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State quarterfinal football capsules

Published 5:57 pm, Monday, November 26, 2012
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Below are team capsules of Tuesday's state quarterfinal football games between No. 1 Staples and No. 8 West Haven in Class LL, and No. 6 Weston and No. 3 Ellington/Somers in Class M.

CLASS LL

No. 8 West Haven at No. 1 Staples

WHERE -- Staples High School, Westport

RECORDS -- West Haven 8-2; Staples 9-0 (FCIAC champions)

PLAYOFF RECORD -- West Haven 6-6; Staples 11-8

LAST APPEARANCE -- West Haven 2010 (Lost to Xavier 28-7 in Class LL quarterfinals); Staples 2011 (Lost to Xavier 42-7 in LL final).

PLAYERS TO WATCH -- West Haven: Sr. FB Eddie Williams (855 rushing yards, 16 TD), Jr. RB Ervin Phillips (957 rushing yards, 22 TD), Jr. LB Jesse Ridgway (61 tackles). Staples: Sr. RB/DB Joey Zelkowitz (954 rushing yards, 14 TD), Sr. RB/S Nick Kelly (507 rushing yards, 10 TD), Sr. WR/DB James Frusciante (658 receiving yards, 11 TD), Jr. QB Jack Massie (1,189 passing yards, 12 TD, 549 rushing, 9 TD), Sr. DE Pieter Hoets (73 tackles, 7 sacks), Sr. LB Lance Lonergan (74 tackles, 4 INT, 1.5 sacks).

YOU SHOULD KNOW -- The teams last met in 2006 in the semifinals of the Class L state playoffs, a game Staples won 24-7. ¦ West Haven's two losses this season came against teams with a combined 19-1 record, 21-20 against Daniel Hand and 42-7 against Xavier. ¦ West Haven is averaging 41 points a game in its eight wins. ¦ Staples leads the state with 52 points a game, and has scored no fewer than 48 points in its nine wins. ¦ Staples is third in the state with 4,573 total yards of offense. ¦ Running back Joey Zelkowitz rushed for a record 317 yards in a 48-20 win over Greenwich in the FCIAC championship game on Thanksgiving. ¦ Staples is fifth in the state in rushing with 3,356 yards. ¦ Offense has allowed just five sacks this season. ¦ Senior linebacker Lance Lonergan has returned three of his four interceptions for touchdowns. ¦ Staples has not trailed at any point this season.

CLASS M

No. 6 Weston at No. 3 Ellington/Somers

WHERE -- Enfield High School, Enfield

RECORDS -- Weston 8-2; Ellington/Somers 9-1

PLAYOFF RECORD -- Weston 1-1; Ellington/Somers 0-1.

LAST APPEARANCE -- Weston 1989 (lost to Ansonia 44-0 in Class S final); Ellington/Somers 2011 (Lost to Wolcott 32-26 in overtime in Class M quarterfinals).

PLAYERS TO WATCH -- Weston: Sr. QB/DB Tyler Hassett (1,540 passing yards, 16 TD, 720 rushing, 10 TD), Sr. WR/DB Justin Schaffer (946 receiving yards, 8 TD), Sr. DE/OL Austin Gomar (57 tackles, 14 sacks), Jr. LB/TE Erik Dammen-Brower (66 tackles). Ellington/Somers: Sr. RB/LB Neal Janiga, Jr. QB/DB Joe Leslie, Sr. WR/S Austin Tautkus, Sr. WR/DE Brandon Coverdill.

YOU SHOULD KNOW -- Weston will be making just its second appearance in the state playoffs. ¦ Weston has three fourth-quarter comebacks this season. ¦ Wide receiver Justin Schaffer is third in the state with 946 receiving yards. ¦ Weston is seventh in the state with 27 sacks. ¦ Ellington/Somers has allowed just 93 points in 10 games. ¦ Ellington/Somers has three shutouts and has held opponents to single digits six times. ¦ Lone loss came at undefeated Avon 14-7 on Nov. 10.

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