PREVIEWS: Thanksgiving week football

We made it. It’s Week 12, the final one of the high school football regular season, and there will be football played on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day. Teams will be looking to improve playoff position, or just finish strong with a win over their rival.

Here’s the schedule, along with a little bit about each game:

WCA at Wilby, 6
VG Techs at Wilcox/Kaynor, 6

Crosby at Kennedy, 10 a.m.
St. Paul at Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic, 10 a.m.
Holy Cross at Wolcott, 10 a.m.
Bristol Central at Bristol Eastern, 10:30 a.m.

WCA at Wilby
Where: Ray Snyder Sr. Field (Municipal Stadium complex), Waterbury
Records: WCA 4-5, Wilby 3-6
Streaks: WCA 4L, Wilby 1W
Last year’s result: WCA 52, Wilby 0
Leaders: RUSHING – WCA: D’Vonte Lane 88-698, 12 TD; Wilby – James Richards 165-1,169, 10 TD. PASSING – WCA: KaVaughn Canady 25-62, 800 yards; Wilby – Aaron James 37-81-3 INT, 6 TD. RECEIVING – WCA: Jordan Williams 19-392, 4 TD; Wilby – Angel Suriel 9-159.
Notes: Expect both teams to look to establish the run. Each has a dynamic duo in the backfield. There’s Lane and Dasani Yates (47-503, 5 TD) for WCA. Richards has James (87-829, 13 TD) alongside him in the Wilby backfield.

VG Techs at Wilcox/Kaynor
Falcon Field, Meriden
Records: Wilcox/Kaynor 4-5, VG Techs 0-9
Streaks: Wilcox/Kaynor L1, VG Techs L9
Last year’s result: Wilcox/Kaynor 42, VG Techs 12
Wilcox/Kaynor leaders: RUSHING – Brandon Alvarado 100-1,020, 13 TD. PASSING – Caden Kennedy 23-59, 215 yards. RECEIVING – Alvarado 13-126.
Notes: Alvarado can score from anywhere on the field, but he isn’t the only threat in the Wilcox/Kaynor backfield. There’s Raysean Emrie, who has run 103 times for 564 yards and seven touchdowns. Malik Sanchez-Colon has carried 89 times for 496 yards and a score. The co-op would love a win, which would mean a .500 season.

Crosby at Kennedy
Ray Snyder Sr. Field (Municipal Stadium complex), Waterbury
Records: Crosby 5-4, Kennedy 3-6
Streaks: Crosby 2W, Kennedy 2W
Last year’s result: Crosby 35, Kennedy 22
Leaders: RUSHING – Crosby: Michael Scott 126-950, 5 TD. PASSING – Crosby: Jeremiah Febus 74-129, 1,753 yards, 18 TD, 6 INT. RECEIVING – Crosby: Jashua Sanabria 23-579, 8 TD.
Notes: Crosby has shown it can both run and throw this season, so expect to see some of both against Kennedy. Sanabria is a danger to score via the run, a pass reception, an interception or a kickoff return. The senior has 12 total touchdowns this season for the Bulldogs. Fellow senior Nevon Burke has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. The versatile Danny Rodriguez has scored touchdowns rushing, receiving and on a kickoff return this season for the Eagles. Dereck Ledee is a veteran presence at quarterback for Kennedy. Ledee can be a problem with his legs, and he will throw the ball occasionally.

St. Paul at Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic
Where: Van Why Field, Winsted
Records: St. Paul 3-6, GNH 7-2
Streaks: St. Paul 3L, GNH 5W
Last year’s result: DNP
Leaders: Brady McManama (4 rushing, 1 passing) and Jeremy Taveras (3 rushing, 2 receiving) each have five touchdowns for St. Paul. Ryan Diaz has four touchdown runs while Ryan Sapieha (3 rushing) and Jason Mathews (2 passing, 1 rushing) each have three touchdowns. Charlie Aponte has a touchdown reception.
Notes: GNH has had a high-powered offensive attack for much of this season, so ball control is a big key for St. Paul. The Falcons also need to avoid the big play. The Yellowjackets are trying to clinch a playoff spot and have everything to lose in this game.

Holy Cross at Wolcott
Joe Monroe Field, Wolcott
Records: Holy Cross 7-2, Wolcott 2-7
Streaks: Holy Cross 1W, Wolcott 2L
Last year’s result: Holy Cross 47, Wolcott 8
Leaders: Holy Cross – Tom Ligi 21 total touchdowns (19 rushing, 2 receiving); Marquis Campbell 14 total touchdowns (9 receiving, 4 rushing, 1 interception return); Drew Caouette 13 total touchdowns (12 passing, 1 rushing). Wolcott – Matt LaMontagne 9 rushing touchdowns; Anthony Bell 7 total touchdowns (4 passing, 3 rushing).
Notes: Ligi and Caouette have been a two-headed monster for a large portion of this season. Between them, they have tallied 35 touchdowns and scored in three different ways. Ligi can score from a long way out, as can Campbell. Campbell has also been a force on defense, along with Roehn Maldonado. For Wolcott, it’s the two-headed attack of Matt LaMontagne and Anthony Bell. LaMontagne runs hard and is tough to bring down while Bell can put the ball in the end zone through the air and on the ground. The Eagles must avoid getting into a high-scoring affair with the Crusaders. A long drive or two wouldn’t hurt. The Crusaders are looking to sew up a strong seed in the Class S state playoffs.

Bristol Central at Bristol Eastern
Muzzy Field
Records: Bristol Central 1-8, Bristol Eastern 3-6
Streaks: Bristol Central 7L, Bristol Eastern 1W
Last year’s result: Bristol Central 38, Bristol Eastern 8
Where the series stands: Bristol Central 37-23-2
Leaders: Bristol Central – Tre Blair 13 total touchdowns (9 rushing, 3 receiving, 1 passing); Nik Salinas 6 total touchdowns. Bristol Eastern – Jaiden Fore 11 rushing touchdowns; Rayshon Andrews 7 total touchdowns (4 rushing, 2 receiving, 1 interception return).
Notes: The Rams have won the last six Battle for the Bell games, but they enter this meeting on a seven-game losing streak. The second halves of games have done in Central throughout the season. The Rams will need Blair to be his dynamic self, and they also need to play 48 minutes of football. The Lancers would love to end their losing streak to the Rams. Also, a win by Eastern would be its fourth in five games. That would be a great way to end a season after an 0-5 first half.