Greenwich finished atop the rankings at No. 1 to lead a trio of FCIAC football teams ranked among the top four in The Final Day of New London Top 10 Coaches Poll and The Final 2018 GameTimeCT Top 10 Football Poll voted on by 28 members of the media.
The coaches and media polls both had the same top four in the same order: Greenwich first, followed by second-ranked Daniel Hand, and then FCIAC teams St. Joseph and New Canaan were ranked third and fourth, respectively.
Greenwich and Hand both finished with 13-0 records and were the state Class LL and Class L champions, respectively.
St. Joseph (12-1) won the Class M title. Class LL runner-up New Canaan finished 10-3.
Darien was the fourth FCIAC team ranked in both polls. The 9-2 Blue Wave, which won the previous three Class LL crowns from 2015-17, was ranked seventh in the coaches’ poll and eighth in the media poll.
After those top four teams of Greenwich, Hand, St. Joseph and New Canaan, Newtown (11-2) was ranked fifth in the coaches’ poll and followed by Shelton (10-1), Darien, Fairfield Prep (10-2), Class S state champion Bloomfield (12-1) and Southington (10-1).
The teams ranked 5-10 in the media Top10, in order, were Bloomfield, Newtown, Shelton, Darien, Fairfield Prep and Berlin (10-2).
Coach John Marinelli’s Greenwich Cardinals won the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL Football Playoffs with a 34-0 victory over the New Canaan Rams, who were coached by John’s father Lou. John previously was his father’s offensive coordinator before he went on to resurrect Greenwich’s proud program.
Greenwich was the unanimous top choice in the coaches’ poll. The Cardinals received all 13 first-place votes. St. Joseph coach Joe DellaVecchia and Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio were the two FCIAC representatives on the coaches’ poll.
Greenwich received 24 of the 28 first-place votes and No. 2 Hand got the other four first-place votes in the media poll.
Daniel Hand dominated the Class L playoffs. The top-seeded Tigers outscored their three opponents by a 159-21 margin. They secured their championship with a 54-14 victory over seventh-seeded Maloney on Dec. 8.
Greenwich’s Cardinals were pretty much just as dominant in their state playoffs. Their 34-0 championship victory over New Canaan at Stamford High School’s Boyle Stadium was their second shutout in the Class LL playoffs and sixth of the year.
They outscored their three state playoffs opponents by a 133-13 margin. The Cardinals defeated seventh-seeded New Britain, 49-13, in the quarterfinals prior to their 50-0 shutout victory over third-seeded Newtown in the semifinals.
It was Greenwich’s first state title since 2007 when those Cardinals defended their Class LL crown. Greenwich has won seven state championships. This year’s Cardinals averaged 44.5 points per game and allowed an average of 4.2 points per game.
St. Joseph won its 13th overall state championship and fifth in the last 10 years.
DellaVecchia’s top-seeded Cadets romped to a 70-18 victory over third-seeded Berlin in the Class M final on Dec. 8 at Shelton. They outscored their three playoff foes by a 171-18 margin.
St. Joseph’s only loss was at home to Darien, 22-7, on Sept. 22. The Cadets then won their final 10 games. They averaged 41.8 points and had their five shutout victories in the first seven weeks as their 13 total opponents averaged 6.6 points.
New Canaan has won 12 state championships as coach Lou Marinelli’s Rams racked up 10 of them in the 16 years from 2001-16.
Darien, which won its third straight Class LL crown last year with a 31-22 victory over Greenwich in the final, has won seven state championships.