, STAPLES 20
Masuk (11-0) vs. Daniel Hand (11-0) Saturday, 7 p.m., at West Haven
Masuk has so many offensive weapons that the Panthers' defense tends to get overlooked. But the D can play, and I think they'll come up big in this game.
MASUK 28, DANIEL HAND 14
Windsor (11-0) vs. New Canaan (10-1) Saturday, 2 p.m., at East Haven
New Canaan's only loss this season came to Stamford, when senior quarterback Matt Milano was knocked out of the game early. Milano's back at 100 percent now, and the offense has averaged 39.3 points in the last three contests. I think New Canaan wins a shootout to set up a rematch of last year's Class L title game.
NEW CANAAN 34, WINDSOR 30
Ansonia (11-0) vs. Berlin (10-1) Saturday, 2 pm. at Sheehan
Berlin will need a huge game from senior running back Tom Undercuffler to hang in this one, and even that might not be enough. Ansonia's running game is absolutely rolling right now.
ANSONIA 40, BERLIN 24
Ledyard (10-1) vs. Wolcott (8-3) Saturday, 2 p.m., at Middletown
Wolcott junior quarterback Mike Nicol is one of the most dangerous dual threats left in the tournament (1,652 pass yards, 17 TDs; 911 rush yards, 14 TDs), but I think Ledyard can contain him. Look for Ledyard senior RB Alex Manwaring to out-produce Nicol and help the Colonels control the clock.
LEDYARD 20, WOLCOTT 10
Northwest Catholic (9-2) vs. Cromwell (9-2) Saturday, 2 p.m., at Cheshire
After knocking off top-seeded Capital Prep on Tuesday, Cromwell is rolling. The trio of senior QB Anthony Morales, junior RB Derrick Villard and senior WR Michael Antonio will be too much for Northwest Catholic.
CROMWELL 32, NORTHWEST CATHOLIC 21
Holy Cross (10-1) vs. Valley Regional (10-1) Saturday, 2 p.m., at Meriden
The Crusaders will need a huge game from senior linebacker Anthony Jamele (6.5 sacks this season) in order to advance.
HOLY CROSS 14, VALLEY REGIONAL 7
Think I made a bad call? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let me know what I got wrong.