No. 1 Darien, No. 2 St. Joe’s lead four FCIAC teams in football poll

Darien and St. Joseph maintained the top two spots in the state rankings, respectively, to lead a contingent of four FCIAC teams ranked among the top five in the current GameTimeCT Week 2 Top 10 Football Poll which was released Sept. 20.

Defending state Class LL champion Newtown leapfrogged over Greenwich and moved up one spot to No. 3, leading up to the rematch of the 2019 Class LL state championship game and a No. 1 vs. No. 3 showdown Friday when Newtown visits Darien High School Stadium for a 7 o’clock kickoff.

Greenwich and New Canaan are the two FCIAC teams ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

The five teams in the latter half of the Top 10, ranked 6-10 in order, are Southington, Fairfield Prep, Xavier, Daniel Hand and Killingly.

Nine of the teams in the Top 10 improved to 2-0 with victories last weekend and Daniel Hand is 0-1.

Darien received 13 of the 22 first-place votes and 640 polling points from the voting media members.

St. Joseph got five first-place votes and 609 points, Newtown received three first-place votes and 552 points while Greenwich got the other first-place vote and was just eight points behind Newtown with 544 polling points.

When Darien and Newtown squared off in the 2019 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL championship game on Dec. 14, 2012, coach Rob Trifone’s Darien Blue Wave players were looking to win the Class LL championship for the fourth time in five years after having won three consecutive titles from 2015-17.

The game was tied 7-7 late in the fourth quarter when Newtown’s Nighthawks stopped Darien’s offense on downs and began the game-winning drive on their own 33-yard line with just 56 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Nighthawks gained 35 yards and then won in dramatic fashion when quarterback Jack Street threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Riley Ward in the corner of the end zone as time expired for a 13-7 victory which prevented the game from having an overtime.

That was the final game of Trifone’s fabulous career as a head coach at Darien and Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk.

Friday’s showdown is just the third game for both programs since that epic 2019 state final, given that the 2020 high school football season was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It was a smooth transition for the Darien program as Trifone’s former assistant, Mike Forget, is now the head coach.

This is the first game of three games for Darien against teams currently ranked among the top five. Forget’s Blue Wave play at second-ranked St. Joseph on Oct. 30 and conclude the regular season with the annual Thanksgiving Day showdown at New Canaan on Nov. 25.

In the two other matchups involving FCIAC teams now ranked among the top five, Greenwich plays at St. Joseph on Oct. 16 and two weeks later Greenwich hosts New Canaan on Oct. 30.

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