FCIAC Football Week Six Outlook: Return from bye week features several huge games

And we’re back.

After an abbreviated schedule of just three games last weekend, FCIAC football returns in full swing Friday and Saturday with 16 of the league’s teams in action.

The schedule is an eye-opener this week, with six teams contenders featured in three great head-to-head match-ups — two of which will be carried live by the HAN Network.

First up on HAN are the unbeaten Darien Blue Wave (4-0) and the Staples Wreckers (3-1) in Westport. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., Friday, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Darien hasn’t been touched this season and Staples, which has postseason aspirations, is looking to bounce back from last week’s loss to the Ridgefield Tigers.

On Saturday, the HAN Network heads to Greenwich for the latest edition of the Marinelli Bowl as the Cardinals (3-0) host the New Canaan Rams (3-1). New Canaan has won six straight in this series, but Greenwich has looked pretty tough and is off to a 3-0 start.

Coverage will begin with the FCIAC Tailgate show at 2:30 p.m., with kickoff at 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday, in a game which has been overshadowed a bit, the Ridgefield Tigers take on the St. Joseph Cadets in Trumbull at 2 p.m. Both teams are 3-1 and boast impressive wins this fall.

Here’s a look at this week’s schedule.

Friday, Oct. 13

Ludlowe (0-4) at Trinity Catholic (1-3), 6 p.m.

With a small and inexperienced roster of 35 players, the Trinity Catholic Crusaders have struggled this season, losing three straight after an opening win against Danbury. Ludlowe, meanwhile, is still searching for its first victory.

Darien (4-0) at Staples (3-1), 7 p.m.

HAN Network game

There’s no rest for the Staples Wreckers, who lost to Ridgefield on a fourth-quarter touchdown last week and now host the state’s No. 1 team, the Darien Blue Wave. The Wave is a machine with a 4-0 record and a 29-game winning streak after dismantling its first four opponents by a combined score of 180-29. The Wreckers had been rolling in their first three games, but last week’s loss knocked them down to No. 13 in the Class LL rankings.

Stamford (1-3) at Brien McMahon (1-3), 7 p.m.

Brien McMahon snapped its 14-game losing streak by defeating the Ludlowe Falcons, 32-13, last week, and has a chance to make it two in a row when it hosts the Stamford Black Knights on Friday. Stamford’s offense runs hot and cold, as the Knights scored 27 points against Warde in week one and 32 against Trinity in week three, but were shut out by Ridgefield, 49-0, and lost to Darien, 53-7 in their other games.

Norwalk (2-2) at Trumbull (2-2), 7 p.m.

The season hasn’t gone as expected so far for either of these teams, but the winner here will take a big step forward. Norwalk was taken apart by Greenwich, 48-0, in its last game, but has the ability to put up points in a hurry. Trumbull, which has been beaten soundly by Greenwich and New Canaan, picked up a much-needed victory with a 35-27 decision over Trinity in its last game.

Saturday, Oct. 14

Danbury (0-4) at Warde (2-2), 11 a.m.

The Warde Mustangs have played solid football thus far with wins over Stamford and Central, and have a chance to jump over the .500 mark this weekend against the Hatters. Danbury, on the other hand, has struggled through four losses by a combined margin of 143-52.

Wilton (2-2) at Bridgeport Central (0-3), Noon

The game with the St. Joseph Cadets got away from Wilton during the second half, as the Warriors ended up falling, 41-21, the week before their bye. Wilton will look to get back on track with its tough running attack against the winless Central Hilltoppers, who have been outscored, 144-16.

Ridgefield (3-1) at St. Joseph (3-1), 2 p.m.

The Ridgefield Tigers and St. Joseph Cadets are both legitimate contenders for the state playoffs and each team has a signature victory already — the Tigers with their win at Staples, and the Cadets with their week one victory in New Canaan. The one loss for each team came courtesy of Darien. Quarterbacks Greg Gatto of Ridgefield and David Summers of St. Joe’s lead explosive offenses with numerous weapons. Both are currently No. 11 in their respective state class rankings — Ridgefield in LL and St. Joseph in S — and this week’s winner will get a big boost.

New Canaan (3-1) at Greenwich (3-0), 4 p.m.

HAN Network game

The Marinelli Bowl shifts to Greenwich High School this season, as the 3-0 Cardinals look to break a six-game losing streak against New Canaan. Greenwich has looked unstoppable this season, scoring better than 50 points per game, but New Canaan has rebounded from its week one loss to St. Joseph to win three straight in romps. Greenwich has had two byes in the last three weeks, although the offense didn’t skip a beat during a 48-0 win over Norwalk during that span. A quick start by the Rams could be tough for Greenwich to overcome, as the Cardinals are still looking to break back into the FCIAC’s top tier with Darien and New Canaan.

Greenwich’s Stephen Bennett (88) returns a kick during the Cardinals’ win over Trinity Catholic in week two. Greenwich hosts New Canaan at 4 p.m., Saturday, this week. — Dave Stewart/HAN network photo

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