Five FCIAC football teams in hunt for state playoff berths

Darien senior Andrew Lucas rushed for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Wave’s 42-7 win over Stamford. — Darien Athletic Foundation photo

It’s Thanksgiving, which means rivalry games, the end of the high school football regular season, and for some, a springboard into the postseason.

As kick off time hits for three conference games on Wednesday evening, there are still five FCIAC teams alive in the state playoff race. The Darien Blue Wave, Greenwich Cardinals and St. Joseph Cadets have all clinched, with the New Canaan Rams and Staples Wreckers on the edge of the tournament bubble — one on the inside and one on the outside.

Here’s a look at the five teams and their postseason prospects.

CIAC Class LL Tournament

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Darien, 9-0, 3rd place

The Darien Blue Wave has clinched a playoff berth and currently holds the No. 3 seed in the Class LL standings. With a victory over rival New Canaan on Thanksgiving, the Wave would pass Southington, which is currently second, and secure at least the No. 2 seed, which would mean home games for the first two rounds.

Greenwich, 9-0, 5th place

The Greenwich Cardinals have clinched a tournament berth and are one of five unbeaten teams in Class LL. Greenwich has a shot to move into the top four with a win over Staples and if eiither the bonus points or the results of other games go their ways. If the Cards don’t move up, they’ll be on the road in the quarterfinals.

New Canaan, 7-2, 8th place

The New Canaan Rams currently hold the eighth and final tournament spot, but will need a victory over rival Darien on Thanksgiving to nail down a Class LL bid. The Rams have won four straight games to get back into the playoff picture. New Canaan could even sneak in with a loss, but would need East Hartford to lose to Manchester on Wednesday, AND Staples to lose to Greenwich on Thanksgiving. If both Staples and New Canaan win, it will come down to bonus points.

Staples, 7-2, 9th place

The Staples Wreckers are on the outside looking in for the playoffs and need to beat Greenwich on Thanksgiving morning to keep their playoff hopes alive. With a win, Staples could leapfrog over New Canaan, as long as New Canaan loses to Darien. Again, if both Staples and New Canaan win, it will come down to bonus points.

CIAC Class M Tournament

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St. Joseph, 8-1, 1st place

The St. Joseph Cadets have clinched a playoff berth and a quarterfinal home game, and can lock down the No. 1 seed with a win over town rival Trumbull on Thanksgiving. Even with a loss, would be unlikely to fall below the No. 2 seed, which means the Cadets will be at home for two rounds should they advance.

FCIAC Thanksgiving Week Football

Wednesday, Nov. 21

Ludlowe (6-3) at Warde (4-5), 4:30 p.m. (Moved from Thanksgiving)

Ridgefield (5-4) at Danbury (4-5), 6 p.m.

Westhill (1-8) at Stamford (2-7), 6 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 22

St. Joseph (8-1) at Trumbull (5-4), 10 a.m.

Staples (7-2) at Greenwich (9-0), 10 a.m.

Trinity (1-8) at Wilton (5-4), 10 a.m.

Bridgeport Central (0-9) at Harding (3-6), 10 a.m.

Darien (9-0) vs. New Canaan (7-2) at Boyle Stadium, 10:30 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 23

McMahon (2-7) at Norwalk (4-5), noon (Moved from Thanksgiving)