The championship game of the CIAC Class L Football Playoffs was a showdown of the top two ranked teams in the state – No. 1 Daniel Hand versus No. 2 St. Joseph from the FCIAC.
So when coach Joe DellaVecchia’s St. Joseph’s Cadets prevailed in that battle of unbeatens by a 17-13 margin, in addition to winning their third consecutive state championship that victory also catapulted them up to No. 1 in the Final GameTimeCT/Register Top 10 Football Poll.
St. Joseph finished No. 1 in the final state poll for the first time since 1982 and led the way as the first of four FCIAC teams in the final Top 10.
In addition to the top-ranked Cadets, Darien was voted No. 4, Greenwich was eighth and New Canaan 10th.
St. Joseph and No. 2 Newtown both finished with identical 13-0 records and were the only two undefeated teams in this year’s final Top 10.
Newtown utilized a dramatic game-ending touchdown as regulation time expired to defeat Darien, 13-7, in the Class LL championship game.
St. Joseph received 24 of the 25 first-place votes from the media voting members while Newtown received the other one and finished with its highest ranking in school history.
St. Joseph totaled 748 points in the voting as the voters selected their respective top 15 teams in order and points were tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.
St. Joseph has won its last three state titles in three different classes – Class S in 2017 and Class M last year. This was St. Joseph’s 15th overall state championship, including its seventh one since 2009.
Prior to these last three state titles from 2017-19, the school’s previous 12 state championships were won in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.
Newtown totaled 678 points in this year’s polling, eight more than third-ranked Daniel Hand (12-1).
Darien (11-2) received 584 points to finish No. 4 and was followed by Class S state champion Sheehan (11-2), Southington (10-2) and Class M champion Weston (12-1).
Eighth-ranked Greenwich finished 9-2 after its 26-16 loss to Darien in the Class LL quarterfinals. Greenwich was the defending Class LL champion and the Cardinals were ranked No. 1 in the final 2018 Top 10.
Bloomfield (12-1) was No. 9 this year.
New Canaan (9-3) rounded out the Top 10. The Rams were eliminated in the Class L by St. Joseph, 42-0.
Ridgefield (8-3) received the 16th most points in the poll as the only FCIAC team among the dozen teams in the “Others receiving votes” category.