FCIAC Football Week 10 Outlook: Holiday tune-ups and state playoff hopes

For most FCIAC football teams, week 10 is the final tune-up before they close out their regular seasons with the annual Thanksgiving week rivalry games. For some — New Canaan, Westhill, Ridgefield and Staples — it’s a must-win weekend as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Darien and Greenwich in Class LL and St. Joseph in Class S are all in great shape for state tournament berths, while New Canaan, which takes on Ludlowe this week, is No. 8 and on the inside edge of the Class L playoff race.

Westhill, Ridgefield and Staples are still mathematically alive in the Class LL playoff race, but would need to win out and get some major help in order to qualify.

Here’s a look at this week’s slate of games…

Friday, Nov. 10

Staples (5-3) at Stamford (3-5), 6 p.m.

The Staples Wreckers’ already dim hopes for a state playoff berth faded even more with a 49-9 loss to St. Joseph last week. Now, Staples can clinch a winning season as they take on the Black Knights at Boyle Stadium. Stamford also suffered a blowout loss last week to Wilton, 45-14, and has given up 93 points in its last two games.

Danbury (1-7) at Greenwich (7-0), 6 p.m.

Greenwich will be one of three FCIAC teams to be in action the week before Thanksgiving, as the Cards will take on Xavier in a non-league contest. No one has been able to stop Gavin Muir and the Cardinals’ offense yet, and the Hatters have surrendered at least 27 points in every game so far.

St. Joseph (7-1) at Brien McMahon (1-7), 7 p.m.

St. Joseph was impressive in a 49-9 blowout of Staples last week and is honing in on a top seed in the CIAC Class S playoffs. McMahon has dropped four straight since beating Ludlowe on Oct. 5.

Warde (4-4) at Ridgefield (5-3), 7 p.m.

Warde has had a solid season despite a difficult schedule which included St. Joseph, Wilton, Darien, and Staples so far, and the Mustangs are facing another FCIAC top tier team in Ridgefield this week. The Tigers have had a strong season behind quarterback Greg Gatto, and their three losses are to teams with a combined record of 22-1.

Westhill (6-2) at Wilton (4-4), 7 p.m.

The Vikings are still alive in the Class LL playoff hunt as they head into their final two games in 13th place. They’ll need to beat both Wilton and Stamford to have a chance at qualifying. The Warriors were just outside the Class L playoff bubble last season and will be just short again this year, but they’re tough and will give the Vikings all they can handle on Friday.

Ludlowe (1-6) at New Canaan (6-2), 7 p.m.

The Falcons broke an 18-game losing streak last week as quarterback Josh Evans passed for 371 yards and three TDs in a 29-28 win over Danbury. Now, they’ll visit Dunning Field to take on the New Canaan Rams, who are still on the inside edge of the Class L bubble. Ludlowe needs to hope the Rams are looking ahead to Darien on Thanksgiving, but even with that, this will be a tough one for the Falcons.

Capital Prep at Trumbull (2-6), 7 p.m.

Trumbull added this bye-week game to its schedule late and will try to pick up its third win with town rival St. Joseph on tap for Thanksgiving week.

Saturday, Nov. 11

Darien (8-0) at Bridgeport Central (1-6), 10:30 a.m.

The Blue Wave moves from Friday night to Saturday morning for its final game before the Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving. Darien is one of three unbeaten teams in Class LL and is closing in on the No. 1 seed. After this, Central will finish with games against Ludlowe and Harding.

Trinity Catholic (2-6) at Norwalk (4-4), 11 a.m.

HAN Network game

The Bears were a dark horse for a playoff berth at the start of the season, but sit at 4-4 now and are playing for a winning record with games against Trinity Catholic and Brien McMahon remaining. Trinity Catholic has worked with a small squad of mostly young players this season, but should give Norwalk a challenge here.

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