Darien football takes over top spot in state poll, FCIAC places 3 in top 7

The second GameTimeCT.com/New Haven Register Top 10 Football Poll of the season looks significantly different in the upper half of it from how the initial preseason poll looked because of some pivotal opening-game showdowns in the FCIAC that caused the shakeup.

Darien ascended from No. 2 to the top spot because of a big 31-12 victory over fifth-ranked conference foe Ridgefield and St. Joseph’s stunning 38-35 victory at top-ranked New Canaan.

Three FCIAC teams were among the top five in the preseason poll which had New Canaan receiving 19 first-place votes from the 26 voting members of the media.

Two-time defending CIAC Class LL champion Darien received five first-place votes to snatch the second spot and was followed by Southington, defending Class S champion Ansonia (with the other two first-place votes) and Ridgefield.

The rest of the Top 10 in the preseason poll, in order, consisted of Cheshire, Windsor, West Haven, Masuk and Shelton.

St. Joseph received the 11th most points in that poll.

The most recent poll, released on Sept. 11, has three FCIAC teams among the top seven.

Darien received 23 first-place votes to snatch the top spot while Southington moved up one spot to No. 2.

St. Joseph’s big victory in the thriller so impressed the voters that the Cadets garnered two first-place votes and vaulted up eight spots to No. 3.

Cheshire is ranked fourth while Ansonia received one first-place vote but still slid down one spot to No. 5, just above Windsor.

New Canaan, which has won the previous four Class L state championship games, is ranked seventh as that third FCIAC team among the top seven.

The final three teams in the current Top 10 are West Haven, Masuk and Middletown.

Ridgefield and Shelton (which also lost) dropped out of the Top 10 but the FCIAC had five teams among the top 12 in receiving the most points from the pollsters as Greenwich and Ridgefield respectively, received the 11th and 12 most points.

Also from the FCIAC, Staples received the 22nd most points and Westhill received the 28th most points as the last of the 18 teams in the “Others receiving votes” category.

Each voting member selects their respective top 15 teams and one of them picked Westhill 15th.

Greenwich defeated Trumbull, 70-16, while Westhill opened up with a 50-27 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe.