High School football midseason report: Familiar names top poll

October 13, 2017 GMT

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Just take a look at the current GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, which is littered with familiar suspects from top to bottom. Sitting at No. 1 is two-time defending Class LL champion Darien, followed by Southington, West Haven, Ansonia and New Canaan to round out the top five.

As we near the midpoint of the high school football season, there are still 23 teams without a loss, 20 of which (Fitch, Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton, O’Brien Tech) finished with a winning record a year ago.

There have been remarkable individual performances and, of course, games to remember.

Here we review the first five weeks of the season, and ponder what’s next.


1 St. Joseph 38, New Canaan 35, Sept. 8: David Summers, Jared Mallozzi and Co. stunned the preseason No. 1 team on Opening Night. It was the Rams’ first loss to someone other than Darien since 2012.


2 Brookfield 7, New Fairfield 3, Sept. 8: The Bobcats stuffed Zach Buffington at their 1-yard line as time expired, securing a dramatic win.

3 Shelton 19, Fairfield Prep 15, Sept. 22: Quarterback Jake Roberts engineered a six-play, 59-yard touchdown drive in the final minute to rescue the Gaels from a 1-2 start. It remains the Jesuits’ only loss of the season.

4 Hillhouse 22, Amity 17, Sept. 22: Neal Eley returned a kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, spoiling what would’ve been the Spartans’ biggest victory in years.

5 Harding 20, Hillhouse 13, Oct. 7: After four straight losses to begin the season, the Presidents picked up their first win as a member of the SCC in surprising fashion, upsetting the defending Class M champions.


1 Markell Dobbs, Ansonia, RB: The latest great Chargers running back has run for 643 yards and 12 touchdowns. Remarkably, he’s needed only 41 carries to do all of that damage. No non-quarterback is more important to his team than Dobbs.

2 Matt Hersch, Masuk, QB: The third-year starter has piloted the Panthers to a 4-0 start, during which they are averaging 46.5 points. He’s completed nearly 60 percent of his passes and has thrown for 899 yards and 12 touchdowns, with only three interceptions.

3 Brian Minicus, Darien, DB: The ball-hawking safety already has four interceptions, three of which came in a season-opening win over Ridgefield. His most impressive work, though, might’ve come against St. Joseph’s all-state receiver Mallozzi (one catch for two yards).

4 Jared Hubler, Foran, QB: The dual-threat has thrown for 694 yards, but he’s done most of the damage on the ground, rushing for 730 yards (third-most among quarterbacks) and 11 touchdowns.

5 Bobby Melms, Seymour, RB: The senior has once again proven to be a game-breaking weapon on offense. He’s piled up 710 all-purpose yards (533 rushing) and has scored 12 touchdowns.



15-3: The combined record of defending state champions Darien (LL), New Canaan (L), Hillhouse (M) and Ansonia (S). The Blue Wave, Chargers and Rams are ranked first, fourth and fifth in the state, respectively.

895: Rushing yards for Bullard-Havens quarterback Tyrese Wright through five games. Only Killingly running back Spencer Lockwood has run for more yards (942).

55.7: Points averaged by 10th-ranked Greenwich through three games. The state’s best offense has been led by quarterback Gavin Muir (662 passing yards, nine touchdowns) and running back Tysen Comizio (284 rushing yards, eight touchdowns).

18: Teams still without a win, three of which are from the FCIAC (Danbury, Central and Ludlowe).

3: Shutouts by the Newtown defense in four games. The only points the Nighthawks have allowed came in a 30-14 loss at Xavier.


1 Wave of success: Darien has a chance to extend its win streak to 38 games if it can run the table and capture its third straight Class LL title. That would rank as the third-longest win streak all-time behind Cheshire (49 straight from 1992-96) and Ansonia (48 straight from 2011-14).

2 Is the SWC a one-team race?: So far, it looks that way. Masuk has lived up to its billing as the prohibitive favorite, reeling off four straight lopsided wins — its average margin of victory is 35 points — to rise to eighth in the state poll. Plus, the competition is a mixed bag. Newtown has yet to beat a team with a winning record, and both Bunnell and Barlow have already lost to the Panthers.

3 Are the Cards ready to fly?: Saturday’s Marinelli Bowl III will tell everyone if Greenwich is back on the same level as New Canaan and, perhaps, Darien. Unfortunately, the earliest the Cardinals and Blue Wave can meet is in the Class LL quarterfinals.

dbonjour@ctpost.com; @DougBonjour