The following is an update from the CIAC.
“There is still too much ice at West Haven to safely play the LL Football
Championship this evening. Based on the current forecast the game has been
tentatively rescheduled for 6:35 p.m. Thursday at West Haven.
The latest possibility to play the game is Friday, if conditions do not
allow it to be played by then it will not be played and co-champions will
The CIAC has rescheduled the Class LL football championship game between No. 4 Southington High School and No. 7 Fairfield Prep to Monday at 7:05 p.m. at West Haven High School.
The CIAC has rescheduled the Class LL football championship game between No. 4 Southington High School and No. 7 Fairfield Prep to Sunday at 3 p.m. in West Haven.
By John Goralski
The CIAC has rescheduled the Class LL football championship game between No. 4 Southington High School and No. 7 Fairfield Prep because of the threat of inclement weather. The game will still be played on Arute Field at Central CT State University in New Britain on Saturday, Dec. 14, but the game time has been switched to 1:35 p.m. to take into consideration the potential storm threat. The game was originally scheduled to kick off at 6:05 p.m.
According to CIAC officials, the game change was needed to account for CIAC football rules because winter sports tournaments must be completed by Sunday, Dec. 15. To guard against a storm cancelation, changes had to be made with the triple-header schedule. The Class L final was originally slated for 2:05 p.m. on Arute Field, but it was moved to Boyle Stadium in Stamford (11:05 a.m.) in order to make room for the Class LL contest between Southington High School and Fairfield Prep.
“Our primary consideration had to be making the best decisions possible to try and insure the championship games could be completed safely this weekend,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff said in a statement. “The strong preference was to keep the schedule as announced and host a great event at Central Connecticut, but the threat of inclement weather and the potential that the games not be completed at all forced the issue. At that point we made what we felt is the best decision for the student-athletes and fans, and we appreciate the flexibility the Central Connecticut administration and our membership have shown.”
Players and coaches were made aware of potential changes at a luncheon at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville on Wednesday, and the CIAC issued the schedule change on Thursday. Southington’s senior lineman Jim Nardi said that he was not concerned about the weather’s impact on the game.
“I didn’t even know about the snow until today, but I’m sure that we’ll game plan for it today and tomorrow at practice,” he said. “If we have to run the ball more, we’ll run the ball more. I don’t think it really matters. Our defense is really good against the run, and we should be able to run against them as well as they run against us. Snow is no big deal.”
On paper, poor weather conditions seem to favor Fairfield Prep (11-1). The Jesuits rely heavily upon the run with over 3,300 yards this season. led by Colton Smith (1,649 yards), along with Nick Crowle (782 yards) and Joe Ganim (310 yards). As a team, Fairfield Prep has run for an average of 277.2 yards per game while they average less than 130 passing yards per game.
In contrast, the Knights feature a more balanced attack. Southington has rushed for less than 2,000 yards over the course of the season while passing for 2,769 yards. Snow and rain could hamper the passing game, but co-captain Tyler Dube said that the offense takes whatever an opponent gives them. He has averaged over 150 yards per game in the postseason, and he said that Southington’s running game is more than able to compensate for poor conditions.
“I don’t think it matters,” he said. “The best football teams will go out and execute in whatever conditions there are, regardless of whether it goes one way or another. With the guys we have up front, we’ll be able to execute either way. I believe in these guys around me, and I have confidence in every one o
f them. We’ll go out there and get it done.”
Jesuit coach Tom Shea didn’t mention any advantages that the weather might bring when he talked about the upcoming duel. “We have a tremendous challenge now to play Southington High School,” he said. “It’s a great program, and this year, of course, they have some tremendous athletes. We know it’s going to be quite a challenge.”
The game will follow the Class M final between St. Joseph and Brookfield at 10 a.m. as part of a CCSU double-header. Tickets will be available at the door or at the Southington High School athletic office today and Friday. Cost is $10 per person at the gate (Children under 5 are free).