defeated Trumbull 17-7 for the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference football championship Thursday at Trumbull High School. The Blue Wave, ranked third in the state, took a 17-0 lead after a scoreless first half and held off The Golden Eagles down the stretch. Graham Maybell
gained 88 yards rushing and scored Darien's second touchdown to earn the game MVP. Both teams have unofficially clinched spots in the CIAC postseason, Darien in L and Trumbull in LL.TOP PERFORMERS* Jonathan Esposito, Conard (West Hartford):
Gained 258 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns in the Chieftains' 41-0 victory over crosstown and CCC rival Hall (West Hartford). The victory lifted Conard one spot above Hall to No. 8 in the Class LL playoff rankings. Eight teams qualify in each division.* Malcolm Crosson, Glastonbury:
Rushed for 170 yards and six touchdowns on 15 carries in a 49-28 CCC Div. I victory for the LL playoff-bound Tomahawks.* Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn, Valley Regional (Deep River):
Rushed for 164 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries and threw one scoring pass as the undefeated Warriors beat Hyde (New Haven) 35-8 in a Pequot Sassacus game.BRIEFLY
* The CIAC Board of Control felt that Southington's one-game suspension of head football coach D.J. Hernandez was not enough in the controversy over accusations the coach used an opponent's armband with plays during its game with Manchester earlier this season. The Board fined Southington $1,000 and said Hernandez must take a sportsmanship/ethics class before the 2011 season. The football program is also on probation through next season, which basically means any other infraction could lead to further disciplinary action. Manchester had protested to the CIAC calling Hernandez's action unethical and unsportsmanlike in the Blues Knights' 28-14 victory.
* The first-ever football quarterfinals, which will see eight teams in each of the four divisions play, will be Nov. 30 at the higher seeded schools. Semifinal final sites the following Saturday, Dec. 4, will be at Waterbury's Municipal Stadium, West Haven High School, each hosting two games, Southern Connecticut State, Middletown High School, Shelton High School and Bunnell (Stratford) each with one. The four finals — Classes LL, L, M, and S — will be at Rentschler Field in East Hartford one week later: Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.. Thirteen teams have unofficially qualified. The remaining spots will be determined after this week's games.Paul Rosano, the former assistant sport editor of The Hartford Courant and sports editor of The New Haven Register, covers Connecticut for MaxPreps.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.