A laundry list to ponder as the CIAC football postseason begins on Tuesday night with the quarterfinal round:
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is trying for a three-peat in Class LL. It follows its two 13-0 seasons, during which it was ranked the consensus No. 1 in the state, with a quarterfinal appearance Tuesday as the No. 3 seed with a 9-1 record against Greenwich
(8-2) at Palmer Field in Middletown.
Only eight schools have won three in a row, with Cheshire
topping the list at six consecutive titles from 1992-97. The Falcons would match Hand-Madison
(in the Class L quarterfinals this year), St. Joseph-Trumbull
(Class M) and Ansonia
(Class S) with three if they win out. Ansonia (1981-84) and New Canaan
(2006-09) have also won four straight, and St. Joseph (1980-84) along with Bloomfield (1997-2001) have won five in a row.
(10-0), this year's No. 1 seed in LL, reached the final five years in a row from 2002 to 2006, winning three times in 2002, '04 and '05. But the Wreckers have lost in their last three bids in a final (2006, '09, 11).
, making its 15th appearance in the postseason, has won seven championships, but hasn't been to the postseason since 2007, when they won it all as the No. 4 seed.
By the way, despite its lofty tradition, Greenwich has never been voted No. 1 in either the writers or coaches state polls. The Cardinals have finished ranked No. 3 seven times and No. 2 seven times in the writers poll and No. 3 four times and No. 2 twice in the coaches poll, this despite four undefeated seasons since 1953.
(10-0), the No. 2 seed in Class LL also hasn't been to the playoffs since 2007, when it lost in the semifinals. That was coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2005 and '06.
The Blue Knights, whose only title came in 1998, are matched against No. 7 and fellow CCC foe Glastonbury
(9-1) in the only rematch of a regular season game in the quarterfinals. Southington won that matchup 28-21 in the closing moments back on Oct. 20 at Falcon Field in Meriden. Southington played only one true home game this season, on Thanksgiving Day, because of a conversion to a turf field at their home site. The Blue Knights will get to use it again Tuesday.
* Xavier's 28-7 win over West Haven
(LL) and Hand's 19-7 victory over North Haven in 2010 (L), and Staples' 48-21 victory over Ridgefield and Ledyard's 26-0 win over Waterford (M) last year, all quarterfinals, are the only other matchups of teams from the same conference in any round in the three years of the CIAC's new three-round format.
* New Canaan
, which has eight championships in either Class M or the now-defunct Class MM, has been to the postseason seven years in a row, beginning with the first of those four straight titles in 2006, but have lost in the Class L final the past two seasons. The Rams (8-2), who are playing in Class L this year, won an L-II title way back in 1982, their first state championship.
has 10 state titles, tied with St. Joseph and only trailing Ansonia with its 17. The Tigers (five semifinal wins) are among four teams, along with Staples (six), Cheshire (five) and Darien (five), that have never lost a semifinal game based on a minimum of three games played since the CIAC added the semis in 1995.
* Class LL has a whopping four undefeated teams this season with No. 4 Newtown
(10-0) and No. 5 Norwich Free Academy
(10-0) to go along with Staples and Southington. The Newtown-NFA matchup will mark the first time two undefeated teams have met in the quarterfinal round. Class L had three undefeated teams in the playoffs last year (Hand, Masuk
) as it does this year (Hand, Avon
Bullard Havens Tech-Bridgeport
(Class M) and Prince Tech-Hartford
(S) are only the second and third state technical schools not in a co-op to qualify for the postseason since the semifinal round was adopted in 1995. Cheney Tech-Manchester earned a berth last year and in 2008 in Class M.
Cheney also went to the playoffs twice as a co-op with East Catholic-Manchester in 2003 (L) and 2004 (LL), and co-ops Coventry/Windham Tech (2001, L) and St. Bernard-Montivlle/Norwich Tech (2006, M) have also qualified.
* Two magnet schools are in the Class S mix, Hyde Leadership-New Haven
and Capital Prep/Classical Magnet/Achievement
of Hartford. Capital returns after its first trip last year. Hyde is no stranger to the postseason, having been to the playoffs eight times; it has won the S title four times.
* No. 1 Class S seed Ansonia
(11-0), which won its second Class M title last year, is seeking its unprecedented 18th state title oveerrall. It has won 16 championships in Class S, SS or S-II. The Chargers have not won an S title since 2007, but have been to the playoffs 15 times since 1995, missing out only twice. They went to 15 state titles games before the tournament format was expanded to multiple rounds, winning 11 times.
Special thanks to editors Gerry deSimas Jr. and Bob Barton of the brilliant Connecticut High School Football Record Book Vol. 13, No. 1, Sept., 2012, and the CIAC Championship Archives at www.ciacsports.com
.Paul Rosano, the former assistant sport editor of The Hartford
Courant and sports editor of The New Haven Register, is a MaxPreps contributor. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.