Class LL quarterfinal capsule: No. 6 East Hartford at No. 3 Darien
Published 8:58 pm, Monday, November 27, 2017
No. 6 East Hartford (9-1) at No. 3 Darien (9-1)
When/Where: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Darien High School
Player to watch, East Hartford: QB Raquan Tompkins (Jr, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds). The dual-threat quarterback leads his team in both passing and rushing, posing a number of issues for opposing defenses. Through nine games, Tompkins threw for over 1,500 yards and 15 scores while adding 884 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Player to watch, Darien: RB Mitchell Pryor (Sr. 6-foot-1, 190 pounds). With the quarterback and receiver positions in flux for the Blue Wave, Pryor must step up, if only take pressure off the young reserves and the defense. On Thanksgiving, the New Canaan defense held Pryor to just 24 yards on seven carries. If Darien has to rely on its run game, it’ll start with a bounce-back effort from its senior tailback.
Storylines: Darien has had plenty of questions to answer internally, starting with who will be at quarterback if Jack Joyce can’t play following his arrest last Wednesday. Standout receiver and safety Brian Minicus was also arrested, and leaves another hole for the Blue Wave to fill. On Thanksgiving, the defense pieced it together, allowing just one offensive touchdown to New Canaan — following a special teams penalty. The question is, will Darien have enough on offense to make up for the potential loss of two senior leaders? Meanwhile, East Hartford specializes in winning tight games, with five of its nine wins coming by one score or fewer, three of which were by two or fewer points.
— Anthony E. Parelli