The yo-yo is back on the upswing for Southington. The Blue Knights will hope it stays wound up this time.
For the second time in four weeks, Southington returns to the top of the GameTimeCT Top 10 Football Poll at the end of the regular season after a week’s absence. Its 21-14 win over Cheshire on Thankgiving morning, coupled with West Haven’s 21-6 loss at Fairfield Prep the night before, flipped the teams once more.
Southington was No. 1 through the middle of the season before a double-overtime loss to Maloney. After the Spartans lost their next game, Southington returned to the top, only to fall out again last week when several voters reconsidered West Haven and pushed the Westies to No. 1.
In the end, a wacky stretch run at the top of the poll seems appropriate for a wacky year. No one in the Class LL or Class L playoff field is unbeaten. Only five teams remain undefeated, and three of those are in Class MM. The only unbeaten team in the top 10 is Ansonia in Class S. (And if you’ve been following the poll the past couple of months, you get one guess where the Chargers are ranked.) The only other unbeatens getting points this week are Berlin (just outside the top 10) and Thames River (not so much).
But it’s Southington on top, getting a clear majority of No. 1 votes as well. Most of the rest of them went to St. Joseph, which is a season-high No. 2. Maloney received a first-place vote (interestingly, not from the same voter who had the Spartans there last week) and sits third.
It was tight for the next few spots, but New Canaan moved up two places to fourth after defeating Darien on Thanksgiving. Former No. 1 West Haven dropped to fifth, only three poll points ahead of Staples, which is No. 6, one spot ahead of the team it defeated by a point on Thanksgiving, No. 7 (and another former No. 1) Greenwich.
Ansonia is eighth, but that’s not news; that’s where the Chargers have been for nine weeks in a row now. What’s new is Newtown moving up to ninth, one spot ahead of Fairfield Prep, returning to the top 10 for the first time since September.
But the next poll is the one that coaches and players have said is the only one that matters, and it’ll come a few days after the Dec. 10 CIAC championship games finish the season.