Holy Cross, WCA hit the road for state football quarterfinals tonight

The high school football state playoffs are upon us, and two local teams play in away quarterfinals tonight. Both games are scheduled for 6:30 kickoffs.

Sixth-seeded Holy Cross takes on the third-seeded SMSA Co-op at Weaver High School in Hartford. The game was originally scheduled for Dillon Stadium (Trinity Health Stadium), but was moved to Weaver.

Eighth-seeded WCA faces top-seeded Ansonia at the Ryan Athletic Complex in Derby. The game was originally scheduled for Ansonia’s Nolan Field, but was moved. The Ryan complex has synthetic turf, while Nolan Field is natural grass.

Here’s more about each quarterfinal:


Junior quarterback Drew Caouette has thrown for over 1,600 yards this season for the Crusaders (7-3). His favorite targets are senior Marques Campbell and junior Ronald Florian-Moreta. Campbell is a threat no matter where he is on the field. He can score out of the backfield or from a wide receiver position.

Campbell is also among the leaders in tackles. Juniors Adrian Acosta and Anthony Shivas are important defensive players, as are Ben Iannantuoni and David Jannetty.

SMSA is a co-op with Bulkeley and Classical Magnet. The Tigerhawks went 9-1 this season, with the only loss coming to Cromwell/Portland, 22-0. SMSA handed Class M 2-seed Rockville its only loss of the season, 30-7. It also handed Class SS 1-seed Granby/Canton one of its two losses in the regular season, 36-28. The Tigerhawks are led by seniors Zahkeer Kerr, Ifeoluwa Oluborode and Deonte Williams. Kerr was a two-time Walter Camp CT High School Conference Player of the Week for the Pequot Football Conference while Oluborode also earned the honor.


The Spartans (6-4) use a heavy dose of senior running back D’Vonte Lane to move the ball, but he’s far from the only threat. Freshman quarterback Ethan Blaize threw for over 1,000 yards this season and has been coming along of late. Junior Dylan Rossi can hurt teams in all three phases of the game, doing so on special teams with his left leg. Senior Jordan Rossi has been a big target for Blaize in the passing game. Senior Julian Snead is another Spartan to look out for when they throw. On defense, senior Tracy Graves II and junior David Rivera have stood tall.

The Chargers (9-1) are most known for their running game, though it could have a different look tonight if they don’t get back the players who were hurt during their Thanksgiving morning loss to Naugatuck. The status of seniors Machi Ingram, tailback, and Shawn Richards, fullback, was uncertain, according to Mark Jaffee of The RA Zone. The same went for junior two-way lineman Aiden Mercer. Ingram and Richards also play defense for Ansonia.

The teams did meet in the regular season on Sept. 30, which the Chargers won going away, 42-7, over the Spartans at Municipal Stadium’s Ray Snyder Sr. Field.